What should I buy for my NY friend?
June 29, 2005 2:29 AM   Subscribe

I'm in the UK and want to send a present to someone in New York for tomorrow. Help please.

I have been looking at flowers but a bouquet is hideously expensive to send from this side of the pond. The birthday girl is a grown up independent woman full of life and mad as a hatter. Looking to spend between 60 and 100 bucks and would prefer something that would be with her tomorrow for special day.
posted by Frasermoo to Shopping (13 answers total)
You could always just use Amazon and have it sent overnight -- I've used that option when I've left gift-buying for folks in the States to the last minute; okay, forgotten until someone reminds me the day before.

Whenever I've sent flowers, I eschew the ridiculously expensive FTD.com and Florist.com options and just looked up a florist in the town where the person lives on switchboard.com or the like. They're usually more than happy to take a credit card over the phone and can deliver really quickly -- sometimes even the same day. People in more rural areas get a kick out of the call as well..."You're calling from Engerland? It sounds like you're next door!" Good luck!
posted by lazywhinerkid at 2:41 AM on June 29, 2005

Amazon works across countries and fast too.
posted by webmeta at 3:11 AM on June 29, 2005

I'd imagine calling one of the major department stores in New York with a credit card would get the to despatch something same day?

But yeah, basically, you're looking to get something sent from within the US, today. So a telephone/internet connection and your credit card are your answers - the question is now, what gift?
posted by benzo8 at 3:12 AM on June 29, 2005

Response by poster: A florist direct rather than using Interflora through a UK site seems to be a good solution.

I think I'm gonna go flowers because let's face it, women love to receive flowers.

ALthough I am open to other gift suggestions for another couple of hours!
posted by Frasermoo at 3:48 AM on June 29, 2005

Just use the web to find a local florist - I do this all the time and it's not expensive... in fact given the exchange rate it's cheaper than buying flowers in the UK.
posted by skylar at 4:02 AM on June 29, 2005

Aye, just like the others have said.

Just find a local florist, and if you really want it to be special, find someone who will let you FedEx a handwritten note to attach. I suppose.. that would be kind of kooky, but touching.

If you don't get any recommendations by 12:00 GMT -5, I can add another reccomendation, but right now all I can think of is Takashimaya, a very expensive Japanese store. They have a cafe, book store, sell antiques, and have a spa. The google business listing is all I could find. A bouquet will be expensive ($100+), but perfect, and I bet they will add on other gift items they sell if you ask.

"Paris's most famous florist, Christian Tortu, has a main-floor boutique that's a work of art in its own right."- Frommers

posted by Jack Karaoke at 5:03 AM on June 29, 2005

A delicious gift set from Zabar's & I guess flowers from FTD or 1-800-Flowers.com etc.
posted by riffola at 5:46 AM on June 29, 2005

One of the greatest tricks for finding excellent local florists is to call a nice hotel in the area - not necessarily the Waldorf-Astoria, mind you, unless you have a Waldorf-Astoria sized flower budget - but a nice one, and ask the concierge who he would use. Then call the florist directly and ask for what you want. You're likely to get a much better set-up than anything from FTD/teleflora/etc, especially as the florist won't be sharing a large portion of the money you spend with the service you used, and thus will be able to spend more of it on flowers. If you throw in that 'the concierge at X' suggested you, they'll do even more for you, since they won't want to run the risk of alienating the concierge if things go badly.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:52 AM on June 29, 2005

Google for a local florists, call up and make friends. Explain your situation, and tell the florist who the birthday girl is, what they're like etc, and say you need an arrangement to match them within X budget. Works a charm, especially if you get a florist into the whole romance of it who'll pull out the stops.
posted by bonaldi at 5:54 AM on June 29, 2005

Good call jacquilynne, I will have to remember that.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 6:15 AM on June 29, 2005

To concur: flowers are good, $100 in New York buys a very pretty bouquet, and contacting a local florist with a credit card will do you just fine. Ariston Florist is good and friendly and delivers all over town (many businesses use them), and Seasons makes fantastic bouquets.
posted by werty at 6:31 AM on June 29, 2005

Why not pre-pay for a massage or a few hours of pampering at a spa for her? Then send her a birthday email tomorrow with the contact information for the place and she can book the exact time at her convenience.
posted by gfrobe at 7:41 AM on June 29, 2005

If she's a foodie, I second the recommendation for Zabar's. Also, Bear Papa Sweets cream puffs are outrageous and people still line up to get them. Don't know if they deliver, but they probably have gift certificates. Most New Yawkas know of and would appreciate this idea.

Beard Papa Sweets Cafe
2167 Broadway
New York, NY 10024 View Map
(212) 799-3770

I also think the spa recommendation was a good one.
posted by garbo at 9:08 AM on June 29, 2005

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