by Kathryn Hall
From SoHo to Fifth Avenue, Nolita to Williamsburg in Brooklyn—New York neighborhoods have something for every shoppers taste and budget.
The Vikings have Valhallathe Greeks, Mt. Olympus.
Shoppers have New York.
From $1 Ts that may or may not dissolve in the washer to world-renown couture, in this city the rabid or casual shopper can find any and every thing. A Guided Shopping Tour can help you locate hidden gems.
To aid in the formation of a buying battle plan, we offer a little information on a few of New York's best shopping neighborhoods:
Even the heartiest shopper could literally shop to the point of dropping in this South of Houston Street neighborhood. She or he would be found penniless and buried under bags bearing the logos of Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood, and Diesel.
Also known for its art galleries, this neighborhood is home to the shops of many important designers like Betsy Johnson (138 Wooster St.), Cynthia Rowley (112 Wooster), Marc Jacobs (163 Mercer), and Anna Sui (113 Greene St.).
On weekends the streets are packed with thin, thin, tall, tall regulars who manage to crowd the street despite their dimensions.
In addition to designer boutiques, you will also find the likes of Banana Republic (528 Broadway), American Eagle (575 Broadway), and Bloomingdales SoHo (504 Broadway; THE Bloomingdales is in the Upper East Side).
Ooooh, and don't miss designer discount heaven Daffy's! There are seven Daffy's locations in Manhattan, including one at 462 Broadway. It is the answer to the stylish but budget-restrained person's prayers.
Fifth Avenue (Midtown)
Shopping along this street in midtown is not for the faint of purse. In winter, one is surrounded by enough fur on 5th Avenue to think she's in Moscow.
Jewelry flaunting is seasonless. Saks (611), Bergdorf Goodman (754), and Tiffany's (727) are not to be missed if only as tourist destinations. Gucci (685) and Prada (724) are there, too.
In addition to Tiffany's, jewelry shoppers/worshippers will be happy to know Italian jeweler Bulgari is nearby at 730 and Cartier is not too far away (653).
If you dare to try something on after cramming your face full of cannoli in Little Italy, head up Mulberry Street, north of the aforementioned Italian neighborhood into NoLIta. The giant, smiling monkey face flag at the Paul Frank store welcomes you where Mulberry meets Kenmare Street. Welcome, indeed, to boutique-ville.
Australian designer Tracy Feith offers bright prints and corsets at 209 Mulberry. Saeyoung Vu's window display of elegant, sleek wedding and formal dresses will stop even the most distracted stroller (214 Mulberry). The well-tailored menswear at Seize Sur Vingt (243 Elizabeth Street) is as classy as you would hope for from a place with a cool Frenchy name.
Don't forget about Brooklyn. A quick ride on the L and you are deposited at Bedford Avenue, out from which radiates hipsterdom in all its glory.
To be both trendy and thrifty, visit Beacon's Closet (88 N. 11th St. between Berry and Wythe) where lovingly used clothing is bought and sold. Whether you need a T to advertise the L or a messenger bag with the borough's name emblazoned across it, Brooklyn Industries at 162 Bedford has all of your Brooklyn-boasting needs.
The Realform Girdle Building (Williamsburg Mini Mall at Bedford between North 4th and 5th Streets), is one-stop shopping for in-style clothing, people-watching, and cheese. This mini, mini mall includes several boutiques, as well as a book store, internet access, and a coffee shop.
Shopping pilgrims also won't want to miss Macy's (151 West 34th St.), vintage shops in the East Village, and Barney's in the Upper East Side (660 Madison Ave.) Those who aren't claustrophobic might risk a trip to the diamond district (47th Street between 5th and 6th avenue) where over 1,000 dealers pack the block.
One great way to visit many of New York's top shopping neighborhoods is to take a Hop-on Hop-off double decker bus guided tour. You'll be able to hop-off and shop as long as you want then hop-on another bus to continue your guided tour to the next shopping opportunity. You can find great bargains and unique fashions on a Guided Shopping Tour.
Slideshow—all photos on this page
Website and all photos copyright © 2001–2016 Lee W. Nelson