Neighborhood: Greenpoint
Type of Place: Gift Shops

September weddings are a steadily popular nuptial option. In the Northeast, at least, they can promise mild temperatures, low humidity, and less chance of a sudden summer storm; plus that back-to-school spirit in the air provides an appropriate new-beginning vibe.

My two-person household received two wedding invitations for Sunday the 6th. Both of us attending both affairs could not, unfortunately, be done, so we each went to one. (If we'd gotten one more invite, we'd have had to send the cat.) Searching for gifts for the happy occasions, I ducked into the relocated and expanded Brooklynski, now much closer to a subway (the Graham Avenue L stop) than it used to be.

Still concentrated on local crafters, environmentally sound wares, and not-in-every-window finds, the shop is a good one for not only weddings but birthdays, housewarmings, and baby gifts. I loved the Music Listography book, $16.95, which provides space for critical music lists of all kinds ("Advice you follow from lyrics" is good one of many); and on another musical theme, as well as in a back-to-school spirit, spiral notebooks featuring "classic" performers (Madonna from the Material Girl days, Huey Lewis, Rod Stewart, and Diana Ross; $14). Felt hair clips shaped like flowers, made locally and woven with gold thread, are $8; earrings start at about $24 and necklaces at about $35. Beautiful "open-ended" necklaces ($36), featuring gems at each end of a chain and worn by tying the ends loosely together, are also made by a neighborhood artist, and I've never seen others like them. For dachsund fans, there are way-cute dachsund-shaped pendants printed with "wiener" ($50). Fall brings thoughts of apples, and wooden apples ($18) with removable tops, to hold anything from paper clips to earrings, will stay fresh all the time.

Proud Mary items ( benefit artisans in Guatemala, who are paid double the local standard wage for to make cloth items. I especially loved a big throw pillow ($90).
"Letter block" paintings—simple and charming canvases with block letters painted on them (one letter per canvas; $20), are perfect for just about anyone: new baby, newly married friends, and even your Aunt Ida (there's a space on her wall where a painted "I" should be!).

One couple was shopping for a less-common baby gift ("Everyone gets booties," I heard the guy say). They ended up choosing the Up Up I Go growth chart ($12.95)—charmingly illustrated and, I agree, a distinctive gift.

And attention must be paid to the tote bag reading, "This bag is subject to random search by the police" ($20). Could it generate a few more "random searches" than you (or your friends) may have received otherwise? Maybe; but that seems a small price to pay for making an important statement that we should all consider.

Now go forth and attend weddings, weclome babies, and more, knowing you have a just-right gift in hand.
  - Pamela Grossman; Sep 13, 2009

351 Graham Avenue
(Metropolitan and Conselyea)
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 389-0901