New York Shopping Guide
You certainly don't need to hear it from us that shopping in New York City is a marathon and not a sprint. It's simply not possible to shop all the trending spots in New York City on a short weekend excursion or even a full week long trip. You'll need to prioritize where you want to shop in New York and what it is that you can't live without when you venture home from you trip to New York. Here's a list of the most popular New York City Shopping areas and NYC shopping districts so that you can try to come home with what you want!
Welcome to Greenwich Village. This is an area worth exploring for its hidden stores and treasures.
Surviving the World Trade Center attack, "New York's Best Kept Secret," Century 21 is the department store where you can find some of the best bargains in the city with 15 departments of top quality and designer merchandise at 40% to 70% off retail prices!
a wonderland of toys! 767 Fifth Avenue (58th St.)
Upon entering FAO Schwarz, you are greeted by the 3-story clock tower singing "Welcome to Our World of Toys." The adventure is about to begin! Frederick August Otto Schwarz opened his "Toy Bazaar" in NYC in 1870. His prosperous business finally brought him to 745 Fifth Avenue, across the street from this location where Bergdorf-Goodman Men's Shop is now located.
Woodbury Common Premium Outlets
498 Red Apple Court
Central Valley, NY
Over 220 designer stores populate this hamlet of shopping in upstate New York. Located about 1 hour from Manhattan, Woodbury Common is a shopaholic's dream - designer clothing at bargain prices.
Just around the corner from Midtown hotels, many of the world’s greatest retailers lure sophisticated shoppers.
1000 Third Avenue
(between 59th & 60th Streets)
that New York institution at Lexington Avenue and 59th Street, is perhaps the city’s most trendsetting department store. Dating back more than a century, Bloomie’s is invariably packed with shoppers. In the sixties and the seventies, the store catered to young, affluent Eastsiders, but soon shifted its emphasis from merely reflecting Eastsiders’ taste to actually setting it. Nothing much has changed today — except for Bloomingdale’s even loftier heights of savvy.
In busy Herald Square, the intersection of Broadway and Sixth Avenue at 34th Street, stands one of NYC's most famous icons of shopping - Macy's Department Store.
Since 1902, Macy's Herald Square is one of the last turn-of-the-century department stores in existence.
Saks Fifth Avenue
611 Fifth Avenue (at 50th Street)
One of the most famous retailers in the world, this elegant department store has been dressing the well-heeled since 1902.
Remember those long-ago lyrics praising Fifth Avenue’s Easter parade? “On the avenue, Fifth Avenue, the photographers will snap us. . . .”? This grand avenue, from the mid-Thirties to the low Sixties, captured American imaginations earlier this century as a household word connoting elegance. Today, the most prestigious names in fashion, including Tiffany and St. John, still line the thoroughfare. You’ll find a wide variety of shopping choices, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Henri Bendel, Bergdorf Goodman and Trump Tower, in addition to landmarks such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Center. Near here is the world-renowned Christie’s Auction House. Also on the Avenue are Wempe’s, The NBA Store and Michael C. Fina. Extensive renovations at Saks have added new sparkle to the historic building, and Henri Bendel, always elegant, is now in its opulent new quarters at 55th Street. The pretty vest-pocket parks and atriums nearby are delightful havens where you can sit and rest while soaking up the atmosphere.
Come to New York and relax? But of course. Browsing is a joy in this Midtown neighborhood, where scores of bookstores and galleries line the blocks just off Fifth Avenue. Can’t live on books and art alone? The shops on 57th Street, from Second to Seventh avenues, offer plenty of alternatives — antiques, fashion, jewelry and crystal, all state-of-the-art themselves. You’ll recognize Burberry, Chanel, Hermès, Escada, Ann Taylor and Charivari, among others. Would you expect less from a street whose most prestigious edifice is Carnegie Hall? In addition to the Russian Tea Room (as much a New York icon as Carnegie Hall), several hip restaurants rev up the pace of this creative district.
Park Avenue and Environs
On Park Avenue, that strip of well-trimmed greenery — hardly a park, but enough of one to justify the avenue’s name — and those gleaming towers and grand apartment houses belie an underlying truth. The tracks of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s New York Central Railroad run right down the center of it, underground and out of sight, of course. Above ground, the only track in evidence is the fast-track of this elegant boulevard and its environs. A haven of antique and art galleries, Park Avenue shops also offer apparel, jewelry, luggage, electronics, china and more. One of many notable boutiques is Scully & Scully. Neighborhood landmarks include the fashionable Waldorf=Astoria, with its art deco design, and the remarkable St. Bartholomew’s Church, where Sunday concerts provide a great opportunity to check out the interior of the magnificent building.
All That Glitters
The pace — and the pulse — quickens on 47th Street, between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas. In the Diamond District, dozens of old-world jewelers deal in diamonds, precious stones and metals of all quality levels.
New York’s renowned designer showrooms, open only to the trade, are found on Seventh Avenue between 34th and 42nd streets. This intriguing aspect of New York’s fashion industry is worth a look.
At 39th Street, just down Seventh Avenue from Times Square, a statue of a tailor at a sewing machine marks the entrance to the Garment District, the largest area for clothing manufacture in the United States. The energy here is great — racks of clothes and trolleys overflowing with bolts of cloth are wheeled in and out of buildings, across roads — and sometimes almost over pedestrians! The Fur District (between 27th and 30th streets) is its own bustling enclave of activity where rich furs and pelts add to the opulence.
Macy’s, on Herald Square at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and West 34th Street, is one of the world’s largest, most famous department stores. People expect to be able to buy anything at Macy’s — and they very nearly can. For a top-notch shopping center, the Manhattan Mall, on Sixth Avenue and 33rd Street, can’t be beat. Its seven levels and 90 specialty shops offer yet another opportunity for a satisfying shopping experience. You may recognize the exterior of the building as the venerable Gimbel’s, Macy’s chief competitor for 80 years.
Shopping is at its best in the lovely residential neighborhoods on the east and west sides of town, from 58th to 98th streets.
Upper East Side
A bastion of elegance, Madison Avenue is so fashionable, so chic, so continental that even its renowned advertising agencies have a hard time describing it. This delightful thoroughfare is easily on a par with the Rue du Faubourg in Paris. The most prestigious names in fashion make their home here — Ralph Lauren, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani and Gianni Versace, to name a few, along with elegant Barneys, which carries many of the famed lines. Art galleries, neighborhood boutiques and cafes also line the avenue.
Lexington and Third
Full of interesting shops and cafes, these avenues bustle with local residents frequenting neighborhood boutiques and restaurants. The Citicorp Center (153 E. 53rd St. and Lexington Ave.) is where you’ll find Houston’s, Barnes & Noble, Market Café, Citibank ATMs and more.
Upper West Side
If you head north along Columbus Avenue from Lincoln Center (at West 65th Street) into the seventies and low eighties, you’ll discover the sights, sounds and shopping delights of this lively area. The revitalized thoroughfares of Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway, as well as Columbus, offer lovely small shops, antique galleries, toy stores, children’s apparel and more. You’ll be in good company if you stop here for a cappuccino at one of the cafes, browse in some of the excellent bookstores, or plan dinner at any of the scores of good restaurants. And speaking of gourmet food, a cornucopia of outstanding delicacies from patés to fresh baked goods spills forth at Zabar’s, an Upper West Side landmark.
The latest trend in shopping occurs year round at Manhattan’s popular indoor/outdoor flea markets and city-sponsored farmers markets. Check out the Greenflea Flea Market (212-721-0900) on Saturday on the East Side at E. 67th, between First and York avenues (6 a.m. to 6 p.m.); on Sunday, on the Upper West Side, Columbus Avenue at W. 77th Street (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Merchandise runs the gamut from antiques and collectibles, books, prints and records to Hollywood and American memorabilia, crafts and more.
No area of New York has increased in style, ambience and popularity in recent years as has Lower Manhattan, now at the cutting edge of art, fashion and dining.
Wonderful old buildings are the order of the day on and around Fifth Avenue from 14th to 23rd streets — and the good news is they’re brimming with one-of-a-kind shops and unusual merchandise.
West of the Flatiron District, this neighborhood is the home of the city’s main flower market, so sidewalks can sometimes take on the appearance of lush gardens. And there’s a lot going on in addition to the roses: A new generation of entrepreneurs is converting the stately buildings of old into trendy boutiques, making Chelsea a new must-see on any New York City shopping tour.
In the West Village, tree-lined streets are home to fine and funky boutiques, and popular restaurants and clubs that cater to a young, hip crowd. On the major shopping streets — Bleecker, Broadway and Eighth — you’ll find everything from antiques to trendy fashions. The human-scale architecture and pleasant jumble of building styles add to the “village” feel of this easy-going community. At Washington Square, students from nearby New York University mingle with local residents.
The neighborhood South of Houston Street (hence the acronym SoHo) is a favorite haunt of locals and visitors alike — the magnetic energy of West Broadway, the so-called Fifth Avenue of SoHo, is hard to resist. And on Spring, Prince, Greene, Mercer and Wooster streets, avant-garde fashion, art, lifestyle galleries and restaurants are housed in handsome buildings from the 1850s. The newest neighborhood landmark, the Guggenheim Museum’s SoHo branch, is located at 575 Broadway in a redbrick structure that maintains the original cast-iron storefront façades.
Another neighborhood with an acronym, TriBeCa (the Triangle Below Canal Street) rates raves for ambience. Loft living here combines with light commercial activity, and the area abounds with boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. Canal Street, which marks TriBeCa’s northern boundary, is a bustling casbah of bargain retail outlets.
Welcome to the largest Chinese community outside the Orient and a delightful cross-cultural experience. Chinese, Thai, Malay, Burmese and Vietnamese nationals all call this area home. On Mott Street, small specialty stores abut restaurants, and street vendors abound. More than 200 restaurants are here in New York’s most ethnically distinctive neighborhood.
Mulberry Street north of Canal is lined with shops selling wonderful Italian foods — and that’s not to mention the superb Italian restaurants in the neighborhood. Probably the greatest concentration of regional cuisine outside Italy is here — let your nose guide you.
Lower East Side
The shops and emporia of the Lower East Side offer a glimpse of New York’s immigrant roots. In the bargain district encompassing Orchard, Grand, Delancey and the adjoining streets, more than 400 stores and boutiques offer designer fashions and famous-maker merchandise at large discounts. On Sunday, bargain hunters descend in a retail frenzy to paw through the discount merchandise — an only-in-New York experience.
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