The holiday season is upon us, and with that comes the pressure to find the perfect present for everyone on your list.
If that list includes New York City lovers, then let Curbed be your guide: We’ve chosen some of the best New York City-themed presents around, whether you want something quirky for a design-obsessed pal, a book for that person who thinks they know everything about the city, or an unforgettable, Instagram-worthy experience.
Tenement fire escape ornament
$20 | Tenement Museum
Few things evoke the architecture of New York City quite like a fire escape, something that is both functional and cultural: It can be a means of egress, a place to dry clothes, or even a makeshift backyard. This adorable ornament pays homage to the city staple.
New York subway architecture and design map
$10 | Blue Crow Media
Following in the footsteps of its Concrete New York and Art Deco New York maps, Blue Crow Media has released New York Subway Architecture and Design, a map that celebrates the beauty of the city’s subway system. It includes 45 stations with significant artworks (by Roy Lichtenstein, Sol LeWitt, and more) or stunning architecture. If you have a friend whose interests are at the intersection of subways, architecture, and art—or if they need convincing that the subway is a repository of beautiful design—this is the gift for them.
Museum of Modern Art membership
From $100 | MoMA
There’s more MoMA to see than ever before, thanks to an ambitious revamp, and art aficionados will appreciate the perks a museum membership affords. The most basic plan is $100—equivalent to visiting the museum four times in one year—and includes a 10 percent discount in the museum store, free tickets to film screenings, and early access to blockbuster exhibits.
Totem cotton knit throw
$195 | Design Within Reach
Two of our favorite New York City brands—Design Within Reach and Dusen Dusen—teamed up for this chic cotton throw blanket. Colorful geometric shapes (a hallmark of Ellen Van Dusen’s quirky patterns) dominate on a soothing blue background that will work with just about any design scheme.
A Booklover’s Guide to New York
$30 | Rizzoli
For this guidebook-cum-personal history, writer Cleo Le-Tan collaborated with her father, the late French artist Pierre Le-Tan, to catalog the city’s many literary landmarks. It includes 200 destinations, both famous (the New York Public Library) and off the beaten path (the Brooklyn where Truman Capote lived and wrote parts of In Cold Blood), as well as interviews with two dozen New Yorkers about their favorite bookish spots.
Terra-cotta stacked planters
From $58 | Franca
Your friend who has a small jungle in their apartment will appreciate these stylish planters, which come in a variety of sizes for greenery large and small. The terra cotta calls to mind the usual clay pots you’d find at any home improvement store, but their curved silhouettes are decidedly on trend.
Empire State Building 102nd floor observatory tickets
From $58 | Empire State Building
We all know someone who wants to visit the Empire State Building—and the new 102nd-floor observatory, which opened this fall, is the best way to do it. Elevators whisk visitors from the 86th floor up to the new, glass-enclosed space, which is perched 1,250 feet above the city and has panoramic views of Manhattan, the outer boroughs, and beyond. It’s one of the more rarefied views of the city, and one that will delight even the most jaded New Yorker.
New York Harbor quilt
$300 | Haptic Lab
Brooklyn-based Haptic Lab continues its series of minimalist, location-themed quilts with this New York Harbor pattern from its Coastal series. The five boroughs are placed on a black background, and you can even add the names of your recipient’s favorite waterway for an additional fee (perhaps for your friend with an inexplicable affinity for the Gowanus Canal?).
AIANY Architecture and the Lights of Gotham tour
$54-$74 | AIA New York
The next time that friend who only visits New York twice a year says they want to take a boat tour of the city, present them with tickets to one of AIA New York’s jaunts around the island of Manhattan. The organization partnered with Classic Harbor Line for this new tour, which takes building fanatics around the island at night: It starts at Chelsea Piers around sunset (perfect for getting that golden-hour shot of the skyline) and cruises past landmarks like One World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty.
Celeste speckled utensil holder
$45 | Wolves Within
Making a postage stamp-sized New York City kitchen look cool and inviting is never easy, but having the right tools goes a long way. When it comes to storing your spatulas and serving spoons, go for this ceramic utensil holder from Greenpoint housewares shop Home of the Brave. Its neutral color palette will go with anything, and its hand-thrown shape will lend some chicness to even the most bland rental kitchen.