It's Worth It
Authentic, Affordable New York City Souvenirs
These souvenirs come with loads more style than the snow globes and other plastic trinkets you can find anywhere.
Beer Tote ($20) and Tokens (6 for $20), Brooklyn Brewery
The tokens used for buying beers at this brewery's popular happy hour make an easy souvenir, and so do the coasters. While you're here you can also check other good mementoes at the small gift shop, including a light but sturdy case for carrying six bottles of the local product. 79 North 11th St., Brooklyn, 718/486-7422, happy hour Friday at 6 p.m.
Candy Bars ($9) and Peppermints ($4), Economy Candy
This Lower East Side institution sells its own specially labeled candy, but its shelves brim with lots of other options, including Sugar Daddies, lollipops, chocolate-covered graham crackers, dried fruits and nuts, and harder-to-find sweets such as foil-wrapped chocolates of landmarks and candy cigarettes. 108 Rivington St., 800/352-4544.
Coffee Mugs ($10), Fishs Eddy
One popular line at this housewares store is made up of items covered with Manhattan's skyline. The design, 212, is named for the city's first and (still) most prestigious area code. If you've overloaded on Manhattan, try the "Brooklyn" pattern, or better yet, the "Brooklynese" designs—one mug has "Cawffee" written on it. Broadway at 19th St., 212/420-9020.
Leather Wallet ($40), Off-the-Train Cuffs ($25), and Silver Jewelry ($25–52), The Market NYC
The vendors at this weekend bazaar, held in a youth center on the edge of SoHo, do a good business selling handmade jewelry, purses, and racks and racks of clothes, most of it for women. Recent finds there include bracelets sculpted from vinyl records (from Wrecords by Monkey) and hand-cut sterling silver jewelry (by Elena Volovelsky). 268 Mulberry St., with another location at 490 Hudson St., open only on Sat.
Subway T-shirts ($20), Wooden Trains ($10), and Subway Map Umbrella ($20), New York Transit Museum
The no-nonsense design of the signs and letters in New York City's subway system were created in the late 1960s by the Unimark International design firm. You can take home the line of your choice by picking up one of these t-shirts. Housed in a former station from 1936, the New York Transit Museum also has an annex at Grand Central Terminal. Boerum Place and Schermerhorn St. Brooklyn, 718/694-1600. Grand Central Terminal, 87 E. 42nd. St., off the main concourse in the Shuttle Passage, 212/878-0106.
Adrian Tomine Tote Bag ($11) and Red Tote Bag ($8), Strand Books
The Strand's tote bags are a common sight around New York, especially when near this mammoth bookstore's headquarters, off of Union Square. 828 Broadway (at 12th St.), 212/473-1452.
Black and White Cookies and Rugelach ($9 per package) and Coffee ($9 per pound), Zabar's
Famed for bagels, coffee, cheese, smoked fish, sweets, and other New York specialties, this Upper West Side destination makes a great stop before a picnic in Central Park. 2245 Broadway at 80th St., 800/697-6301.