New York, a shopping paradise
New York City, is currently a shoppers’ paradise thanks to the plummeting dollar which has made New York a bargain hunter’s delight especially for products such as premium jeans which are made in the USA but sold in Europe and elsewhere at exorbitant prices.
This exchange rate bonanza has made New York City, a leading shopping destination for European tourists who often come over on weekend trips with the express intention to shop for the entire duration of their stay. If one had only 48 hours to shop where would one begin to plunder the loot?
It is useful to remember that in New York City one can enjoy tax free shopping on shoes and clothes up to a limit of $110, if priced above $110 they then attract an 8.38% tax.
Shopping day 1: Midtown Manhattan
- US most popular brands on 34th Street
Oxford Street in London is a prime shopping destination and New York has its equivalent on 34th street between fifth and seventh avenues. Located here are many shops belonging to popular brands which are often identified with USA such as the Gap, Banana Republic and Victoria’s Secret. These stores are located on the street which is just opposite the world’s largest department store, Macy’s on Herald Square.
- Department Stores
Macy’s has nine floors filled with merchandise ranging from home wares in its basement called ‘The Cellar’ to apparel for the family, accessories, perfumes, watches and much more. Macy’s encourages visitors to shop in its flagship store by issuing visitors a visitor’s card which entitles a visitor to an 11% discount on most merchandise. This visitor’s card can be obtained by showing your passport at the visitor’s desk located on the mezzanine floor just off the main floor which is interestingly called ‘the one and a half floor’.
Bang opposite Macy’s is yet another department store called Daffy’s but this is a department store with a difference as it features mainly high end designer clothes which may not be the of latest style but they carry deep discounted price tags. Daffy’s is always worth visiting for bargains such as cashmere sweaters which often have a price tag of only $49! No wonder Daffy’s, has a tag line that reads “Clothing Bargains for Millionaires”.
- The Manhattan Mall
A block away from Daffy’s is Manhattan’s only bona fide mall called the Manhattan Mall. The Mall has a large food court on the street level and many shops including a large toy shop called K.B.Toys and the only New York City store of the chain Steve and Barry’s through which, the actress Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex and the City fame sells her ready to wear stylish yet affordable line called ‘Bitten’.
Shopping day 2: Downtown Manhattan
- Discount designer shops in the Financial District
The second day of shopping could start with a trip downtown to another Mecca of discount designer shopping, The Century 21 store which is located on Cortland street between Church Street and Broadway in the heart of the financial district. This store is another favorite with tourists who throng its aisles for its many bargains in the home, apparel and accessories departments.
- A delicious brunch on Spring Street
After spending the morning in Century 21 one could head uptown towards yet another favored shopping destination in New York City, the always pulsating district of Soho. Located in Soho is the famous people- watching spot Balthazar, a delightful French bistro on Spring Street which is popular for its brunch and its bakery delights.
- Art and Designer shops in Soho
Soho has many mainstream stores along the stretch of Broadway such as the flagship store of Japanese retailer Uniqlo which is great for stocking up on basics. It also has unique individual stores on the adjoining streets such as Kirna Zabete on Greene Street which retails beautiful designer clothing and lifestyle products, The Museum of Modern Art Design store on Spring Street where one can find one of a kind unusual items to take home as gifts and The Apple Store on Prince Street. Designers Miuccia Prada , Marc Jacobs, and Catharine Malandrino are some of the many designers who have stand alone stores in Soho too.
Also located in Soho is an outpost of the famous uptown department store, Bloomingdale’s where one can find those coveted premium jeans in their large denim department which caters to most sizes and shapes.
The streets of Soho are especially alive on weekends when many young yet undiscovered local designers set up stalls on the streets in order to sell their unique usually hand crafted wares. The visit to Soho would probably wrap up your 48 hour shopping expedition to New York City. In order to discover all of New York’s shopping haunts one needs to comeback and spend some more time in this frantic energetic city.