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Hotel/Shopping and a non-touristy NYC experience wanted...

Hotel/Shopping and a non-touristy NYC experience wanted...

Jun 5th, 2007, 11:58 AM
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Hotel/Shopping and a non-touristy NYC experience wanted...

Staying in NYC for about 2 nights in July. Meeting a good friend & we are interested in experiencing the more "real", interesting & NON TOURISTY parts of the city (E.G. Greenwich Village) and doing some shopping.

HOTEL- We'd like to stay in a good location for visiting the following shopping areas:
NoLita (Mulberry & Mott streets)
Vilage (west end of Bleeker)
East Village (St.Marks, Avenue A

**I realize that it may not be possible to be centrally located to all of these places, so suggestions for boutique or luxury hotels would be helpful.**

SHOPPING-just a few questions

Is Soho all chain stores and touristy OR are there streets that have non-chain stores & unique shopping? If so, what streets?

Is the Lower East Side mostly high end shopping (definition: Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo)? Or is there a mix of stores? If so, what areas?

Suggestions to other good shopping areas? Not interesting in Bloomingdales or Macys etc.

Thank you so much!
picture_girl is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 12:47 PM
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I hate to tell you this, but areas such as Greenwich Village hardly qualify as "non-touristy"!
HowardR is online now  
Jun 5th, 2007, 01:00 PM
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Thanks for the info Howard. Can you recommend areas/neighborhoods that are not touristy?
picture_girl is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 01:22 PM
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Greenwich Village is what I'd call only semi-touristy. It doesn't have specific attractions that bring crowds (no Empire State building, museums etc) but it's not exactly deserted either. Certainly much less touristy than anywhere in midtown (34th-59th streets)!

The only totally non-touristy areas would be residential neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Assuming you just want to get away from the major hordes of tourists, not necessarily find the most unique spots, you can do fine with streets in Tribeca,East Vilage and even the Upper East and West Sides.

Soho is a combination of chain stores and high end designer boutiques. The Lower East Side does not really have those familiar high end names.
janie is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 01:22 PM
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Do you want to walk around an area of New York City with few tourists? Brighton Beach is interesting. All of the areas you mentioned teem with tourists.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 04:26 PM
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I think you are overreacting to the concept of what touristy areas are in New York. Just about any area worth seeing in New York is touristy to some degree!
My point is that you're going to see tourists in areas like Greenwich Village, and there are a lot of businesses there that cater to tourists. Still, it's a great area to experience.....and the same can be said for Soho, Noho, Tribeca, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, etc., etc., etc.
Go there....but don't expect to be the only tourists there!
HowardR is online now  
Jun 5th, 2007, 04:45 PM
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Thr only part of NYC that I would not consider "real" is Times Square. The rest of the city is full of regular NYers going about their daily lives.

There are not a lot of hotels to choose from in the Village area. The most central to all your choices is the Washington Square Hotel. It is neither boutique nor luxury but a reasonable choice.

In Soho I would try the north-south streets between Broadway and West Broadway for more unique shopping: Wooster, Mercer, and Greene Sts.

The Lower East Side is much trickier as the area is still developing. There's no one streets with store after store. You really have to explore or head for one type of store in particular.

The side streets in the East Village have some small interesting shops. Many enjoy in particular 9th St, especially between 1st and 2nd Avenues.

You might enjoy walking the full length of Bleecker St, all the way from the Bowery to Hudson. There are different shops and changing neighborhoods as you walk from the East to West Village.

Many people also enjoy the shops on Greenwich Ave in the West Village, which begins at 8th St and 6th Ave and runs on a diagonal to 8th Ave and 13th St. There are some interesting stores all along the way.

ellenem is online now  
Jun 5th, 2007, 06:24 PM
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Two unique shopping experiences are the Diamond District-- 47th and 5th--and the Chelsea flea market on W. 25th (other flea markets in the area, too--they are disappearing due to new construction, so I can't for certain say where). Last time in NYC we stayed at the Four Points Chelsea, and didn't even have to cross the street to go to the flea market! Lots of fun, but you need to go early. I have bought antique jewelry, vintage purses, antique sterling, decoys, toleware... Also, the Loehmann's on 7th between 16th and 17th is huge and has great jewelry when we were there. Online coupons and birthday discounts and we got some great deals.
maryanntex is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 06:35 PM
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Recently I stayed at the Gramercy Park Hotel and it did not feel touristy at all. There were periodically tour buses that stopped at the Park, but they can't go in and as a guest of the hotel YOU can.
The hotel seemed to be mostly people in the fashion and entertainment industry.
I thought the neighborhood was really nice. I posted a review on Tripadvisor with photos.
2 weeks ago we went to Soho and were pretty disappointed with the number of ordinary stores you can find in Dallas.
We stayed at the Affinia 50 on that trip. Great location for me and all the units have kitchens, which is really handy.
TxTravelPro is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 08:31 PM
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picture girl, if you want boutique shopping that's not in touristed areas, try Brooklyn! You could still stay in the Village and wander the areas you mentioned (definitely significantly less touristy than, say, midtown or Ground Zero!). Then hop the L subway to Williamsburg - the first stop in Brooklyn. Or take the R downtown train to check out Fifth Avenue in Park Slope (about a 30 minute ride from the 8th Street station to Union Street, then walk uphill one block). Both neighborhoods have great eats and decent bars, too.

I'm sure others on here could suggest more options, too. Do a search for New York posts by mclaurie: she always has a range of interesting shopping suggestions.

The thing about New York is, as janie mentioned, almost all of Manhattan is visited at some point by tourists. But that doesn't mean that wandering the East Village or LES (Lower East Side) feels the same as lining up for a peek from the Ground Zero viewing platforms! I would avoid the west end of Bleeker and St. Marks Place for their fraternity feel, and I personally would put Mulberry/Mott lower on your list than the East Village. But try east of SoHo into the LES; the West Village can be cute; and Brooklyn as I mentioned before.

I hope this helps!
ggreen is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 04:27 AM
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First, you need a MAP! Any map that identifies the various neighborhoods will do. Here's one

Your hotel options are
the only real hotel in the village. Not trendy but well located.
West-eleventh.com is a nice b & b and there's also abingdonguesthouse.com

On the lower east side is Hotel on Rivington and the newer Bowery Hotel.

The hotels in Soho that are nice are the Soho Grand, 60 Thompson and the Mercer. The "one off" stores in Soho are mixed with the chains. Here's an interesting website with a map

The lower east side is mostly FUNKY stores like Alife for sneakers. The meatpacking district which borders the village and Chelsea may be what you're thinking of in terms of high end shops. The 2 hotels there are the Gansevoort and Soho House.

There are NO Choo or Blahnik stores I know of downtown. They're both in midtown.

You might be interested in
mclaurie is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 04:29 AM
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One place that comes to mind in any city that is definitely "non-touristy" is the jail.

Why would anyone go anywhere that even the local inhabitants don't want to stay in?
Dukey is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 05:11 AM
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As long as you don't stay in the middle of Times Square, I think you'll be fine. It's New York, so if a neighborhood is the least bit desirable, it's going to be packed with tourists. That's the paradox...an "authentic" New York experience MUST include lots of tourists. Without them, it just wouldn't be New York.

Diatribe aside...I'd recommend the Soho Grand, or the Tribeca Grand.
karameli is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 06:54 AM
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I would worry less about a "centrally located" hotel and just go for a good, reasonably priced hotel. The subway system is so easy to use that any hotel near a subway stop will get you to any other part of town in minutes. My preference is a hotel a stop or two above the 42nd Street station for easy transfers to most subway lines.

To know what stores are where, get a copy of the Red Maps.
TC is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 07:59 AM
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For a hotel in the East Village, try Second Home on Second Avenue. It always gets rave reviews. I live in the neighborhood, and it's a great locale. Lots of restaurants and interesting shops in the vicinity.

trsny is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 08:27 AM
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I forgot to mention that the Gramercy Park has rates around 350.00 for July... depending on the dates.
Great deal!
TxTravelPro is offline  
Jun 8th, 2007, 10:44 AM
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Thank you very much janie, ellemem, maryanntex, ekscrunchy, TxTravelPro,ggreen, mclaurie, karameli, TC and trsny. This is all GREAT information and will be helpful for planning my trip!
picture_girl is offline  
Jun 8th, 2007, 11:47 AM
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Depending on what kind of clothing shopping you want to do, I also recommend Bleecker Street from one end to another and I also really like 3rd Avenue from 74th to 79th for trendy women's clothing. There is Precision (2 stores), Big Drop, Scoop, Searle which all carry great dresses and trendy clothes and handbags.
Abby43 is offline  
Jun 8th, 2007, 11:48 AM
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I'm not a great authority on New York, but, as the old saying goes, "I know what I like." We much prefer the distinctive, old world feel of areas like Greenwich Village, Soho, Chelsea, etc., to mid town, which is so much less distinctive.
marilynl is offline  
Dec 11th, 2007, 07:19 AM
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My picks for best non-touristy areas to walk around:

1. DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass- an emerging arts/loft district in Brooklyn, just over the Brooklyn Bridge). Lots of art galleries (esp. on weekends) and some restaurants. Not many stores but still a fun 1/2 day to tour around.

2. Chelsea- (lower-ish) West Side around 23rd St. Check the New Yorker or Time Out magazines for all the many (free!) gallery openings/showings going on when you'll be there. Also definitely check out Chelsea Market (touristy but it's the old Oreo factory and very cool- full of food production and tasty shops now)

3. Bowery- the New Museum in the Bowery just opened and, while the "art" is pretty weird, the architecture/building is world-class and cutting edge. For the best non-touristy restaurant find Freemans on Freeman Alley just around the corner off of Rivington near Bowery Street.

4. Lower East Side- aka the "Bargain District" is GREAT. Full of inexpensive bargains (leather, scarves, etc.) plus really old family businesses that sell stuff like pickles, candy, etc. Also TONS of very cool boutique stores. This area is around Orchard Street and Rivington.

Have fun!!
poodle13905 is offline  
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