Neighborhood: East Village
Type of Place: Gift Shops
One cold evening in December, I came upon La Sirena in the East Village and welcomed it as a little beacon of warmth, light, and festivity. If you're reading this piece just after its posting, you know we've already had a heck of a winter in New York, including a two-foot blizzard—and it's still only January. But all seasons, gentler or more challenging, need their share of brightness and celebration; and this shop, filled with Mexican arts, crafts, and clothing, will help provide the party accessories, gifts, and decorations you're looking for.- Pamela Grossman; Jan 10, 2011
One of my favorite items here actually captures the spirit of Spring: a lovely flowered garland with streamers ($10) that I'm tempted to buy not only for a May Day party but for those cold, rainy, snowy, and/or icy days when flowers and sun seem far away. (OK, maybe wearing a flowered garland to work would not be practical...but then again, on the grayest days, who would really blame me?) Along these lines, there's also a sturdy flowered bag (black background with a floral print, $35) that would be perfect for the both errands and the beach. For a party, a parade, or a kids' play date, there's a great set of 8 paper masks, including a butterfly and a jaguar ($20 for the set); hand drums ($12) will add to the high spirits. Cloth dolls ($12) and puppets and figurines of various sizes and prices (I especially loved a figurine of slow-dancing cats but apparently was too busy admiring it to record the price) will make great gifts for little ones or for grown-up collectors. Cheerful tunics for girls and women are about $35; and if you want a dash of Mexican style in your home year-round, there's a great and fairly priced assortment of rugs. Jewelry makers will be interested in the appealing variety of beads; and for Christmastime, there are great ornaments, including a charming tin angel ($8).
Here in New York right now, yet more snow is predicted—and my friend's birthday party coincides with it exactly. Hmm...maybe a flowered garland is the right gift: a reminder that, to paraphrase the poet Shelley, if winter comes, spring is not far behind.