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Best Shopping Districts in New York

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Columbus Circle, named after Christopher Columbus, is one of Big Apple's most famous landmarks. Built in 1905 and renovated in 2005, this is a traffic circle between Broadway, Central Park and Eighth Avenue. The importance of the landmark lies in the fact that the monument at the center is used to measure distances within New York city. The beautiful fountains, the marble statue and wooden benches surrounding the monument have also appeared in a number of Hollywood movies.

East Village is a vibrant, multicultural neighborhood located in Manhattan. As the birthplace of many artistic movements, including punk rock, this city is known for its dynamic nightlife and aesthetic scenery. Enjoy a day of leisure and retail on one of the East Village's notorious streets, St.Mark's Place or unwind at Tompkins Square Park. For a more luxurious approach, The Bowery provides visitors with a boulevard, home to the Amato Opera and the Bowery Poetry Club. Whether it is Tibetan or Italian, Peruvian, Ukranian or Cuban, this diverse neighborhood also provides restaurants that cater to every person's food preference.

Known, and named, for its Italian character, Nolita is a neighborhood that has a lot of shopping potential. Elizabeth Street, Mott Street and Mulberry Street are the most popular. Stores like Sigerson Morrison stock wonderful accessories and handbags, whereas those like Resurrection are known for their vintage items. There are also many restaurants and cafes where you can take a break from shopping.

The zigzagging streets and charming brownstones of Greenwich Village have a far more laid back atmosphere than most neighborhoods in the city. The center of New York's gay and student communities lies here, with a variety of funky shopping and nightlife including jazz, rock and dance clubs, restaurants, bars and cafés. By the early 1900s, the Village had fully established itself as the center of radical thinking in the United States. Famous reformers, artists and intellectuals all gathered here and many still do. Do not miss a visit to Washington Square Park, where you will experience the nexus of it all!

St. Mark's Place, named after St Mark's Church in-the-Bowery, is a storied street in New York's East Village. The place is officially an extension of 8th Street, and the adjacent street that leads to the church (Stuyvesant) is one of the oldest colonial thoroughfares in the city. Along St. Mark's, there are eclectic shops and restaurants from Third Avenue all the way to Tompkins Square Park. Try Kenka for Japanese, Xi'An for Chinese, Mamoun's for Falafel, Gem Spa for a Egg Cream, the list of establishments goes on-and-on. Since the expansion of the neighborhood in the early 19th Century, the street has seen all types of characters, from Leon Trotsky and Eliza Hamilton to James Fenimore Cooper and Bob Dylan.

Larger-than-life billboards, the collective flicker and flash of neon lights, mesmerizing digital screens and a famously atmospheric spirit sum up the allure of the bustling Times Square. Christened after the New York Times, which moved its office to this location in 1924, the vibrant milieu of this busy square deeply echoes the city's ethos. Riveting Broadway marquees, a diverse set of shops, restaurants of every type and stripe, and towering buildings beyond vie for attention. Somewhere amid a sea of tourists who are likely making their way to the iconic red steps for panoramic views of this spectacle, a big crimson tourist bus inches its way toward the next monumental attraction. Meanwhile, longstanding fixtures of this place contribute to its hugely legendary status, from the Coca-Cola sign, the colossal M&Ms World store and Times Square Studios, to the TKTS booth, the Hard Rock Cafe, and Planet Hollywood.

As one of the oldest neighborhoods in New York City, the Lower East Side has seen many changes in regards to ethnic diversity and business. Once a working-class neighborhood mostly occupied by immigrants (Jewish, German, Puerto Rican and Dominican), the area has undergone rapid gentrification and is now associated with a trendy and "hipster" scene due to the many contemporary art galleries, trendy boutiques and nightlife spots along Clinton and Orchard streets. The Lower East Side is a great area to go shopping if you are looking for the hottest trends or a perfect place to catch up with friends and have a cocktail.

Unlike many other squares of its kind in the U.S., this Union Square does not take it name for the labor movement or the integration of the Federal states, it was named for the unification of two major streets in 1815. The square underwent several refurbishments and renovations throughout the 19th Century, with the addition of the fountain in 1842 and Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmstead (landscape architects of Central Park fame) replanted the park in 1872. It is also known as a place for rallies, demonstrations and other events, with too many to count since its inception. Moreover, Union Square hosts street chess, open-air markets and there are plenty of retail stores around the entire area which makes it a perfect place to shop.

Together, Manhattan's iconic Fifth and Madison Avenues comprise one of the most famous shopping districts in the world. Upscale retailers and jewelers like Prada, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, and Harry Winston line Fifth Avenue, which runs along the east side of Central Park. Found parallel on Madison Avenue are chic department stores like Barneys New York, as well as individual designers like Armani, Calvin Klein, and DKNY. Although you can find almost every legendary name brand between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, there are also shops there that cater to a younger audience. Treat your kids with a trip to the Disney Store or American Girl Place and see for yourself why this shopping haven has earned such an excellent reputation.

The Downtown area of New York City is one that is frequented by tourists because of the many shopping, dining and entertainment options that are found here. There are many markets like Battery Place Market, from where to buy local produce. Those who love exclusive brands will find many of their favorite stores like Abercrombie & Fitch and Aldo.

The South Street Seaport is an architectural excerpt from the city's long and eventful history, its cobblestone streets flanked on either side by some of downtown Manhattan's oldest commercial buildings. The Historic District is centered around the point where Fulton Street ends at the East River, an enchanting collection of 19th-century buildings and warehouses that stands in stark contrast to the skyscrapers of the adjacent Financial District. The neighborhood's history as a bustling port resonates in its distinctive, nautical character, lending the restaurants and cafes that cluster here a jovial vibe. A bevy of shops and quaint boutiques also make this a top-notch shopping destination, with the mall at Pier 17 as the epicenter of the South Street Seaport's offer. Sweeping views of the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge await at Pier 15, while antique ships bob at the port by the museum. Also of interest are the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse and the old Fulton Fish Market.

New York's Chinatown is a cultural haven full of ancient and exotic traditions, and a huge amount of restaurants. This bustling and crowded neighborhood is home to over half of the city's Chinese population. In the grocery stores and fruit stands, you will find many food items available nowhere else in the city - from exotic fruit and vegetables to live snails and dried shrimp. Excellent Thai, Vietnamese and Korean restaurants have also joined the mix in more recent times. Every lunar new year, the street are filled with the hubbub of the Chinatown Chinese New Year Parade.

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