Fast Blurbs: December 2010 January 2011

CookBooks

The New Brooklyn Cookbook is exactly that: recipes and stories from a generation of restaurants that has made the New York borough a foodie haven. The restaurants' tales come with easy-to-follow recipes, including such delights as Egg's duck legs and dirty rice and Al Di Là's spaghetti alle vongole. ($40, communitybookstore.net)

Cameras

Capture holiday moments with das Beste in image sensing with Leica's D-Lux 5. With its pared-down retro design and features like maximum aperture, the storied German brand's latest is sure to excite tech-geek dads and hip photography buffs alike. ($799, us.leica-camera.com)

Maps

Clever St. Augustine wrote, "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page." Give a wanderlusting friend the whole book — or the whole world — with the Michele Varian chalkboard globe. Only the borders of the continents are painted on. The rest is left open to be filled in — and explored. ($450, michelevarian.com)

Under Wraps

In America, one in four toys is purchased in December. The monthly receipt: $19.5 billion.

Under Stars

At the northernmost tip of the U.S., the sun doesn't rise for two months during the winter.

Under the Influence

"New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks and friendly calls and humbug resolutions." — Mark Twain

Under One Flag

More states have been admitted into the union in December (nine) and January (seven) than any other months.

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