Once upon a time, an old boss asked me for a favor: to help him find a necklace to give his girlfriend for Christmas.

Crammed into a one-room shop in Crown Heights, newly opened Hullabaloo Books’ shelves reach all the way to the ceiling and are filled with classics and contemporary fiction alike. I visited recently for their monthly reading series Shelf Life, where I saw some of my favorite writers read for a small audience of no more than 20 people.

On a rainy, chilly New York City afternoon, I decided to leave the comfortably warn IN New York & Where offices and head downtown to SoHo. I knew my journey would be filled with several obstacles. Namely? Trying to maneuver through the endless sea of black umbrellas that would inevitably crowd the trendy neighborhood's narrow streets

Growing up, we learn a lot of things from our parents. I mean if you think about it, your parents serve as your first teachers, bosses, coaches, etc. And, for a lot of us, our parents are our first stylists. I write that last part with my Mom in mind. I remember a durable pair of boots she owned when I was a kid and the advice she gave me once she saw me admiring them. She said, “honey, you should always own a good pair of boots.”

Until I walked into Vertu’s Madison Avenue shop, I thought my smartphone was pretty impressive. It does everything I thought was possible: searches the internet, receives emails and takes photos. Vertu’s phones go beyond even these features and offer a much higher quality of materials. Not only are all three of their collections—the Ti, Signature and new Constellation—handmade in the United Kingdom, but they are also GSM-capable so they can be used internationally.

Earlier this week, I took a trip to Saint-Petersburg Global Trade House. And, I have to say, anyone looking for unique gifts this holiday season—or any time, really—should definitely check it out

Holiday markets, which pop up around December and feature a wide variety of vendors, make one-stop holiday gift shopping easy. Plus, many markets offer concession booths so you can snack while you peruse the booths. Here are some of the best markets in New York City.

Occupying a small space in SoHo, Purl Soho is filled to the brim with yarn, fabric and needlework accessories. I’m an amateur knitter and when I first visited the store, I was overwhelmed with options. Every yarn I touched was super soft and dyed a gorgeous color. If you need help deciding, Purl’s staff will assist you in choosing the correct tools you’ll need for your crafting project. If you buy yarn, they’ll even spin it into an easy-to-use ball.

A good watch should make a statement. Of course it should keep time, but much more than that it should be a reflection of the wearer. You can find your next statement watch at Hour Passion, a new boutique that opens today in Midtown West.

Window-shopping can be fun any time of year, but during the holidays, many stores up the ante with colorful, creative and interactive displays. Here are some of the best displays around Manhattan.


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