Thursday, 2 May 2013

Boston and New York Part II

My first time ever to visit New York, I spent a large part of my time realising that I was by no means cool enough! Everyone here seems to have stepped right off the pages of a fashion magazine, well, except for the tourists that is. Apart from being marginally depressing, it was also hugely inspiring and I left with a head full of new style and decor ideas.
As I was in New York for just a few days, I only got to see a fraction of this vast city. There are uncountable vintage shops in New York and just as many blogs advising you as to which ones are the best... Here are a few I stumbled upon and really liked, but I'm in no way claiming to be an expert. 

If you are looking for high-end, designer and more expensive vintage, then Soho, East Village, and Nolita (for North of Little Italy) are great neighbourhoods to check out. 

Spotted: the gorgeous Andrea shopping at Ritual :)

I really liked Ritual Vintage, a tiny vintage boutique on Broome Street. The store has some very unusual pieces and an amazing selection of pre 1950s dresses. Definitely some rarities to be found in this one!

If you like it even fancier than that, then there's Frock just around the corner from Ritual. Set up by Evan Ross, former celebrity stylist, Frock offers designer and couture vintage dating from the 60's to the 90's for the stylish fashionistas of New York. Even if you can't afford them, it's great just to go and have a look at the fabulous pieces. 
Little Fox Cafe, pic from sollifestyle

Close by on Kenmare Street is the cozy Little Fox Cafe, where we thankfully stretched out legs (you end up doing a LOT of walking in NYC) and enjoyed a great cup of coffee while entertaining ourselves with people-watching. 

Not all the shops in lower Manhattan are fancy boutiques though. Head on over to East 11th Street and check out Buffalo Exchange. If you're on a budget, then this is the place for you! 

Opening the doors to its first store in 1974, Buffalo Exchange now has shops all over the US and there are four in New York alone. Similar to the Garment District in New York (see last post), they will buy your old clothes off you for store credit or cash. Buying 80% of their clothing directly from local customers makes this an incredibly sustainable and environmentally-friendly retail model. 
The selection of clothes is great too, with lots of good quality and designer second-hand ware at great prices. My sister almost had to drag me out of the shop!

Another part of the city you cannot miss out on is Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 

You can take the subway straight to Bedford Avenue and enjoy a stroll past numerous hip coffee shops, craft beer pubs, organic grocers and great vintage and second-hand shops. There's a Brookly Flea market here every Sunday from 10am - 5pm, which I would have loved to visit.

Just off Bedford Avenue, you will find the famous Beacon's Closet. Based on similar principles as Buffalo Exchange, Beacon's Closet buys and resells customers' vintage and modern clothing. The selection is a little less mainstream than in Buffalo Exchange and the focus lies more strongly on vintage. The shop is huge, with clothes organized by colour on rails. You need to be in the mood for digging, but with a selection like this one, you're bound to find something. Beacon's closet also donates left-over clothes as well as a portion of their profits to local charities. 
pics from Beacon's Closet Website
Another great place to check out is Amarcord Vintage. This funky boutique on Bedford avenue sells upscale vintage from the 40s to the 80s. The garments are beautifully presented and in immaculate condition. The shops beautifully styled and dressed mannequins are great if you need a little outfit inspiration

Monks Vintage is another inexpensive place to buy vintage and second-hand. Located on Driggs Avenue right next to the Williamsburg Buffalo Exchange, this shop has a thrift store feel to it and sells everything from clothing and accessories to vintage books and boots. Staff were very friendly here and the changing room is a red phone booth with a suitcase that gets put before the door for a lock!

New York can be a rather expensive place to stay, so one last tip of mine would be to check out airbnb, a website that lets you list, discover and book unique accommodations. We used it for the first time  and got to stay in a lovely apartment in the Upper East Side. It's more formal than couch-surfing and a great way to meet some locals. If you don't mind staying in someones place, then it might be something for you.

I'm sure I've missed out on tons of great placesWhat are your favourite shops and places in New York?

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