Manhattan browsing can be a treat for the eyes, like this collage of costume jewelry and scarves for sale at the Theatre District Shopping Court near Times Square. The prices weren’t as excessive as I would have expected, given the popular location.
Like any other travel destination, New York has abundant opportunities to overpay for silly things. I would suggest that, in general, you shop where the locals shop.
Buy something you’ll use over and over again, which is a more pleasant reminder of your trip than some dust-collector that simply says “New York” on it. Maybe you want to buy something you already need. I still have the bodysuit I bought years ago at Marks and Spencer in Bermuda. I bought a wine tote at Florida’s awesome Publix supermarket (because it says “Publix “) and store-brand paper goods at Piggly Wiggly once because the name amused me.
I’ve also bought ridiculous souvenirs, like the little “coronation spoon” in London (the history!) and can koozies in Atlantic City. I brought wine home from Maryland just because I liked the packaging.
In New York, try Macy’s, which is huge, centrally located, offers discounts to tourists and, last I looked, had New York themed items. I’ve seen Long Island housewares at Bed, Bath and Beyond, as sensible a chain store as you can imagine. Local museums are sometimes good sources of fun items.
Maybe attend a street fair in a residential neighborhood and buy a tee shirt there. It would be more specific and less generic than some “I Love New York” tee. Target also has New York items, including those with names of our sports teams. I can’t pass a Target without stopping in to see what’s new.
The legendary Strand Bookstore, near Union Square, has clever gift items as well as lots and lots of books. I recently bought a takeout coffee-cup-printed tote bag there as a gift.
Totes can be practical gifts and souvenirs. Trader Joe’s has locations throughout the country but their carryall bags often show images that reflect the city you’re in. Other supermarkets also do that but I like the fun designs on TJ’s.
I have a large collection of promotional shopping bags gathered from the various events I’ve attended in the job search. Conferences and business expos are full of people who happily hand out reminders of their companies. Lucky me, since there is a movement to force people to use reusable bags in place of plastic. When that becomes law, I’m set: