If there’s a shortage at shoppers this holiday season, you couldn’t tell by the crowds in NYC. There were so many people in Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s flagship stores we could barely move through the aisles, and almost every one of those shoppers were carrying several shopping bags.
We were lucky to be there for Bloomingdale’s Private Sale. In addition to great values, Shoppertainment events were held all weekend. The cast from Broadway's “A New Musical” performed, as did the cast from “The Marvelous Wonderettes”. There were also appearances by designers, demos, makeovers -- you name it. Every floor crackled with excitement.
We visited lots of independent retailers in several sections of NYC. Most of them had something going on in their stores as well. It didn’t seem like it was business as usual: retailers were going out FOR business, and that’s a good thing.
We did Times Square and Rockefeller Plaza and the Holiday Bazaar at Bryant Park. We toured the Tenement Museum at 97 Orchard Street, a tenement apartment building that was built in 1863 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Being of Irish decent, we choose “The Moore Family Tour” and walked four flights to tour the restored home of the Moore family, Irish-Catholic immigrants who lived there in 1869. This October, First Lady Laura Bush presented the Tenement Museum with the 2008 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest honor America confers on Museums and Libraries. You need to experience this museum; it’s an eye-opener. Find out more about the Tenement Museum here: http://www.tenement.org/
We saw Liza Minnelli in concert in “Liza's At The Palace...!”. Our seats were orchestra level about 12’ from the stage. I don’t think the show was designed to be interactive but it was – Liza was amazing! We met so many great people – it was a par-tay. http://lizasatthepalace.com/
Saturday, we walked Canal Street – the blocks between Little Italy and Chinatown – where you find sidewalk stalls crammed with every designer knockoff you can imagine. I’m pretty sure the cashmere pasminas I bought aren’t really cashmere, but at six bucks a piece who cares? As we walked down the street vendors sidled up next to us whispering, "Tiffany, Tiffany, Tiffany ..." and “Coach, Coach, Coach …” We bit, and followed a crowd up the stairs into a building filled with room after room of counterfeit goods. And not very good ones; the last time I checked Coach did not trim its bags in vinyl. We didn't buy anything, but plenty of people did, because the stairs were filled with shoppers carrying black trash bags filled to the brim. Outside we ran into a woman in a full length mink coat, carrying an authentic Louis Vuitton bag and a Hermes shopping bag, accentuated with her black trash bag of knock-offs. Guess what the help is getting for Christmas this year?
Sunday was more sight-seeing and shopping before we headed off to the airport for home. There’s no place like New York City during the holidays. I can’t wait to do it all again next year!
P.S. For the first time in my life I experienced traveler rage on the plane ride home when the angry man sitting next to me lost his mind. This story is best told in person, so you're going to have to wait to hear about it in an upcoming seminar. Yikes.