This is where all the professional video/film/photography people go to get their equipment, so they must know something. They have absolutely everything in stock, and if they don't have it, they'll find somewhere else in the city that does. Little confusing to manuever around, but totally worth it
My local laundromat, rarely a wait for machines, and they do same-day service for fairly cheap. They do dry cleaning as well, and I've never had a problem getting my clothes back. They also have a wide range of snacks and drinks available while you're waiting for your laundry. Much nicer than the other laundries in the area
Cute place in Greenwich Village. Hard to find original, somewhat affordable stores in Manhattan anymore, but this place is great. Friendly staff, great clothes, a couple of good sale racks outside. Styles go more toward fancier clothes, as opposed to casual, but definitely worth a stop in.
Cheap Jack's has decent clothes. The chintzy, bizarre, and sometimes fabulous clothes from several decades is very well picked out. The only problem is the name - there's very little cheapness to find within Cheap Jack's. They cost more than clothes I would buy new. $60 for a pair of old jeans, simply because they're vintage? Not for me. Go to Alphabet City or Williamsburg for better vintage clothing prices.
PROS: good selection
Very personable and professional. Had me in and out of the chair in no time, while explaining to me exactly what was wrong with my teeth and the various ways he could fix it (cheaper vs. more expensive options). I had no insurance at the time, and the visit wasn't too expensive. Appointments fairly easy to get
Kim's is the place to go for that obscure Korean film you once caught the end of on IFC that one time. All films are organized by director or category (1940's American, anime), and the selection is crazy. They may only have one copy of the latest Tom Cruise film, but they'll be sure to have, or at least know about, every film geek movie ever made. The staff are unabashed snobs, and may look down on you a little bit if you get a film that's too commercial and dumb, but their encyclopedic knowledge of film history is impressive enough to warrant a few trips
PROS: Huge selection from every era of films, knowledgeable staff
CONS: Small selection of current popular films
Ah Sephora, there's nothing better at the end of the day when you have to go to an interview, a date, or out with friends, and you need a quick makeover. I have many a time stopped into the nearest Sephora, put on some makeup, perfume, etc, to spruce myself up after a long day, and gone about my way. The greatest part: they don't care. They're fine with you sampling all of their goods without buying anything. Of course that is their objective, and sampling products is also the best way to decide whether or not you want them. They have a huge selection of cosmetics, but for low-maintenance girls like myself, just a quick touch-up with expensive powder and blush can make a big difference in your day.
PROS: sampling of products
CONS: little pricey
Walking into Dylan's, I can't help but think of Willy Wonka's factory. It's pretty much the same experience, minus Gene Wilder. They have every candy imagineable, and the decor is garish and fun enough to make you feel like a kid again. Being next door to Bloomingdale's, it's a little pricey, but worth it just for the experience.
PROS: awesome, fun store, loads of exotic candy
I love Barnes and Noble. I love that they invite you to sit and read their books for hours at a time, with coffee, without any pressure to buy. I love that this particular branch, having four levels, a full coffee bar, and a music section, has everything I could want. Unlike Borders, the Barnes and Noble employees are actually smart about books. And, at this location, there's a bonus of having the discount chain The Strand several blocks away. Not that I'm advocating this, but if you wanted to, you could read books for hours at Barnes and Noble, and then take a quick stroll down to the Strand to check if they're selling that book for less. Also? They have a whole table dedicated to books about obscure topics - The history of perfume, gin, poisons. Excellent
Because seriously? The Strand is, as it advertises, ridiculously cheap and has a ton of books, but they don't really bother to lay them out well. There's no map, directory, and very little rhyme or reason in how they decide to lay out their store. The shelves are extremely narrow and you're often on top of people looking for books. The salespeople can help you out, but if you're not sure exactly what you're looking for, it's going to take you a long time to decide, at which point 20 other bargain-hunters are going to run over you. If, however, you want the new best-seller and can't bring yourself to go to the local Barnes and Noble, The Strand will have it for half price, sometimes more, and in very good condition.
PROS: Huge selection, cheap prices
CONS: Hard to find books, bad for browsing