NYC shopping for hip urban girls?
May 23, 2007 5:53 AM   Subscribe

Where do hip girls shop in NYC? And eat cake?

My oldest is turning 16 shortly, and rather than have the ubiquitous sweet-16-overblown-party-thing, she wants to go to NYC with me for a few days, hang out, and do some shopping (aww!). I'm clueless as to which shops to take her. We have shopped in NYC before, but she hasn't bought anything outside of large chains - H&M, the Gap, etc. Some info about her, if it helps: She's not a very quirky dresser - I'd probably describe her style as laid back hip/urban fashionista- stylish jeans and tops. In other words, no hoodies, pajama pants, etc. Also, any suggestions on neighborhoods to explore would be welcome.

ALSO- I need birthday cake! From a bakery that delivers! We're staying around W 44th and 5th, so if they don't deliver, then close to that area would be great. I called the hotel to see if I could arrange for a birthday cake on her birthday, but they were pretty uninspiring. If there are any NYC cake afficianados out there with local favorites, I'd love to know about them.
posted by Flakypastry to Shopping (17 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

Cake: (donning flame-proof suit) two little red hens .

Shopping: I dunno, but pick out a "Time Out NY" (magazine) shopping guide and you can't go far wrong.

Have fun!
posted by From Bklyn at 6:09 AM on May 23, 2007

hip/urban fashionista + neighborhood to explore = SoHo. (Otherwise known as the South of Houston neighborhood, it fits the bill to a T).

Unfortunately I'm not that big on cake, but back when I worked in midtown on a regular basis, we used to order cakes from The Bread Factory when it was someone's birthday, and they seemed to be OK. They've got a few locations in midtown and I know for a fact that the 7th ave location delivers.
posted by allkindsoftime at 6:31 AM on May 23, 2007

If you're going down to Soho for shopping, then Cafe Angelique (the one on bleeker st.) isn't very far and has excellent cakes and pastries.
posted by jefftang at 6:35 AM on May 23, 2007

I think a lot of this depends on your budget. Soho West of Broadway (mostly between Prince and Houston) will be your very high end stuff. East of Broadway, say on the streets like Elizabeth between Prince and Houston will have your more boutique-y mid to high end stuff, but also some interesting vintage stores. St. Mark's between 1st and Ave A will have some good vintage (also expensive - for used) but also some of the streets north and south of St. Mark's will have great little basement vintage or boutique places.

For a really cool "NYC" experience, regardless of budget, you should take her to Barney's uptown, perhaps Saks and Bergdoff, just for the wow factor. Bloomingdale's downtown on Broadway in Soho also has some of that and is geared to the younger shopper. Of course, then there is the Meat Packing district, 14th between say 9th and West Side Highway, which is just the out of control way high end runway stuff like Jeffrey. A great experience but unless you want to shell out bucks, probably just window shopping.

So, in summary, I would say Alphabet City/St. Mark's for vintage and small boutiques. Soho for the mid to high end. Also some of the streets a couple blocks North of Canal in Chinatown will have cool little shops to check out. Then, of course there is Chinatown itself along Canal for knock off Chanel, Gucci, etc. Have fun!
posted by spicynuts at 6:42 AM on May 23, 2007

If you don't have an Urban Outfitters where you're from, she'll probably want to check that out. They are all over the city, check the website for store locations.

8th, 9th, and 10th streets between 3rd Ave and Avenue A [East Village] are chock full of tiny, interesting boutiques, not all of which break the bank, thankfully.
posted by infinityjinx at 7:24 AM on May 23, 2007

For cake, I'd definitely go to the Cupcake Cafe, which is fairly close to where you'll be staying.
posted by MsMolly at 7:45 AM on May 23, 2007

OK, here's what you do:

Get on the subway at 42nd & 6th. Take the D train downtown to the first stop in Brooklyn, Pacific Street. You'll go over the Manhattan Bridge, which provides a nice view of the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and downtown skyline as you cross over.

When you get out, walk up Flatbush and make a right on 5th Ave. As you walk down, the neighborhood will quickly become increasingly gentrified/hip, and there are a ton of women's clothing boutiques- Flirt, Goldy + Mac, Eidolon, Ai Ai Gasa, Serene Rose. They start to peter out once you hit the numbered streets, so swing up to 7th Ave., where there are a few more. You can continue down and head up to 8th Ave., which will eventually take you to Two Little Red Hens., as noted in the first comment. Prospect Park is 1 block past 8th Ave. as well, if you feel like wandering around- it's quite beautiful. Park Slope is also just generally nice to walk around.
posted by mkultra at 8:12 AM on May 23, 2007

Oh, and there's an F stop at 8th Ave. and 9th (7th Ave. as well), which will take you back to where you started, though a bit more slowly.
posted by mkultra at 8:13 AM on May 23, 2007

Veniero's is a well-known and extremely busy Italian bakery/pastry shop, and they're absolutely used to delivering.

If you take the 6 train down to the Astor place stop and then walk east, you'll come to St. Mark's Place (8th St, east of 3rd Ave), which is full of funky shops aimed pretty much directly at 16-year-old girls.
posted by jellicle at 8:15 AM on May 23, 2007

Ditto Cupcake Cafe. Their cakes are lovely. I don't know if they deliver but as MsMolly says, it's not far from your hotel so maybe they'll make an exception or at least it won't be far to go if you have to get it.

For shopping, you have to go to SoHo if only for the experience. It's part of the NYC shopping experience. As for specific stores, Uniqlo might suit her tastes and is right in SoHo.
posted by boomchicka at 8:25 AM on May 23, 2007

I find that Cupcake Cafe cakes, while lovely, have too much / too rich butter cream frosting. Like inches of it. A good cake option near some cutting edge fashion is the Sugar Sweet Sunshine on Rivington street.
posted by shothotbot at 11:03 AM on May 23, 2007

For cakes, I would recommend Ruthy's in Chelsea Market. Ruthy's definitely delivers, and it has a wide variety of fantastic cakes. Chelsea Market is a great shopping spot in itself, but not for clothes....

It sounds as though a trip to Serendipity 3 might also be called for.

I agree with the SoHo recommendation, but would add that you might also enjoy wandering up to the 8th Street area around NYU, where there are lots of clothing and shoe shops.
posted by sueinnyc at 11:03 AM on May 23, 2007

Buttercup Bake Shop is on 2nd between 51 and 52. I don't know that they deliver, but I can vouch for how great their cupcakes and banana pudding are. I would go with a red velvet cake.
posted by harrumph at 11:19 AM on May 23, 2007

Forever 21 may work if she likes H&M. (Another big store with pretty cheap clothes.) My sister is turning 16 and makes us take her whenever she's in the city.

These stores do exist outside of NYC - so your best bet is probably SoHo for the experience.
posted by LittleLisi at 11:23 AM on May 23, 2007

Oops, forgot about Serendipity 3 - thanks sueinnyc. A frozen hot chocolate there will change your and your daughter's lives. Not to be missed.
posted by shothotbot at 2:50 PM on May 23, 2007

Time Out hasn't yet come out with a shopping guide for New York as it has for London; I'm not sure how much one can glean from the website if one isn't a subscriber. Zagat has a New York shopping guide, as does Where to Wear.
posted by brujita at 9:50 PM on May 23, 2007

Response by poster: Thank you all for your help - they were all "best answers." Looks like SoHo,St. Marks, and the East Village are on the top of the list. Spicynuts, we of course have to go to Saks/Bergdorf/Barneys - Mom needs to shop too! I like the Forever 21 idea, too, LittleLisi. As for Serendidpity 3, who could pass up a life changing event that includes chocolate?

As for the cake, we may have to sample a few of the suggestions, instead of one, which may of course make my weight-conscious teenaged daughter some angst...

Brooklyn is actually a great idea,mkultra. My husband grew up right next door to Brighton Beach, and it's been years since we've been back.

Thanks to all of you again.
posted by Flakypastry at 4:49 AM on May 24, 2007

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