Brooklyn Bead Box arms crafters with beads and findings that run the gamut from simplicity to statement pieces, with prices starting at pennies to accommodate diverse project budgets. Semiprecious stones, unlike boulders covered in glitter, make for classic jewelry shining next to Swarovski crystals on strands and hanging solo. Clasps and beading tools finish jewelry makers' handiwork, and instruction books and large-holed beads give beginners a foothold in the art.
Beaders can also mingle with peers in one of Brooklyn Bead Box's 13 classes, each capped at four students to allow instructors to individualize attention and curb the antics of class clowns. The curricula cover topics ranging from introductory techniques to the more complex arts of crafting wire cuff bracelets or beading hoop earrings. For further beading camaraderie, up to 12 kids can celebrate a birthday at the shop while hand making their own accessories.
Housing Works provides advocacy, job training, healthcare and housing support for low-income and homeless people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Housing Works Thrift Shops and Buy the Bag help fund this effort by selling new and used donated goods. Shoppers can explore shelves upon shelves of donated items in search of a new designer shirt, a vintage necklace, or a set of hand-painted bowls.
As their kids network in the on-site playroom, parents can browse Flying Squirrel's racks of first- and secondhand clothing and toys from both local and global manufacturers. Swaddle your novelty miniature adult in clothing, such as aden + anais newborn apparel, or cocoon them in a children's New York–centric graphic tee decorated with Brooklyn and Basquiat, at least until they pupate into surly preteens. Toys give rambunctious rugrats a fun alternative toy to hydraulic jackhammers with bikes ($259–$319), Viewmasters ($5.50 for reels), die-cast vehicles ($8–$20), and a menagerie of plush and plastic animals. Otherwise, nudge along budding bookworms with literary milestones, such as The Giving Tree ($20) and Curious George. Parents, meanwhile, can lighten their load with baby carriers ($32–$135) and diaper bags from Ergo, both of which provide more socially acceptable newborn transport than hobo bindles. The website only showcases a small portion of the inventory, so be sure to visit the store for the entire stock.
El Milagro bedecks bodies and abodes with an eclectic selection of elegant jewelry, gifts, home décor, and more. Adorn the neck, rack the wrists, or probe the earholes with exquisite baubles ($30+), which include one-of-a-kind pieces and chic silver and amber specimens. For those in need of stylish apartmental accouterments, El Milagro also carries an assortment of fetching furniture and winsome wall hangings ($100+), as well as a mélange of unique artwork and gifts, perfect for jazzing up the house or bribing the jazz musicians who won’t leave your lawn.
The boutique-like displays at James Leonard Opticians brim with an assortment of prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses, including frames by designers such as Paul Smith, Oliver Peoples, Dita, Cutler and Gross, Lafont, Armani, Valentino, and many more. However, getting visitors into stylish specs is a secondary goal for the staff—their main focus is ensuring overall eye health. The practice's licensed optometrists perform thorough examinations of each patient's eyes, screening for diseases and assessing visual acuity. Once the patient's health has been verified, the staff can correct for conditions such as nearsightedness or farsightedness by prescribing glasses, sunglasses, contact lenses, or wearable telescopes.