In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
Posted 2 miles away from the historic Lexington Battle Green, the staff at Armstrong Flag Company take pride in the stars and stripes. The company specializes in American flags, made in the United States with domestic materials, and also has a vast selection of flags for countries all over the globe. Novelty flags unfurl and run up flagpoles to pay homage to sports teams and political views. Sports memorabilia, such as kitchenware, decorations, tailgating gear, and game-worn mascot collars, rounds out the selection for die-hard NFL, MLB, and NCAA fans.
Named for owner Paul Russo’s two dogs, Eddie and Finnegan, eddigan’s stocks upscale used furniture, antiques, and modern décor to fill empty rooms. Green thumbs can cultivate prize-winning couch potatoes on a modern leather recliner and matching ottoman ($125), while paranoid patrons can scour vintage paisley sofas and matching throw pillows for secret hieroglyphs and camouflaged CIA transmitters ($600). Decorate spaces by perusing eddigan’s supply of delicate glassware and pottery ($100–$500), still-life paintings, blown-glass bowls, and work by local artisans. A refuge for rescued cockatiels, eddigan’s is filled with the cheerful chatter of caged zebra finches, orange weavers, and society finches, which are all cloistered in an aviary, where they spend each night plotting new ways to take over Poughkeepsie.
NEO Interiors is a market laboratory in which designers test out various modern abode fillings, including imported pieces from Italy, Belgium, and Spain, to see which creations please patrons, resulting in a showroom stocked with one-of-a-kind furniture less expensive than normal retail prices. A square black coffee table ($365) supports drinks, books, and scale models of post offices on its sturdy steel legs, its steadfast efforts reflected in the mod surface of the Italian bubbles mirror ($381). Snuggle into a plush queen-size memory-foam mattress ($687) supported by the queen-size Sky bed frame with a scrolled metal headboard and cherry-colored wooden legs ($350). Home delivery incurs a $150 charge, but—similar to beard combs obtained by a five-finger discount—pick-up at the store is free.