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Modern, Vintage, Trendy: New York's Shopping Gems
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Being one of the world's most visited cities, the range of attractions in New York is virtually never-ending. Shopping is one of the must-do activities in the Big Apple, both for locals and for tourists. As a New Yorker, over the years I have come to have my own list of favorite stores and shopping routes in the city. Some of them are well known, others not so much, but in any case I am happy to share personal tips and insights with the readers.
New York Department Stores
We just love our department stores. Some of them have been around for so long that they are like part of our extended family. There is some comfort in knowing exactly the kind of service and quality you are going to get by shopping at your favorite department store. Then there is the issue of convenience, as I can find everything I might be looking for in just one place. And the variety is simply formidable.
Macy's is by far my favorite department store. Over its 155 years of existence, Macy's has expanded and now has almost 800 stores nationwide (although my absolute favorite is the flagship store at Herald Square). I still remember when my grandmother used to take me to watch the colorful Thanksgiving Day parade that Macy's has been sponsoring since 1924. I now take my own children to the parade as well as to the Independence Day fireworks, and on those occasions I treat myself to something real nice (preferably from the store's private footwear brand Giani Bernini).
Macy's is also very handy due to its location in the heart of midtown Manhattan, so a shopping trip to Macy's can be combined with lunch at Koreatown, a Broadway show, a Knicks game, or a ride to the top of the Empire State Building. And for hardcore shoppers who really want to enjoy shopping in NYC's Upper East Side, Barney's department store is the place to go.
Big Apple Boutiques
When it comes to boutique shopping, my advice is to think Brooklyn before you think SoHo. The range of independent boutiques in this area is just mind-boggling. One of my favorites is Raised by Wolves, near Greenpoint Avenue subway station. Here you will find the most unique pieces (and merchandise is not just limited to fashion) and prices to suit all budgets, starting at just $10. The store is on Franklin Street, a top spot for boutique shopping.
Thrift Stores Galore
Don't you just love it when you accidentally come across a fantastic bargain that adds some uniqueness to your home decor or to your wardrobe? In my opinion, the best bargains are to be found at New York's thrift stores.
Almost every neighborhood has one, but my favorites are the vintage shop at the corner of 121 West and 116th (north of Central Park), Angel Street on 118 West and 17th (which actually looks and feels like the fancy neighboring stores), and Every Thing Goes Clothing, known by the locals as ETG, in Staten Island, somewhat out of the way but absolutely worth the trip!