Harriett Blum Axler

When it comes to style, New Yorkers know where to find value.

Christine Ajudua
June 05, 2009

J.Press

Founded at Yale University in 1902, J. Press is known for selling menswear of exceptional quality. The 4,000-square-foot New York City store, located on Madison Avenue, is brimming with the brand’s signature preppy, Ivy League-appropriate men’s fashions. The stylish store features dark wood tables layered with crisp shirts and fashionable ties, while the remainder of the space is dedicated to trousers, suits, and sport coats for the "distinguished gentleman." In keeping with its New England heritage, J. Press also sells a selection of madras and seersucker items. Tuxedos and formalwear are available.

Antiques Garage

Who says there’s nothing good about an economic downturn? Manhattan’s beloved Antiques Garage, adored by legions of New York collectors, was slated for demolition but has been saved from the wrecking ball, at least for the foreseeable future. This bi-level concrete parking lot, unpretentious in the extreme, is a survivor from the days when this neighborhood was full of antiques venues. Though development has eradicated many of them, the 100-plus vendors in the Garage continue to offer everything from paintings to Puccis, spittoons to old Sears catalogues.

Hours: Saturdays and Sundays only.

Banana Republic

A nationally-known brand, Banana Republic is synonymous with luxurious, yet accessible clothing and accessories. Owned by clothing giant The Gap, Inc., Banana Republic has established itself as the retailer’s high-end brand. Each piece of clothing is made from the highest quality materials, such as silk and cashmere, and is modeled on classic design principles, lending a timeless, elegant feel and making the brand popular among shoppers seeking fashionable business or cocktail attire. Each of Banana Republic’s New York stores sells a selection of women’s clothing, menswear, handbags, and jewelry.

Macy's Herald Square

A New York City landmark, the Macy’s Herald Square store is a retail giant encompassing a city block and rising 10-and-a-half stories high. The store, founded in 1902, sells men’s and women’s fashions, housewares, and linens, but the iconic location also has a selection of souvenirs in the cellar, a visitor’s center on the balcony level, and personal shopping service on the third floor. One of the nation’s most historic retailers, Macy’s Herald Square was the first building in the world to have an escalator and serves as the final destination of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, founded in 1924.

Joe's Pub

One of The Big Apple’s most respected and well-attended music venues, Joe’s Pub opened at The Public Theater in 1998. The intimate space offers guests an up-close look at their favorite musical acts and creates a hip atmosphere with candlelight, lucite tables, and plush velvet couches. Throughout its history, Joe’s Pub has welcomed artists from virtually every musical genre, including Adele, Lady Antebellum, and Eartha Kitt. The venue serves a menu of Italian fare and cocktails to concertgoers enjoying their favorite artists perform.

Pier Antiques Show

The biannual Pier Antiques Show is a treasure trove for collectors, decorators, and designers. The show, held at Pier 94, attracts locals and celebrities with its extensive collection of antiques, including furniture and ceramics, from more than 500 vendors. Fashion Alley, which houses the show’s collection of vintage apparel, is a favorite with fashion-forward shoppers. Curious collectors can have items appraised by Gary Sohmers, who appears as a collectibles, memorabilia, and toys appraiser on Antiques Roadshow. (A small fee does apply for appraisals, but proceeds go to charity.)

Museum at FIT

A division of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, the Museum at FIT was founded in 1969 to exhibit and collect items related to all things fashion. The permanent collection includes more 50,000 pieces from designers like Balenciaga and Dior, and approximately 200 of these pieces are on display at any given time. The museum is composed of three primary galleries: the lower level, which is reserved for special exhibitions; the Textile History Gallery, which displays items from the permanent collection; and Gallery FIT, which houses student and faculty exhibitions. Guided tours are available.

Amarcord

Owned by Patti Bordoni and Marco Liotta, Amarcord Vintage Fashion is a chic Nolita boutique selling vintage European clothing from the 1940’s through the 1980’s. Each piece in the store’s inventory is procured on the owners’ seasonal European shopping trips. The store’s stark white shelves and racks are filled with colorful pieces from the likes of Gucci, Fendi, and Missoni, with stylish designer handbags and shoes filling out the selection. Amarcord’s high-end inventory has even earned the store a celebrity following, and notable clients include Julia Roberts, Debra Messing, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

UNIQLO

UNIQLO, one of Japan’s most popular clothing manufacturers, has made the Soho neighborhood home to its global flagship store and largest retail location. The brand, reminiscent of the Gap and J. Crew, focuses on providing shoppers with fashionable pieces made of quality materials (including cashmere and wool) at affordable prices. Pieces from UNIQLO’s men’s and women’s lines are simple, yet functional and are meant to be easily integrated into customer’s existing wardrobes and styles. The store itself promotes an enjoyable shopping experience; items are neatly folded and color-coded, so browsing is stress-free.

Star Struck Vintage Clothing

Located in the West Village, Star Struck Vintage Clothing is a family-run business specializing in vintage clothing and accessories from the 1930’s through the 1980’s. The store, founded in 1980, is packed with everything from vintage concert T-shirts to formalwear. Eagle-eyed customers may even find vintage couture pieces from such famous designers as Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent. Star Struck also sells a selection of board games, toys, and coloring books, many of which are still in their original packaging.

Hell's Kitchen Flea Market

The Annex Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market was founded by entrepreneur Alan Boss in 2003. The market is a merger of Chelsea’s popular Annex Antiques Flea Market, which joined in 2006, and the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market and is held every Saturday and Sunday on West 39th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues. Shoppers can browse offerings from more than 100 vendors, including antiques, vintage clothing, and furniture. From the Market, shoppers can also enjoy views of New York landmarks, such as the Empire State Building and The New Yorker Hotel.

Caracas

Caracas, located in the East Village, is an authentic Venezuelan eatery specializing in the arepa, a Venezuelan muffin made of corn flour and stuffed with a variety of fillings. The restaurant’s Manhattan location has a small dining area with exposed brick walls and tables pushed close together. Menu items include la pelúa, arepas stuffed with shredded beef and cheese, and reina pepiada, arepas filled with chicken and avocado. Side items, including fried plantains, make fitting accompaniments. The restaurant is also vegetarian-friendly, and tofu can be substituted for most meat fillings.

Zara, New York

This Spain-based fashion retailer is known for its designer-inspired, stylish clothing for men and women. Zara’s trademark is its well-fitting pieces and chic aesthetic, attracting shoppers in search of the perfect office wardrobe or the right piece for a more formal occasion. Inventory includes everything from dresses and suits to more casual items like jeans and T-shirts. The store also sells a line of accessories, including handbags and shoes. Thanks to celebrities like Duchess Catherine of Cambridge wearing items, Zara is becoming one of the most recognizable names in fashion-forward, relatively affordable retail.

Bryant Park

One of the city's most famous public spaces, Bryant Park dates back to 1686 and was renamed in 1884 in honor of New York Evening Post editor William Cullen Bryant. Plagued by crime in the 1970’s, the park has re-established itself, largely through the efforts of the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation, as one of the city’s most visited parks. The space is home to the main branch of the New York Public Library, and the lawn is a frequent lunchtime gathering spot for local professionals. Visitors also enjoy the carousel, chess and backgammon, and skating at Citi Pond in the winter.

PPOW

This eclectic art gallery was originally founded by owners Wendy Olsoff and Penny Pilkington in the East Village in 1983. After relocating twice, the gallery has found a home in Chelsea. P.P.O.W displays contemporary work by both national and international artists, with a special emphasis on works with a social or political slant, as well as paintings and sculptures. The gallery’s roster of artists includes Timothy Horn and Dotty Attie. Past special exhibitions have included Bo Bartlett: Paintings of Home and Ellen Kooi: Out of Sight.

Rockefeller Center

The creation of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Rockefeller Center was born during the Great Depression and has grown to become one of the city's most visited tourist attractions and thriving business hubs. Rockefeller’s vision for the plaza is reflected in its Art Deco architecture and inspired artwork, including the famous statues of Prometheus and Atlas. The complex is composed of 19 buildings, including the GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, home to the NBC Studios. Both the Top of the Rock observation deck and Radio City Musical Hall are also located within the plaza.

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