Shopping in New York City: 60th Street/East and uptown

by shandana.durrani

Boutique and designer stores, everywhere you look

Starting at 60th Street and Madison Avenue and running uptown are some seriously stylish, and often quite expensive shopping options. But despite all of the global designers like Celine (62nd and Madison), Valentino (65th and Madison) and Yves Saint Laurent (71st and Madison) on offer, there are also a number of more “only in New York” options.

Barney’s New York (660 Madison Avenue; +1-212-826-8900; is always my first stop. It’s my favorite department store in the city, and has seriously good edits of the season’s collections, as well as a ridiculously excellent and pricey shoe department where you’ll find the likes of Louboutin and Manolos at deep discounts. I also love the “Coop” where there is a special jeans section with J brand, Seven for Mankind, Lucky and vintage Levis at prices cheaper than in many other cities. I often stop in for lunch at Fred’s, the store’s restaurant, not only for the signature chopped salad, but also to see what other guests are wearing; it’s excellent people watching!

One block over is an emporium of a very different kind, Sherry Lehman (505 Park Avenue at 59th Street; +1-212-838-7500; a one-stop New York wine shop with a cult following. It is crammed with everything from hard-to-find Burgundys,  to excellent bottles for under ten dollars. They often run sales on champagne and reds, and offer special editions like a Dom Perignon tribute to Andy Warhol.

Outdoor enthusiasts and hip-hop emulators will find the Timberland flagship (709 Madison Avenue; +1-212-754-0434; at 63rd Street with all manner of hiking books through the well-designed bi-level space. I am also a big fan of Searle (609 Madison Avenue; +1-212-753-9021;, not only for its great selection of dresses and chunky knits but most of all for the full-length down coats that keep a New York gal warm and stylish even in the depths of winter.

Further uptown, one has to stop into the Ralph Lauren store (867 Madison Avenue at 72nd Street; +1-212-434-8000;, in a beautiful mansion from the 1800s. Even if you aren’t in the market for a full-length gown or RL sheets, the temple to the designer gets high marks for the way it is laid out.

Another lifestyle line, Calypso (935 Madison Avenue; +1-212-535-4100), is perhaps more practical – one can find great easy-to-pack pieces, especially for summer. I love the floaty silk dresses, leather sandals, light cashmere scarves, and pretty well-priced, jewelry.

Carolina Herrera’s (954 Madison Avenue at 75th Street; +1-212-249-6552; flagship is also a must-see, particularly for brides to be – her wedding dresses are ethereal. I also love Zitomer’s (969 Madison Avenue at 74th Street; 1-212-737-5560;, a New York institution for Upper East Side ladies. As well as carrying everything from hard-to-find anti-aging creams to cosmetics to tights, it is testament to other New York markets, you can find plush first cashmere sweaters for baby, beautiful dog beds and collars for the family hound, along with tiaras worthy of the finest Manhattan ball, not to mention all manner of Italian and French beauty potions and products.

I will always have a penchant for E.A.T. Gifts (1062 Madison Avenue; +1-212-861-2544) with its well-edited selection of great presents and accessories, especially for kids, like Le Petit Prince placemats and “singing” birthday candles.

Next door, its gourmet deli has scrumptious chocolate chip cookies and great sandwiches which you can either take them to go for a picnic in nearby Central Park or sit in the little café.

After you refuel, take a look at Michael’s (1041 Madison Avenue between 79th and 80th Streets; +1-646-755-9397), a consignment shop where only “once worn” merch from the likes of Vera Wang, Chanel and Louis Vuitton is a testament to those who give up their designer threads after only one gala.

Younger chic types spend more time at the large outpost of Intermix (1003 Madison Avenue; +1-212-249-7858) on 77th and Madison, where you can pick up a cocktail dress by Catherine Maldrino, Herve Leger, or Luella Bartley that’s worthy of the red carpet, or just a romantic dinner, or Scoop (1035 Madison at 79th Street; +1-212-717-4022) which also sells casual but sexy street wear and barely there cocktail dresses. I also highly rate Anik (1122 Madison Avenue; +1-212-472-5251) for its fashionable basics like Katayone Adeli and Theory.

For more information, see my guide Shopping in New York City: Soho and around


I am a travel and lifestyle journalist based in New York City. I am the co-author of the travel guidebook, Insiders' Guide to New York City and the author of another travel guidebook, Day Trips from New York City, both published by the Globe Pequot Press. I was Cigar Aficionado magazine's Travel Editor for more than 10 years and have written travel pieces for Condé Nast Traveler, Haute Living, Silverkris,, and I have also contributed lifestyle stories to Wine Spectator, Glamour, and the New York Press.

I have lived in Manhattan's tony West Village for 16 years and have been a New York City resident since 1992. I have partied alongside celebrities at area hotspots, dined at the finest establishments in the world and slept in some of the city's best hotels, all in a day's work.

My New York

Where I always grab a bite: I love Bonsignour in the West Village. It's a tiny deli popular with locals and celebs that has the best gourmet salads this side of the Mississippi. During the summer, I head here for the homemade strawberry lemonade. The coffee is great, too.

My favorite stroll: Although Central Park is lovely, I prefer smaller parks such as Battery Park in Tribeca and Prospect Park in Brooklyn. You never have to jockey for space. I also adore the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. It's one of my favorite places to walk around on summer afternoons. Head there in April for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.

Fiction for inspiration: Here is New York, E.B. White's love letter to the city. "Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion." Truer words have never been spoken.

Summer sojourns: Long Beach. It's only 50 minutes by train from Manhattan and well worth the trip. The beach and water are clean and you won't be judged for a little flab like you would in some other beach towns *coughTheHamptonscough*

Most breathtaking view: The view of Manhattan from the Dumbo waterfront can't be beat. The bright lights sparkle and you usually have the space all to yourself. It's a great spot to bring a date. 

Best spot for quiet interludes: The little garden behind St. Lukes Parish in the West Village. I love to sit on a picnic blanket and read a good book here. I never hear the foot or car traffic. 

Shopaholics unite!: I like small, eco-friendly boutiques such as Kaight and Ecovaruhuset, both in Manhattan. For department stores, head to Queens or Brooklyn. The Century 21 in Queens has a great selection (I recently bought a pair of stone-colored Frye boots for less than US$200).

City on screen: New York has been on celluloid more than any other city in the world, and with good reason. I won't name the ubiquitous New York–centric Woody Allen movies. Hardly my favorites. I prefer Rear Window, Midnight Cowboy and Breakfast at Tiffany's. Check out James Sanders' Celluloid Skyline for additional films using New York as a theme.

Don’t leave without...Heading to Wave Hill near Riverdale in the Bronx. The public gardens are really phenomenal and the views of the Hudson bring peace of mind.