Recently, I was blessed to be gifted a trip to New York. Yep. Gifted! It was quite literally the adventure of a lifetime for more reasons than one. A wonderful three week holiday, full of endless moments of pleasure across all realms the city has to offer. New York is simply a mecca of activity. Whether your thing is food, sights, big cities, shopping or just chilling out, New York could never disappoint.
Naturally being the lover of fashion I am, I could not wait to see Fifth Avenue and the shopping paradise which encompasses the surrounding blocks. Of course you don’t have to shop to be “in it” as far as fashion goes. New Yorkers are well known for their love of street fashion and on any given day, I could have pulled out my camera and shot away. The department stores are phenomenal mainly because of their size and their incredible choice and brand representation. Not to mention the incredible value for money which we are not quite as used to in this country. The fashion boutiques delight of course, particularly the most fancy on Fifth Avenue. Tory Burch, Anya Hindmarch, and Ralph Lauren were my absolute favourites and my mind is still able to revisit those magnificently fitted out boutiques in a most virtual way whenever the fancy takes me. They were nothing short of memorable and impressive.
If food and wine is your thing, then you will be delighted. New Yorkers love to have drinks and snacks, after work. The restaurants are busy hives of activity, and the cold weather did not seem to keep people away. They just don their magnificent cashmere coats, scarves and beanies and enjoy their city. And why shouldn’t they. What a city it is. There is simply no end to the culinary delights, and bar and pubs.
I will say if you decide to visit make sure that you take comfortable shoes, and a few of them, so you can alternate them. The city sprawls far and wide and there is much to explore. Walking is the best way to get around, and a knowledge of the subway is a great help. I found the subway to be an experience in itself. The sheer volume of people and of course the large cross section of ethnicity to be seen across New York city is fascinating in itself.
In my opinion, the must-sees for sightseeing, were Brooklyn bridge, Central Park, Midtown, Times Square, Grand Central station, Ground Zero (don’t forget the museum), and the Statue of Liberty. If you want to go up into Lady Liberty’s head, you will need to book three months in advance.
For shopping, I would recommend Bloomingdales. It offers a great selection of all designers, and is beautifully laid out and just a wonderful shopping experience. If you have lots to spend then visit Bergdorf Goodman, Fifth Avenue and Barney’s, Madison Avenue. I promise you you won’t be disappointed, but you will certainly be a lot poorer. Saks on Fifith Avenue and Bloomingdales, are also wonderful. Lord and Taylor also amazing. And of course Neiman Marcus and Macy’s.
If you are hunting for bargains, then head for Nordstrom Rack. A great selection of discontinued and slightly older collections at fabulous prices. I found one at Cortlandt Street, and one at Brooklyn.
My other favourites were the usual haunts, Zara and Uniqlo, on Fifth Avenue for fast fashion, and Club Monaco who offer a great selection for tall girls especially. Not inexpensive but certainly an interesting selection of items we don’t generally see here. I also visited Century 21 which I enjoyed immensely, however, just know that it is a hive of activity so don’t visit on a day when you are looking forward to a quiet and peaceful shopping day.
Remember to visit Henri Bendel for gorgeous handbags and in the event that you have no more room in your suitcase for another thing, remember that many businesses will be agreeable to shipping the item to Australia, or elsewhere, for a minimal charge. If you have a cool 5K at your disposal then don’t forget to stroll into Prada, my New York idea of heaven.
… That’s what I’ll be doing on my next visit.