Best of Westchester 2012: Shopping
Where to find everything from new jeans to a vintage piano
Boutique Pet Shop
Provisions for Pets
110 Kraft Ave, Bronxville
Steven Singer seems to have an innate connection with pets, which is a good thing for a pet store co-owner (his wife, Phyllis is his business partner too) to have. A colleague first visited the boutique when his dog stopped eating her food. “Singer had a keen sense of what my dog might not be liking and what she would like better,” he says. He followed Singer’s suggestion—“which was a huge hit with her.” That knowledge and attention extends to pet toys, bedding, and accessories, too.
Photo by Michael Polito
Secret Society 914
137 E Main St, Mount Kisco
(914) 864-2006; secretsociety914.bigcartel.com
Serious sneakerheads are flocking to this source for the freshest kicks outside of the City. Forget Keds or country club-appropriate tennis shoes. The brainchild of a trio of collectors whose combined stash exceeds 700 pairs, this too-cool-for-school premium boutique showcases exclusive, hard-to-find past releases, like the original Jordans from the ’90s and early ’00s. One must-see? The handmade Nike Paris SVs, priced at a cool $5,500; only 580 pairs exist worldwide.
578 Nepperhan Ave, Ste 50, Yonkers
(914) 476-6704; craftsmanpiano.net
Looking for a Steinway without a big price tag? We recommend Craftsman Piano, one of the largest used Steinway wholesalers in the New York metro area. Craftsman specializes in used, pre-owned, reconditioned, and restored pianos, particularly vintage Steinways. And the shop also offers TLC for other brands of pianos, including Yamahas, Baldwins, and Mason & Hamlins, and is a full-service company doing everything from tuning to replacing strings to complete restorations.
Men’s Clothing Store
Photo by Michael Polito
284 Katonah Ave, Katonah
Annoying but true—there are times when even your best denim won’t do. So whether you’ve scored a job interview for something other than handcrafting cappuccinos or you’re sending Great-Grandma off to the big mahjong game in the sky, head here for fine-quality men’s suiting at discounted prices that pay homage to both your budget and Gammy’s love of a good bargain. While everything is imported directly from the land of gorgeous fabrics and superb tailoring, prices are 40 to 50 percent less for the same labels sold elsewhere. “We’ve eliminated the middle man and just sell right to the consumer,” says owner Rick Fortuna. “The prices are the same as if we just sold the items directly out of our warehouse.” Thus, the three-piece Sartoria Tosi suit Fortuna sells to boutiques around the country that retails for $1,195 is sold here for $600. Also check out: three silk ties for $100.
Green Clothing Shop
2350 Central Ave, Yonkers
(914) 268-0118; greeneileen.org
If you’re an eco-conscious Eileen Fisher fan, plug the above address into your GPS. This new pilot concept shop is devoted exclusively to recycled, mint-condition Eileen Fisher garments, all priced at a fraction of their original cost. You’ll find racks and racks of the easy-to-mix-and-match pieces the Irvington designer is known for—all freshly cleaned. And not only do you get a great look for way less, the women’s charities to which the store’s proceeds are donated get big bucks—last count, more than $350,000.
The King’s Scribe
1 King St, Chappaqua
Want to really stand out from the crowd of competing texts, tweets, and Facebook posts? Next time you want to thank an interviewer for his time or express your special feelings for that special someone, send a handwritten note. And if you need some inspiration before dusting off your cursive, there’s plenty of that at this fine paper goods boutique launched by graphic designer and illustrator Alissa Harvey. While the big names like Crane & Co. and Luscious Verde are represented, the selection of smaller, independent designers (Harvey’s among them) is what really turns us on.
Sunnyside Flower Shop
45 Main St, Irvington-on-Hudson
Your one-stop shop for exquisite and unique arrangements, or just a beautiful bunch of flowers to grab and go, this flower shop delivers on both. And, while you’re deciding on blossoms, check out the jewelry, handbags, and gift selection. After all, sometimes a girl needs more than flowers to add beauty to her life.
Kosmos Book Shop
29 Central Ave, Tarrytown
Why are we lovers of the written word practically swooning over this quaint new independent bookshop? For one thing: “We’re real—not virtual,” says owner Jos Niforos. For another: At a “lean and mean” 500 square feet, what Kosmos sacrifices in sheer numbers it more than offsets in quality, with an extremely thoughtfully assembled collection of new and used volumes. Some of the standouts that Niforos has purchased from private collectors or unearthed in musty old basements and attics include a book signed by master 20th-century architect Mies van der Rohe, a first edition of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis in its original German, and Brundibar, a children’s book by Maurice Sendak (recently deceased) and Tony Kushner, hand-signed by both. “Browsing a well-curated book shop is one of life’s joys,” says Niforos. Certainly this one is.
Faraway Farms Alpacas
Homegrown doesn’t get more local, sustainable, or downright gorgeous than the knitwear handcrafted from the fleece of the adorable alpaca residents of Leda Blumberg’s family farm. Blumberg and her knitting circle create snuggly sweaters and throws, chic shawls and scarves, and soft socks and mittens from all-natural—no chemicals, pesticides, detergents, or dyes—alpaca fiber, prized by the fashion industry for its cashmere-like softness. And how cool is this? Because the fleece from each alpaca is bagged and sold separately as yarn, you can actually meet the specific farm resident your skeins come from. Or, perhaps you’d rather have your own supply. Just purchase an alpaca for anywhere from $500 for a non-breeding male to $20,000 for a top-rank breeding female. Open year-round by appointment and every weekend from noon to 4 pm.
General Knot & Co.
PO Box 66, Bedford
The very cool cravats from this new Bedford-based label are so not your dad’s boring old rep ties. After stints designing for Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, Parsons The New School for Design grad Andrew Payne launched this small company offering fab handmade neckties, bow ties, and pocket squares from vintage fabrics. Payne’s hip styles feature a cheeky variety of prints with such mid-century motifs as stylized martini glasses or geometric shapes, as well as sophisticated checks, plaids, prints, seersuckers, and stripes. Once a fabric is used up—some go as far back as the ’20s—it’s gone, so any design is of very limited quantity. Also very neat: Neck and bow ties can be customized and coordinated for weddings or other special events.
Forever in Blue Jeans
The 4 best destinations for denim
365 Central Ave, Scarsdale
16 Purchase St, Rye
If the Kardashians were “krashing” locally, here’s where they’d head for their denim fix. This longstanding local chain is known for the hippest, youngest, and trendiest selection of brands, cuts, and washes. As one of our most fashionable friends says, it hits the denim trifecta: “They have the largest selection, they know how to fit you right, and they don’t tell you it looks good when it doesn’t.” Ouch on the last point—but oh so necessary.
Churchills of Mount Kisco
41 S Moger Ave, Mount Kisco
Everything in this shop is high-end. Expect some really nice cuts and washes for men in brands like Citizens of Humanity, Rag & Bone, and Current/Elliot and, for women, in The Row, Dsquared2, and Mother labels.
Z Life Denim Lounge
138B S Ridge St, Rye Brook
The brainchild of serious denim head Adam Zuckerman, this hip boutique showcases a well-curated selection of the coolest and edgiest looks for men and women including standards from 7 For All Mankind and AG Adriano Goldschmied and upstarts like Union and Superdry. Other brands include Stitch’s and Rag & Bone.
Charles Department Store
113 Katonah Ave, Katonah
If you’re older than a reality TV “star” and/or larger than a size four, our professional image-consultant pal swears by this store for its extensive selection of the Not Your Daughter’s Jeans (NYDJ) label. They’re not uncool mom jeans—honest!—but rather, great-fitting jeans in a variety of colors, washes, and cuts specifically designed to flatter a curvier figure or a fuller tummy.