Nowhere Is New York When it Comes to Shopping
Shopping in New York City can be one fun-filled day of cabbing from store to store; a weekend dedicated to the pursuit of gifts for everyone in the family; or a serious undertaking when looking for inspiration, cutting-edge design, or something very particular. New York is many things to many shoppers. Its neighborhoods offer vastly different experiences.
NoLita, (North of Little Italy), was once the tenement filled home base to thousands of immigrants who came to New York for a better life. Now, chic and super cool, the streets are filled with one of a kind boutiques, shoe stores, jewelry vendors and quirky style setters of downtown. Streets like Mulberry, Mott and Elizabeth feature unique bars, amazing restaurants and clubs that don't start happening until the wee hours. TRAIN: F to 2nd Ave; J, M to Bowery.
8 Union Square
Super mega stores like DSW for shoes, Daffy's and Nordstrom Rack offer bargains galore. Holiday time is when the outdoor tents feature all sorts of gifts, handmade soaps, scarves, and craft items. Home to the Greenmarket, Union Square is also where all the local, organic and freshest food and flowers are showcased on Wednesday and Saturdays by New York farmers in an outdoor setting. Cozy coffee bars like Think Coffee are student favorites, as NYU is nearby. Many of the city's finest restaurants are here, too like Union Square Cafe and Blue Water Grill. TRAIN: 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R, W to Union Sq-14th St (212-460-1200)
7 Hell's Kitchen (Clinton)
Hell's Kitchen, now renamed Clinton District, was one of New York's roughest, toughest gang neighborhoods back in the day. Now, Ninth Avenue is a trendy assortment of bars, cool restaurants, and coffee shops. Always a place where actors found inexpensive digs because it's so near the Theater District, it's now home to glittering high rises and renovated brownstones with old world character. You'll see a cross section of young professionals, older folks, and kids in this real neighborhood. TRAIN: A, C, E, 1, 2, 3 to 42nd St/Times Square (212-243-5343)
One of the most populated Chinatown's in the United States, NY's is a dazzling trip into authenticity. Canal Street to City Hall covers blocks and blocks of this ethic neighborhood, where you'll find roasted ducks in the windows, along with fruits and vegetables you've never seen before, spilled out onto the streets. Acupuncturists, herbalists and other Chinese medicine specialists offer up treatments. Check out Pearl River Mart for low priced souvenirs, silks, and mementos. TRAIN: J, M, N, Z, 6 to Canal St
SoHo (short for South of House-ton) was once home to New York's factories from sewing to iron foundries. Now, the warehouse buildings have all been converted to loft spaces used for living (if you're super rich) and an array of high fashion boutiques, shops, and trendy restaurants. You'll find a branch of the Guggenheim Museum, a Bloomingdale's, and even a Chanel boutique. Gourmet eatery Dean & Deluca is a food fantasy not to be missed. Wander in and out of all the cobblestone streets, and you'll be amazed at the store displays, some of the most creative windows in town. TRAIN: C, E to Spring St
4 Lower East Side
The Lower East Side has completely had a make-over. Once one of the roughest neighborhoods in town, it's been reborn into the trendiest spot in town. Boutiques that feature designers who design and sew their own creations are the norm, the unusual and unexpected is at home here. Home furnishings, jewelry, and of course hip cafes and culinary experiences abound. You'll find gourmet pastries, chic wine bars, and charming coffee cafes mixed in with the local residents still shopping in some of the old haunts like authentic Jewish deli Russ & Daughters. TRAIN: F to Delancey
3 Madison Avenue
Madison Avenue from 59th street to the 90's is home to Tom Ford, Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, Luca Luca, Hermes, Carolina Herrara and almost every high fashion designer and jeweler has an outpost here. Hotels like the Mark, Pierre and the Carlyle, where major celebrities and other dignitaries stay, are super luxury. Numerous art galleries and the Whitney Museum are an art lovers dream. Outdoor cafes are plentiful and peopled with the jet-set who lunch, in between their spa and salon visits. You will see celebrities as this is where they shop --look for the limo and driver outside Barney's. TRAIN: F to Lexington Ave-63rd St; N, R, W to 5th Ave; 4, 5, 6 to any stop between 51st St and 96th St.
2 Meatpacking District
Once the headquarters of the meat industry, this neighborhood has been transformed completely. At the corner of Ninth Avenue and 14th Street, you'll see the high tech Apple Store, mobbed day and night. The cobblestone streets are home to all the latest designer boutiques, Jeffrey, Stella McCartney, Catherine Malandrino, the hippest hotels, The Gansevoort, The Standard and the Soho House, and fantastic restaurants like Spice Market, super chic French eatery, Pastis and other samples of international culinary expertise. The entrance to the Highline, the reclaimed railroad now turned walking park/vista is not to be missed. (888-847-4869)
1 Fifth Avenue
Fifth Avenue has always been the center of elegance in New York. Start spending at Saks Fifth Avenue, and work your way up to the super-chic Bergdorf Goodman. There's a separate store exclusively for men across the street. Along the way, you'll find Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Harry Winston, DeBeers, and Tiffany's where you can window shop to your heart's content. Don't miss St. Patrick's Cathedral, and other grand churches, they are side by side to retailers like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Prada, all featuring the finest goods in the world.
About Anjali Mansukhani
Anjali has crisscrossed the globe from Mumbai to Manhattan and decided to call New York City home.
She regularly pounds the pavement while munching on Gotham’s best street cart foods: gyros, dumplings, tacos and cupcakes. Whether window shopping on Madison Avenue or grazing at farmers markets, Anjali sources and finds the best deals. Anjali has a broad variety of interests. You might find her at a Broadway show, street shopping in Harlem, in a dive bar, or biking the Brooklyn Bridge. She firmly believes that it’s all about being fun and fabulous in the Big Apple.
Read more about Anjali Mansukhani here.