Because I went a bit overboard with planning this trip, I already had a rough idea of what we wanted to do on each day, so we didn’t waste any time.
Day 2 was spent shopping. We literally shopped till we dropped.
This was no normal shopping experience.
We took a bus to New Jersey, an hour out of New York. Our destination was Woodbury Commons– a premium outlet store. There were 220 stores there- Burberry, Jimmy Choo, Saks, Nine West, Louis Vuitton, Aldo, Calvin Klein, Tag Heuer, Crabtree & Evelyn… I could go on forever. You name it, it was there. This place was INSANE. We arrived there at 10am and only left at 7pm.
Everything was SO cheap. I bought 8 pairs of new shoes, all leather, either Guess/ CK/ or Nine West, for R300ish a pair. I bought Polo shirts for work for R200ish each. Also got Gap pants, a Banana republic dress, underwear from Jockey, Armani sunglasses (R160!), 3 pairs of Guess jeans for R200 a pair and quite a bit more. Rishav bought suits from Hugo Boss and Banana Republic for R2k- R3k. Things were a third of the price that they are here- it made me feel sick to think of how much I’ve spent at Sandton City on pretty generic clothing. I’m going to struggle to shop here again. Here are pictures of some of the stuff I bought.
|Love these CK heels for work. So comfy. No one can see that the heel is that tiny if I’m wearing pants, yet the shoe still looks elegant|
|Ralph Lauren dress- very Kate Middleton-esque|
|Nine West nude heel|
|Michael Kors wallet- heart this!|
|Guess sandal, these cost under R100.|
We went with a small trolley suitcase to pack our clothes in as we’d heard it becomes cumbersome to carry bags around. We ended up filling that and a backpack. We then had to buy another full size suitcase from the Samsonite store because we physically couldn’t carry all of our purchases.
The shopping experience itself was great- there were enough sizes of everything; shop attendants were more than willing to assist, and Woodbury even had its own food court. I felt like I was on Extreme Couponing, because over and above the whole shop being discounted by 30% for example (which was the case at Polo), I also printed a stack of coupons off their website which allowed us further discounts at most stores . My Polo coupon was for another 30% off the already discounted price… So you can see how cheap things become! A shirt was marked at $30, I got it for $15- that’s R130!
When we got home we just dropped into bed and went to sleep, hence the literal interpretation of “Shop till you drop”.
After that, we couldn’t even go near a shop until the end of the trip, when we visited Macy’s. Oh em gee. Macy’s takes up an entire block (which is massive in NYC), and consists of 7 floors. They even have their own food court! 1 floor at Macy’s is as big as the whole of Stuttafords Sandton City. They have a whole FLOOR just for shoes! I found it a bit daunting when I went there- it was just too much to look at. My brain couldn’t process it! I think you need a good few hours to properly browse the store.
We also browsed 5th Avenue but we really had OD’d on shopping so we didn’t go into any of the stores. I was just amazed at the abundance in NYC. Whether you’re into art, music, food, fashion or sport… whatever you want, it’s all there- in quality and quantity.
Our in between days were spent touring, visiting museums and exhibitions, and eating (of course!). Because breakfast wasn’t included in our room rate, we made a point of trying a new place for breakfast everyday. I had bagels with cream cheese on a few days, or something on the go like muesli and yoghurt on the days we had to be somewhere early.
We did have a proper American diner breakfast on one of the days, but it was pretty expensive (R480 for the 2 of us), so we decided to eat lightly during the day and have a proper meal at supper.
|A new take on eggs benedict
We mostly ate lunch on the go, stopping whenever we felt hungry. A favourite was pizza slices. They range from $1-$2 and are probably about 3x the size of a standard pizza slice here. I don’t know what they do differently in NYC but ALL the pizza, whether it was at a proper restaurant or a small corner shop was DELICIOUS.
Obviously, we had to taste a New York pretzel and a hotdog off the street. The pretzel was a bit too salty and doughy for my liking, but Rishav loved the hotdog!
One restaurant in particular stood out for me. Eataly. It is a huge Italian themed precinct with fresh pasta for you to buy, groceries, gelato, a dessert bar, a coffee bar, wine and cheese tastings, as well as 4 restaurants. Amazing.
|I really wanted to bring some of this back to SA to cook at home..|
|Nothing makes me happier than fresh, warm, crusty bread
|Love the idea of standing around a table with friends over a glass of wine at lunch|
My favourite dinner was at Buddakan, of SATC 2 fame. Carrie’s rehearsal dinner was there, and it was where Miranda told Big her views on marriage. Buddakan was vibey and mysterious.. there is no sign outside so you can almost miss the restaurant entirely. But once you’re inside, it’s dark and dimly lit with 2 floors; a lounge area and a long dinner table in the basement. I felt very much a New Yorker eating there!
My ultimate favourite foodie fix in NYC was the bakeries! They were on practically every street corner and the cheesecake was to die for. I unashamedly ate cake every day of the trip, hopefully I worked it all off by walking!
My favourite was Magnolia Bakery, also featured in SATC 🙂
|Just LOOK at all those cupcakes 🙂|
I hope I’ve covered the shopping and eating part of the trip pretty well 🙂 Tomorrow I’ll detail some of the tours we went on and the landmarks we saw, including the 911 Memorial (so sad), the Statue of Liberty and Wall Street etc..