News / USA

Gift-Givers Find Paradise in 'Big Apple'

One view of New York's famous Hammacher Schlemmer store that sells one-of-a-kind gift items, in New York, December 2011.
One view of New York's famous Hammacher Schlemmer store that sells one-of-a-kind gift items, in New York, December 2011.
Bernard Shusman

New York is known as "the city that never sleeps," and during the busy holiday season, many locals and tourists alike are descending on the "Big Apple" to take in its sights and sounds, and perhaps find the perfect gift for that special someone. One store in particular targets gift-givers looking for that one-of-a-kind gift item.

"Very fun… I want to take it home with me,” one shopper said about a special pinball machine.

For about $6,000, buyers with the money to spend at Hammacher Schlemmer can purchase a Rolling Stones pinball machine - just one of thousands of unusual items keeping this one-of-a-kind store full of people all day.

When you come to this store, the staff encourages you to touch and enjoy the items - even the pricier goods, without any pressure to buy.

"If I was making four times as much money as I am, I would love to have one of these," said a customer about a unique lounge chair.

“They always have something cool to look at, and you never know what you may find," said another.

Store manager Kerri Calderone is enthusiastic about what her store has to offer. She said it is the place to buy a gift one cannot find anywhere else. She said anyone, young or old, looking for the unusual item, can find that perfect gift, and in price ranges from $9 to $75,000. The economy has not hurt this 163-year-old company.

“Our store is doing well this year based on the variety of items we sell. You cannot get these items at other retailers. With the economy the way it is, we are still doing well and selling as many items as we can,” said Calderone.

There is the world’s smallest camera. It works like a regular camera and holds 32 megabytes of memory, with a small USB port.

The Lean Mean Green Machine comes with a motorcycle engine and three wheels, but it costs as much as a high-end luxury automobile.

Then there's this fortune teller, Zoltar. Take him home and he will tell you what tomorrow will bring.

"Age is simply a matter of mind, if you don’t mind, my friend, it doesn’t matter,” said Zoltar.

Zoltar combines humor with fantasy, as do many of the other items that are available during this holiday season.

To some shoppers, coming in here is like living out a childhood fantasy.

“We’re still kids, but now we actually have the money to buy the stuff we want," said one man. "So when you walk past a store with toys, it’s always nice to play around with it."

There is a lot to see here, and it is all in the mood of gift-giving this holiday season.

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More