Neighborhood: Greenpoint
Type of Place: Gift Shops

Greenpoint is changing. Once a quiet and somewhat insular Polish
neighborhood (we've read that some longtime Greenpoint residents
knew Poland's Pope John Paul from childhood), it's now making room,
housing-wise, for the hipster overflow from neighboring
Williamsburg—and becoming a trendy destination in itself. New bars
and restaurants reflect this; and little by little, new shops are doing

We discovered the gift shop Clever by accident when visiting friends in
the neighborhood. It's tiny, and you could easily miss it—but we were
very glad we didn't. Lots that's for sale here would do well as a
housewarming gift for your friends moving into the area; and just about
everything is priced far more affordably than it would be in a more
central spot. (Our friend Sophia, age 12, who lives nearby with her
mom and dad, claims this as her favorite shop for gifts, and we see

A few of the bargains: for the home, a great Rosie the Riveter wall
clock, $16; curved, frosted glass vases in pale blue, dark blue, green,
yellow, or orange, graceful on their own or together (they stack into
each other), $8 each; and sweet ladybug-shaped refrigerator magnets
for (we couldn't believe this) 25 cents each.

In accessories, we admired the pop-art-patterned purses, from $6; the
round pendants with neoclassical angel images, $5; the painted-metal
flower brooches, $5; and the silver mesh change purses, $4 (would be
$8–10 in the East Village and maybe $15 or $20 on Madison Avenue).
There are also some school supplies—primarily for kids, but how you
define "kid" is up to you—including nose-shaped pencil sharpeners
(guess where the pencil goes), $2; and earth-shaped erasers, $1.

We've been trying to resist the pun, but now we'll give in: Owner
Noemie Lemasson was pretty "clever" to open a shop here, and we
wish it the best as Greenpoint evolves. Perhaps one day, we'll think
nostalgically of the time when shops here were relatively

  - Pamela Grossman; April 18, 2005

130 India St.
Brooklyn, NY 11222