TRAVEL: Retail therapy in the Big Apple
IN New York there is diverse and different architecture, mind-blowing museums and people with attitude. But there's also something else - cheap, expensive, different and a thoroughly enthralling shopping experiences, wrapped up in a satin ribboned box of history.
Yes, stretching between the marvels of Macy's to the glitter of Tiffany's and notoriety of Bloomingdales, is an eclectic range of curiosity, retro, vintage and everything else stores, many in the boroughs.
The lure of visiting what's known as the world biggest department store was too big for me to resist. I walked in and was greeted with a thumpy, bumpy blast of disco music. I looked up and there was the coolest looking African American woman doing the DJ thing on an upper floor. Sure put me in the mood for the ball breaking sale that went on over three floors. And if you're going to Macey's you must act like an American and wear your running shoes. Macey's in Herald Square covers an entire city block, has 11 levels, and encompasses more than 2 million sqr feet of retail space. You don't want to be caught out with wrong shoes.
At the store's beginning in 1902, it mightn't have been disco music bringing in the customers, but it could have been the escalator. Macey's Herald Square building was the first in the district to have a modern-day escalator. So if you can't face the shopping, there's plenty of history to get in touch with.
Thanks to the ladies from Sex in the City, Bloomingdales was on my bucket list. I can tell you it felt good to be part of this upmarket store and know that my refined taste was shared with global celebrities. As it turns out Bloomingdales, founded in 1861, is a chain of luxury department stores owned by Macy's.
And there's Tiffany & Co. This time it was visions of the gorgeous, elfin -like Audrey Hepburn in the classic movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's" that drove me into this magnificent granite and limestone, art deco inspired establishment. The world-renowned Tiffany & Co. store is at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. It opened its doors on for business October 21, 1940 and its style is as timeless as ever.
In Chelsea, a neighborhood on the West Side of Manhattan, another side of the diverse New York life is presenting itself in the form of op shops, vintage stores, art studios, curiosity and costume stores.
But this grungy atmosphere has also acted like a magnet for the bigger stores - Barneys CO-OP - which replaced the much larger original Barneys flagship store - Comme des Garçons, and Balenciaga boutiques, as well as being near Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Christian Louboutin. Chelsea Market, on the ground floor of the former Nabisco Building, is a destination for food lovers. Put aside at least one day for sightseeing tour of Chelsea.
Everything I have mentioned in this story only provides a minute snapshot of New York retail stores. Below I have added a few facts and figures that adds to the magic of New York retail.