On the Hook
Too lazy to put your clothes on hangers? Perhaps these colorful hooks will inspire neatness. Sold in sets of three, they are embellished with tiny mirrors, beads, and a shimmering finish in honor of Diwali, the Hindu New Year known as the "Festival of Lights." About four inches in diameter ($32).
Eziba At ABC Carpet & Home
888 Broadway, at 19th Street
212-473-3000, ext. 71
Post for the Pooch
Does your dog live to chow down on your junk mail? Imagine what will happen when a Crunchkins card comes flying through the slot. Made of flattened rawhide and printed in nontoxic edible ink with messages like bone appétit and just bepaws i love you, the cards are completely edible. Cat versions, called Purr-Fect Greetings, come with a catnip toy ($4.95).
The Barking Zoo
172 Ninth Avenue, near 20th Street
Great Ball of Fire
Memorex's Spheres TV Videoball, red-hot off the assembly line, is our vote for the most shagadelic item of the season. The gizmo comes complete with a spacemanlike "shield" that covers the screen when not in use ($119.99).
13505 28th Avenue, Flushing, Queens
Both of Casio's new Exilim digital cameras -- stainless-steel, credit-card-size wonders that are a mere half-inch thick -- offer loads of stuff you won't find in models that are several times the size. Standard features on the two-megapixel cameras include 30-second still-motion video capability, self-timers, and twelve megabytes of built-in memory. The higher-priced model (EX-M2) is equipped with an MP3 player and voice recorder ($300 and $400).
1134 Sixth Avenue, near 44th Street
1359 Broadway, near 36th Street
23 Park Row
Believe it or not, it is possible to find cool, trendy boots that won't blow half a month's rent. We hit the jackpot at Crypto's shoe store in Williamsburg. Their super-cool Fornarina boots look like corduroy but are made from sturdy, striated leather. We love the buckle detail and sexy-but-walkable heels. In red and black ($177).
154 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Shutter to Think
Covering the White House for Time and other publications, photographer Diana Walker has captured presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton and their families, in both official and unofficial settings. Ranging from intimate and interesting to downright funny, these images can be seen in her new book, Public & Private: Twenty Years Photographing the Presidency (National Geographic Books; $40). The pictures are accompanied by Walker's own anecdotes as well as recollections from the presidents.
Madison Avenue Bookshop
833 Madison Avenue, near 69th Street
Borders Books & Music
576 Second Avenue, near 32nd Street
461 Park Avenue, at 57th Street
Barnes & Noble