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Should I go to New York in the winter and how to go shopping: tips and life hacks

Hot on the heels of their first winter trip to New York, Marina Gritsenko - traveler, journalist, author of the project about New York and the USAColumbus Chocolate» Hurries to share their observations, experiences and impressions of the winter trip. Winter is probably not the most tourist season. Of course, if you go to sunny Bali, this is one conversation, but hardly anyone seriously thinks about traveling during the cold season to cities and countries where the weather is no different from the weather at home!


We admit that we had the same opinion, and during the two and a half years of the project’s existence, we never thought about organizing a winter holiday in New York. Apparently, it still had to happen.

What is a winter trip to New York? Here are some of our observations:


Perhaps the most important factor and one that is impossible to predict. We are lucky with the weather. There were days with a temperature of + 10, there were with -2. Most importantly, the subzero temperature was only one day, and walks in the city in warm shoes and a jacket were pleasant, as far as a pleasant walk in February can be. But it may happen that the weather is not lucky.

In 2016, in January in New York there were frosts to -20C. Last year (at 2017) such frosts were in February. In general, the weather is the only thing that is beyond our control. But in any case, I want you to know that winters in the United States, in particular on the northeast coast, are still much milder and warmer than in Ukraine or Russia. And when it is snowing or raining outside, you can always go to one of the many museums or shops!


Winter months may be the only chance when you can calmly take a photo near the bull statue on Wall Street without a million Chinese and other tourists who can spoil the frame. And yet again, because no one travels to New York during the cold season. You are free to wander around Times Square as opposed to the warm months when the crowds are close.

And it also provides an opportunity to consider the real New York, a real city and its inhabitants, because there are very few tourists during this period.


Comfort in movement

When it is snowing in New York, the streets are also sprinkled with something like salt, but this salt does not leave white traces on the shoes. Once we caught wet and not the most pleasant snow in New York, however, we did not jump over dirty puddles and did not slip on the unpolished pavement. Because there is neither one nor the other in New York.


Shopping in winter New York is a great pleasure. Even being late to the height of the discount season, we still got an excellent choice, both in prices and in the presence of certain things in stores. But the most pleasant thing here is another - this again is the absence of a large number of tourists. And this means the absence of queues in the fitting rooms and cash desks, which makes shopping even more enjoyable!

To shopping in New York you need to be ready! This means not only putting money on him, knowing the places, etc. You have to be morally and physically prepared for shopping. I will tell you a few features of shopping, as well as share the names and addresses of stores, in which I usually go to spend dollars and not transfer them to hryvnia.


What you need to take with you for shopping?

  • credit card It is better to take it, and not cash! In order not to see (not to touch, and not to recalculate), with what amount you break up.
  • Id. In some stores, when calculating by credit card, they may be asked to provide proof of identity.
  • mobile phone. It is unlikely that in 2015 of the year someone leaves home without a mobile, but still I want to stop on why mobile is needed for the time of shopping. In New York, at almost every step there is a Wi-Fi. And if we are talking about shops, then in many of them there is a separate Wi-Fi in the dressing room. What for Wi-Fi in the dressing room? Of course, to call a girlfriend, who is now going to bed at the other end of the world, and ask which dress you should stop at (take both!)
  • book / game downloaded to your mobile. Sometimes the queues are very long. Highly. Such that you spend minutes 50 in the queue in the fitting room, and then another 25 minutes in the queue at the cashier. Therefore, the book, the game and other distracting / addicting things you really need.
  • food Of course, you won't be allowed to eat a sandwich in the store. But drinking yogurt can be consumed easily. This is so as not to faint from hunger.

Once already started talking about the queue, here ...

Life hacks, how to make a queue faster:

  • in most stores, one cash desk is intended for both purchase and return of goods. And American women return a lot of things (how much they buy), which takes a lot of time. Therefore, before taking a queue at a certain cash desk (often a general queue, at all cash registers, and it’s easier here), see if all the buyers standing in front of you are buying new items or are renting out old ones. As soon as you see a young lady with a full package, take a queue to another cashier!
  • try to shop early in the morning on weekdays. Although in some stores and it does not save!
  • if your favorite / desired brand has 458 stores throughout New York - no need to go to Manhattan (unless of course you live there). Find the closest to your home, there are definitely fewer people there. Although the choice is likely not the same as in large stores in the center.

What to consider when shopping?

  • if you make purchases in the state of New York, then all prices on tags are indicated without taxes. If you buy clothes or shoes worth up to 110 $, then add 4,375% to the purchase amount. If the amount of your purchase is more than 110 $, then add 8,875% to the purchase amount. If you do not want to pay taxes and save - go to Jersey City. The road from Manhattan to Jersey takes 30 minutes. In the wonderful state of New Jersey, there is no tax on things and shoes!
  • return time. This information is usually indicated on special plates near the cash register. On average, the return time is 1 a month. But there may be exceptions. Read info at the cashier or ask the cashier.
  • Do not suffer and take a shopping run. If you plan to buy a lot, you probably do not want to wear all 20 dresses, 6 tops and 3 pairs of pants in their hands. At the entrance to the store cute young ladies usually offer a big and black shopping run - take it! Having a shopping run does not oblige you to fill it to the top. But it will be much easier to carry all your purchases around the store and stand in line with them for an hour.
  • pay by credit card - in order not to see the amount spent and make the buying process faster (people stand behind you and really want the queue to go faster)
  • if you want to get an additional discount or a special offer, make shopping on holidays - Independence Day, Memorial Day, etc. Many stores make special prices for these days. And if you are offered to leave your email, become part of the discount program - agree, even if you are going home tomorrow. Who knows when and how long you will come to America again.

Places for shopping

I really love the intersection of 34 Street and 7 Avenue. There is a small and cozy Herald square park with street food, tables and a pleasant atmosphere. It also houses the wonderful Empire State Building! And yet, there is a huge number of shops in which you can disappear for a few days! In general, if you are interested in serious shopping, then you are here.

Macy's - as the poster on the building says, this is the largest store in the world. I have heard a lot about the huge shopping malls in Dubai, but I have never been there. Therefore, Macy's 10 floors make me believe that he is the biggest!

Macy's reminds me of a large department store, something like the Central Department Store, where collections of various stores and brands are represented in the main hall and are not fenced with walls or other partitions. They remind TsUM here and the collections - as for me, most of them are designed for an 35 + audience. Although there are many collections for young people. Macy's has very good discounts - 60-75%. And my most favorite feature is that even in the stock departments there are separate rails with a Clearance sale - you are offered an additional discount on clothes with a discount.

There is Macy's and an online store, the range of which, like the cost and special offers, may differ from what is presented in the store. However, the main two factors remain unchanged - a large selection and very reasonable prices!

What you can buy at Macy's: clothes, shoes, bags, wallets and clutches, perfumes, home goods - bedding, dishes, etc., accessories and decorations.

A few nice prices for things that I managed to buy: Levis jeans for 30 $, Camper boots for 60 $, DKNY dress for 20 $.

Address: 151 West 34th Street

H&M - a large store with a large SALE department. The sale here is actually very good - you can buy a dress from $ 5, a T-shirt from $ 2, jeans from $ 6. In general, there are three H&M at the intersection of 34th and 7th! So it is very difficult to leave without buying this brand!

But if we talk about the store itself at the crossroads of 34 and 7, then I will say this:

  • if you are a man, you are at the lower level of the store;
  • if you are a woman and you need to try on a dress very urgently and run further, you are also at the lower level of the store - here you can ask for men's fitting room;
  • here are the longest lines I've ever seen - and it’s no wonder if you can buy jeans for 6 $.
  • The choice is huge and for every taste, so there are always a lot of people in the store.

A few nice prices for the things I managed to buy: a dress - 10 $, a blouse - 7 $, a skirt - 5 $.

Address: 47 W 34th St

Forever 21 - If you do not want to go to Times Square, where the largest store of this chain in New York is located, go to 34th Street. The prices in Forever 21 are identical to those of H&M, there is a large selection, and also great music always plays in this store.

Since this store does not have a super sale (although prices are already more than reasonable), there are fewer queues than its neighbor H&M. I love Forever 21 for their cute dresses and cool T-shirts with funny prints. And although the store is designed for a young audience, I also buy gifts in the form of clothes for my mother.

A few nice prices for things that I managed to buy: jeans - 8 $, dress - 15 $, top - 5 $.

Address: 50 West 34th Street

Victoria's Secret - it is painfully painful to visit this store, because you want to buy everything - underwear, nightgowns and pajamas, peignoirs and bathrobes, combidress, and also cosmetics and perfumery. Girls, it’s very easy to go broke here, control yourself! But what's not to take away from Victoria's Secret are qualities. The underwear bought here will serve you for many years!

What I would recommend to refrain from is buying lip gloss. They are very beautiful, smell good and taste good. But they are very sticky. As soon as the wind blows, your hair will stick well to your lips for a long time.

A few nice prices on things that I managed to buy: body cream - 10 $, 5 pairs of panties - 27 $.

Address: 45 W 34th St

DSW (Designers Shoes Warehouse) - Shop very high quality and stylish shoes for every taste. The choice, of course, is very large, the prices are more than acceptable, the quality is checked personally. Plus, if you register in their loyalty program, then literally after the second purchase, you will receive coupons for 5 and 10 dollars for discounts on your email.

A few nice prices on the things I managed to buy: Nike sneakers - 40 $, Converse sneakers - 44 $.

Address: 213 W 34th St

Of the other stores in the 34 and 7 areas, I also list: Gap, FootLocker - sports shoe store, Lush - hand-made cosmetics, Levis, Steve Madden, Payless - cheap quality shoe store, Sephora, Old Navy - clothing store , Crocs, etc.

Financial District: In this area, it would seem difficult to do shopping - around business centers and administrative buildings. However, it is here that the largest store of the Century 21 network is located.

Century 21

This store sells branded items with very large discounts - 60-80%. And the store itself is very large and 4-storey! And there are always many people here, and the queues are big! But if you are a fan of branded items and are interested in paying as little as possible for them - you are here.

Address: 22 Cortlandt Street, New York, NY


Marshals and TJ Max - all over the town

This network of stock stores (with different names, but one owner), I would conditionally call “If you are lucky, you can poke around well”. For 4s, I go to this store once a year - as a result, I managed to buy very good items for 2 times, and not very good times for 2.

A feature of this store I would call a large (very large) discounts on branded items and a good choice: men's and women's clothing, household goods, products - candy, cookies and other trifles, products for children, goods for sports and camping, office, dishes , bedding, bath accessories, shoes and bags, perfumes and much more.

If we talk about clothes, then you definitely buy something here as a gift to parents or relatives. As for clothes for the younger generation, you will have to look, but again, if you are lucky, you can find very good options for bows.

A few nice prices for the things I managed to buy: a blouse from Ivanka Tramp for 20 $, a Mexx jacket for 30 $.


So is it worth it to go to New York in the winter? Unfortunately, I can not give a definite answer. If you can choose the time among any seasons of the year, then, of course, it makes sense to choose the warmer months - to have enough time to walk, to have a picnic in Central Park, to spend time in the roof top bar and so on. But if you have no choice and you can go to New York or in the winter, or never, feel free to agree to the journey! Because this city always has something to show you and how to surprise!

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