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It's often said about New York City, that you could go there for two weeks and spend the whole time ''Just sightseeing'' or ''Just walking'' or ''Just SHOPPING". And it is true. The more time you have, the more you'll discover. No one area of Manhattan is deprived of high quality shops. Immediately one adds the words ''Manhattan'' and ''Shopping'' together, the answer usually equals Fifth Avenue... but don't be fooled. There's much more to shopping here than that, much more indeed than I could hope to mention on this page.
Like many of the worlds greatest cities, New York is a special shopping experience. How many times have you heard friends or work relatives say ''I'm off to New York this weekend for a shopping trip". My boss has been shopping there three times this year already and the rough guide below may help to understand why!
FIFTH AVENUE is without doubt, one of the most famous shopping places in the world. Some of the most famous names in fashion and jewellery are lined-up along each side. Armani, Rolex, Christian Dior, Tiffany and Co, Calvin Klein, Levis. Need I say more?
Then there's TRUMP TOWER on 5th between 56th and 57th streets, which houses goods for the most exclusive and expensive taste, around the first few floors of the gold decorated lobby that'll take your breath away. SAKS is one of the most elegant Fifth Avenue department stores. Even if you think Fifth Avenue is out of your price range, don't miss out on a browse!
BLOOMINGDALES on 3rd Avenue at East 59th Street is one of the city's favourite large department stores. It's open until 9pm Monday to Friday and until 7pm at the weekends. It's sophisticated and a hive of high fashion. Check out the caviar shop too. The store's not to be missed.
MACY'S on Broadway at West 34th Street takes up a whole block and proclaims itself as the largest store in the world. It claims to sell simply everything and to discover it's extremely well-stocked tn floors will take you a whole day.
BARNEYS NEW YORK has two branches selling designer clothes. There's a branch for men inside the World Financial Centre and another selling a greater range of goods on Madison Avenue.
FAO SCHWARZ is a dream of a toy shop. Whilst Hamleys in London's Regent Street may be the largest, this is full of children's gifts of every possible kind. There's also a branch of Toys R Us in Manhattan. If the crowds inside FAO Schwarz are more than you can cope with, visit the Children's General Store.
Bargain hunters looking for those same designer labels could, alternatively, head for the fashion district, along Seventh Avenue, between 30th and 39th Streets. But the most famous discount designer store has got to be Century 21 on Cortlandt Street, right next to the World Trade Centre. Syms, on Trinity Place, offers similar bargains. On Sundays, head for the Lower East Side where clothes, electronics and jewellery are attract large crowd to Orchard Street and Grand Street.
ARTS AND ANTIQUE hunters will probably be found looking for things to add to their collections in shops on the Upper East Side. A walk along Lexington, Madison, Colombus and Amsterdam Avenues will give you a good idea what's available. In Soho, some of the weirdest shops selling the most unusual gifts will turn-up some very interesting artefacts to take home. There are more antique shops on Lower Broadway. Home of probably the city's most exclusive antique stores is 57th Street.
SOUTH STREET SEAPORT has its own shopping centre at Pier 17, selling, well, all sorts of things, including designer labels. And it's here where, again, it's possible to find the most delightful and unique gifts, with a mostly nautical theme.
GREENWICH VILLAGE cannot be ignored either, if you're a fan of unusual shops, flea markets and bookstores.
BATTERY PARK at Manhattan's southern tip is where you'll be approached more than once by young men carrying briefcases stuffed with fake watches.. Rolex and all. Numerous stalls sell the usual collection of T shifts, sweatshops and baseball caps with "New York" all over them.
Without listing every single shop in this guide -- which would be impossible -- the above should keep you going for a long time. New York really is a shoppers heaven. On the way to or from any of the shops listed above, you're bound to stumble across many more stores which take your fancy. Remember that inside all the main attractions, museums, art galleries and stations, more shops will provide more temptation. Manhattan's shopping experience is something that is bound to satisfy virtually every taste. Above all, you don't need to spend a fortune to come away with some quality purchases!