If you want to really make an impression with a gift—or treat yourself by taking your own NYC apartment to the next level—this list of holiday splurges is for you. These presents are designed to enhance your home life, transforming everyday tasks from mundane to super-luxurious. Best of all, there's very little schlepping (and shopping) around the city required.
Here are our favorite big-ticket items, from the (relatively) reasonable to the most over-the-top:
Vinyl is back in a big way, and this snazzy turntable has been deemed the best for casual listening by The Wirecutter, which reviews what's hot in gadgetry. The Audio-Technica AT-LP 120 record player ($299, with a 20 percent discount, from Urban Outfitters) offers excellent sound quality and a USB connection that lets you convert your records to digital files. And it's easy to set up. Plus, with a length of just over a foot, it's not too bulky for a petite NYC apartment.
It's easy to accumulate (and drink) lots of bottles during the holiday season, and this Edgestar wine cooler ($399.99) is a great gift for connoisseurs and collectors. It stores up to 34 bottles and has separate, easy-to-adjust temperature zones for reds and whites.
Before Williamsburg's Domino sugar refinery was demolished to make way for (what else) a new waterfront development, artist Kara Walker created a site-specific installation called "A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby." The work was a vast, sugar-coated sculpture of a sphinx-like woman that nodded to the role of slavery in the sugar trade and provoked questions of how black women are seen and depicted. Own a piece of that work of art with this pitcher (available at the Whitney for $700), which features a silhouette of the sphinx-woman.
This gadget from Uncommon Goods is ideal for NYC apartments in that it makes the most of your space by multitasking: The Lucid Mirror ($880.00) does triple duty as a mirror, work of art, and light source. The flat screen device can hang on your wall or sit on a shelf, and with the push of a button, it projects soothing images, beams out LED light, or simply offers up your reflection.
Why not make that most private of tasks more comfortable and pleasant? Toto toilets are so beloved that the New York Times wrote about their cult following, and the G500 Washlet ($1,932 on Amazon) has a lot to offer New Yorkers. It's small enough for cramped bathrooms, and is environmentally friendly, using less water than other toilets to flush. It includes a heated seat, bidet, and dryer whose settings you can adjust via remote control, and its smooth surface is designed to minimize the need for frequent cleaning.
If trendy Casper mattresses aren't quite comfy enough for you, how about one that, per Mashable, a Swedish artisan has spent over 300 hours creating by hand? The Hästens Vividus is the Lear jet of sleeping surfaces, filled with flax, horse hair, cotton, and wool. The company insists you test-drive it yourself—there's a store on East 58th Street—and doesn't list a price, though Bloomberg pegs it at $149,900.
Speaking of Lear jets, why not give someone special the gift of being able to escape New York entirely, via a privately charted plane? Book one via Paramount Business Jets and make like former Mayor Bloomberg with your very own flight to sunny Bermuda. The company promises white glove service once you're on board, with a flight advisor helping to personalize your travel experience; depending on the type of plane you book, flights range from $1,200 to $15,000 per hour.
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