Around the corner from expensive Soho clothing boutiques, almost hidden, is the Housing Works used book store and cafe. Decent selection, and ridiculously cheap prices. They have stacks of 50 cent or $1.00 books that far outdoes anything that The Strand offers. They also have couches and a coffee bar, inviting you to spend an afternoon there. All books are donated, and all proceeds go to help homeless men and women with HIV/AIDS.
PROS: great selection, relaxed surroundings, coffee bar, non-profit
This warehouse near the waterfront in Brooklyn is packed to the gills with racks of second-hand clothing. It's arranged by type of clothing and by color, and their selection is great. They buy clothing as well, but due to high volume, they generally take very little. Avoid shopping Saturday afternoons, when it gets packed, but otherwise it makes for a pleasant shopping experience. They also have a branch in Park Slope.
PROS: good selection, cheap prices
CONS: crowded on weekends
It's not amazing, but for those considering SuperCuts or Jean David haircuts, it's time to start looking outside the major chains. Chinatown is a untapped wealth of discount services, and this hair salon is a prime example. Stylists all speak English, and they give you the full shampoo, cut and blow-dry for the huge total of $18. Coloring costs a little more, but the owner makes and blends her own hair dyes. The cuts are good, fast, and extremely cheap. Do not be put off by the heart of Chinatown-locale or the strange looks some customers might give you if you're not Asian, these women know what they're doing, can communicate with you fine, and they will give you a great cut for your dollar. Also, if Amy's is busy, the entire block is full of cheap hair salons, others of which I've heard good things about as well.
PROS: great, cheap hair cuts
CONS: hard to find