A Very Merry Local Gift Guide for New Yorkers: What the offMetro Staff Wants for the Holidays


The writers at offMetro came up with one gift item from a local store in the outer boroughs (plus one online only option! ) that would make their season brighter. Whether you’re shopping for a guitarist, cheesehead, or greenie, these staff picks offer something for every New Yorker this holiday season.

Brendan’s Pick | Stinky’s Cheese of the Month Club | Stinky Brooklyn | Cobble Hill | $65

Stinky Cheese

Stinky Brooklyn is one of the smallest stores on Smith Street, but it’s the only one I could easily spend an entire afternoon in. At any given time, they have hundreds of varieties of cheese on offer, with an emphasis on local dairies from around the area, but of course some French and Italian stinkers, too. The smell of the store alone is worth the trip for any serious cheesehead, but even better is that they’re loose with the samples and happy to let you stand there forever tasting the wide array of cheeses. I can’t imagine a better gift for a foodie than Stinky’s Cheese of the Month Club. Every month, you get three different half-pound chunks of some of the store’s rarest finds delivered to your home (starting at $65). For those who want more of a give-me-it-all-right-now kind of gift, Stinky has an all-made-in-Brooklyn gift basket filled with goodies from local foodmongers like McClure’s Pickles, Brooklyn Brining Company and Mast Brothers Chocolate. Take the F, G train to Carroll Street. stinkybklyn.com

Vince’s Pick | The Recycled Sail Bag | Reiter 8 | Brooklyn | $145

Hand-crafted from used sailboat sails by Katherine Rasmussen o

Hand-crafted from used sailboat sails by Katherine Rasmussen out of her Brooklyn studio. If you’re not looking for a bag, check-out her pillows or even luggage tags. Got old sails lying around? Donate them and get a free bag or pillows made out of your sailcloth. Etsy.com.

Lauren’s Pick | Ann Beattie: The New Yorker Stories | Greenlight Bookstore | Fort Greene | Scribner, $19

For the New Yorker who can’t leave home without their nook or kindle in tow, this collection by Ann Beattie, spanning more than three decades of writing, is a reminder of how great literature was meant to be packaged. Not trapped under an electronic screen, but tucked inside a bright red book (perhaps made using 100% recycled post-consumer materials), velvety to the touch. When you finish one of Beattie’s beautifully moving short stories, you want to begin flipping through the next 47. Enjoy fondling the pages, and getting lost in them this winter. greenlightbookstore.com.


Chris’s Pick | Vintage Guitar | Main Drag Music | Williamsburg | Prices Vary

Main DragWe, the green shoppers of the world, are always looking to think global and act local. In thinking global, I’m reminded of a great Radiohead lyric where Thom Yorke sings, “I wanna be in a band and when I get to heaven, anyone can play guitar.” Imagine an entire world of guitar players all jamming at the big gig in the sky. For us locals, Main Drag in the musical Mecca of Williamsburg can equip you with a whole slew of sweet guitars, drums, basses, amps, mics, and pedals to get your rock rolling. Friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful folks staff Main Drag and carry no traces of any elitist snobbery or rocker attitude that can plague music stores. So local, so delicious, let there be rock! Take the L train to Bedford Avenue. Walk down Bedford to South 1st Street and take a right. Main drag is on the Corner of Wythe and South 1st Street. maindragmusic.com |

Bonus online pick:
Kari’s Pick | Recycled Bamboo Chopstick Basket | Chopstick Art | Online | $35

This sustainable basket woven from actual chopsticks looks like a Campana brothers design. The versatile, flexible shape makes it mighty enough to hold piles of fruit, vegetable, and bread, or stand alone as a chic centerpiece on a table. If you’re feeling really crafty and happen to have a draw full of take-out chopsticks, you could make it yourself. Glue sticks together in two sections and interlace the edges to create a true DIY original.