Category Archives: Shops

Take The N Train

Last night I left work and took the 6 train down to Union Square, where I changed for the N train to Brooklyn. It was the first time I’d crossed the East River since December, and I’m slightly ashamed to admit my motive this time was discount shopping mecca Target, but I needed cheap fairy lights for the garden. Anyway, as the train crossed the Manhattan Bridge I was treated to the awesome views looking south towards lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. The subway car was pretty crowded and I was pressed up against the door, and I even managed to record a short filmino. After I’d bought my lights (and stocked up on cereal), I got back on the train already excited at the prospect of enjoying the view a second time. It was almost 8 o’clock, the sky was darkening, and twinkly lights (not unlike those I’d just purchased) were dotted along the Brooklyn Bridge’s steel wires. I immediately recalled the scene in Ghostbusters when Ray and Winston are driving back across the Manhattan bridge in ECTO-1:

NYC & SJP

As New York braces itself for the release of the Sex and the City movie, could the city in question be generating a backlash already? The answer is a resounding yes if last week’s cover of Time Out is anything to go by. Thanks to some clever (if blatant) photoshopping the ubiquitous Carrie & Co. were rendered speechless by strategically-placed duct tape, while the headline read, “NO SEX! ENOUGH ALREADY–we love ’em, but it’s just too much. Inside: 1,965 ways to enjoy your New York, guaranteed Carrie-free.

Last weekend I went to Steve & Barry’s, located somewhere within the ghastly Manhattan Mall near Herald Square, but which happens to be the only store carrying Sarah Jessica Parker’s clothing line, Bitten. In giant billboards surrounding the store SJP claims that fashion should not be a luxury for the privileged few, which is why all Bitten items cost less than twenty dollars. Clearly word of this had got out by the time I arrived, as the actress/fashion icon’s attempt to please the masses had clearly backfired, leaving nothing more than the debris of scattered coathangers and empty shoeboxes.

Zabar’s Café

Located next to (but mysteriously with no public connection to) the Zabar’s store on the corner of Broadway and 80th Street, this café is not somewhere you should visit for great service or even great food. What makes Zabar’s Café such a fun experience is the unique public interaction. From students to parents to eccentric elderly Upper West Siders, you never quite know who you’ll get talking to at the large communal counter. On my first visit I spent an hour chatting with three middle-aged women, who seemed fascinated to hear about my life and my young foreigner’s view of New York. And if you don’t mind spreading your own cream cheese on your bagel, there’s really no better way to kill a half-hour on a Sunday afternoon. Listen out also for the hilarious live in-store announcements, which occasionally draw attention to exotic cheeses, but generally extol the virtues of Zabar’s own rye bread, as fresh batches are removed hot from the oven: “We feel it’s the best rye in Manhattan.”

Love Saves The Day

Love Saves The Day is a second-hand store on the corner of Second Avenue and 7th Street. I walk past it every day on the way to the subway. It sells clothes and toys and all kinds of pop memorabilia — it’s essentially a paean to 1980s fashions and culture. Today I discovered it’s the same store which featured in the Madonna movie Desperately Seeking Susan (1985). Some mix-up concerning a jacket and Rosanna Arquette if I recall. Probably the only half-decent film La Ciccone ever made, although it’s perhaps deservedly best remembered for this song: