Anticipating Rude New Yorkers? Not in Lower Manhattan! Plus Discount Designer Shopping.

September 12, 2006 at 7:08 pm 4 comments

Contrary to the longstanding stereotype, the New Yorkers we encountered in Lower Manhattan were far from rude. Maybe it’s because the streets there are not a jumble of traffic. Maybe because it’s an artsy area, an ethnic area, a less-frazzled area? Maybe people there are just nice. We asked for Bazzini's on Greenwich Street -- a fruit, nut, sandwich and gourmet shopdirections a number of times. Each person stopped to help us. One got off his bicycle. A woman walking past me — as I stood like a tourist gazing down a TriBeCa street — turned around to check if I needed directions. Cabbies were helpful — gave us the tip about the fSome Orchard Street shops are trendy. Others take you back to grandma's day.ree ferry. Even store clerks were friendly and gracious. We like Lower Manhattan and would certainly visit again — there’s so much more to see and do.

Discount Designer Shopping
If you like genuine designer clothes, purses, shoes and fragrances, be sure to spend time at Century 21 on Cortlandt Street across from Ground Zero. It’s a multi-story full-line department store (rated #1 discount clothing store in NYC by the Zagat survey) that sells everything at a significant discount. Designer goods are quite expensive — even when they’re discounted up to 70%. But they are nice. Dozens of people crowded the huge purse department combing through designer purses — real designer purses. Prices were definitely higher than Canal Street, but the goods were also genuine.

I found the cosmetics department to be a real deal. High-end fragrances like Dior are sold at a discount every day. And they give you $5 store coupons to use in other departments. I bought two designer fragrances at a discount and got $15 to spend on something else. Not bad.

Orchard Street
97 Orchard Street -- Tenement Museum (Photo courtesy of Thom Gilbert)We stopped at a couple of shops on Orchard Street south of Houston — didn’t Rogarshevsky family apartment, 1918. (photo courtesy of Battman Studios)have much time there. But we did take in the Tenement Museum which was most worthwhile. Puts the immigrant situation (from the 1800s until now) into perspective. The same tiny tenement Levine family apartment/garment shop in 1897. (Photo courtesy of Battman Studios)apartments — TINY –now rent for $2,000 – $3,000 a month. No central air and windows in only one room of the apartment.

Broadway Theatre
The Nova Scotia ladies Ginny and I met in the shuttle on our first day also advised us to stop at a theatre box office a couple of hours before the performance to get the best prices. We chose the Imperial Theatre off Times Square. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Lucie Arnaz and Keith Carradine. $40 for virtually the last row in the balcony — but they were good seats. Apparently you can get “standing room only” for $20 at some theaters.

NEXT: Get Away to San Antonio

NY SALES: 11/9/06 Check out these November/December sales on Budget Fashionista!

1) Check out Orchard Street.
Lots of trendy shops plus old-fashioned fabric stores filled with bolts of decorator materials.

2) Subways Are an Option. You don’t have to cab it around town. If you prefer, take the subway. It’s cheaper and fairly easy to use, though I prefer walking and cabs.

3) TriBeCa is Art. The area is filled with more than 60 art, design and antique shops.

4) ABC Carpet and Home Store. Be sure to visit this Web site — I got the link from Fly Away Cafe and checked it out. This store will be on my “must do” list on my next NYC trip. It appears to be around 19th and Broadway (the real Broadway), just north of the Greenwich Village area.

What would you recommend? A shop, museum, gallery or restaurant? Any tips on getting theatre tickets? Had good experiences on the subway? Click on “Comments” below to share your thoughts.

Tenement Museum Photo Credits:97 Orchard Street facade — photo courtesy of Thom Gilbert. Levine and Rogarshevsky apartments — photos courtesy of Battman Studios.

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Entry filed under: New York City.

Did You Ever Lose Your Hotel? Stroll San Antonio’s Winding River Walk

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Judith A. Nicholas  |  September 13, 2006 at 11:42 pm

    Manhattan is a great “walking” city. Wear comfortable clothing; not everyone there stillettos. Walk Westside Drive-beautiful green spaces & great views. In addition, I found the Grayline Tours to be very convenient. I bought a two-day, unlimited opportunities to get on & off. They have “night” tours, as well. See something that interests you? Get off to do some extra exploration. Then wait for the next tour bus & go to the next stop. Or take the tour as organized. Either way, it’s a lot of fun, safe, hassle-free. Tour bus are plentiful & timely. It was a very efficient way to see a lot of the city.

  • 2. tish  |  September 14, 2006 at 2:17 pm

    Judith — West Side Drive was beautiful. I believe that is the road with the Trapeze School in the big circus-like tents. I think I’ll take your recommendation and try the Grayline tour next time. It would give you a good overview of the city and and help you decide where you want to visit.

  • 3. Chiyoko Bermant  |  September 14, 2006 at 3:23 pm

    Get several of PASHMINA showls ($5.00 each) at the street vender – incredible color selection. “Elements of Style” (by Wendy Wasserstein) talks about it in the book. It is a steal and great gift for Christmas!

  • 4. Jocelyn  |  October 9, 2006 at 4:14 pm

    Classic or cliche, it’s still the best attraction in the Big Apple: Central Park. I love walking through this park in any season. It’s a reprieve from the traffic and street noise and a perfect urban oasis. It’s also great for people walking, picnics when weather permits, and photo ops. NYC is great for a girls getaway.


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