Street Vendors, New York City
And jewelry from street vendors. Tried my friend, Kristin's, suggestion of haggling over the price then walking away but that didn't work at the first 2 tables. Maybe we didn't show enough interest or we were in the wrong part of town (i.e. NOT Canal Street). Who knows? Luckily, at a 3rd place they sold the tacky, gold heart-shaped earrings Megs desired much cheaper than the first two. The lady who sold them to us noticed my Violent Femmes t-shirt and proclaimed that I was a woman after her own heart (but that they were after her time, she being 72). After talking to her about them a bit more, I realized that *she* thought they were a feminist movement. Hmmm. I didn't have the heart to tell her that it was an all-male folk punk band (you may have heard one of their songs on a Wendy's commercial a few years back, the music from Blister in the Sun - check them out on youtube.com). Spied a 50-something woman wearing a Smiths tee and I remarked to Meagan that this woman was probably Megs' age (16) when The Smiths first started!
This is basically a neighborhood swap meet, flea market, whatever you'd like to call it. I'm not sure if this is a year-round event, but it most certainly happens during the spring and summer, based on my visits. On Saturdays, traffic is blocked away from 44th street, basically from about 8th avenue to either 9th or 10th, can't remember which. And then, the locals set up their stands and sell their wares.
It's fun to enjoy this bit of small-town behavior here in the midst of the largest city in the USA.
What to buy: Oh, you can find all sorts of things. For the most part, we're probably talking more junk than treasure, but you never know when a missing Degas or Monet may turn up at a stand being run by a former hippie driving a 1967 VW bus. :)
My favorite things to browse at these markets are the CDs. I always seem to find a few old CDs that I'd like to add to my collection, thereby replacing yet another of my old LP record albums. The prices are usually something ridiculously low like three for $7 or four for $10.
There's also artwork, toys, clothes (OK, that's where I draw the line, I generally don't shop for second hand clothes) and of course...food vendors. Get yourself a weinie and a drink and enjoy the street mart.
What to pay: Very little.
It is an open air market that has various stalls selling mainly various African items. You can buy sculpture, baskets, oils, incense, soap, pottery, cloths, clothing, and jewelry. There is even a booth where you can have your hair braided. Some of the vendors are pushy but not all. They are not overly aggressive.
What to buy: The fabrics sold in the second store in the first isle is where you can buy beautiful prints. If you watched the TV show "Trading Spaces" this is where Laurie shopped.
I found the oils to be less expensive than the ones in the health food stores downtown.
All items can be bartered especially if you buy more than one item.
In bad weather a lot of the shops will not be open but sometimes it is easier to barter with the few that are.
What to pay: Prices vary depending on the item. You can buy a box of incense for $1 and a 4piece leather outfit for $125
Street vendors have been a hallmark of New York city since the 1860’s, when the first pushcart peddlers began roaming the Lower East Side. Over ten thousand people currently make their living selling their wares on the streets of New York, in every neighbourhood.
You can have a great bargain on black and white prints. We have bought one and when we got home we found a beautiful frame for it. The pictures look exclusive when they are in a quality frame. Everyone who comes to our house and sees the picture gives us compliments.
You can find the street vendors near Central Park and Fifth Avenue and throughout the city.
When you first arrive in New York you won't have to walk too far before you come across some street vendors showing off their wares.
Some of it's quite good but do be careful to inspect the quality. And when it comes to artwork, realize that the same thing is likely available from dozens of other vendors throughout the city. So take your time to compare prices.
Personally, I like making all my purchases in the last two hours before I head back to my hotel - less to carry!
On any given day, you can go down the main streets of Soho: Prince and Spring between Broadway and West Broadway, and West Broadway itself, and see an array of artists' works, hats, jewelry and other interesting things. Just make sure you have cash, as it's much easy to negotiate a deal with street vendors when they dont have to worry about charge card charges.
What to buy: Everything you see in these pictures.
What to pay: That's up to the vendor and your negotiation skills.
not exaclty a shop but loads of street vendors mooching off innocent shoppers. these stalls are special because they all sell the same stuff but have different prices, i learned that the hard way!
What to buy: i bought a 3D glass crystal of typical NYC sights. it was pretty and makes a great gift for others
What to pay: i saw something priced at $28 in the shop at the top of the Empire State Building. the next day i went shopping and saw the exact same thing for $5 on a street stall!!! definately shop around!!
What to buy:
For a while I was creating these neat little bamboo arrangements in tiny ceramic planters surrounded by small smooth pebbles. It's called Lucky Bamboo, and can be quite expensive pre-made. I was able to purchase the bamboo very cheaply from the street vendors on Canal Street, and make my own. They are a nice bright green with the leaves still on. To care for them you can just put them in water with marbles or smooth stones. They can also be cut into smaller pieces.
What to pay: You can probably get 3 4-ft. pieces for around $5. You may also find the swirly bamboo for slightly more money.
A huge market with indoor and outdoor vendors selling wonderful imports and handmade crafts as well as antiques and books. It's called "greenflea" because there are farmers selling fresh produce as well as flea market vendors.
What to buy: Great antiques- records, jewelry and clothing.