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In the market for a gift for that person who has everything? Trying to get in touch with that inner child somewhere deep inside of you? If so, then definitely make a point to drop by recently-opened boutique Top Hat on the quiet block of Broome and Ludlow. This minimalist yet whimsical shop will make you suddenly desire items that you never even knew existed—like, say, a packaged "white energy" snowball from Finland that actually feels cold (only $22)!
The fun gifty items run the gamut of total randomness and creativity and, best of all, are mostly extremely affordable. We happily perused ornate 24-carat gold trimmed Venetian pouches and coin purses (from $56), shiny gold and silver bicycle bells ($24), elegant Roman paper pencil cases ($24), tons of natty hard-cover journals and diaries (from $18), letters of the alphabet in all sizes ($11 each and straight from Stoke-on-Trent, England), the aforementioned bird calls ($34 to $62), and bright-colored and adorably patterned masking tape from Japan ($3.50 for solid and $4 for prints). Yummy!
Now let's talk sleds and toboggans, all made by Mountain Boy Sledworks in Silverton, Colorado. The 52-inch version can be yours for $160 and the giant version is priced at $360. If that's out of your price range or your New York apartment storage capacity, well, Top Hat rents these bad boys for $15 an hour. (Granted, travel time back and forth will probably be one hour, but anyway.) The very sweet and helpful staffer (a hipster doppelgänger of Elizabeth Moss as West Wing's Zoey Bartlett) pulled out a handy list of nearby sledding locales and suggested the park in Dumbo at the York Street stop on the F train).
Owner Nina Allen imports and wholesales quirky items from all over the world through her Williamsburg-based company Sweet Bella and smartly opened this storefront during the gift-buying holiday season. The shop brings an enjoyable twist to the "BelDel" block that includes TG170, Earnest Sewn, and of course, Babycakes.
· Sweet Bella [Official Site]