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Best Bets

Theme pens, an oversize Alessi dog bowl, and a Mad magazine book of art.


Zen Mother
Rhea Alexander’s first centerpiece design is made with the same chic, minimalist aesthetic as her line of home furnishings (sold under the name D.I.G.S.). The carved stone pieces nest in a yin-yang shape. There’s space for a tea light on one end and enough room to float a gerber daisy on the other. In three colors ($150).
Modern Stone Age
54 Greene Street/212-219-0383

Give a Dog a Bone
If the Flintstones wanted a new bowl for Dino, they’d buy this one from Alessi. Big enough to feed a Great Dane—or use as a bed for your toy poodle. We love the bone handle—no more doggy dinner on your fingers! In orange and blue ($70).
S. Feldman Housewares
1304 Madison Avenue,
near 92nd Street/212-289-3961
19 Prince Street/212-274-1966
Lee's Studio
1755 Broadway, at 56th Street, 212-581-4400

Write on Target
The ultimate in giftable pens, these were designed by Josh Bach (known for his whimsical ties). Each of the lacquered rollerballs has a theme. Motifs include a baseball bat, golf club, hammer, column, shark, Wall Street sign, and lighthouse. Each pen comes in a hardwood case ($42).
Flights of Fancy
1502 First Avenue, near 78th Street/212-772-1302

Mad About Art
MAD magazine turned a crazy 50 years old last year, and to celebrate, the company put together the first official compilation of its artwork: MAD ART: A Visual Celebration of the Art of MAD Magazine and the Idiots Who Create it (Watson-Guptill; $24.95). The tome includes 310 illustrations, rare and never-before-seen sketches, and interviews with MAD artists and writers ($24.95).
Midtown Comics
200 West 40th Street/212-302-8192
Shakespeare & Co.
716 Broadway, near Washington Place/212-529-1330

A Different Stripe
Cashmere isn’t just for winter. Sure, this super-sexy halter from Autumn Cashmere looks great under a jacket, but it’ll really come into its own in the spring ($205).
Olive & Bette's
1070 Madison Avenue, near 81st Street/212-717-9655
158 Spring Street/646-613-8772

Lift Your Spirits
Sipping whiskey in a double old-fashioned is classic; but for taste, we swear by this new glass from Riedel that’s designed especially to bring out the best in your bourbon ($9.90).
Michael C. Fina
545 Fifth Avenue, at 45th Street, 212-557-2500