Partial View of a Retail Store in the Soho Section of Manhattan, New York City.
Judie Long/age fotostock
If Fifth Avenue in Midtown is New York’s primary higher-end retail strip, with Saks Fifth Avenue, Henri Bendel, and Bergdorf Goodman as its anchors, the SoHo section of Broadway (between Houston and Canal) is its less glamorous sister, crowded with young shoppers pretty much every day of the year. Established chain brands have largely taken over, with Uniqlo, Banana Republic, and CB2 among those represented. In addition to them, there’s a downtown branch of Bloomingdale’s that tries to follow a more fashion-forward path than the Upper East Side mother ship. Also tucked between the familiar brands are a few bargain holdouts from the days when the neighborhood attracted students on budgets, selling T-shirts and jeans in no-frills, fluorescent-lit spaces. The shopping continues in both directions off of Broadway: Nolita, to the east, has more small, unique boutiques; head west, into SoHo, and you’ll find more-upscale brands than those represented on Broadway.