Connected to the place there is a self- service restaurant. We buy our lunch and then eat outdoors, since it’s a beautiful day! He chooses soup, while I opt for chicken with hummus and salad. Sid takes me to a place overflowing with people having their lunch; some perched on walls; others are luckier, they enjoy their coffee on a table made of stone. We sit on a bench, and he speaks of his travels and his work – as a lawyer on Wall Street. Despite the appearance of a good work place, he states that it is actually a job that tires him very much and he would like to quit it. However, life is going well, because in addition to the apartment where I’m to be hosted, he has 3 other apartments and uses them as Bed and Breakfast places. The market for apartments for tourists is very popular because it is independent and is slightly cheaper than the hotels. Not to mention that New York is a destination, with a high rate of demand for tourism. Sid’s goal is to quit his job so that he can focus entirely on this activity. With this income, he can spend more time to indulge in his passion for travel.
Before returning to work, he shares with me, his passion for fashion and shows me a mall in the center of Wall Street called “Century 21”. A friend of mine in Rome told me to go to an outlet mall outside of Manhattan where there were opportunities not to be missed, but from what Sid says, the opportunities are the same. Why go outside of New York, when right here in the Century 21 the heart of the Big Apple, I can indulge myself.
This warehouse is an alternative to expensive shopping on 5th Avenue, and among other things you can find the most prestigious goods with 40-60% discount. The outlet Century 21, in New York is one of the most popular department stores in the city; it is central and crowded. More “essential” than competitors like Macy’s, it offers a wide range of branded goods with outstanding discounts. Macy’s will be my next destinations. Honestly I don’t really want to buy anything, but I think the department stores in New York are a typical feature of the city. However, Sid tells me that Macy’s surely favours the classic tourists, but here it is a little more American.
The department store covers 7 floors and to see it all, I spend the whole afternoon. The lunch break for my friend, is about to end, and then he shows me the men’s department on the ground floor. I will surely come back when I have more time, especially to the shoe department. Who knows, may be I can find a pair of converse,this would be a great souvenir!
The choice is impressive. While Sid “browses” some clothes I see brands like Donna Karen, Versace, Dolce and Gabbana and Calvin Klein. Though seriously, considering that you have to “browse”, because there are the occasions when you are obviously wanting vintage clothing and démodé. Although I must confess that this is the first time I heard this. Unlike Macy’s, New York Century 21 has less than 6 shops. Sid confess me a tip, who reminding me more and more of Rebecca Bloomwood, the protagonist of the saga “Shopaholic” by Sophie Kinsella: Being a foreigner, if I present my passport at the checkout I have a 20% discount. I think I’ve got to deduct VAT.
The break is over, so I escort Sid to work and we arrange for me stay with him that night.