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Insider: West Village, New York City

You can be forgiven for thinking that one must have a dog to live in the West Village. They're everywhere, walking and barking and sniffing up strangers—which makes the cynical among us wonder whether the people here don't use dogs as a social crutch.

picnic perfect
New York is notorious for its terrible supermarkets, and the West Village is no exception. But the new Gourmet Garage (117 Seventh Ave. South; 212/699-5980), a branch of the SoHo original, has everything you need for a picnic on the Hudson River waterfront: a demi-baguette, a wedge of Brie, olives galore (or, for you lazy types, terrific sandwiches).

home shopping network
The End of History 548 1/2 Hudson St.; 212/647-7598. Fifties and sixties modern, with an emphasis on handblown Venetian glass in acid hues and funky shapes.
Kitschen 380 Bleecker St.; 212/727-0430. Vintage cooking paraphernalia—Corningware, trivets with silly sayings, outrageous cookbooks (too bad the staff is a drag).
Furniture Co. 818 Greenwich St.; 212/352-2010. Furniture as fetish: the dramatic showroom feels like Design Church, but the sharply edited collection can convert anyone to minimalism (for a price—that sleek linen-and-oak sofa is $9,200).
Papivore 117 Perry St.; 212/627-6055. Exquisite paper from Marie Papier in Paris, in a rainbow of colors, along with photo albums and desk accessories.
Leo Design 413 Bleecker St.; 212/929-8466. All manner of masculine Arts and Crafts objets (hammered copperware, sculptural bookends, fireplace tools, picture frames), half of which is antique, half contemporary. There's a new furniture annex, too (28 Jane St.; 212/627-9982).
Mxyplyzyk 123 Greenwich Ave.; 212/989-4300. Where everyone goes for clever gifts. If the look is a tad tired—stainless-steel this, blond-wood that—the shop is still a barrel of fun.
Gansevoort Gallery 72 Gansevoort St.; 212/633-0555. Mid-century modernism, including chic Scandinavian glass and desk lamps straight out of The Fountainhead.
Amalgamated Home 9, 13, and 19 Christopher St.; 212/255-4160, 212/989-6538, and 212/691-8695. Three little stores with ever-changing furniture and accessories. The "hardware" shop stocks the world's most stylish drawer pulls. Don't forget the details, baby.

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