“I like my money where I can see it – hanging in my closet,” quipped Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. As the fashion capital of the U.S., New York City is in a league of its own, making it easy to make sure your wallet leaves a little lighter than when you came.
The question then isn’t what you’ll buy, but rather where. You’ll find top name designers and high-brow window displays begging to be gawked at.
If you head south to Nolita (north of Little Italy) and roll your shopping experience into Soho, there’s no shortage of one-of-a-kind shops and cute boutiques to keep you busy for days. Or, if you’re looking to get a little quirkier, head across the Williamsburg Bridge to this hipster haven where you can pop into cheese shops, vintage stores and pick up a cup of joe at one of the many neighborhood cafes.
Although Brooklyn and Manhattan were once pegged against each other, Brooklyn has slowly edged the island out and fully grabbed hold of the “cool” title. Extremely hip and fashionable, the streets of Williamsburg have an impressive array of street murals and art. Hipsters congregate here, whether they are composing a song in a trendy cafe or scouring flea markets and food bazaars. For vintage clothing or local independent stores, even Manhattanites have to admit that it is worth making it over to Brooklyn. Ignore the chains and try something different, like Desert Island, a must for any comic book nerd.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: It’s the new East Village and the streets are dotted with fun shops, cute cafes and low-key dive bars.
Courtney’s expert tip: On summer Saturdays, Smorgasburg takes over a parking lot near the water. It’s the perfect place to try some new noms.
With a name like the Meatpacking District, it is somewhat surprising that this New York neighborhood is now a glamorous location. Once the headquarters of the meat industry, this area has been transformed completely (but former meat lockers and meat packers still remain). At the corner of Ninth Avenue and 14th Street, you’ll see the high tech Apple Store, mobbed day and night. The cobblestone streets are home to all the latest designer boutiques, Jeffrey, Stella McCartney, Catherine Malandrino. In addition, you will also find the hippest hotels and fantastic restaurants. Whether you are a fashionista or a foodie, the Meatpacking District has you covered.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: It’s a place to see and be seen. Models mob the streets and cool crowds are everywhere.
Courtney’s expert tip: To take in views of the city, grab a drink at Le Bain located at the top of the Standard Hotel.
NoLita, (North of Little Italy), was once the tenement filled home base to thousands of immigrants who came to New York for a better life. Now, chic and super cool, the streets are filled with one-of-a-kind boutiques, shoe stores, jewelry vendors and quirky style setters of downtown. Artist driven boutiques are a joy for browsing or purchasing unique pieces that will add flair to any wardrobe. From socially responsible children’s clothing to thrift store jewels, NoLita is the rare combination of fashionable and friendly. Narrow streets are charmingly old-fashioned and ideal for people-watching in one of the many independent cafes.
Madison Avenue from 59th street to the 90’s is home to Tom Ford, Giorgio Armani , Calvin Klein, Luca Luca, Hermes, Carolina Herrara and almost every high fashion designer. Hotels like the Mark, Pierre and the Carlyle, where major celebrities and other dignitaries stay, are super luxurious. Once synonymous with the New York advertising world, it is now just as recognized for its wealth and unparalleled shopping opportunities. Numerous art galleries and the Whitney Museum are an art lover’s dream. Outdoor cafes are plentiful and populated with the jet-set who lunch in between their spa and salon visits. You will see celebrities, as this is where they shop. Just look for the limo and driver outside Barney’s.