Get the bus out of the Port Authority building to Woodbury Mall about an hour out of NYC. All the top stores have outlets and if you thought Barneys, Century City et al were cheap wait till you see the fabulous prices at every store from Banana Republic, Gap, to Samsonite. It's not a cheap trip (probably £20 return) but if you have retail therapy on your mind it's a must do!
Williamsburg Brooklyn is home of the hipster and has so much affordable vintage available you can even buy it off the footpath!
I recommend this because it is a cheap way to buy vintage clothes and the stuffy musky smell of Thrift Store is not an issue. Shopping en plein air!
Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, New York
Google map: bit.ly/ciUaxI
The Wonka factory for tech fans.
Sure, you can buy your camera on Amazon these days but nothing beats talking to an expert on the technology, as you raid the shop's bowls of delicious sweets and marvel at the constantly-busy conveyor belts of merchandise above your head.
While you're at it why not pick up a clapper board, or a dive light, or maybe a green screen?
The owners are very orthodox Jews, so the store (and its website) will shut on Saturdays and Jewish holidays.
On production of your foreign passport (or copy of it) you will get a 10% discount off purchases at Macy's & Bloomingdales (excluding electronics & perfumes).
Ask any member of staff & they will tell you how to get the card.
In the respective stores you go to customer services to obtain the discount card which you present when making purchases.
This is not very openly advertised in store but every day 100s of people (if not thousands) obtain the discount card.
Steve Madden seems to be a shoe designer that you see everywhere in NY... However we found a Steve Madden shoe store that sold the shoes for a discount price - as low as $50 for two pairs.
100 Rivington St (on corner of Ludlow & Rivington street)
Lower East Side
New York, NY 10002
Round corner from Katz Deli.
Small family owned sweetshop on Lower East Side packed with every sweet you could imagine - and as the name suggests it's not that expensive.
Sells chocolate, candies, nuts, dried fruits including halvah as well as sugar free candy.
Still there since 1937.
108 Rivington Street (around corner of Ludlow street & Rivington Street)
New York, NY 10002
Lower East Side
Open Sun-Fri 9-6, Sat 10-5
A few minutes around corner from Katz Deli.
Girls have to give up a lot when they backpack in a thriving city like New York – think makeup, haircare, and comfortable beds! I can impart my sound knowledge and tips regarding female travel as well as recommending some good tricks when visiting the Big Apple!
You must leave any non-essentials behind. The last thing you want whilst away is trying to lug your heavy backpack from place to place, and struggling rather than enjoying the sights the city has to offer. If you must take makeup, take waterproof mascara and some lip gloss... that's it. Plus, New York has so many shops that you may have to end up posting things back home anyway.
Be savvy with the clothes you pack. Obviously make sure they are lightweight, but also things that can be worn in different ways are a good way to cut corners, I found long vests and tees that double up as little dresses very helpful. You will pick up lots of bits and pieces as you go round as there are so many little thrift stores, bookshops, and the more famous department stores to explore. Taking favourite jewellery or accessories is a definite no-no.
Also make sure you try out the sprawling subway network, but make sure to plan your route carefully so that at no point during the stay you find yourself in the dark on your own in an area you don't know.
This is a family owned army-navy store that has been around for 56 years. They are the largest dealer of Carhartt in the United States. They also specialise in a lot of other brands these include, but are not limited too Redwing, Dickies, 511, Surefire and Alpha industries.
452 Broadway Ave
New York, NY 10013
If you want to be down with the kids, Williamsburg in Brooklyn is where it's at.
Bedford Avenue, the epicenter, is accessible from Manhattan on the L subway line, or the ‘Hipster Line’ as it’s sometimes known (cringe).
It’s where New York’s art/music types congregate with the fashion victims and try-hards; if you intend to fit in, make sure you’re wearing a lumberjack shirt and thick-rimmed glasses. Or alternatively, a fedora and peyot – Williamsburg has a sizeable Hasidic Jewish community
If you’re looking for some tucker, avoid SEA on N 6th - it’s the worst Thai restaurant I’ve ever been to. Right across the street is the Sweetwater Tavern (105 N 6th St) - a pub-style affair with a mahogany bar, Guinness on-tap and good bistro food (the eggs benedict is delicious), all reasonably priced.
In fact, N 6th St is probably my favourite part of this district. Head east down this slightly barren, industrial urban chic street towards the river, and you’ll find multi-coloured spandex emporium American Apparel, a nifty indoor thrift market, a couple of pricey clothes boutiques selling local designers’ wares (the mark-downs during sale time are well worth stopping by for though), art spaces, and a gorgeous antique furniture store called Golden Calf. You’ll also find Williamsburg Music Hall and some great street art down here.
Two things you should know about Williamsburg before visiting:
1) it’s the home of Peaches Geldof
2) it’s ‘the most toxic place to live in America’, due to its higher-than-average incidence of cancer
I’ll leave it to you to decide which is worse...
Subway: L line (Bedford Ave station)
There isn’t anything you can’t find at this fantastic bargain store. Shopping for hours feels like minutes. It was the perfect place to update my much needed wardrobe with my wish list items and didn’t blow my budget. I couldn’t believe the amazing selection of designers at such a great price.
Union Square, 4 Union Square South,
40 East 14st, New York, NY 10003
I backpacked around Europe last summer and held onto my handbag for dear life at all times. As a poor student carrying around over 500 Euros, I couldn't take any chances. At one point I ran out of money and used my UK debit card to withdraw cash from an ATM, only to receive frantic calls from my bank to see who had been using my card at a bank in Rome.
This summer I made a similar trip around the US and I came across the concept of prepaid cards. I loaded my dollars onto it before I left and it was like having a local debit card. I could even withdraw cash from it at an ATM. When I ran out of money I just sent a text message to the card account and bought currency to put on the card in just two minutes. I think the card is also available in Euros.
It's now as much of a holiday staple for me as my sun tan lotion and flip flops.
New York City is THE city, it's got its reputation and it's always the one place I'm excited about visiting. Every visit is different and the city is constantly changing, there is so much to do and see!
It's one of those cities that on your first visit can be pretty daunting, so I thought I'd pop together a couple of tips that can help you on your first visit.
Leaving or Departing the City
JFK is normally my airport of choice but there's really not much in it. The easiest way into the city is to jump in a yellow cab, it costs a $45 flat rate, plus tips and tolls. Upon making your way to the taxi line you'll be offered all sorts of bus and limo services, ignore them, it's only the cabs that are properly licenced for this. You can of course also book your own car, I do this for the return back to the airport using Dial 7 who charge a decent rate and use fairly new sedans.
New York has so many hotels, so find one that's close to where you're going to be based. I normally use The London, which is well located on West 54th street, not far from the park and Times Square. It's a lovely new hotel with one of the best concierges in town. It's also home to Gordon Ramsey's restaurant, which is perfect for that dinner on expenses... But if you're paying yourself, go at lunch time, same food, half the price. Yum yum.
You could write a book on the places to eat in New York… in fact, hundreds of books are already out there, but for my money the top places for a business lunch or dinner are: Gordon Ramsey at The London, The River Café in Brooklyn, Prune for Brunch in The East Village and The Spotted Pig in the West Village. The Spotted Pig is probably the best Gastro Pub in New York, and a perfect places for fans of meat! The River Café has a simple but beautiful menu and offers incredible views over the river to downtown NYC… ask for a window table. Gordon Ramsey I've mentioned above and Prune is a delightful little local place that does THE best brunch in the city in my view... Complete with a huge menu of Bloody Marys. Get there early though or be prepared to wait an hour or so. Just down the road from Prune is Katz Deli which is always rammed and a classic NY food experience - give it a go.
If you're not too busy then why not pick up a jogging map from your hotel concierge and take a run round the park to stay in shape. I also love going to the Top Of The Rock at the Rockefeller Building, giving you stunning views of the city and especially usefully in getting to know it in your head if you’re a first time visitor. You can see where everything is and get a rough idea of distances. 5th Avenue is probably your best place for shopping with plenty of places to visit, including the maddening Abercrombie and Fitch which will give you a headache. But you can get your stuff much cheaper from there than in the UK. Department store-wise I find Bloomingdales always serves me best. Don't forget to go shopping in the village as well, Spring Street has some classic locations where you can find the most random of things. If you get a chance to see a Broadway show, rock up to the TKTS half price booth in Times Square and get into a show on the cheap. Spring Awakening seems to be one of the best shows on at the moment. And if you're there on a Friday you can pop into many of the big museums for free, MoMA being a great one to kill a few hours in.
The best thing about New York is that there is always something new, and it's the one place I've never got bored in despite many trips. So make the most of it.
RePOP is a treasure trove/vintage museum chock full of everything from mid-century modern furniture at cutting edge prices to marvelous curiosities like cast iron doll molds and retro figurine lamps.
Fabulous local artisan jewels line the walls as does the work of up and coming artists Ellie Balk and Dominic Albo. Before or after heading over to the much buzzed about Brooklyn Flea, located five blocks away, this well hidden boutique (with new merchandise arriving weekly) bears all the rarities and designer goods you ever needed to make your day of vintage/antique scavenging a success. Open six days a week and well worth the trip.
RePOP 68 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205 www.repopny.com.
Located near the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Clinton Hill/Fort Greene. The nearest train is the G or C at Clinton/Washington.
If you're trying to make sense of all the boutiques that New York has to offer, you might want to check out www.storeadore.com. It's the online shopaholic's bible! It contains profiles of all the best boutiques in New York and you can search several different ways and even make shopping maps for yourself. It's great for planning a day of shopping, but it also saved me a lot of time when I was travelling and just wanted to find a shop nearby that carried the boutique brands that I like. I highly recommend checking it out. They cover stores in other U.S. cities as well!
Fishs Eddy is a fantastic store near Union Square selling all sorts of good quality dinnerware and glassware at bargain prices. Stock includes unused items from restaurants and even cruise ships, as well as new designer items.
In the centre of China Town, this is where they sell loads of designer copies if you are into that. I got a Prada bag for $10. You must NOT accept the first price they offer, you need to haggle.
My bag started off at $30, I soon whittled her down. She wasn't happy but these people make a fortune. I also found fake Tiffany copies which were really good as I was wearing the genuine article and was able to compare.
Don't believe everything they tell you. I can only wear real silver and on various stalls they were telling me their jewellery was real silver and it wasn't, so you need to keep your wits about you. Great bargains to be had!
Unbelievable stock, preposterously cheap prices, gems from every era and amazing selection of jazz vinyl. Knocks all the overpriced stores in Manhattan into a cocked hat.
Easy to get to from New York City (about an hours journey) and a nice day out in leafy Princeton.
Hoboken is a mile square city best known, perhaps, as Frank Sinatra's birthplace. It also disputes Cooperstown, NY as being the birthplace of modern baseball. It is an eclectic, thriving community located directly on the Hudson River across from Manhattan, sporting amazing views from one of three riverfront parks.
The main street - Washington Street, hosts trendy and traditional cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops -a pleasing blend of the "old time" Italian and German Hoboken, and the gentrified new Hoboken.
Hudson Street, just two blocks from the river, is lined with elegant brownstones and mansions that once belonged to the rich and famous of NYC who sailed to Hoboken for a days' respite.
One can get Hoboken from NYC via the PATH train (subway from NYC to New Jersey), at Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, 9th, 14th, 23rd and 33rd streets.
A $2.30 bus ride (gate 205) from Port Authority Bus Terminal will take you to Washington Street, the main drag, and the 38th street and pier 11 ferries will give you a lovely ride across the Hudson River in a matter of minutes.
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