2019 holiday gift guide: 20 gifts for the New Yorker who has it all

Posted On Tue, December 10, 2019 By

Posted On Tue, December 10, 2019 By In 6sqft gift guide, Features, holidays, Shop

Not sure what to get the New Yorker who has it all? We’ve put together a list of 20 items at every price point that will satisfy even the most jaded New Yorker. From historic prints of old New York and classic mom-and-pops to skyscraper champagne flutes and Brooklyn map coasters to some more offbeat items like a sew-your-own Jane Jacobs doll and an authentic Katz’s deli apron.

All of these products have been hand-selected by team 6sqft. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these affiliate links. All prices reflect those at the time of publishing. 

Fit for framing

1. Vintage Village Voice photos

All images copyright the Estate of Fred W. McDarrah, used by permission

Photographer Fred W. McDarrah spent 50 years with the Village Voice, where he “chronicled the post-war counterculture, capturing images of the artists, writers, politicians, social movements, and musicians of the day.” McDarrah’s family donated many of his photos to local organization Village Preservation, who is now selling them as archival-quality prints, which are $300 for 8×10 and $350 for 11×14, with lower prices if you order three or more (all proceeds support the organization). You can browse the full collection here, and order prints here.

2. Storefronts of New York photos

All images copyright James and Karla Murray

You’ve seen the work of photographers James and Karla Murray here on 6sqft, but now you can have one of their well-known “storefront” photos in your own home. Pick your favorite mom-and-pop from past or present times and then order an 11 X 14, signed print for $99 with free shipping within the Continental U.S.A. Place your order here.

3. Vintage bond and stock certificates

Image courtesy of NYC Municipal Archives

True history buffs will love these original redeemed vintage bonds and stock certificates that date from the 1920s when they were issued by the city to fund construction, transit and water supply projects. Plus, they’re signed by former NYC Mayors including James J. Walker, Fiorello LaGuardia, and Abraham Beame. The Municipal Archives at NYC’s Department of Records and Information Services is selling 8 3/4” X 12 ½” versions for $120 and 17” X 20” versions for $150. Find information about ordering here.

4. New Yorker magazine covers

The New Yorker Magazine Cover Poster by navi107
They’re not exactly uncommon, but with over 80 years of covers to choose from, these New Yorker prints give you the opportunity to choose a design that really speaks to its recipient. 18″ X 24″ posters typically retail for $19.99 on Society 6. There are also framed versions and canvas versions available.

5. All the Taxis in New York

Artist James Gulliver Hancock believes “a traffic jam of New York City’s iconic yellow cabs personifies the heart of the Empire State,” and if you agree, you can buy a framed version of his drawing for $185 on Uncommon Goods.

Home Decor

6. Central Park lumbar pillow

Image courtesy of the Central Park Conservancy

There are plenty of run-of-the-mill Central Park-themed items out there, but this lovely pillow is both unique and attractive. Available for $150 through the Central Park Conservancy, it showcases many of the park’s most recognizable landmarks and is available in day or night options.

7. Fire escape shelf

Perfect for holiding small plants, books, or little tchotchke, this fire escape shelf is also well-suited for apartment living as it’s only 12″ L x 3.75″ W x 25.5″ H. You can find it for $99 on Uncommon Goods.

8. Library Lion bookends

Image courtesy of the New York Public Library

Patience and Fortitude, the two lions that have stood guard at the New York Public Library’s main 42nd Street branch since it opened in 1911, are now available in miniature form.  The bookend set is available from the NYPL gift shop for $150.

9. Empire State and Chrysler Building barware

Images courtesy of the New-York Historical Society

These martini and champagne glasses feature the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building as their stems. They were all crafted by Godinger Silver Art Company, which was founded in NYC in 1973 and is still a family business. Available from the New York-Historical Society, the martini glasses are $39.95 (find them here and here) and the champagne flutes are $29.95 (find them here and here).

10. Neighborwoods Map Coasters

This set of four cedar coasters is etched with sections of the city’s map. Find them for $36 on Uncommon Goods; there is a Brooklyn set and a Manhattan set available.


11. Skyline Chess Set

Image courtesy of MoMA

Available at the MoMA Design Store for $150, this classy chess set’s pieces are iconic NYC landmarks like One World Trade Center, the Chrysler Building, and the Guggenheim.

12. Tiny Jane Jacobs and I.M. Pei dolls

Photo courtesy of Sarah Marsom

Preservationist Sarah Marsom started her “Tiny Activist Project” to “highlight lesser-known stories of people who fought to save cultural resources,” with proceeds from each doll benefitting a specific preservation cause. Currently, her dolls are of Jane Jacobs and I.M. Pei, both of which are available on her website as the dolls themselves ($35) or as sew-your-own kits ($20).

13. Antique tin panels

Images courtesy of Olde Good Things

Architectural salvage store Olde Good Things is teeming with unique finds, from drawer handles from the Waldorf Astoria to doors from the Plaza. But it’s their ever-growing collection of antique tin panels that they’ve become widely known for. Individual 11” X 11” tiles start at $35, while larger tin-framed mirrors start at $125 for a 16” X 14” size. Browse the full collection here.

Editor’s picks

14. 2020 Zagat 

After a three-year hiatus, the iconic red-covered Zagat guide is back to help your favorite foodie friend pick all their top dining destinations. Get it on Amazon from $17.14.

15. Christmas in New York felt ornaments

Global Goods Partners Christmas in New York Felt Ornaments - NYC Holiday (Set of 5)
Forget the Empire State Building, these adorable ornaments feature more offbeat NYC icons like pizza rat, a pigeon, and a hot dog. The set of five retails for $60 on Food52.

16. Gridlock Sam 2020 Parking Calendar
Courtesy of Gridlock Sam

Here’s the perfect stocking stuffer for your friend who braves the dreaded alternate-side-of-the-street parking lifestyle. Traffic expert Gridlock Sam is selling his 2020 parking calendars that include everything from parking suspension days to gridlock alert days to a handy guide to NYC parking signs. The prints themselves are free, so you’ll just have to pay for shipping (1 for $4, 5 for $7, or 10 for $12).

17. Embroidered Thank You Tote

Did you know the typical American family uses 1,500 plastic bags every year? That’s what designer Lauren DiCioccio is hoping to cut down on with her reusable and machine-washable tote bag. Inspired by the classic takeout plastic bags, the totes sell for $38 on Uncommon Goods.

18. Authenticated MTA Tokens Necklace

These necklaces are authenticated by the MTA and showcase a real 1950s-era NYC subway token alongside a miniature MetroCard that was printed from the same MTA press as the real things. Buy one for $55 on Uncommon Goods.

19. Katz’s Deli Apron

For the chef and pastrami-lover in your life, this apron is the same one worn by the staff at Katz’s. It’s just $20 on Amazon.

20. Homesick Scented Candle, New York City

And finally, for the New Yorker who had to leave New York, this candle is the perfect little gift. According to the product listing, it captures “the distinctive scents of spring days in Central Park, fine department stores, and concrete.” It’s available for $24.95 on Amazon, where you can also get a miniature version for $16.95 or a three-wick version for $53.95.

Photo of Zagat in lead image by Emily Schindler for Zagat



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