Canal Street in NYC is probably intimidating for the average shopper, especially the first time. Vendors rent the smallest spaces and cram it full of merchandise and they are also on the street selling out of brief cases, suit case and under their jackets. It is like walking through Heckler's Paradise, they are screaming out brand names, jumping in front of you with products and changing their prices on the spot. People are pushing, police are chasing unlicensed vendors down the street, and "spotters" are on walkie-talkies.
What are people shopping for? Knock Offs....the best knock offs around. There are a variety of levels of quality of knock offs: the lousy imitations (Gucci "G"s are backwards or are shaped poorly, Coach "C"s are not facing each other, pleather vs leather, Made in China labels are inside, Rolexes must be wound up, Tiffany Jewelry is cheap silver, the DVDs are of poor quality and often someone has sat in the last row of the theater videotaping and you see other's heads, Channel sunglasses are cheap plastic, etc) and then there are the good imitations (parts are stolen from businesses and are probably assembled in sweat shops) and then there are the good 'ol stolen goods ("that fell off the back of the truck") that are priced quite higher, but much lower than at the brand name stores.
I am guilty....I purchase the good stuff...and I enjoy the haggling. I have followed Asians down into the bowels of Chinatown for a good Coach totebag and I have climbed four flights of stairs for a "to-die-for Prada", and this time I sat in the back of a running VAN for 4 purses. I know, I could have been kidnapped, but my reasoning is this: the people are trying to make a living and they certainly do not want to murder or kidnap anyone and tarnish the community. I know, I am crazy!
So, then I went uptown to FAO Schwartz to buy Carter a present
And inside I spied a large soldier made of jelly beans:
Out on the street you can smell chestnuts roasting and pretzels - and the pretzels are delicious!
And then I strolled through the garment district. M and J Trims is the best place to buy any type of button, fringe, ribbon, and trim.....
and back up to the theater district....
which brought me to Times Square. There is so much energy there that you can't help to just sit and people watch.
The Naked Cowboy is often singing in this area, however I didn't see him this time. He is always entertaining!
And then downtown to Macy's, another great place to shop and "people watch"
And of course, the Yankee Store to buy my husband a few Christmas presents (yes, I am planning ahead this year)
I shopped and I walked til I dropped......Tomorrow I will post about the buildings and a few interesting people I saw....