Wal-Mart? Never heard of it! One thing that makes New York City special is its plethora of niche stores. But can you believe that there are tons of stores that sell only one good?
Our friends at Untapped Cities have been holding down the fort when it comes to showing the secret, quirky sides of our favorite cities. They have had their finger on the pulse, covering the most specialty of specialty stores. These are our favorites.
CW Pencil Enterprise: Caroline Weaver owns this Lower East Side shop on Forsyth street, and it specializes in high quality pencils for personal use and collectors alike! Bright white walls and chessboard tiling show the modernity of what most consider a throwback item. Their site explains, “What we’re trying to do is dig up the stories and origins of these objects and make them accessible to those who appreciate them for their functionality, beauty and history as much as we do. As simple as it may be, the pencil is something which despite advances in technology will never become obsolete. Whatever you may use them for, we want to make sure that you can have any pencil your heart, hand, or collection desires.”
8 Bit and Up: Located on East Third Street, 8 Bit and Up is an arcade and store that only offers vintage games. No Wii here. Transport back to your good old days with Nintendo NES, Sega Genesis, and Playstation One. There are vintage arcade games as well as home systems and games for sale. The place has also hosted private parties, so challenge your friends to an epic Donkey Kong showdown.
Le Labo Fragrances: Le Labo’s new location on 29th street continues its tradition of artisanal fragrances with boutiques also in London, Los Angeles, Paris, San Francisco and Tokyo. I’ve personally visited this store. Expert staff guides you through the creation of your own signature fragrance which is bottled right there in the shop. Signature fragrances and custom fragrances can also be made into soaps, body lotions and massage oils.
Empire Biscuit: Empire Biscuit is a 24/7 Southern biscuit shop located on Avenue A between 12th and 13th street. But get them while they’re hot! These biscuits are so popular that they have had to close shop more than once for running out of biscuits.
The Ink Pad and Casey’s Rubber Stamps: Can you believe there are not one, but two NYC boutiques that only sell rubber stamps? The Ink Pad is a small store located on 13th Street has all kinds of rubber stamps from tacky christmas greetings to elaborate sketches. They also offer workshops on ideas for crafting with your stamps. Casey Rubber Stamps is on East 11th Street. They have plenty of inventory and they specialize in custom orders, which you can even do online.
What are your favorite hidden gems in New York City? Tell us @bbhnyc.