2017 Holiday Guide: Shop LOCAL!

the Rochesteriat (pictured L>r: Cat Clay, More Fire Glass, Tom Pollard Designs)

the Rochesteriat (pictured L>r: Cat Clay, More Fire Glass, Tom Pollard Designs)

We're last minute shoppers, it's terrible, we know. There's just something about that deadline creeping up that really puts us into action. So this year we're getting ahead and starting our shopping in November (super early, we know)!

We're all about shopping local as much as possible and our city businesses have a lot to offer. So here's a quick guide to do more LOCAL gift giving this year:

Art Gallery/Museum Gifts or Memberships:

Give the gift of Art! For those art lovers in your life peruse the gift shops of local galleries or museums like the George Eastman Museum or the Memorial Art Gallery. They are full of unique treasures you often won't find anywhere else.

Know someone who will want to adore the art itself over and over? Buy a membership so they can keep going back throughout the year. Giving gifts to younger ones? Head to the Rochester Museum & Science Center, The Strong Museum of Play or the Seneca Park Zoo.

And don't forget those theater lovers! Consider subscriptions to one of our many theaters like Geva Theatre or Blackfriars Theatre.

For the Home:

The Rochesteriat | Peppermint

The Rochesteriat | Peppermint

Skip the big box stores and head to the small mom n'pop shops. Look for gifts at places like Abode Rochester, Stacy K Floral, AXOM Objects, More Fire Glass Studio and the Hub by Archimage. Even Peppermint and Fahsye have a great selections of local Rochester goodies!

The Gift of Learning:

We're life-long learners, we love to read, take classes and attend events where we'll walk away having learned something and been inspired. Give the gift of knowledge through gift cards and classes from Rochester Brainery, the Creative Workshop at the Memorial Art Gallery, Studio 34 Creative Arts Center & Gallery, Little Button Craft, or the Flower City Arts Center.

Clothing & Things:

Before you head to the mall or Target, stop at Archimage, Peppermint, Fahsye, or the new Statement Boutique on Park Ave. Shopping for an active friend? Try Fleet Feet, Rochester Running Co. or Rochester Parkour. And don't forget about stores like Little Button Craft, Zak's Avenue and Parkleigh, you never know what great (and random!) gifts you'll find.

Gift Cards!

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Lastly, as much as we love that super thought-out perfect gift, we're also fans of gift cards! Do you have a favorite place you think your friend or family member needs to try, what better way to get them to go than with a giftcard? The list could be endless: McCann's, TRATA, Rocco, The Owl House, The Red Fern, Bitter Honey, Fiorella, all the Coffee Shops, The Little Theatre, all the theaters, and actually any of the places we've already listed in this post!

Whatever you may be shopping for, give city businesses a chance and shop local.

Sign up here for our WEEKLY email to get the BEST/QUIRKY/FUNNY/COOLEST (etc.) things to do in our city! 

Be More Creative with your V-Day Cards this Year

The Rochesteriat

The Rochesteriat

Sure, it's nice to get a coupon in the mail from Wegmans to save on cards this time of year, because who doesn't want to save a few bucks? Greeting cards can get expensive, but why not be a little more creative this year and support some local shops?

Here's a list of places to checkout BEFORE you think about going to Wegmans, Walmart or Target:

The Hub by Archimage

The Hub opened this past June and is full of great home goods and unique gifts. Check them out for not only gifts, but for some fun cards. 

Details: Website, Facebook, Instagram


the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

While it might be easy to be distracted by the clothing and jewelry on the first floor of Peppermint, head up the stairs to find some local goodies AND some hilarious greeting cards.

Details: Website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Little Button Craft

Straight from the caption, because we couldn't say it better ourselves, "Still looking for that perfect card to say “Hey, I care about you!”...well they don't literally say that but you get the idea." Check out Little Button Craft for cards (and other things too).

Details: Website, Facebook, Instagram

Hart's Local Grocers

Check out the rack of cards at Hart's and then swing by the aisle with all of the chocolate bars (p.s. there's a ton on sale right now).

Details: Website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Brainery Bazaar

It's pretty convenient that the February Bazaar falls just before V-Day, a space full of local vendors is a great place to do some last minute shopping. While we cannot guarantee there will be greetings cards - you'll have lots of other options.

Details: Facebook Page

Bonus Points:

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Better yet, let out your inner child with some good ol' crayons and construction paper. The cheesier, the better, right?

Sign up here for our WEEKLY email to get the BEST/QUIRKY/FUNNY/COOLEST (etc.) things to do in our city! 

Stefanie is Co-Founder of the Rochesteriat. While she totally plans on the construction paper route, she may also have to buy one for Mr. Rochesteriat (p.s. don't tell him). Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Rochester Greenovation: 8 things to make your pad better

Rochester Greenovation

Have you been to Rochester Greenovation lately? Are you an incoming college student wanting to add a little pizazz to your dorm or apartment? Are you a hipster in the city looking for some unique stuff that you can confidently claim NO ONE else has? Do you just want inexpensive, one-of-a-kind wares to call your own?

You know you do. Here are 8 things seen recently at Greenovation that would make your pad better.

1. Mid-Century Furniture

Retro Danish Slat Benches Why it'll help your pad: You know that mid-century is always hot. Here you have your end table, a coffee table, and a hallway bench - a matching collection that looks vintage, well thought-out, and complimentary. The gangs all here!

2. Games

Bowling Ball and PinsWhy it'll help your pad: Tired of horseshoes? Bored with cornhole? Why not set up a makeshift bowling alley on your lawn (or driveway) that will get your friends over to your place. No, forget the Wii version, get outside while you still can for the year or make Snow Bowl "a thing" in Rochester.

3. Vintage Fan

Industrial StrengthWhy it'll help your pad: You can be sure no one has this same exact fan in Rochester. This may or may not work still, but looks cool nonetheless. There's also no mistaking that NASA/1950's blueish-green color that seemed to be the only color available in the middle of the last century.

4. Lighting

Old City Lamposts Why it'll help your pad: Shine a light on your favorite room, yes - indoors - to make a brighter statement. You've seen this done with train track lights and stoplights - now give a room that feel from old Highland Park.  

5. Accessories

Welding HelmetsWhy they'll help your pad: Who has these industrial accents for accessories? No one. And you may even have a new halloween costume for this year...2 great ideas for the price of 1.

6. Scott Johns Upcycling

ROC Logo WindowsWhy it'll help your pad: Simple - the ROC logo. Uniquely show off your ROC pride with these custom made windows, not one is ever alike another. Hurray for you, you upcycler. Warning: these sell out quickly. Contact Scott Johns for your own custom made ROC logo window, board, or other idea you may have.

7. Vintage Signs

Parking SignsWhy it'll help your pad: This could be a reminder for all you urbanites who don't have adequate off-street parking to switch sides of the road before you get ticketed. Or you can simply be inspired by easy-to-read, vintage typesetting.

8. Local Artist Originals

Rachel Dow OriginalWhy it'll help your pad: You'll find original pieces of some of our area's best local artists for sale in Greenovation, including this piece by Rachel Dow. You may have seen a city traffic box painted in a similar fashion, or a side of a building by Rachel, but now you can add to your own personal collection of local art by having a piece just for yourself.

Rochester Greenovation:

Sign up for The Rochesteriat Weekly which is a FREE email sent out every Friday morning informing you of the best/coolest/newest/most unique/vintage stuff going on in the city.

Be a Part of the Change in 2015


January is the start of a new year, it gives us the chance to start over. We've got goals, dreams, and plans to make these things happen in our lives. But what about our city? Maybe a priority in our life should include being a part of the positive change in the city. How can we do this? Here are just a few ideas:

Be Heard, Get Involved, Give Back. 

When you have the opportunity to take a survey, attend a forum, or share your thoughts... do it! Need an example? How about the Downtown Parking Summit this Wednesday. Downtown Parking Summit, Wednesday 1/21, 5:30-7pm.

Don't say to yourself, "someone else will do it", maybe they will, maybe they won't. Would you want to leave your future in the hands of another?

Every May, Clean Sweep gives us that physical chance to get involved. Grab a broom or rake and clean a neighborhood in the city! You can even organize a Mini Sweep anytime throughout the year, why wait for May or only clean up once?

Attend a fundraiser, like this weekend's Red Door Affair for Gilda's Club, volunteer, join a group that is involved in the community... give back! Donate to Open Door Mission or a food pantry. Go through your closet and donate clothes that you haven't worn in the last year. After all, we're only as strong as our weakest link, right?

Looking for another option? See what's going on with RocCity Coalition on Tuesday at their Vision 2025 Launch Party.

Be IN the City.

A solid core makes a solid city and we here at the Rochesteriat believe that the city of Rochester is a GREAT place to live, work, and play. Our first thought was to tell you to move into the city, but we know it may not be feasible to just up and move!

But, you can spend time here and spend your money here at local restaurants, coffee shops, and establishments. Keep your money in our community. Thriving businesses make for a thriving city.

Get Your Groceries LOCAL.

SHOP at Farmers Markets. Meet the people behind the produce. The Public Market is the only year-round market and come spring and summer you'll have even more options for fresh produce.

Tues, Thurs, Sat: Public Market
Tues: Westside Farmers Market
Wed: Washington Square Park Foodlink’s Farmers Market
Wed: Monroe Village Farmers Market
Thurs: South Wedge Farmers Market

Hart's Local Grocers is another great place to shop for local groceries as they stock a lot of local items. You can easily find them throughout the store with these LOCAL tags! It's not all produce either, there are dry goods, baked goods, coffee, chocolate, and everything in between.

Be an Entrepreneur.

Maybe you've been dreaming, planning and saving for years to open your own restaurant, coffee shop, store, or <insert your great idea here>. The city is in revival and scattered throughout you'll find empty store fronts and buildings just waiting for new life.

Love walking through cities like NYC because of the creativity, diversity, and wide variety of fun little kiosks and carts? Get creative with an empty bus shelter on Main Street! Check out the Reconnect Rochester article from last year: What Could You Do With This Shelter?

Whatever it may be that you decide to do this year, be it little or big, don't feel like you can't make a difference!

Stefanie is co-Founder and Editor of the Rochesteriat. She loves meeting the movers & shakers in the city - there are a lot of amazing people here. Find her with a camera & phone in hand, taking photos for @theRochesteriat on Instagram. Follow her on Twitter.

17 Unique Things Sold at Parkleigh


Parkleigh Window Parkleigh on Park Ave has been serving the city for over 5 decades. Having once been a grocery store and then a pharmacy, this Park staple has become a "must-see" on one of Rochester's most popular street of shops and restaurants.

Vera Bradley

And while some of you may think that it's all Vera Bradly purses...

the Rochesteriat

...and Crab Tree & Evelyn soaps & lotions (one of its very first stores for CT&E is still here), we know it's more than that. Recently the Rochesteriat took a trip through the store to find some of the most unique things they have for sale, and to see what we could find for the Holidays. But this isn't just a store for the Holidays - it's a store that has something for everyone, for any of life's treasured moments, even just plain old everyday living.

So without further introduction and in no particular order, here are 17 of the most unique, interesting, and craziest things we found - things that you wouldn't necessarily find out at the suburban malls.

1. Zombie Gnomes

Zombie Gnomes at Parkleigh

Maybe you're trying to ward off those pesky squirrels in your garden, preparing for the zombie apocalypse, or you just have a friend who loves zombie movies... why not get a Zombie Gnome?

2. Beard Lube

the Rochesteriat

With the recent rise of the "Lumber Sexual" we're sure that you know at least one hipster dressed in flannel, rocking a beard. What would they love more than some good ol' beard lube?

3. Flat Flowers


Are you sick and tired of taking care of flowers that die immediately when you bring them home? Maybe you're a college student without the money, time or place to put them. Got a window? Here's another option - stick to any window and you'll have (flat) flowers that live forever!

4. Colon Cleaner

Colon Cleaner Hot Sauce

You no longer need to go to the doctor to have your colon cleaned... just add this elixir to your meal! Don't bother with a new fad or detox diet, this hot sauce will cleanse your system quick.

5. Squirrel Underpants

the Rochesteriat

For this one we had to go straight to the source, "Are you sick and tired of squirrels running naked in the trees around your house? Have you had to hide your children’s eyes when a tiny furry streaker crosses the sidewalk in front of you? We’ve got the answer, Squirrel Underpants! Each pair of tiny briefs has a 3" waist and is made of 95% cotton and 5% spandex. The underpants squirrels prefer! Also good for hamsters, frogs and gerbils." (via. Squirrel Underpants)

6. Shakespearean Lip Balm

the Rochesteriat

So maybe you like to walk around, speaking in a British accent, and pretending to audition for Romeo & Juliet... it's ok, you're not the only one. Why not have the perfect chap stick for those lips?

7. Downton Abbey Tea

Downton Abbey Tea

Just in time! You cannot be ready for the premier of season 5 on January 4th, without some Downton Abbey tea to sip (holding the tea cup with two fingers and your pinky pointing upwards, of course) during the big event. Maybe you should stock up on that Shakespearean Lip Balm as well to help with the British accent...

8. Meat Wrapping Paper

the Rochesteriat

Gift giving isn't just meant for Christmas - there are birthdays, Valentine's Day, and many special occasions throughout the year to wrap something up (we're also big fans of "just because" gifts). Got a meat lover in your life? What better way to show your love, than to wrap their gift in bacon, sausage, or hot dog wrapping paper.

9. Socks for any Occasion

Socks at Parkleigh

While socks may be a necessity, this time of year especially, that doesn't mean they have to be boring. In fact, trending in 2014, socks have become BIG business to help make one's outfit unique and bright. What else can we say... they're socks and most of us need them!

10. Underpants Stuffed Animals

the Rochesteriat

Ok, we're back to underpants. Trying to teach your little ones the importance of clean underwear? Tell them with a stuffed animal! And, "Don't forget to wash your underwear!"

11. Sweets

Hedonist Chocolates

Many come to Parkleigh for their vast selection of chocolates and candy, you may find a handful with some unique flavor combinations as well. We found this one from local Hedonist Artisan Chocolates. Like to try different things? How about fresh raspberries and wasabi in dark chocolate, we also found Lemon Pepper Truffles...

the Rochesteriat

...and strawberry basil candies.

12. Mr. P

the Rochesteriat

Maybe you're looking for the perfect gag gift or something to match your quirky style and taste. Check out Mr. P. Of course, it's aptly named.

13. Picture Frame with a Family

Picture Frame

We usually buy picture frames and replace the photo with one of our own. We couldn't help but hope that someone might buy this and leave the photo in it. Who's to say that's not your Great Aunt Mildred!

14. Flask Ties & Scarves

the Rochesteriat

Walking around with a flask may not always be an option, or maybe you're just looking to be discreet. Here's the perfect option for men and women, function and fashion. Some of you would probably like this gift for your next office party or even a trip to the in-Laws...

15. Happy Sippy Cup

the Rochesteriat

Whether you've had a coffee out of this classic NYC coffee cup or not, we're sure you've seen it in a movie or tv show. Now there's a matching sippy cup so your hip kid will have one too, without the caffeine that is.

16. Breakfast Floss

Breakfast Floss at Parkleigh

If you're a fan of clean teeth and breakfast, you know to never drink orange juice after brushing with fresh minty toothpaste! But, feel free to delight in all the breakfast food you want after flossing with breakfast flavored floss.



Poo-Pourri is fairly new to the odor prevention scene. If you need an intro to what this creation is, head to their website and watch the video. Not only will you find the original version at Parkleigh, you'll find some other products for the people in your life, like Gone Fishin' "Trap Bathroom Odor… Hook, Line and Stinker!". We will also go out on a limb and say that this product would pair well with #4 on this list. Now that's getting stickin' creative!

Gift-giving needs no holiday, birthday, or special occasion. Whether for yourself or someone else, peruse the isles of Parkleigh. You won't be sorry!

Parkleigh: Website Facebook

Address: 215 Park Ave. Rochester NY 14607

Stefanie is co-Founder and Editor of the Rochesteriat. She loves taking pictures, drinking vanilla lattes, and living downtown with her husband, Jason. Find her with a camera & phone in hand, taking photos for @theRochesteriat on Instagram. Follow her on Twitter.

[mappress mapid="92"]