Last minute gifts for less than $50 found at Union Sq. Holiday Market

One-of-a-kind leather-bound journals (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

With Christmas now days away, those who have yet to finish their gift shopping — or start — needn’t panic.

Quality gifts aplenty can be found at The Union Square Holiday Market, which, each year, features goods from around 150 vendors at the southern end of the park. Town & Village recently wandered around in search of last-minute gift ideas and found a bunch, all for $50 or less.

Journals with covers made of leather or wood

New company Bora Ninova (created by one of the three brothers behind Bora Jewelry, a longtime market vendor) makes one-of-a-kind journals, manufactured in Turkey. The covers are made from either wrought leather in rich colors or thin wooden panels with etched drawings and are all priced between $20-$45.

Photos of New York City at Alkadabra

New York City photography

Russia native/Harlem-based photography duo Aliya Svecharnik and Vladimir Klintschev of Alkadabra specialize in cityscapes, with high-quality, wall-ready canvas prints, for $35. Many depict Big Apple landmarks, from the Flatiron Building to the Long Island City Pepsi Cola sign as well as more obscure but still recognizable structures and streets.

The photos are all taken with 1960s-era film cameras. The photos are printed onto 12×12 inch sintra (PVC foam) boards, each with a clasp hanging system, eliminating the need for standard frames. The canvases can be wiped clean and can therefore be hung in any room in one’s apartment, including kitchens and bathrooms.

Macarons at Macaron Parlour


Macaron Parlour, a Hester Street shop with a bakery on the Upper West Side (and a cat café downtown) has been selling its colorful confections at the market for years. A box of six assorted macarons goes for $15 and according to employees, is just as happily received by men as it is with women. The most popular flavors of macarons are red velvet, pistachio and party time (salted milk chocolate and dulce de leche)

Goat milk soaps from Alpine Made

Handmade soaps

Alpine Made, an upstate, woman-owned goat farm, makes an organic line of skincare products that include moisturizing, goat milk soaps. The most popular varieties of the soaps, made by Carrie Planck, include oatmeal lavender, winter bar (a minty scent) and sage and mint. The bars are $8.50 individually or $30 for a set of four.

DIY kits for cider, bagels and fermented vegetables at Brooklyn Brewery

DIY kits for the kitchen

When Brooklyn Brew Shop appeared on the scene the company only peddled DIY beer making kits. The shop has since expanded to manufacture other kinds of kits like one for making lacto or “kosher” pickles ($35), one for fermented vegetables ($35), another to make hard cider ($40), and one for everything bagels and cream cheese ($25).

Decorative cleaning cloths at Three Bluebirds

Money-saving, recyclable kitchen cleaning cloths

Three Bluebirds, a company founded by a Swedish couple, makes decorative cleaning cloths that can be used so many times that they’re each the equivalent to 17 rolls of paper towels. However, they’re more economical at $7 each or six for $36. The cloths, which are 70 percent cellulose, 30 percent cotton, can also be used to wash dishes instead of sponges and can be cleaned in a dish washer or washing machine. They can be washed over 200 times before it’s time to toss.

The market, run by UrbanSpace NYC, will remain open through December 24. Hours are Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday, from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Additions in recent years include a warming station, a children’s art studio and a bunch of food and snack vendors. For more information about the market or participating vendors, visit

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