Pamela Keech, author of 'The Curious Shopper's Guide to New York City,' answered your questions about NYC shopping
Pamela Keech: Hello. I am Pamela Keech, author of The Curious Shopper's Guide to New York City. I don't know it all, but I hope I can answer some of your shopping questions today.
South Windsor, CT: Where is the best places to buy "knock off" pocketbooks?
Pamela Keech: The best place is along Canal Street. You can wheel and deal. If you don't like the price walk away and they will always come down.
Racine, WI: What are some good places for large size women's clothing?
Pamela Keech: There is a lovely store called Daphne's. It is on Amsterdam Avenue between 82-83 Streets.
Boise, ID: I'll be in NYC during the holidays. Is there a list of Christmas bazaars anywhere?
Pamela Keech: There are wonderful festive Christmas bazaars at Grand Central Station, South Street Seaport, and Columbus Circle. The bazaar at Bryant Park is especially fun, a one-stop holiday treat with brilliantly lit trees and fountains, an ice skating rink, and stands to get hot chocolate and sandwiches.
Columbia, CT: I'd like to plan a trip to NY for a group of librarians to visit some independent book stores. Can you recommend some of the best, including a plan to make a day of exploring?
Pamela Keech: Sadly, many independent bookstores have closed. The Strand is still alive, also Three Lives & Co on West 10th Street. All the museums have excellent book sections in their gift shops, and it is not necessary to pay admission to visit them. Especially good are MOMA, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Lower East Side Tenement Museum Visitor Center at 108 Orchard Street has a fine selection of New York related fiction and non-fiction. For a "bookish" day tour don't miss the Morgan Library with its new addition by Renzo Piano, on Madison Avenue at 36th Street.
Cleveland, OH: Do you have any tips for bargaining at flea markets? What has worked for you?
Pamela Keech: When I go to a flea market I am very conscious of the work the dealer has done to buy collect their stock. If I think the asking price is more than fair, I pay it. When bargaining, I never make an offer that will offend the dealer. By being thoughtful and polite I often get terrific prices.
NYC, NY: Wher all these discount clothing outlets in lower Manhattan I hear about?
Pamela Keech: Most of the discount clothing is on Orchard Street between Houston and Delancey. There are some great underwear and lingerie stores on Orchard between Delancey and Grand. A.W. Kaufmann carries European designer lingerie at discount prices. Accessories are along Canal Street. Look for scarves, handbags, watches, and perfume.
Miami, FL: Where in NYC can I find cute hat stores? Are there any inexpensive stores that sell hand-knitted beanie hats, or do you know of any stores that sell dressier hats? Thanks.
Pamela Keech: There are lots of hat stores, but only one is still located in the old millinery district on West 38th Street. Manny's has been in business forever and now sells fabulous church hats and will design custom hats for weddings etc. Bonnie's, on Orchard Street near Delancey has handmade hats with a with a retro look. Also look along Fifth Avenue in the high 20s for hat and glove stores.
Pamela Keech: Thanks for all your questions, happy shopping and happy holidays.