An undisputed fashion capital, New York is the shopping hub that never sleeps. Choc-full with every spending opportunity under the sun, this vibrant city is the place to be, whether it’s for high-end glamour, quirky finds or everyday objects. And with its spectacular January sales fast approaching, what better excuse to make a flying visit?
But where to splurge? Sandwiched between Central Park and Rockefeller Center, iconic thoroughfare Fifth Avenue remains the twinkling jewel in Manhattan’s wealthy Upper East Side crown, with revered jewellers Tiffany and Co. and Cartier situated alongside opulent department stores Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel.
For those lighter of pocket, Midtown Manhattan, encompassing the blinding lights of Times Square, appeals to the masses, with giant department store Macy’s drawing in the region’s crowds. If 10 floors of merchandise doesn’t tickle your fancy, be sure to check out the store’s houseware section, The Cellar, thought to be the best in the city.
Head West for a real bargain though, and a taste of gritty New York charm, to Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, a fast-expanding fair boasting 170 vendors selling everything from clothes to furniture to antiques. Located near to the Hudson, the area was once home to several of the Irish American Mob, though is now more likely to house the city’s actors, due to its proximity to Broadway.
Another area of gentrified cool, SoHo plays host to the young and fashionable. Having experienced a flourishing art scene in the 1970s and 80s, the one-time ‘industrial wasteland’, and neighbouring Tribeca, now cater to the creative tastes of their residents and visitors, with a plethora of art galleries and book shops. Dip into The Mysterious Bookshop for a fantastical read, or visit O K Harris to experience artist Ivan Karp’s Super-Realist work in one of SoHo’s oldest galleries. For a piece of SoHo retro-cool, try much-loved vintage store What Comes Around Goes Around, a favourite with magazine stylists.
Home of a cutting-edge music scene during the 20th century, West Village (or Greenwich Village) is still a relatively progressive part of the city – music, poster and T- philadelphia phillies hawaiian shirt shops denote the Village’s colourful history. While you’re here you can have a bop in the House of Oldies, a vinyl-only record store, or find your way into Generation Records, which sells used and new music, focussing on hardcore, metal and punk. On an entirely different note, a Saturday visit to Murray’s Cheese Shop will get you a free tasting of some of the store’s impressive 300 cheeses.
And there are, of course, a veritable encyclopedia of world famous stores in the city, from Bloomingdales to Saks, Century 21 to Prada. And if that’s not enough to whet your appetite for a bite of the Big Apple, just think of the January reductions.
write by Gregory