Bleecker Street is one of my favorite streets in the West Village, mainly because it’s the street I play something I call the “window shopping” game on. This is an activity I love, especially when the weather is nice. I do it while grabbing a scoop of gelato at Julietta Gelato Cafe (335 Bleecker) with a friend or a date, and walking down my favorite street playing the game.

At each storefront, whether it’s 7 For All Mankind or Sandro, you look at the storefronts and on the count of “three!” point to which outfit (or purse, or piece of jewelry) you would take home with you if it was given to you for free. You see if you both picked the same item, and then move onto the next storefront. It’s a great way to spend 30 minutes outside, and how to casually discover what someone’s taste is like.
(Also, if you’re on a date, it’s a great way to hint about something you might want…)

But for those looking to spend some money, Bleecker Street is a great place to find your next gift. Whether you’re looking for a hostess present, a birthday sweater, or a gift for the hard-to-please, these are some places on Bleecker Street I frequent for presents.

341 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014
One of my favorite gifts to give when someone moves into a new apartment in the city is a bottle of luxurious Aesop hand soap. It sounds like a boring gift, but anyone who has used Aesop soap before (it features in just about every restaurant in the city where entrees are more than $40) knows that it is an experience. The soap smells incredible and has small beads that exfoliate your hands as you use it. Each bottle will run you about $40, but I always mention that the purchase is a gift for a friend, and typically mentioning that can get you a few free samples thrown into your bag, which is a nice bonus.

Boyar Gifts
388 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014
If you’re looking for a white elephant gift, or a gift for your co-worker that you only vaguely know, this is the perfect place to shop. Boyar Gifts has a wide collection of gifts such as candles with the faces of celebrities on them, fun packs of playing cards, cartoon-decorated socks, and more. If you need a small gift and you only know someone’s favorite TV show, or that they live in the East Village, it’s a near guarantee that you can find something for them here and you won’t have to spend more than $20 on it (if you choose something small).

Magnolia Bakery
401 Bleecker St, New York, 10014
One of my favorite benefits to living in the West Village is being able to easily bring Magnolia Bakery goodies to parties. If you want to spice up the next event you’re invited to—show up with a carton of their famous banana pudding, or maybe a six-pack of their cupcakes. For those looking to spend more, you can splurge on their cakes, but showing up to a party with a carton of Magnolia Bakery banana pudding is always a crowd pleaser.

91 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014
If my friend or family member gets a new dog, it’s always a sweet gesture to bring a small gift for their dog when I meet them for the first time. I love bringing a dog toy that’s New York themed (hey, if I’m paying the rent and taxes here, I’m going to milk the New York City brand as much as I can). Wooftown has great stuff—whether its toys, clothing or treats—and I love their New York taxi cab stuffed toys for dogs because it adds a little city flair to your dog gift.

Pink Chicken
397 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014
If you’re looking for a gift for a friend’s new baby, or a niece or nephew of your own, I highly recommend Pink Chicken. They have an incredible selection of clothes, baby books, and accessories that range in all types of styles, but are of obviously fantastic quality. Some of the items are a bit pricier (stick to the baby books and knit toys) but for those who can spend more, the baby clothes are enviable for how cute they are, and I always eye them as I leave the store.

SHANNON MCNAMARA is the full-time host of a podcast called FluentlyForward, covering pop culture, entertainment news and trending topics.