178 N. 9th St., nr. Bedford Ave., Williamsburg; 718-782-2005
When it comes to shopping for modern kids’ furniture, two things give Mini Jake the edge: its gargantuan size and the fact that co-owner David Jacobs already spent ten years honing his mid-century modern aesthetic at Two Jakes, his office-furniture shop. In the 3,600-square-foot former plumbing-supply warehouse, there’s room for the best of the established lines (Netto Collection, Oeuf, Nurseryworks) and up-and-comers that Jacobs believes in (Casa Kids, Age Design). Shoppers are encouraged to scribble on the chalkboard-topped tables and sample the gliders they’re likely to find themselves collapsed into at 4 a.m. Bargain hunters won’t be too impressed (cribs climb from $275 to $2,450), but Jacobs favors quality and selection over cost. Unfrilly bedding lines (Pixel, Cotton Monkey), walls of wooden toys, and a well-edited mix of city-friendly strollers—like the double-decker Phil and Ted’s ($489) and the easily collapsible Bugaboo Bee ($529)—round out the offerings.
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).