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Alison Kotch

Alison Kotch

Articles (28)

The best NYC department stores

The best NYC department stores

NYC department stores are wonderlands of shopping, where you can find everything from designer fashions to cosmetics to housewares. The thing about this city’s department stores is that they carry a certain mystique, as they’ve been made famous by numerous movies and TV shows. While locals may head here to purchase something they actually need, visitors have them on their list of the best things to do in NYC. The best NYC department stores offer shopping, dining, a little bit of history and a lot of glamor. From the setting of Miracle on 34th Street to iconic brown shopping bags, NYC department stores are about more than just shopping. You can make a whole day of it, taking in the atmosphere. There are stores for all budgets and styles, and after you’ve worked up an appetite you can even dine in style. So whether you’re in the market for a particular item or you just want to feel fabulous while browsing the offerings, head to these department stores. And after all that shopping, be sure to check out the best spas in NYC for a relaxing bit of pampering. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to shopping in NYC

The best places to go shopping in the Hamptons, NY

The best places to go shopping in the Hamptons, NY

Sure, you’d probably expect the best things to do in the Hamptons to include sunshine and sand—but these shops in the Hamptons, NY, offer plenty to take in beyond those gorgeous beach views. Whether you’re looking to treat yourself to something new or want to find a unique gift from vintage clothes shops, these spots have you covered (and you can still go to the best beaches near NYC afterwards). We’ve picked out each town’s single best shopping locale—so get to shopping! RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do on Long Island

The best temp agencies in NYC

The best temp agencies in NYC

It’s true: New York is one of the best places to live if you want to jumpstart your career (the city is bursting with networking opportunities and startups). But when your rent is due, and you want to go shopping in NYC, it’s nice to know you have money in the bank. Before you consider turning your secret talent or hobby into a business of your own (which is not a bad idea: It worked for these New Yorkers that break the millennial stereotypes), consider sending your résumé to a temp agency. NYC has plenty of staffing resources that can place you in a job for either a week or up to a few months, if needed. And you’ll feel better about spending your hard-earned dollars at one of the best restaurants or clubs in NYC when you know there’s fresh moolah coming in. We’ve ranked some of the city’s top agencies by profession, so it’s easy to choose the one that’s right for you, from career changers to recent graduates and folks looking for pocket change.

Las 10 mejores cosas que hacer en Nueva York

Las 10 mejores cosas que hacer en Nueva York

Cuando se trata de pensar en las mejores cosas que hacer en Nueva York, es fácil sentirse abrumado. La Gran Manzana atrae a millones de turistas de todas partes del planeta por sus reconocidos museos de arte, festivales de música de verano y cosas que hacer, sin olvidar la larga lista de bares y restaurantes de Nueva York. Salimos a las calles y buceamos en las redes sociales para preguntarle a los locales cuáles son sus cosas favoritas de vivir en la mejor ciudad del mundo. El resultado fue una mezcla que inspiraría incluso al neoyorkino más hastiado. Aquí están las mejores cosas que hacer en Nueva York: eventos, actividades gratis y lugares de moda en la ciudad. Sal y disfruta.

The five best events at Harlem Week 2018

The five best events at Harlem Week 2018

FYI: Harlem Week 2018 lasts a tad longer than seven days. In fact, you get to celebrate the neighborhood and its culture for a good chunk of summer. Starting July 29 until August 25, head to the history-rich ’hood to enjoy specials at some of the best Harlem restaurants, attend outdoor parties at one of the area’s best parks, see live summer concerts and more. More than two million people from NYC and around the world attend these Harlem Week events, and trust us, you’ll want to be one of them!  RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Harlem, New York

The best vintage stores in NYC

The best vintage stores in NYC

Some of the loveliest (and cheapest) clothing stores in NYC happen to be vintage stores. Personally, we think shopping vintage is always a good idea. Shopping secondhand helps the planet by reducing excess waste and allows you to scoop up unique duds no one else has. Can’t afford $200 Chanel pumps or high-end retro clothes? No biggie: New York has a ton of options to make your footwear dreams come to true. After making a profit by selling any outdated duds at thrift stores or consignment shops , go back to these prime vintage stores, snag unique throwbacks and style an outfit that will make you feel like a million bucks (but for way less). RECOMMENDED: Full guide to shopping in NYC

The best camera stores in NYC

The best camera stores in NYC

Yes, we all have cameras on our smartphones, but that doesn’t mean you can’t visit a camera store. NYC has a slew of shops where you can pick up a new toy...and turn that into a new hobby. It’ll give you the same throwback feel you get at the best stationary stores or record stores in NYC. Here are the top places to get started on taking the best pictures of New York City for your Instagram—or for art galleries, if you’re aiming a little higher. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to shopping in NYC

Extreme sports in or around NYC that thrill seekers must try

Extreme sports in or around NYC that thrill seekers must try

Calling all daredevils (wannabe or otherwise): Extreme sports—you know, hang gliding, shark diving, jumping from a friggin’ plane—are all around you, if you know where to look. That’s where we come in. Discover some amazing ways to get a rush, whether it’s squeezing through an underground cave during one of your weekend getaways from NYC or hitting 200mph in a luxury car. No matter the thrilling experience you desire, you can find it near NYC. Even better, outdoor adventures near NYC are often just a short train, bus or car ride away. (The best road trip songs will help you pass the time.)

Find a great pet store in NYC

Find a great pet store in NYC

If there’s one thing New Yorkers love most, it’s our pets, so a favorite pet store is a necessity. Although we enjoy chugging a few beers at dog-friendly restaurants and saying hi to our local bodega cats, we feel guilty leaving our four-legged friends cooped up inside our apartment all day long. Our furry companions deserve the best, and luckily there’s no shortage of niche offerings for pets in NYC. From adorable duds, tasty treats and shops that offer pet adoption, we’ve mapped out the best stores for pets by neighborhood, so you can keep your adorable critter happy, healthy and stylish. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to shopping in NYC

The best acupuncturists in NYC

The best acupuncturists in NYC

If you’ve been afraid of going to an acupuncturist, NYC’s best practitioners will have you over your fear of needles in no time. You don’t know what you’ve been missing: The practice has been around for thousands of years, is one of the most common alternative remedies on the planet and helps with a range of issues you’re likely popping pills for—like chronic pain, anxiety and weight loss. It can be as relaxing as other spa treatments like massages or as restorative as a class at yoga studios, and though it’ll likely take multiple sessions to notice a difference, it works by stimulating your nerves and muscles along acupressure points to restore your body’s Qi, the body’s life force or energy that helps you fight disease naturally. Ready to try it? Visit an acupuncturist at one of the best spas and studios.

The best 4th of July parties in NYC

The best 4th of July parties in NYC

Thanks to all the Independence Day festivities in Gotham, you don’t have to host a 4th of July party this year. From rooftop bars and party cruises hosting 4th of July events to dance parties at the best clubs in NYC, here are the best ways to celebrate America’s birthday and have a red, white and blue blast. Speaking of blasts, if you’re wondering where to watch the 4th of July fireworks, check out our list of suggestions. RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of the 4th of July in NYC

The best plus-size clothing stores in NYC

The best plus-size clothing stores in NYC

Finding plus-size clothing stores shouldn’t take hours of Googling followed by sifting through racks of sizing at your average thrift stores: You should spend that extra time looking chic. And in NYC, it’s easy to do—there are chain clothing stores, boutiques and other shops stocking everything from luxe formal wear to flattering workout clothes, all styled specifically to help you look your best. Here’s where to start your shopping spree. RECOMMENDED: Best places for shopping in NYC

Listings and reviews (7)

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park | Queens, NY

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park | Queens, NY

4 out of 5 stars

Everything you need to know about visiting Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (Grand Central Pkwy to Van Wyck Expwy between Roosevelt Ave and Robinson Pkwy, Queens, New York, 11375). Sure, you’ve been to Citi Field. But that’s not the only reason to make the trip to Willets Point: Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, an expansive mass of greenery a stone’s throw from where you watch the Mets, offers more space than you could ever explore in one day. Depending on whom you ask, it’s the second-largest park in the city (1,255 acres), home to U.S. Open–caliber tennis at Arthur Ashe Stadium, flowers, history and art at the Queens Botanical Gardens, Museum and Theatre, par-3 golf courses, lakes, BBQ pits, countless soccer fields and more than enough lounge-worthy places to spend an afternoon in the sun. Aside from being the perfect venue for your weekend pursuits, it’s worth noting that the park hosted two World’s Fairs (1939 and 1964), and iconic reminders of the latter still stand in the park. Explore the world in QueensThe futuristic-looking Unisphere structure was created for the 1964 World’s Fair to showcase advances in technology, computers and the dawn of the Space Age. It’s also one of the city’s most memorable and recognizable landmarks (and not just because it made a cameo in Men in Black): At 140 feet, it’s the largest replica of Earth on Earth, made of stainless steel and orbited by three rings representing the first man in space, the first American to orbit earth and the first comm

National September 11 Memorial & Museum | Financial District, NY

National September 11 Memorial & Museum | Financial District, NY

Everything you need to know about visiting the National September 11 Memorial & Museum (911 Greenwich St, NY 10006). It doesn’t matter if you’re a tourist, commuter or longtime NYC resident: No visit to lower Manhattan is complete without paying your respects at the September 11 Memorial & Museum. Both the outdoor memorial and accompanying museum are solemn, moving tributes to the nearly 3,000 victims who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and February 26, 1993. Designed by Israeli architect Michael Arad, two of North America’s largest man-made waterfalls mark the footprint of each tower, framing the perimeter and cascading into reflecting pools almost an acre wide. The trees surrounding the area add to the mood of somber, tranquil reflection: Each one was selected from a 500-mile radius of the World Trade Center site, with others brought in from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C., the other places directly affected on 9/11. While the memorial is impressive on its own, the museum provides a complete picture of the courage and compassion demonstrated locally, nationally and internationally after the attacks, and it’s interspersed with pieces of the towers and other debris recovered by those who risked their own lives to save others. While you should spend an hour or two taking it all in, here are three especially memorable highlights. RECOMMENDED: 101 best things do in NYC See an emotional monumentLocated between the footprints of the two former tow

Brooklyn Heights and the Brooklyn Promenade | Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn Heights and the Brooklyn Promenade | Brooklyn, NY

Everything you need to know about visiting Brooklyn Heights and the Brooklyn Promenade (Columbia Heights, NY 11201). Looking for a great place to enjoy a panoramic view of everything the city has to offer? The Brooklyn Promenade—a one-third-mile stretch of pavement along the East River—is a favorite destination of residents, tourists and couples looking to make out next to an unforgettable span of NYC’s skyline. Breathtaking views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty are both visible from here, but the Promenade wasn’t originally built for aesthetic reasons: City planner Robert Moses originally wanted the Brooklyn Queens Expressway to run through Brooklyn Heights. After lots of opposition from the local community, the promenade was built to insulate the mansions and tree-lined streets nearby from highway noise and has been doing so since it opened in October 1950. RECOMMENDED: 101 best things do in NYC Eat some ice cream (and pizza!)Once you’re done enjoying the views, you’ll find no shortage of food and drinks nearby: Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory and Grimaldi’s are both within walking distance of the promenade. Fun fact: The ice cream factory is housed inside an old fireboat house. As for Grimaldi’s, it’s a household name among pizza-loving New Yorkers and this Brooklyn location is the most famous. Take a carousel rideBuilt in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, Jane’s Carousel is one of the highlights of Brooklyn Bridge Park—also the home to volleyball courts,

Martinez Handmade Cigars

Martinez Handmade Cigars

This family-run midtown shop has been making cigars since 1974, two years after owner Don Antonio Martinez arrived in the U.S. from the Dominican Republic. His son, Jesus, carries on the tradition roughly 40 years later, rolling everything on-site in a comfortable, barbershop-like space. They specialize in custom bands for everyone from brides and grooms to U.S. Marines (yep, they’ll ship them overseas). Feel free to submit your artwork if you have a special occasion coming up, and they’ll adorn your next box for a reasonable fee.

Nat Sherman

Nat Sherman

While the Native American statue outside and neon “cigars” sign inside this midtown townhouse are eye-catching, the rest of the atmosphere in this family-run, 86-year-old shop is of a different time—one where you could legally enjoy a smoke in your suit after business hours (or during lunch). It offers an affordable variety of brands (from $5 to $50), such as the mellow, medium-bodied Sterling Selection, as well as hand-rolled cigarettes that will put those bodega smokes to shame.

Davidoff of Geneva

Davidoff of Geneva

At first glance, the flagship location of Davidoff’s three NYC locations is a little underwhelming: It’s not as large as the others on this list, and it seems to lack the intimacy of more private lounges. But don’t worry, there’s a hidden smoker’s lounge in back where you can indulge on weekdays and weekends. If you don’t want to splurge on something high-end, the friendly, helpful staff will help you select a mild, medium or full-bodied version that tastes just as good.

Michael’s, The Consignment Shop for Women

Michael’s, The Consignment Shop for Women

This UES family-owned shop has been in the haute couture–recycling business since 1954 and is the place to go if you want to score Dior, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana dresses for 70 to 90 percent off retail price. While you shouldn’t schlep your bags of less-than-luxe stuff here expecting a trade (they only buy first-tier designer labels that are less than two years old and in great condition), come here if you want to treat yourself to something luxurious without breaking the bank.

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