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Holiday Shopping Spots

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  • Holiday Shopping Spots

    Tell us your favorite place to do your holiday shopping -- and we're not talking about the local mall! Ever visited the Christmas markets of Germany and Austria? Do you love Fifth Avenue in New York? Is there a great little bookstore in downtown Atlanta that you think we should know about? Post your favorite shopping spots here!

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    Sarah Schlichter
    Senior Editor
    Independent Traveler

  • #2
    Re: Holiday Shopping Spots

    My favorite place to holiday shop is the internet. It is this place where you can avoid crowds and not fight for parking spots! I am really excited about it.
    Thomas Tooma


    • #3
      Re: Holiday Shopping Spots

      While I've not YET been to the Christmas Markets of Germany, I have a very good friend that lives in Stuttgart. And many Christmases, I have received soome very great packages with the most unique and lovely, one of a kind Christmas goodies (handmade ornaments, candles etc) that I've NEVER seen anyplace else. I'm quite fortunate to have a thoughtful friend AND, that she goes to look for things for me at the "christkindl" markets. To me, these items are treasures.

      As for me, mostly because of where I live, the traffic, the overpopulation and the creepyness of people, I shop online. There are somethings that one cannot purchase online but for the most part, I already know the product and/or company I am purchasing from so I know I can count on quality. In NYC, it is just madness with limited parking everywhere (and expensive - you have to keep time and run out to put more money in the meter) long lines in stores and stores that are not kept in order, nor is the inventory kept at proper levels. I come from a family that was rooted in retail stores, and I have come to expect certain things from stores. It's not to be found anywhere around the NYC outer boroughs. For the stores I had to go to, I did so, a few weeks ago and I should be OK from here on in.

      In Manhattan, it's kind of nice to go into the Fifth Avenue stores - Lord & Taylor especially always has nice, quality items that are so often on sale and at this time of year, lots of great gift sets and great sales. You'd have to have a gun at my head to get me into Macy's Herald Square. But Saks Fifth Avenue is nice to walk into - it's just so pretty AND, for visitors, they have great little "Saks Fifth Avenue" gifts that are priced right, right there on the main floor which vary but usually make a terrific souvenir of NYC for yourself or someone else. When I visited New Zealand and asked if anyone had any special requests from NYC, right away it was easy: Saks Fifth Avenue!! Easy to get, easy to afford and yet, they say & look classy.

      Otherwise, Manhattan has gone back to being quite pricey - for awhile it was cheesy souvenir dealers, if you can believe it, except for Bergdorfs, the high end jewelers and a few others closer to 57th. Now, many major name labels have created "Flagship" stores on Fifth and so it can be a costly proposition. Although, there is still an H&M inexpensive clothing store which now has cache because it has attracted designers every year to do a small line of clothing for the store. I believe Karl Lagerfeld was the first - he happens to be Chanel's Master & Commander! Now, every year, 2-3 designers drop a line for the store. Oh and a Barnes & Noble. Tiffany's once affordable to the "any one can have Tiffany jewelry lover" Silver Collection has gotten to be a bit pricey - I believe simply because it was an achievable purchase for many and hence the bump up in prices - simple economics - Demand sets the price. Now also, aside from the Elsa Peretti silver collection, and I believe Picasso (Paloma) too and NOW, renowned architect, Frank Gehry has done a silver collection. Not inexpensive. That's why the folks one sees on Fifth Avenue LOOK like they can; good for people watching!! Nothing like watching a society lady wearing an impeccable suit carrying a fabulous purse walking in "you can't touch this" shoes, add in the watch and jewels........and there's the "window watching" for some of NYC. Thing is, a lot of NYC actually ARE that way - I know, I did their taxes!!!

      There are lots of great boutiques downtown - lower East Side, the Village, SoHo (some pricey, some still reasonable) I think some of the "used to be great Flea Markets" are closed but sometimes there are still shows in the Armory - Antiques and Artisans. Even sometimes there are great street vendors as well, but don't buy from the guys on Fifth holding up the briefcases with fake watches, etc. Look for some original art, you'll be able to tell the difference from the touristy, cheesy stuff (it'll be repeated all over) and look for water color or pencil sketch artists. There used to be this great Peruvian watercolorist on East 40th Right oppostite Bryant Park - he had some BEAUTIFUL pieces, and some write ups about himself and his work. I used to marvel at it, as did many others who bought it. (FYI, art & books are the only thing one can sell legally on NYC streets without permit)

      But for me, kind of being "LOCKED INTO" my city and with gas prices being what they are and going to stores just to find out they don't have what I want (it's been that bad on websites too - so many of my fave websites - sold out of items!!) and be online arguing with people; please, I've had a hard enough year, I don't need that aggravation. If I lived somewhere else, it might actually be a bit fun. Not complaining, just telling it like it is. Am used to it - a day in the life here For what good stuff we have, we make trade offs.

      Happy shopping Folks!
      Colleen Costello
      Message Board Moderator

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      • #4
        Re: Holiday Shopping Spots

        I agree with Bonnet -- the Web is the best way to shop (which doesn't really have much to do with travel). I tend to not do my shopping while I'm traveling. I find that souvenirs targeted to tourists are often grossly overpriced, and it's difficult to bring stuff home without getting slapped with an annoying checked bag fee.


        • #5
          Re: Holiday Shopping Spots

          There's this place on the Sunset Strip called BOOK SOUP. AMAZING!!!! I love that place.


          • #6
            Re: Holiday Shopping Spots

            i usually try to stick to online shopping


            • #7
              Re: Holiday Shopping Spots

              hmm, nice question. There are several places which I like very much, but my favourite holiday destination is London, I like it for its climate very much.