Gift guides are everywhere this time of year. But we couldn’t resist mining the incredible Lower East Side to suggest some truly one-of-a-kind gifts. So we promise, there are no cufflinks in this list. These options have all the character, personality and versatility you’d expect from a neighborhood that’s been shifting, adapting, and growing for centuries.
Something Unexpectedly Pickled
From their shop on Grand and Essex, the Pickle Guys are keeping Lower East Side traditions alive while incorporating their own modern-day zest. Sure you can get your standard sours, half-sours and dill, but the shop’s giant barrels offer much more – pickled garlic, pickled pineapple, and pickled mango are a few of the less conventional options. Load up a few of their fun branded jars and you’ve got a totally unexpected gift for the adventurous food lover in your life.
Learn more on the Pickle Guys website and stop by 357 Grand Street to get the full experience.
A Tote Made for Schleppen
Schleppen is more than just the act of lugging around a million little objects every day…it’s a lifestyle. And these bags are without a doubt our gift shop’s best seller. They’re large and sturdy and come in two color options. Plus all the proceeds go directly to supporting the mission of the Museum at Eldridge Street! Give the gift of utility and humor with these great bags.
Available in the Museum gift shop at 12 Eldridge; choice of natural canvas or black.
An Homage to Quirky New York
Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York is the holy grail for anyone obsessed with old New York, storefronts or vernacular design. James and Karla Murray’s vibrant photographs are paired with thoughtful insights from business owners and New Yorkers about what makes our local communities so special. Also – we can’t miss the chance to mention that James and Karla have also taken some stunning photos of our sanctuary for the blog 6sqft.
Passport to the History of Chinese Culture in America
The Museum at Eldridge Street centers the experience of Jewish immigrants on the Lower East Side, but immigration is a timeless New York tale that spans generations and culture. Which is why in 2019, we’re a restored synagogue in a thriving Chinatown. We love our dynamic neighborhood and we’re proud to share it with institutions like the Museum of Chinese in America. MoCA preserves and presents the diverse cultural experiences of people of Chinese descent in the United States. Their exhibitions, education and cultural programs bring to vivid life a crucial piece of the American immigration story. Give the gift of membership to anyone who values cultural diversity! Members enjoy exclusive benefits, including free gallery admission, invitations to exhibition openings, curator and artist meet-and-greets, and discounts at the MoCA Shop by Pearl River, as well as local community business partners.
A Place for Those 2020 Resolutions
The perfect gift for your friend who has an idea for a novel, a journaling goal, or a short memory. Write it down! These beautiful vegan leather notebooks are embossed with our stained glass logo on one side, and the Museum’s name on the back. Notebook includes lined pages with a space for the date in the corner, an elastic bookmark, a card holder on the inside front cover and a pen holder on the inside back cover. The best part? The pages are replaceable, so this cover sticks around no matter how many pages you fill.
Available at the Museum at Eldridge Street gift shop, 12 Eldridge Street.
A Pen To Work Up Your Appetite
Now they’ll need something to write with! We love our neighbors at Scarr’s pizza on Orchard Street, and now we can proclaim our love of their delicious pizza between meals. Scarr’s is the epitome of new-LES cool, playing homage to old school pizza joints while doing it with ingredients and practices that are fully modern. Using this pen is guaranteed to elicit “I love Scarr’s!” comments from people no matter where in the city you take it.
The Chance to Become a New York City Expert
We were fans of the Bowery Boys even before their recent episode on the Museum at Eldridge Street. Hosts Greg and Tom bring a sense of joy, curiosity and respect to every one of their New York subjects – whether they’re exploring the development of Brooklyn Heights, the history of the bagel, or the music biz on Tin Pin Alley. They’ve recorded more than 275 episodes! And all this fabulous work is sustained through listener support – monthly memberships begin at just $3. Members get the satisfaction of supporting great work from local New Yorkers as well as exclusive content, special episodes, stickers, mugs and more!
As low as $3/month. Purchase a membership on the Bowery Boys website.
Pastries Galore, Even for Your Vegan Friend
Michaeli Bakery is a new addition to our neighborhood but it’s already a staple. Owner Adir Michaeli once ran the kitchen at famed Breads Bakery, and his expertise now fills the cases at Michaeli with best-in-NY caliber treats including burekas, challah, and rugelach. They also offer really unique options, including gluten-free cakes, a super chocolately vegan babka, and a fluffy kugelhulpf. Get a gift card and let them pick their own poison.
Michaeli Bakery is at 115A Division Street.
A Night at a Modern Moviehouse
The East Side was once a thriving hub of Yiddish performance and film in America. The neighborhood was packed with live theaters and movie houses, which are sadly mostly gone now. But Metrograph is keeping the tradition alive on Ludlow Street. An homage to the classic movie houses of the 1920s, Metrograph hosts exclusive premieres, throwback screenings, book signings, special dinners, and other fun events. It’s a classy place that still feels accessible – cult fans will feel just as welcomed as seasoned cinephiles. Give the gift of movie tickets or purchase a gift membership to give your special someone discounted tickets and meals at the cafe, invitations to members-only events and a lot more.
Gifts available at 212-660-0312 or stop by in person at 7 Ludlow Street.