Inspired by a post over on astorians.com, I got to thinking about how Astoria has a lot of great shopping options for the holidays. No need to go to Manhattan for everything! Or the mall (ugh). There's plenty right here in western Queens, some I've mentioned before, and some that are new (at least to me).
First, check out a terrific slideshow from the NY Times, written by Astoria's own Amanda Trimble. Love the pictures and descriptions, and it's a great overview of some of the wonderful and unique boutiques in Astoria/LIC. KrisTees is new to the neighborhood, and is a lovely upscale kind of place (more about them from flooz, later). I've checked out The Blooming Company on 31st Street (by the Ditmars station). They have cute clothes and jewelry, as well as other items like wallets, shoes and bags.
Apart from clothes, Blue Eye Boutique has a lot to offer for the evil eye fans on your list. Inside Astoria on Ditmars sells home items, gifts for pets, and more. Olympia Chemists on 31st Street sells wonderful L'Occitaine products and a variety of other great smelling things, including environmentally sound and cruelty-free products.
Astoria's own Socrates Sculpture Park has a new book out on their 20 years in existence, and The Noguchi Museum has a wonderful gift shop with books and other intersting objects. The Art-O-Mat in Hunter's Point is a "store/gallery featuring artisan made items", so check them out for locally made art. The Museum of the Moving Image also has a gift shop, for the film buff on your list.
Heliopolis, as I've mentioned before, has great chocolate (including Scharffen Berger) and an amazing selection of beer, perfect to bring to a holiday party. Vine Wine in LIC is doing a series of tastings throughout December, so stop on in and educate yourself about wine so you can get your favorite oneophile something they'll love. And budding Astoria pastry artist Michelle McDonald is selling handmade chocolate truffles for the holidays! Both flooz and I have had these truffles, and they are absolutely delicious. Highly recommended!
While not based in Astoria, online options I like include Threadless, which sells wonderful tshirt designs for women, men, and children. Right now they're having a $10 sale! What a deal. I'm also a big fan of Mighty Goods, an awesome shopping blog by Maggie Mason in SF. I've also shopped at The Hunger Site's online store. Each purchase you make feeds someone. What a wonderful way to shop and do some good while you're at it. And for Astoria-based online shopping, our own flooz has a terrific cafepress site, selling things with an Astoria theme. Click, click, click and check it out! Lastly, December 1 (that's tomorrow) starts the NY Cares Coat Drive. See where you can donate your used winter coat so someone else can stay warm.
Oh, and don't forget all those 99cent stores for wrapping, bows, and cheap decorations!
Where do you like to do your holiday shopping in Astoria?