Practical Gifts for New Yorkers – 2019 Holiday Edition

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Practical Gifts for New Yorkers – 2019 Holiday Edition

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and that means holiday shopping is right around the corner. Our team is based in NYC, so we understand how challenging it can be to pick the perfect gift for your city-living friends and family. New York really can be a different world, so we’re here to help you navigate the world of gifting in the big city. Here’s the ultimate list of practical gifts for the busy New Yorker in your life.

Produce Delivery

When you live in New York City, it can be hard to make time to shop and cook for yourself. When you’re relying on public transportation, you can’t make a grocery haul quite like you can in a smaller city. For New Yorkers who like to cook, here are a few practical gifts to consider: 

  • Meal Kit Delivery: We’ve all heard of HelloFresh and Blue Apron, which are great options for busy New Yorkers who like to cook but struggle to find time for the grocery store. These kits provide everything you need for a meal in the proper quantities. In theory, they should reduce food waste, because you never have too much of one ingredient. Admittedly, these work better for couples or families, as very few meal delivery kits make single portions. 
  • Produce Delivery: We’d argue that the ultimate gift for a healthy eater and the blossoming chef is a produce delivery box. You can eliminate a trip to the grocery store, and let your creativity run wild with a box of raw ingredients. Check out places like Farmbox Direct for supermarket-quality produce at your doorstep.

Basket of Fresh Berries

Eco-Friendly Food Delivery: Several different companies now offer imperfect or misshapen food by partnering directly with farms, which are often much cheaper than comparable delivery boxes. When you order from these services, you can help reduce food waste because grocery stores require a high degree of perfection from fruits and vegetables. Some, like Imperfect Foods, actually deliver more than just produce, including dairy, eggs, and boxed food from surplus. Another great service that delivers to NYC is Misfits Market. This box delivery super giftable with a couple of options for the buyer to choose from.

Interest-Based Delivery Kits

Does your New Yorker have a specific interest? Right now, there’s a subscription box for everything. From craft beer to beauty or grooming products, many of these offer sample sizes or the goods are consumable, so the box won’t end up taking up tons of space in their small apartment. 

Plus, you can find boxes with very niche-interests, like fandom geeks (LootCrate), germ-conscious households (Mighty Nest), outdoor lovers (Cairn), and so much more. If your loved one has a specific interest, there’s a great chance you can find a box for them. For a full list of box ideas, click here

Valet Storage

If your loved one lives in NYC, there’s a great chance they already have too much stuff. Instead of simply giving another possession, help them store and organize the items they already have! Simplify Valet Storage is one of the most practical gifts around, because of its affordability and convenience. The company sends a pick-up crew directly to your home or office, taking items to a climate-controlled, secure facility. Then, just request a drop-off and you can be reunited with your items with industry-best turnaround time.

Simplify bin decorated with Christmas decorations


You don’t need to spring for Hamilton tickets to give the ultimate NYC experience (but we’re sure that every New Yorker would appreciate Broadway tickets). There are many ways to give your New Yorker the gift of experiencing the city:

  • Foodie: Send your New Yorker to Greenwich Village for a cheese-making class at Murray’s Cheese Shop. From Cheese 101 to Mozzarella making, your foodie is sure to learn something new.
  • Museum Lover: If your New Yorker is a museum enthusiast, many of the NYC museums provide annual memberships. For as little as $100 a year, you can get unlimited access to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, plus exclusive access to exhibits before the public. To put that in perspective, one trip for two people would cost $50 at the general admission price.

The met

Lifetime Learner: With two locations, the sky’s the limit on the classes you’ll find at the Brooklyn Brainery. From watercolors to starting a side hustle, the Brooklyn Brainery offers affordable and unique classes for the New Yorker in your life. Send them a gift certificate for a class or two.

Stylish Threads

Is your New Yorker stylish, but doesn’t like going to stores? Send them the gift of a personal stylist with one of these flexible wardrobe boxes:

  • Frank and Oak offers both men’s and women’s clothing through their Style Plan delivery service. With just a $25 styling fee to get started, which is credited towards any of the items you keep, you’ll get handpicked recommendations for eco-friendly and on-trend clothes. 
  • Stitch Fix also offers both men’s and women’s clothes, plus kid’s clothes too! With just a $20 styling fee, which is applied to your final purchase of items from your box, you’ll get hand-selected styles from big name brands and boutique finds. Stitch Fix makes it easy to send style to your favorite New Yorker with gift cards

Nordstrom’s Trunk Club brings all the high-quality threads you’d expect from the retailer, but hand-picked and delivered right to your door. This service also includes a $25 styling fee, which is credited towards the purchase and waived for Nordstrom cardholders.

Transportation Accessories

Citi Bike

From braving biking in NYC to taking the subway, everyone is commuting. Help make their commute a little more comfortable or safe with these accessories: 

  • Lumos Helmet: help your cyclist be seen by cars and other bikers. With LED lights that act as a turn signal and provide added visibility, this is the ultimate safety accessory for bikers in the city. 
  • Travel Coffee Mug: get the day started with a stainless steel travel mug that promises to keep your beverage hot or cold for hours. Nothing can help bring a little zen to your morning like a great cup of coffee, even if you’re stuck on the subway. 
  • Citi Bike Membership: Get there faster by hopping on a Citi Bike. With one payment of $163, you get unlimited rides around NYC and Jersey City for a year (45 minutes at a time). 
  • Grocery Bags: Especially since NYC banned plastic bags, your New Yorker will need something to get their groceries to and from their home. Here’s a roundup of the best grocery bags and totes of the year.


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