Summer may have unofficially begun weeks ago, but the 4th of July weekend is really when prime beach season kicks off! Those of you lucky enough to be invited to spend a day, weekend or longer at a friend's beach house had best have something special in hand when you arrive. Stop in at any of these stores for a host or hostess gift that will ensure another invitation:
Assouline - Multiple Locations
One of the prime spots in the city for the perfect coffee table book. Find something related to your location - or to one of your hosts' interests.
Barneys New York - 660 Madison Avenue - 2151 Broadway - 194 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
The home accessories and décor here are so eclectic you're bound to find that perfect item that will be both useful and a conversation piece to entertain your hosts and their future guests for years to come.
Bond No. 9 - Multiple locations
Whether you opt for candles, perfume or a collection, there's no more appropriate gift than a scent named for and created to evoke New York City's most famous neighborhoods and locales. Can you honestly resist bringing the Hamptons scent to the Hamptons?
Copius Row - 27 Washington Street, Sag Harbor
From bowls to barware, coasters to note cards, Copius Row has an intriguing selection of items - and they're located in the region so you can do a quick run!
John Derian - 6 East 2nd Street
This is one of my own personal favorites. I've given more John Derian dishes, trays, and art as hostess and housewarming gifts than I can count - they're that good, that classic and that stylish.
Jonathan Adler - Multiple locations
Fun and colorful, Adler's housewares and home goods are particularly suited to the beach, and to anyone who wants just a bit of whimsy in their home.
Kusmi Tea - 1037 Third Avenue - 1 West 59th Street
My friends at Kusmi make some of the most interesting tea blends in the world - and they have a terrific presentation that's especially apropos right now - Sailor Chic, designed by Jean Paul Gautlier. Tea has never been so stylish.
Maille - 185 Columbus Avenue
Nothing says hostess gift like an elegantly packaged flavored mustard straight from the tap - the indulgence you may hesitate to buy for yourself but will accept gratefully as a present. It will make your hosts' summer picnics and barbecues something special.
Maison 24 - Multiple locations
Find some wonderful pop art and pillows here, from noted artists, as well as books, barware, even games and gadgets.
L'Objet a la Plage - 9 Main Street, Southampton
This shop carries wonderful décor, fragrance and picture frames, but I confess to loving the classic carrousel vases and bowls that remind me of waves. But explore!
Happy 4th and Happy shopping!