New York is a very big city. 220 streets, not including alphabet city. Over 1.5 million residents. All that, and more, cramped on 22.96 square miles. Despite the small physical size of the island of Manhattan, the mass of people who live and work here has engendered an impenetrable jungle of stores. This means that there is a store for anyone and everything. Bangladeshi pigs? Check Canal Street. Children’s shoes in adult styles? Talk with the salespeople at Tip-Top Shoes for Kids. Ham radio kit? It’s here, somewhere.
There is something for everyone, but with the crush of stores from the Bronx to the Battery, it’s hard to find just what you need. Some people live in New York City for years without discovering that great fruit stand two blocks from their apartment. Many spend decades working down the block from a hardware store without learning of its existence – or its great supply of doorknobs.
This is where your friends come in. They are the people who alert you to the existence of the best 99cent store in the city. They will lead you to Lower East Side’s best family-owned clothing store. When you despair of finding a skirt that fits, they’ll fix you up with their tailor – who also happens to have the best prices in town. Unfortunately, not everyone has friends like these. For those of you aren’t graced with friends who are in the know, welcome to a new series.