Inside Sea Cliff's transforming shopping scene

Perched atop a cliff, as the name suggests, Sea Cliff in the Town of Oyster Bay is a charming walkable village with quaint shops and eateries, many situated in stately late 19th-century Victorian homes. Several of these boutiques — which may boast personality with vibrant colored entries or a beach town-esque vibe — opened in recent years, allowing the town's shopping landscape to transform quietly. 

During the height of the pandemic, Suzette LaValle, owner of Hummingbird boutique, launched a “Shop Main Street, Not Mainstream” marketing campaign to get people back into Sea Cliff's shops, some of which actually opened for the first time in 2020. 

Now, nearly two and a half years later, the area is ripe with potential to browse shelves and corner shops you may not have seen. 

“It’s a beautiful town. It’s a sleepy town,” says LaValle, adding that she hopes those efforts will bring in more foot traffic during the day.

Your shopping trip beings on Sea Cliff Avenue where the potential to find artisan goods, one-of-a-kind gifts and plants is ripe. 

At Hummingbird (321 Sea Cliff Ave., welovehummingbird.com), LaValle utilizes her skills as a former fashion editor, stylist and buyer to curate a tasteful mix of signs, candles, pillows and other home products, necklaces, hats and scarves. You’ll also find lotions and fragrance sprays and an entire floor dedicated to shoes.

Walk just a few doors down the street for clothing, where Trois Jours, Etc. (318 Sea Cliff Ave., 516-759-5756) specializes in eclectic sportswear, outwear, evening wear, hats, pocketbooks and jewelry. The boutique shares an owner with Déjà Vu Consignment (310 Sea Cliff Ave., 516-801-0028), which carries women’s clothing and evening wear, bric-a-brac, costume and precious jewelry, artwork, lamps and more.

If you're looking for something new, try Frost Ceramics & Mercantile (256 Sea Cliff Ave., 516-606-7156, frostceramics.com), a 2020 debut run by a husband and wife team: Kimberle Frost runs the shop out front; Christopher Frost helms the pottery classes in the back.

Located in the building that housed Sea Cliff’s original post office, Frost Ceramics specializes in Christopher’s alabaster earthenware ceramics.“I don’t use a lot of color,” says Christopher. “I like the forms to be simple; the glazes to be simple.”

The shop carries unique mobiles made from sea-glass and bottles reclaimed from Dead Horse Bay in Riis Park and a wide array of home and gift items including tie-dyed totes, linen and pillows made by Rachel Dove in Sea Cliff. “We try to have as much handmade stuff in the store as we can,” says Kimberle.

Another shop carrying items by local makers is K. DiResta Collective (212 Sea Cliff Ave., 516-671-5895, kdirestadesign.com). Owner Kathleen DiResta sells her handmade geometric brass, gold, and silver designs with semiprecious stones and beads, plus the work of others like chain mail links by Donna Barrett of Sea Cliff and beaded bracelets with river stones by Center Moriches’ Rebecca Dolber. 

Farther down the road is a metaphysical and gift shop boutique, Dreams East (359 Sea Cliff Ave., 516-656-4790), which has been around for 40 years, though half of them were in Roslyn, notes owner Tanya Arken. Dreams East is your one-stop shop for all things crystals, essential oils, incense and chimes, “all to promote a sense of peace and well-being,” says Arken. 

Bree Coghlan, 19, of Glen Cove, is a returning Dreams East customer. “I like the energy — the vibe,” she says.

You’ll find an entirely different vibe at Moonshot Emporium (316 Sea Cliff Ave., 516-806-2500, moonshotemporium.com), the brainchild of Luca Williams, who opened the vinyl and vintage shop two years ago at the age of 15. “It’s been a passion of mine since I got my first record when I was 11 or 12,” Williams says of his treasured Abbey Road by the Beatles.

Records are divvied into categories: rock and roll, punk, metal, pop, world music, soundtracks, comedy, jazz, hip-hop, new releases, and an entire section dedicated, naturally, to the Beatles.

The back of the store is all vintage clothing and memorabilia, including a few collectible rock T-shirts.

Sea Cliff Avenue may take up the bulk of your shopping trip, but should you wander off to Glen Cove and Roslyn avenues, you'll find a mix of goods made near and far.

Omar Rivera, owner of Restoration Oak (227 Glen Cove Ave., 516-200-6447, restorationoak.com), creates handcrafted furniture, large rustic serving dishes and custom items from reclaimed wood and leather for his eco-friendly artisan boutique.

Aside from Rivera’s handiwork, the shop carries hourglasses, assorted chimes made from sea-glass, wood, shells, or bells, cutting boards, serving platters, dishes, singing bowls, woven rugs, wooden sculptures and soy candles from Columbian, Indonesian, Mexican and Peruvian artisans.

Items from across the globe can also be found at Artisan Jules Gifts and Goodness (215 Glen Cove Ave., 516-240-1894, artisanjules.com), opened in 2020, where owner Kim Alfarone tries to find goods, “that have a giveback story.” There are handmade totes from Madagascar, prosperity totas that hang from doorways made from recycled saris and handmade African baskets.

If you're looking for locally made items, My Beautiful Mess (60 Roslyn Ave., 516-399-2590) sells signs, jewelry, Sea Cliff Hemp CBD oils and gummies, MAP wine charms, vintage furniture, décor and trinkets, handmade soap and recycled glass tile earrings by Jamie Diamond, a native of Great Neck.

To round out your shopping trip, stop by Baron Floral Designs (82 Roslyn Ave., 516-807-5478, baronfloraldesigns.com), where owner Dana Baron carries more than just floral arrangements. You'll find Voluspa candles, Backyard Bees soap from Glenwood Landing, peony prints, greeting cards and hand-crocheted pocketbooks, all done by her daughter, Leah, and plush plants. “These are plants you can’t kill,” says Baron.

There are vintage glassware, vases and other containers that she sometimes sells with flowers, “so you can have a nice, cute vessel when you’re done.” 

Perched atop a cliff, as the name suggests, Sea Cliff in the Town of Oyster Bay is a charming walkable village with quaint shops and eateries, many situated in stately late 19th-century Victorian homes. Several of these boutiques — which may boast personality with vibrant colored entries or a beach town-esque vibe — opened in recent years, allowing the town's shopping landscape to transform quietly.

During the height of the pandemic, Suzette LaValle, owner of Hummingbird boutique, launched a “Shop Main Street, Not Mainstream” marketing campaign to get people back into Sea Cliff's shops, some of which actually opened for the first time in 2020. 

Suzette LaValle at her store Hummingbird on Cliff Avenue, July 1,...

Suzette LaValle at her store Hummingbird on Cliff Avenue, July 1, 2022.  Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Now, nearly two and a half years later, the area is ripe with potential to browse shelves and corner shops you may not have seen. 

“It’s a beautiful town. It’s a sleepy town,” says LaValle, adding that she hopes those efforts will bring in more foot traffic during the day.

ON SEA CLIFF AVENUE

Your shopping trip beings on Sea Cliff Avenue where the potential to find artisan goods, one-of-a-kind gifts and plants is ripe. 

At Hummingbird (321 Sea Cliff Ave., welovehummingbird.com), LaValle utilizes her skills as a former fashion editor, stylist and buyer to curate a tasteful mix of signs, candles, pillows and other home products, necklaces, hats and scarves. You’ll also find lotions and fragrance sprays and an entire floor dedicated to shoes.

Sophia Guevara, 20, of Glen Cove, shops at Hummingbird in...

Sophia Guevara, 20, of Glen Cove, shops at Hummingbird in Sea Cliff, July 1, 2022. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Walk just a few doors down the street for clothing, where Trois Jours, Etc. (318 Sea Cliff Ave., 516-759-5756) specializes in eclectic sportswear, outwear, evening wear, hats, pocketbooks and jewelry. The boutique shares an owner with Déjà Vu Consignment (310 Sea Cliff Ave., 516-801-0028), which carries women’s clothing and evening wear, bric-a-brac, costume and precious jewelry, artwork, lamps and more.

If you're looking for something new, try Frost Ceramics & Mercantile (256 Sea Cliff Ave., 516-606-7156, frostceramics.com), a 2020 debut run by a husband and wife team: Kimberle Frost runs the shop out front; Christopher Frost helms the pottery classes in the back.

Located in the building that housed Sea Cliff’s original post office, Frost Ceramics specializes in Christopher’s alabaster earthenware ceramics.“I don’t use a lot of color,” says Christopher. “I like the forms to be simple; the glazes to be simple.”

The shop carries unique mobiles made from sea-glass and bottles reclaimed from Dead Horse Bay in Riis Park and a wide array of home and gift items including tie-dyed totes, linen and pillows made by Rachel Dove in Sea Cliff. “We try to have as much handmade stuff in the store as we can,” says Kimberle.

Another shop carrying items by local makers is K. DiResta Collective (212 Sea Cliff Ave., 516-671-5895, kdirestadesign.com). Owner Kathleen DiResta sells her handmade geometric brass, gold, and silver designs with semiprecious stones and beads, plus the work of others like chain mail links by Donna Barrett of Sea Cliff and beaded bracelets with river stones by Center Moriches’ Rebecca Dolber. 

Shops on Sea Cliff Avenue in Sea Cliff.

Shops on Sea Cliff Avenue in Sea Cliff. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Farther down the road is a metaphysical and gift shop boutique, Dreams East (359 Sea Cliff Ave., 516-656-4790), which has been around for 40 years, though half of them were in Roslyn, notes owner Tanya Arken. Dreams East is your one-stop shop for all things crystals, essential oils, incense and chimes, “all to promote a sense of peace and well-being,” says Arken. 

Bree Coghlan, 19, of Glen Cove, is a returning Dreams East customer. “I like the energy — the vibe,” she says.

You’ll find an entirely different vibe at Moonshot Emporium (316 Sea Cliff Ave., 516-806-2500, moonshotemporium.com), the brainchild of Luca Williams, who opened the vinyl and vintage shop two years ago at the age of 15. “It’s been a passion of mine since I got my first record when I was 11 or 12,” Williams says of his treasured Abbey Road by the Beatles.

Records are divvied into categories: rock and roll, punk, metal, pop, world music, soundtracks, comedy, jazz, hip-hop, new releases, and an entire section dedicated, naturally, to the Beatles.

The back of the store is all vintage clothing and memorabilia, including a few collectible rock T-shirts.

ON GLEN COVE AND ROSLYN AVENUES

Sea Cliff Avenue may take up the bulk of your shopping trip, but should you wander off to Glen Cove and Roslyn avenues, you'll find a mix of goods made near and far.

Omar Rivera, owner of Restoration Oak (227 Glen Cove Ave., 516-200-6447, restorationoak.com), creates handcrafted furniture, large rustic serving dishes and custom items from reclaimed wood and leather for his eco-friendly artisan boutique.

Aside from Rivera’s handiwork, the shop carries hourglasses, assorted chimes made from sea-glass, wood, shells, or bells, cutting boards, serving platters, dishes, singing bowls, woven rugs, wooden sculptures and soy candles from Columbian, Indonesian, Mexican and Peruvian artisans.

Kate Brady, of Manhasset, works at her aunt’s store My Beautiful...

Kate Brady, of Manhasset, works at her aunt’s store My Beautiful Mess in Sea Cliff on July 1, 2022. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Items from across the globe can also be found at Artisan Jules Gifts and Goodness (215 Glen Cove Ave., 516-240-1894, artisanjules.com), opened in 2020, where owner Kim Alfarone tries to find goods, “that have a giveback story.” There are handmade totes from Madagascar, prosperity totas that hang from doorways made from recycled saris and handmade African baskets.

If you're looking for locally made items, My Beautiful Mess (60 Roslyn Ave., 516-399-2590) sells signs, jewelry, Sea Cliff Hemp CBD oils and gummies, MAP wine charms, vintage furniture, décor and trinkets, handmade soap and recycled glass tile earrings by Jamie Diamond, a native of Great Neck.

Dana Baron, right, with her daughter Leah Baron, at her...

Dana Baron, right, with her daughter Leah Baron, at her store Baron Floral Designs in Sea Cliff, July 1, 2022. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

To round out your shopping trip, stop by Baron Floral Designs (82 Roslyn Ave., 516-807-5478, baronfloraldesigns.com), where owner Dana Baron carries more than just floral arrangements. You'll find Voluspa candles, Backyard Bees soap from Glenwood Landing, peony prints, greeting cards and hand-crocheted pocketbooks, all done by her daughter, Leah, and plush plants. “These are plants you can’t kill,” says Baron.

There are vintage glassware, vases and other containers that she sometimes sells with flowers, “so you can have a nice, cute vessel when you’re done.”