New York City
Shopping in New York City
ABC Carpet & Home
This incredible shopping emporium just north of Union Square boasts multiple, loft-esque floors full of exotic jewelry, clothing, and housewares ranging from knickknacks like ornate doorknobs to hand-carved furniture imported from India. Naturally, high prices taccompany the high quality merchandise, but you don’t need to drop a dime in this store – you’ll have just as much fun drooling over the gorgeous displays and artisan designs.
Two words: thrift megalomania. Arguably the biggest, brightest, and most popular spot for snagging stylish castoffs anywhere (there’s also a smaller location on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope), Beacon’s color-coded racks of women’s clothing (the men’s selection leaves much to be desired in comparison) are constantly overflowing with a massive mix of cheap rags, moderately priced designer treads, plus one-of-a-kind shoes, belts, and purses. Don’t expect service-with-a-smile from the hipster staff, though, and avoid coming on a weekend, when the crowds descend in droves and fitting room lines can be monstrous. Regardless, you’re almost guaranteed to leave with an armful of finds, though the hole in your wallet may end up being bigger than you expected. The store gleans its wares from its popular buying counter in exchange for cash or store credit, but sellers beware: the house is super selective.
The much beloved "Bloomie's,” a NYC mainstay, is an upscale department store and Saks Fifth Avenue rival that garners good reviews from native New Yorkers for its service and selection. There’s another, smaller location downtown on Broadway in SoHo.
New York's premier discount department store for everything from designer clothes to luggage, lingerie, cosmetics, and some housewares, touts discounts of up to 70 percent off. Located directly opposite the World Trade Center site. Note: Weekends are especially mobbed.
If you have little ones in tow, be sure to hit this elaborate flagship toy store helmed by America’s oldest toy company (originally founded in 1862). A true fantasyland for any youngster, you and your little one can channel Tom Hanks in the movie Big by trying your feet at “Chopsticks” on the large floor piano upstairs. There’s even an ice cream parlor inside!
Modeled after the interior of a 747 cabin and named for Pan Am’s legendary flight around the world, this chic travel gear chain floats all kinds of designer goodies, from essentials like sanitizer, toiletry bags, and laptop cases, to stylishly printed suitcases, travel alarm clocks, useful guidebooks for breaking pesky language barriers, and even personal meal kits.The flagship can be found in Manhattan’s West Village.
Les Toiles du Soleil
This French company has been manufacturing cheery striped linen and cotton fabrics in the same way, on the same looms, in the same French town (Saint Laurent de Cerdans) for 150 years. It's hard to resist the ready- or custom-made umbrellas, pillows and espadrilles at Les Toiles du Soleil outposts in Paris, Tokyo, and New York (opened 2008).
Make your way to 34th Street for a visit to this legendary, 11-floor mega-store, self-billed as the world's largest department store. Now a mega-chain hocking mostly mid-range wares at over 800 locations nationwide, a visit to the original is a must for any shopaholic to take in the annual spring flower show, check out the ever-changing window displays, witness the nexus of the famous Thanksgiving Day parade, or to simply see where it all began.
Rivaling Paris, Milan, and London as a high-end shopper's Shangri La, New York's scene can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. After an hour-long meeting to determine the your needs and budget, let a personal shopper help you find a wardrobe that blends signature designer pieces with classic basics that are picked to compliment your personality, lifestyle, and future goals.
The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.
Novelist extraordinaire Dave Eggers is the mastermind behind this secretive costume shop that doubles as the headquarters for his successful nonprofit writing program for kids, 826NYC. Hidden in lair-like style behind a bookshelf, the organization offers free tutoring and workshops in all literary styles. The whimsical wares here include an imaginative arsenal (think particle guns and force fields) and must-haves for any aspiring Clark Kent, like “Muscles in a Can” and invisibility paint. A flight simulator machine (i.e. high-powered fan) is on hand for assessing the aerodynamics of your cape before purchase (while posing like a superhero). The organization’s other locations include San Francisco’s Pirate Store and the Echo Park Time Travel Mart in Los Angeles.
In-the-know fashion hawks browse this hip consignment shop in an East Village basement space for hardly-used designer clothes. You can pick up gorgeous outfits by big-name labels like Miyake and Yamamoto, as well as items by Prada, Miu Miu, Diesel, and Gucci. Some of the pieces are practically unworn and cost a wee fraction of the retail price. Other finds include shoes and cool accessories like sunglasses, handbags, hats, ties, and scarves.
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On an open-seating flight, head for the back of the airplane. If the flight's not full, it'll likely be emptier back there.
Karen Dion Freelance Editor
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