For a variety of unusual niche shops hocking antique and specialty wares at non-exorbitant prices (ahem, Manhattan), venture to the two yellow-brick roads of Brooklyn shopping: New York’s other Fifth Avenue in Park Slope (lined by more high-brow boutiques) and Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg (for vinyl and vintage galore).

Shopping in Brooklyn

Beacon’s Closet

Two words: thrift megalomania. Arguably the biggest, brightest, and most popular spot for snagging stylish castoffs anywhere (there’s also a smaller location on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope), Beacon’s color-coded racks of women’s clothing (the men’s selection leaves much to be desired in comparison) are constantly overflowing with a massive mix of cheap rags, moderately priced designer treads, plus one-of-a-kind shoes, belts, and purses. Don’t expect service-with-a-smile from the hipster staff, though, and avoid coming on a weekend, when the crowds descend in droves and fitting room lines can be monstrous. Regardless, you’re almost guaranteed to leave with an armful of finds, though the hole in your wallet may end up being bigger than you expected. The store gleans its wares from its popular buying counter in exchange for cash or store credit, but sellers beware: the house is super selective.

88 North 11th St., NY, 718-486-0816,
Tags: budget | shopping | local favorite | clothing | accessories | vintage | thrift store

Flight 001

Modeled after the interior of a 747 cabin and named for Pan Am’s legendary flight around the world, this chic travel gear chain floats all kinds of designer goodies, from essentials like sanitizer, toiletry bags, and laptop cases, to stylishly printed suitcases, travel alarm clocks, useful guidebooks for breaking pesky language barriers, and even personal meal kits.The flagship can be found in Manhattan’s West Village.

132 Smith St., NY, 718-243-0001,
Tags: shopping | moderate | editor pick | boutique

The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.

Novelist extraordinaire Dave Eggers is the mastermind behind this secretive costume shop that doubles as the headquarters for his successful nonprofit writing program for kids, 826NYC. Hidden in lair-like style behind a bookshelf, the organization offers free tutoring and workshops in all literary styles. The whimsical wares here include an imaginative arsenal (think particle guns and force fields) and must-haves for any aspiring Clark Kent, like “Muscles in a Can” and invisibility paint. A flight simulator machine (i.e. high-powered fan) is on hand for assessing the aerodynamics of your cape before purchase (while posing like a superhero). The organization’s other locations include San Francisco’s Pirate Store and the Echo Park Time Travel Mart in Los Angeles.

372 Fifth Ave., NY, 718-499-9884,
Tags: family | shopping | moderate | accessories | unusual

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