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NYC Gift Shops Mix Business With Politics, Sometimes at a Price

(Photo via @lockwoodshop on Instagram)

Since it opened in 2017, Lockwood Paper has stocked political-themed cards and trinkets alongside the usual greeting, Get Well Soon, and holiday cards. Walk into the Astoria stationery shop today and you might find a scented candle that claims to smell like “Is it over yet?”—a reference both to the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasingly high-stress political battleground in the U.S. There are items bearing an image of Kamala Harris with the phrase “Stay Nasty,” and “2020” stickers printed with a cartoon-style rendering of a dumpster fire—a best-selling graphic across products ranging from birthday cards to tea towels. More →

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Costume Stores Say Halloween Shoppers Haven’t Been Scared Off

A last-minute shopper visits the Halloween Adventure Shop. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra)

Just one day before Halloween, there’s a bit of a frenzy inside the Halloween Adventure Shop on 4th Avenue. Customers walk in carrying sopping wet umbrellas, and they leave behind their slippery footprints. Inside, they shuffle around the store, some selecting the final touches to their costumes, others still looking for inspiration as they browse the wall of wigs.  More →

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Once Again, an East Village Vintage Shop Tries to Avoid Becoming a Relic

It takes about 30 seconds to walk through the shoe-box-sized space that houses Honeymoon Antiques on 6th Street, but owner David Brockman, 60, has managed to fit hundreds of clothing items onto the racks. At each step, you can feel the chiffon, lace, and silk brush against your arms. And when you speak to David, the inside of the store sways from feeling cramped to cozy. More →

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How a Brooklyn Couple Started Running a French Bakery Out of Their Apartment

(Photos via @l’appartement4f)

Americans have long obsessed over the French way of life: the blasé attitude, classic style, and, most importantly, the bread and butter. Newlyweds Gautier Coiffard and Ashley Breest have given New York City another bakery to drool over. The difference, though, is that their shop is based entirely in their Cobble Hill apartment, you can only order through Instagram, and they started the business as a side hustle during the pandemic. More →

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Tattoos Have Gotten ‘a Little Bit Bolder’ During the Pandemic, This Artist Says

“Come up on the second floor, and then it’s the second door!” Juju told me over the phone when I asked how to get to The Secret Door, the Williamsburg tattoo parlor where she worked. Outside, the grey, graffitied warehouse had barren walls; inside, dim-lit corridors and innumerable doors made it look like a maze. Ironically, “The Secret Door” was printed in small characters on the heavy metal door in question. Inside, a few green plants and some vintage pieces of furniture here and there worked as a bright frame to all the art, in sketches or framed, that lived in the open-space loft-style studio. Above Juju’s station, outlines of abstract faces, minimalist moons and elegant designs mapped the wall and welcomed every client into Juju’s world.   More →

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A Lyft-Like Pilot Program Was Making NYC’s Transit System More Accessible; Budget Cuts May Put the Brakes On It

(Photo: Diana Kruzman)

When Eman Rimawi needed to get to a meeting or run an errand, she used to have to schedule a ride to pick her up a day or two in advance — a blue-and-white van provided through the MTA’s Access-A-Ride program for people with disabilities. She experienced long waits for the vans to arrive and was often late as the vans stopped to pick up other passengers along the way. More →