Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Grand Central Holiday Fair 2013: A One-Hour Guide

For Grand Central’s 100th anniversary year, the producers of the Centennial
Holiday Fair have curated a mix of booths with a consistent (if not exclusive) focus on handcrafted items created and sold by North American artisans, offering an intimate shopping alternative to the cacophony of door-buster deals in the weeks ahead.

While no big departure from the usual assortment of holiday fair merchandise — ceramics, housewares, art and photography, kids’ gifts, pets’ gifts, things that smell good, leather goods, jewelry, clothes, hats and scarves — the vendor selection as a whole reflects the best thing about the myriad fairs around town this time of year: the chance to uncover and support craftsmen, artists, designers, entrepreneurs and small businesses that are creating quality, often handmade, goods — and, in turn, jobs — in their home communities.

A number of the vendors here are literally local New York companies, and others come from up and down the East Coast and Canada. A lovely thought for this time of year, in this era of Big Retail ridiculousness: Think regional, buy local.