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Welcome to Racked's first annual Travel Week. Over the next five days, roughly half of our content will be devoted to everything you need to know about traveling to and from New York City—whether you're entertaining out-of-towners, killing time at the airport, or planning the ultimate staycation.
Creatures of Comfort. Photo: Brian Harkin
We've all been there: Your parents/brother/old college roommate is coming for a visit, and you're playing the tour guide. They want a taste of New York City, but you're having nightmares about trudging through Times Square. No need to fear—there is a happy medium.
Instead of taking your guests anywhere near the M&M's store, take them to a neighborhood you actually like, such as Nolita. They'll discover hidden gems that make them feel like a native New Yorker, and you might even discover a favorite new store. See three separate itineraries for one of the city's best shopping areas, whether you have the whole day, a few hours, or just thirty minutes to spare.—Courtney Iseman
Erica Weiner. Photo by Brian Harkin
If you have all day
1. A De?tacher: A De?tacher is often compared to a gallery. The precise way that the beautifully crafted clothes and accessories are displayed in the pristine, modern space makes you feel like you're plucking up a masterpiece instead of any old boutique buy. Shopping owner Mona Kowalska's carefully selected inventory promises you'll find something truly unique.262 Mott Street near Houston Street..
2. Bottega Falai: If your guests want to take home a taste of Little Italy, this is the place that will please them and you. You'll be inspired to choose cooking over take-out once you pick up some dried pastas and cured meats. If you get bored waiting for the in-laws to pick out their olive oil, there's a bar conveniently right inside the store. 267 Lafayette Street near Prince Street.
3. Cat Fish Greetings: Cat Fish puts the personal touch back in greeting cards. Take a little time and get lost in the inventive illustrations—you're bound to find the perfect message for someone special. Your guests will be charmed by the special little gifts that the store also carries, which make perfect souvenirs for special-someones back home.219A Mulberry Street near Spring Street.
4. Creatures of Comfort: Why shop just New York when you can shop the entire globe? This shop will appeal to the fashion lover, the interior design guru, and the beauty junkie alike. Warning: you could lose an entire day trying on staples from cutting edge designers, stocking up on Japanese candy, and envisioning how French furnishings will look in your own abode. 205 Mulberry Street near Spring Street.
5. Erica Weiner Jewelry: The downtown crowd has long fallen for the one-of-a-kind designs of Erica Weiner that combine vintage elements in special and charming concoctions. Prices run the gamut, so you and your out-of-towners alike can add something to your jewelry box whatever your budget.173 Elizabeth Street near Spring Street.
Love, Adorned. Photo: Brian Harkin
If you have three hours
1. Love, Adorned: Give your visitors a hint of New York's famed grit without scaring them by stopping at Love, Adorned. The shop is the eclectic curio cabinet of owner Lori Leven, who helped legalize tattooing back in 1997. You don't have to be in the mood for a tat, though—instead, peruse and fall in love with beautifully crafted jewelry, ceramics, home goods and more. 269 Elizabeth Street near Houston Street.
2. McNally Jackson Books: This bookstore has enough to lose a full hour (okay, an entire day, but you're on a schedule), but it's laid out so you can find both mainstream bestsellers and off-the-beaten-path art books and tomes. (The magazine section will give you a month's worth of reading material.) Take a much needed break with a photography book and a coffee from the cafe?, and you might even catch a reading or lecture. 52 Prince Street near Mulberry Street.
Babel Fair. Photo via Facebook
If you have thirty minutes
1. Babel Fair: Babel Fair sums up the vibe of Nolita: eclectic, international, on-trend but individualistic, cozy, and special. Browsing the stock here is like a whirlwind trip from New York to Europe to Asia to Africa and beyond. You can leave with a diverse haul of treasures like a graphic sundress, a hand-crafted necklace, a pop-art mirror, a bottle of French perfume, or a Bolivian leather bag. The possibilities are endless. 260 Elizabeth Street near Houston Street.
· All Travel Week 2013 Posts [Racked NY]