In the Big-Box Shadows

Photo: Davies + Starr

There’s no logic to it: West 18th Street is just a good shopping stroll. At the avenues it’s punctuated by useful big-box branches like Old Navy and the Container Store, but in between there are sparkling little places selling kitchen wares, antique furniture, fashion, and rare books. Smack between Fifth and Sixth Avenues is design mecca Ralph Pucci International (44 W. 18th St.; 212-633-0452), where you can see Paris designer India Mahdavi’s first U.S. furniture collection debut this week. (Her show coincides nicely with the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, wrapping up May 20 at the Javits Center.) “India’s work hits you right in the face,” Pucci says, calling it “modern, fresh, and sexy.” The Ringo Platinum Ring ($3,060 at Pucci) here doubles as side table or stool. For more 18th Street finds, click ahead.

Photographs by Davies + Starr

1. Wendy Isaacson makes her heart-shape art pieces with Durham’s water putty, wood pulp, and a secret amount of tap water (“Special Delivery,” $48 at Heart Art, 132 W. 18th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-620-3840).

2. Break out that old crab-salad recipe, best served on a crustacean-adorned melamine plate ($3 at West Elm, 112 W. 18th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-929-4464).

3. It’s cute, sure, but the chile-shape computer mouse also fits the curvature of your palm ($33 at A.I. Friedman, 44 W. 18th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-243-9000).

4. A department store in miniature, Utowa carries accessories like this straw clutch along with clothes, cosmetics, and flowers ($65; 17 W. 18th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-929-4800).

5. The rare piece of kids’ furniture without polka dots or plastic (children’s wooden chair, $128 at ANC Home, 10 W. 18th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-366-1162).

6. Signed first editions of Orhan Pamuk’s Snow and Kurt Vonnegut’s Bagombo Snuff Box ($300 and $150 at Skyline Books, 13 W. 18th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-759-5463).

7. Like your mom’s oven, but with high-powered burners and delayed-start baking (Northstar, $3,700 at Krup’s Kitchen & Bath, 11 W. 18th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-243-5787).

8. The paper press in Print Icon’s front window actually churns out custom-engraved invitations (from $35; 7 W. 18th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-255-4489).

9. For a mid-shopping snack, try the love child of the pretzel and the croissant ($3.50 at City Bakery, 3 W. 18th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-366-1414).

In the Big-Box Shadows