Did you forget your mom's birthday? Did your father call the morning of to remind you? Were you invited to another flippin' apartment warming because you have friends that move once a year? What about cousins in the midwest getting married who would be charmed with a gift from the magic kingdom of Brooklyn?
All of these things happen to me at least once a year, and when they do, I go to Cog and Pearl on 5th Ave where Berkeley magically turns into Sackett. With Park Slope being the land of 1,000 gift shops, these guys haven't failed me yet. No exaggeration, I'm pretty sure most of my friends have received either coasters or snack bowls made out of recycled vinyl records and they've LOVED them. The last gift I purchased there was a platter made out of an old graffiti DO NOT ENTER sign. The recipient loved it so much he hung it on his wall where it is talked about by all of his guests.
Do these gifts sound too tragically cool? Well they also have jewelry, frames, pottery and books -- Pretty much anything for anyone who likes something handmade and unique. Is it bargain basement shopping? No, but if you look hard enough you won't have to smash your piggy bank.