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New York City has more stores than anyone could physically tackle, but somehow we always keep returning to the usual suspects. To break out of the rut, we've asked some local shopping and fashion gurus to provide their hidden retail gems—those unique stores around our fantastic city that we might not all know about. Cue the Beatles: We're about to get a little help from our friends.
Image via Global Graphica
Erin Wylie is the deputy digital editor for Martha Stewart Weddings where she makes sure wedding-obsessed individuals have an online source for all their nuptial needs. She's held positions at Lucky, DailyCandy, and Time Out New York, but you might also know her from appearances on Fox News and The Today Show.
Waiting for a table at Barrio Chino is inevitable, so I like to pass the time at Top Hat, a charming shoebox of a store a few doors down. What do they sell? "Surprises" is the best way I've found to sum up their stock. I've found totally unnecessary but incredibly delightful things like star-shaped sparklers, embroidered robot pins from France, imported snowballs (improbably made from real snow), and an ornithologist's cache of birdcalls.
Everything in store is at once so random and specific: if you have a thing for porcelain fruits and vegetables made in England (as I've discovered I do), then this is your dealer. If Japanese office products make you weak in the knees, take a cab there. And please don't be offended if I give you a scrub brush for your birthday; it's made in Berlin by one of 15 blind artisans and isn't the one gold bristle that evokes a mouth with a gold tooth clever?· Top Hat [Official Site]
· Erin Wylie [Official Site]
· All Shopping Confidential Posts [Racked NY]