everyone has to come close to the garment district, at least if you ever have to use the ugliest train station ever — penn station. it still is hard to believe that the city allowed the old amazingly beautiful one designed by mckim, mead and white to be destroyed. oh right, i forgot, madison square garden was a sign of the times. anyways, hopefully, someday that moynihan vision for a new post officewill take place. anyways, since i am often coming and going to baltimore for work, amtrak and i are close friends and usually i have no desire to linger outside (or inside) that beautiful station. but since i wanted to write about the great programming at the lower east side print shop, which is, despite the name, now located in the garment district, i figured this was a good excuse to check out this neighborhood and maybe i would have somewhere to go when that train was delayed for 2 hours.
surprisingly, this area has all sorts of shopping options that i didn’t even knew existed in new york. from a very high end hat shop, to numerous little wedding and bridal party shops (jenny yoo and kathlin argiro) and as i was roaming around i also saw sewing equipment, drum stores, a golf shop and custom men’s shirts. new york magazine has a really great list (just click on 30s west, to new york golf center, super fancy shirts. and there are also lots of little places to eat, so in this mini guide i’ve highlighted what i think some of the better options from high end to super cheap.
- mad for chicken, there have been some raves about this spot when it had been bon bon chicken, and it is a very loungy obviously happening spot. my guess is if the chicken is fresh it’s great, and even if it isn’t (which was our experience) it’s still a very good option if you need somewhere to hang out post empire state building. 314 5th avenue between 31st and 32nd streets, manhattan, new york, 212.221.2222.
- gray’s papaya: this hot dog shop usually comes up in the best of the dog lists and it is so close to penn station i cannot believe i haven’t thought of it before. 539 8th avenue near 37th street, manhattan, new york, 212.904.1588.
- szechuan gourmet, many think this may be one of the best chinese spots in manhattan. i haven’t been in a long while, but i’m definitely ready to check it out. 21 west 39th street, between 5th and 6th avenues, 212.921.0233.
- keens, a very high end steak place which i have not been to but is on my list. a good option if you were meeting someone after 6 or just had some serious time to kill. 72 west 36th street between 5th and 6th avenues, manhattan, new york, 212.947.3636.
- djerden, a little forlorn as a restaurant, though i went there in the evening so i’m guessing it is more bustling during the day, but i had the tastiest spinach burek there. a great snack spot. 221 west 38th street between 7th and 8th avenue, new york, new york, 212.921.1183.
- grow/rebecca cole design: this shop and design store (pictured up top) which opened this summer has some kitschy stuff but mostly it was filled with very interesting garden items, especially if you have some space to add some green to your apartment or need a gift. 214 west 30th street between 7th and 8th avenues, new york, new york, 212.216.9492
- clothingline: this is sample sale central. always chock full of merchandise that changes often. if i were coming to the area regularly, i would always stop by here. 261 west 36th street between 7th and 8th avenues, 2nd floor, new york, new york, 212.947.8748.
- monif c. this small, and nondescript space is filled with some really great plus size dresses and other outfits. 325 west 38th street between 8th and 9th avenues, suite 1007, manhattan, new york, 212.842.1461.
- 30th street guitars, not much more to say but i think this is where you go if you have a guitar need. 236 west 30th street near 7th avenue, manhattan, new york, 212.868.2660.
- b & h photo & video, one of the best photography stores in new york. 420 9th avenue at 34th street, manhattan, new york, 212.444.5000.
- eugenia kim, a specialty hat designer with lots of beautiful things. need to call for an appointment. 247 west 36th street, suite 502 near 8th avenue, manhattan, new york, 212.674.1345.
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