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This past weekend, I decided to travel back into Manhattan from my southwest Brooklyn home to look for a pair of boots. I know what you might be thinking: we are well into winter, so why am I just now looking for cold-weather gear? Well, there was a method to my madness.

One of the greatest things about living in New York City is the simple fact that you never know where the day might take you.

Known for its catalog of high-quality goods and unique gifts, Hammacher Schlemmer’s pages come to life in its brick-and-mortar New York City location. The East Midtown store recently reopened as a well-lit showroom, spotlighting the best of its inventory— luxurious loungewear, high-tech electronics and an assortment of massage chairs.

Last night, I ventured into Midtown East’s The Manhattan Art and Antiques Center, a three-level indoor mall of galleries full of a wide assortment of antique finds. When I walked in, I was amazed at the size of the space, which spans almost an entire city block. Antiques shoppers could spend an entire day perusing the over 100 galleries packed into the Center.

There are several differences between New York City and the rest of the country. Being a transplant from the Midwest, and having lived in NYC for the past eight years, I've made a mental checklist comparing the differences—namely, the lack of shopping malls.

Outfit your home and yourself with furniture, accessories, clothing and jewelry from Kanibal Home. The Jersey City-based shop features vintage pieces, local designers’ clothing lines and plenty of DIY workshop events.

Eventually, we all have to grow up. Yes, you should act with grace and civility, but what I mean is, at some point, you should live like an adult—throw away the beanbag chair; plastic storage bins, which have been passing as dressers; and posters that once hung in your dorm room and get real furniture, artwork, etc.

This holiday season, I planned ahead and found gifts for my family a few months in advance. Last year, I wasn’t so prepared. I thought I would have enough time to knit hats for my many cousins, but the weeks slipped away and I ended up nearly pulling a muscle from making five hats in one weekend. If you find yourself in a similar situation, check out one of these stores open on Christmas Eve.

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.

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