Macy’s – Shopping in Manhattan

Macy’s at 34th street

One of the most easily accessible shopping places – both from New York and New Jersey, this is a popular haunt for shoppers from all over. There are a number of entrances for this block long store – viz. Broadway, 7th Ave., 34th st., 35th st. Entering from the main Broadway entrance one would encounter an array of counters for accessories including bags, belts, jewelry, etc. and cosmetics. On the right up a flight of stairs one can refresh with coffee and cake from Starbucks. Further down across the escalators is the section for perfumes. At the escalator point, the one leading below takes one to the “cellar”, kitchen items, restrooms, salad bars, Godiva and other chocolate section. The one leading above takes one to endless rows of women’s apparel.  It is a matter of following the charts given in all floors which give floor wise details of products displayed. Macy’s have their locations at various places but this is the flagship store.

Macy’s Discount coupon for out-of-town visitors: If you are from out of state or country you can check with the customer service desk (it’s a little out of the way in the mezzanine) for discounts. For domestic visitors the discount is valid for 5 days whiles for international visitors it is valid for 30 days. For international visitors this savings card is available in Spanish, Japanese, German, French, Italian, Chinese, Korean and Portuguese (apart from English). But one should go through the fine print given overleaf since the discounts may not apply to some of the brands. The continuity of this scheme can be checked at the Macy’s site.

Macy’s at 34th Street and Broadway, Herald Square, NYC

 

 

 

 

 

 

Macy’s at 34th Street and Broadway, Herald Square, NYC

One can get almost any type of attire here – formal, casual, sports wear, gowns, outerwear et al. Its also kept brand wise – so if one has any preference it is easier to shop. There is also “Macy’s by Appointment”. This is a free service which helps one to shop as per taste, budget and requirement. The store provides the personal-shopping staff. At times when one has something specific in mind, this is a good option since it is possible to get lost in this sea of apparel and other products. This service helps with wardrobe, gifts selection, shopping parties etc.There are few restaurants and cafes within the Macy’s premises.

Macy's 34th st
Macy’s 34th st

About Macy’s- Founded in 1858 by Rowland H. Macy as a dry goods store in Massachusetts, today it is a chain of more than 850 stores spread in 45 states with revenue of over $27 billion. This mid-range department store has its flagship store in Herald Square in Manhattan, NYC which is slated to be largest store in the world. Other National flagship stores are in San Francisco and Chicago; Divisional flagship stores being in Miami, Atlanta, St. Louis, Seattle. But to reach this enviable position this chain with humble beginnings has undergone numerous mergers and acquisitions and also changes in management.
1858 – Macy’s founded by R.H. Macy (initially it was at 14th street & 6th Av., then moved to 18th Street & Broadway)
1896 – R. H. Macy’s acquired by Isidor and Nathan Straus
1902 – Moves to Herald Square at 34th and Broadway.
1924-1931 – Additions and expansions leading the store to occupy almost the entire block.  Currently this building is designated a National Historic Landmark.
1922 – Macy’s went public.
1920s – 1940s – numerous acquisitions including Davison-Paxon-Stokes, L.Bamberger & Co., John Taylor Dry Goods Co. These were named Macy’s. However later in 1986 the Midwest location stores were sold off.
1986 – 1988 – Edward Finkelstein (Chairman & CEO of Macy’s) led a leveraged buyout of the company. An attempt to takeover Federated Department Stores Inc. proves futile. Macy’s buys the California based divisions of Federated – Bullock’s, Bullocks Wilshire and I. Magnin.
1992 – Macy’s files for Bankruptcy. The banks bring in a new management. Non-performing stores are closed and Macy’s is divided into Macy’s East and Macy’s West.
1994- R.H. macy & Co. merges with Federated Department Stores. After merger another shake up happens where I.Magnin Chain is shut down, a number of California acquisitions are sold to Saks Fifth Avenue and several converted to Macy’s or Bullock’s.
Late 1990s – early 2000s – More acquisitions and sales and consolidations. Most of the acquisitions renamed “Macy’s”.
2005 – Federated acquired May Department. After this acquisition Federated renames all regional department stores of May as Macy’s though there was vehement objection to this from the locals.
2006 – Divests May’s Lord & Taylor.
2007 – Federated Department Stores name changed to Macy’s Inc. It continues to operate stores under Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s.

Macy’s organizes the annual Thanksgiving Parade in New York City. It is an elaborate and exciting affair with people coming from all over the country to enjoy the parade.
Reference: Macy’s
Related Articles:
New York City Shopping – 34th street, 6th to 7th Avenue ; New York City Shopping – 34th Street, 7th Ave. to 8th Ave. ; New York City Shopping – 34th St. 5th to 6th Ave. ;  Manhattan Mall – Shopping in New York City 

Shopping in New York City

Shopping, in the US is the single most important and obsessive activity for people (I guess apart from sex!). It is almost a religion in itself! And place of worship of this “religion’ would be the malls, department stores, exclusive showrooms and boutiques.
For an outsider it is very easy to get submerged in the deluge of stores, products, deals, coupons, sale et al. But a little groundwork could make you ease your way through this jungle. And let me tell you – it is a wonderful jungle indeed!34_st_nyc_manhattan_mall

The best place to start would be the Mall of the area you are visiting. This would give you a bird’s eye view of the latest trends, fads and sale going on – all under one roof. It would also afford the opportunity to compare prices, check out the best and expensive as well as the cheaper items. Its like you have everything under one roof. You might find an item in store A is more expensive than the similar/same item in store B. This does happen, especially when there is a sale going on in one and not in the other. So go around, almost like a reconnaissance. Once you are clear about the goods available and how the price and utility fits you, you can go ahead and buy it. Reduces the after purchase remorse! Especially, when you have come as a tourist and have limited time. But otherwise, the return policies in most outlets are good – ranges from 15 days to 3 months and in some cases 6 months, depending on the product. NYC provides shopping experience to match all budgets – from the really discounted shopping in Chinatown, Flushing etc. to the most exclusive experiences in Upper East Side, 5th Ave. etc.

Sale & Clearance in New York City

The best deals available, amongst other days, are during Thanksgiving (last Thursday of November), the days before Christmas (December), before Valentine (which falls on 14th February), before Columbus day (2nd Monday of october), before Independence day (14th July). Apart from these, each store / outlet has sale/clearance days often. The clearance after New Year is one of the best. You get very good deals on winter clothes, disc threads et al.

Malls in New York

In New York City there are numerous malls. Some of them are given below –

1) Manhattan Mall – 6th Ave and 33rd Street
2) South Street Seaport – 12 Fulton Street
3) Trump Tower – Columbus Circle?
4) Queens Center – 90-15 Queens Blvd.
5) Kings Plaza Shopping Center & Marina – 5100 Kings Plaza, Brooklyn
6) Staten Island Mall – 2655 Richmond Avenue
7) Newport Mall – Jersey City
8) Jersey Gardens – outlet mall

 

NYC Times Square
NYC Times Square


Some of the shopping areas in Manhattan include –

1) Garment District
2) Midtown
3) SoHo
4) Chelsea
5) East Village
6) Greenwich Village
7) Financial District
8) Gramercy Park
9) Meat Packing District
10) South Street Seaport
11) Union Square
12) Tribeca
13) Upper West Side
14) Upper East Side

Some of the stores found in the malls are –

Aldo, Arden B. New York & Company, Sunglass hut,
Ann Taylor, Avenue , Banana Republic,
Barnes & Noble, Bloomingdale’s, Brooks Brothers,
Calvin Klein, Charlotte Russe, Claire’s Boutique,
Coach, Coach, D & G, David’s Bridal, Dick’s Sporting Goods,
Forever 21, Fortunoff, Frederick’s of Hollywood, Gap,
Golf Galaxy, H&M, J. Crew, JC Penny, Kohls, Lane Bryant,
Le Chateau, Lids, Lola, Macy’s, Motherhood Maternity,
Neiman Marcus, Nordstorm Rack, Lord & Taylor,
Off 5th – Saks 5th Ave, Pay half, Polo Ralph Lauren,
Sears, Steve & Barry’s, Strawberry, Swarovski Crystal,
Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria’s Secret, Wet Seal,
Yankee Candle.

34_st_nyc_manhattan_mall_aeropostle

Related articles :

More on Shopping in Manhattan, New York –
Shopping in NYC – 34th street, 6th to 7th Avenue ;   Shopping in Manhattan, NYC- 34th Street, 7th Ave. to 8th Ave. ;
Manhattan Mall Shopping, NYC

CDG to Paris City

Getting to the Paris City Center from Charles de Gaulle

For public transport enquiries there is an SNCF desk on the fourth floor of Terminal 2. There are numerous public transport options from CDG to Paris City. The same connects from Paris City to CDG.

RAIL :

This entire region is well connected by rail – the TGV, RER B, etc. The airport is accessible through all of these.
At Charles de Gaulle, the SNCF French Railways station is located in Terminal 2. SNCF is the National Railway of France and it manages the high speed TGV, Eurostar, Corail Téoz, Corail Lunéa etc. (Click to enlarge Map)Map of various train routes, France
To get to the station at terminal 2 from terminal 1 and 3, take the CDGVAL. The time table of these trains are given on screen opposite the exits from the baggage claim areas in terminal 2 (A,B,C,D,E,F). In terminal 2 follow the signs for “Paris par train”. There are moving walkways here. Once the station is reached the trains are available to the city and also other places in France and into the neighboring countries directly from the airport.
At level 1 – Platforms for RER B, TGV, Thalys, Mainline.
At level 2 – the SNCF station
At level 4 – moving walkways for accessing terminals 2 (C,D,E,F)
At level 5 – Departure of  Taxis and hotel shuttles.

The TGV –
From the CDG airport the TGV trains depart to the following main directions –
1) To Lille (Northwards)TGV Route, France
2) To Lyon (Center)
3) To the Mediterranean (Southwards)
4) To the Alps (South-East)
5) To Bordeaux (South-West)
6) To Brittany (Westwards)

With speeds of 200mph, the TGV is the fastest land travel around France and also into Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Its network covers over 60 destinations across France. (Click to enlarge Map; Maps courtesy SNCF)

1) CDG To Lille (Northwards) – In this route the TGV covers the following stops : Massy-TGV, Marne-La Vallee-Chessy-TGV-Disney, Airport-Charles-de-Gaulle-TGV, TGV-haute-Picardie, Arras, Douai, Lille Europe, Lille Flanders and onto Brussels.
2) CDG To Lyon (Center) – In this route the stops covered are Massy-TGV, massy- Palaiseau, Airport-Charles-de-Gaulle-TGV, Marne-La Vallee-Chessy-TGV-Disney, Lyon –Part-Dieu, Lyon-Perrache, Grenoble.
3) CDG To the Mediterranean (Southwards) – Here it covers Airport-Charles-de-Gaulle-TGV, Marne-La Vallee-Chessy-TGV-Disney, Massy-TGV, massy- Palaiseau, Lyon –Part-Dieu, Valence-TGV, Valence-Ville, Avignon-TGV, Avignon-Center, Aix-en-Provence-TGV, Marseille, Toulon, St-Raphael, Cannes, Antibes, Nice, Nimes, Montpellier, Sete, Agde, Beziers, Narbonne, Toulouse, Perpignan.
4) CDG To the Alps (South-East) – The TGV stops are at Airport-Charles-de-Gaulle-TGV, Marne-La Vallee-Chessy-TGV-Disney, Massy-TGV, Montbard, Dijon, Dole, Besancon, Chambery, Moutiers,Bourg-St-Maurice, St-Gervais.
5) CDG To Bordeaux (South-West) – The TGV stops are at Airport-Charles-de-Gaulle-TGV, Marne-La Vallee-Chessy-TGV-Disney, Massy-TGV, St-Pierre-des-Corps, Futuroscope, Poitiers, Angouleme, Libourne, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Hendaye.
6) CDG To Brittany (Westwards) – The TGV stops are at Airport-Charles-de-Gaulle-TGV, Marne-La Vallee-Chessy-TGV-Disney, Massy-TGV, Le Mans, Angers, nantes, Le Croisic, Laval, Rennes, Quimper.

RER B & METRO
France Metro, RER, TER Map
The RER (Regional Express Network or Réseau Express Régional) is a rapid transit system which combines the regional rail with the metro. It is hence managed by both the RATP (which manages the metro) and the SNCF.  The RER has several lines viz. A,B,C,D and E.
The RER B runs between Robinson and St.-Remy-les-Chevreuse to Aeroport Charles de Gaulle and Mitry-Claye. The B line has four branches. In the north the Airport-CDG line (B3) and the Mitry-Claye line (B5) meet the city branch at Aulnay-Sous-Bois. The Robinson (B2) and Remy-les-Chevreuse (B4) meet at Bourg-la-Reine. (Click to enlarge map. Courtesy RATP)
This is a good option for transit from the airport into the city. It goes to Gare du Nord. Gare du Nord (or North station – Gare means ‘station’) is one of the main stations of SCNF network. It provides connection to several lines – Eurostar, Thalys, TGV, TER, RER D, RER E, Metro lines 2, 4 and 5. It is really convenient to travel from Gare du Nord because of the excellent connectivity. But this is a very crowded station. One needs to be careful with their belongings.
From the airport taking the RER one can get to Paris and within the city the following connections are available (apart from Gare du Nord given above) –
Chatelet les Halles  –  RER A, RER D, Metro lines 1,4,7,11,14
St-Michel Notre-Dame – RER C, metro lines 4, 10.
Denfert-Rochereau – Metro lines 4,6.

The RER runs daily from 4:45 A.M. to 1:30 A.M. The Metro runs daily from 5:20 A.M to1:20 A.M. On Saturday night it runs an extra hour.
The stations covered in the Metro lines are given separately – List of Paris metro stations

Thalys
Thalys connects Paris, Marseille, Bourg-St.-Maurice (the latter two in southern France), Amsterdam (in Netherlands), Cologne (in  Thalys RouteGermany), Brussels, Ostend (in Belgium) and several stations in between. It also touches CDG before forking off to Marseille and Bourg-St-Maurice. Thus one can take the Thalys directly to Brussels from CDG airport. (Click to enlarge map)

BUS:

The double digit numbered buses serve the Paris City area and for the suburbs it is three digits. All buses run from Monday morning to Saturday evening. Many run on Sundays and public holidays but with lesser frequency. The buses run from 5.30 A.M. until 8.30 P.M. and many continue till a little after midnight. At night however it is the special “Noctilien lines” which do the rounds. Noctilien is the network of night buses in the Ile-de-France region and their line numbers start with the letter N. It operates at night between half past midnight  and 5.30 A.M., 7 days a week, when the metro, RER, buses and suburban trains are shut down. It connects the 5 major transfer stations – Gare Montparnasse, Châtelet, Gare St Lazare, Gare de Lyon and Gare de l’Est apart from serving other areas which are generally busy at night viz. Champs Elysees, Bastille, Place de Clichy etc. (N01, N02). (Click to enlarge map. Courtesy RATP)France- Bus Route Map

Roissybus
The RATP runs a special “Roissybus” from Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport to 9 Rue Scribe. This is near the Opera de Paris (Palais Garnier) in the center of Paris. The bus runs between 6 A.M. and 11 P.M. There is a bus every 15 minutes (after 7 P.M. its a 20 minute gap) It stops at all three terminals.

Bus line 350 – This connects Terminal 2A and 2C and Roissypole Gare RER to the Gare de l’Est. Other stations covered in this route are Pte de la Chapelle, Musee de l’Air, Garonor Porte Sud, Citroen Production, Parc des Expositions, Fret Center.

Bus line 351 connects Terminal 1, Terminal 2A, 2C Roissypole Gare RER to Paris Nation. The other stations covered in this route are Bagnolet Gallieni M, Auguste Polissard, Pierre Semard, Fret Center, Entretien Sud ADP.
It is not allowed to take these buses to travel between terminals.

The Noctilien (Night Buses of Paris)
The Noctilien lines which serve the airport include –
Line N140, which connects the CDG airport to Gare de l’Est. At Gare de l’Est one can connect to N41, N42, N43, N44, N45, N141, N142.
Line N121 which has the airport at one end and Gare de La Verriere at the other end. In this route, apart from others, the main stops it touches are Gare de l’Est, Chatelet and Gare Montparnasse.
Line N120 connects the airport to the southern part to Corbell RER. This route covers Gare de l’Est, Chatelet, Gare de Lyon, Juvisy RER amongst others.

Taxis – CDG:

Taxis are available outside the airport. As in other major airports, one can follow the “Taxi” sign. But they would be comparatively expensive especially during the daytime when heavy traffic is common. In the evening there is a surcharge. Also they charge for each piece of luggage and extra charge applies for the fourth passenger. Customers are expected to tip about 10%. Also while going to the airport it would be better to call for a cab to pick you up. The meter will however start from where the taxi leaves to pick you up which could be from anywhere in the city. Child/infant seats are not available. English speaking drivers are rare. Better to have the destination address written down along with some major landmark or RER/Metro stations for added reference. But then this would be definitely be a very convenient form of transportation since it would be door to door without any transfers.

CDG Airport Shuttles

Another door to door service but reasonably priced is the airport shuttle. These are mini vans used on a shared basis – i.e. other passengers would also be picked up. However for this advance reservations are required. If there is a lot of luggage or children or seniors travelling where transfers would be cumbersome, this is the best option in terms for value for money. It would of course take more time than a taxi since it would pick up and drop other passengers as well.

Car Rental at CDG:

Car Rentals are available at all terminals. Some of the noted ones operating here are –
1) Hertz
2) Avis
3) Budget
4) Europcar
5) National Citer
6) Sixt Car Rental
7) TT car Transit
8) Aeroports Limousine Service

Limousines:
There might be chauffeurs outside the airport trying to solicit customers. These could be unduly expensive and it is advisable not to take these. If opted for, it is highly recommended that the exact fare be agreed upon before starting the journey.

References:
RATP ; Thalys ; SNCF ; SNCF-UK ; Aeroports de Paris

Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airport, Paris – CDG terminals, CDG Car Parking

One of the busiest airports in Europe, the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle International airport has numerous modes of transportation available from the airport to the Paris city center. The airport is connected through the RER & Metro, TGV, Thalys, Bus, Roissybus, Noctilien (Night bus line), airport shuttles, taxis, limousines, airport car rentals etc. Terminals are connected via the CGDVAL. Thus its famous high speed trains, metro, bus and night bus services integrate into one well tuned transit machinery.

Paris Airport

Paris has 4 main Airports. Two of them are for private jets and discount flights but the other two are for large commercial flights. The ones for the commercial flights are the Charles de Gaulle airport at Roissy and the Orly airport. The Charles De Gaulle or CDG or just Roissy airport is the main international airport of France. Orly Airport is actually located partly in Orly and partly in Villeneuve-le-roi (towards south of Paris). Before the CDG, the Orly was the main airport. It caters to both international and domestic flights. The other two important airports are Beauvais-Tillé (mainly for discount airlines) and Le Bourget (mainly for business/private jets). The Paris Airshow takes place at Le Bourget. Aeroports de Paris manages CDG, Orly and Le Bourget airports apart from other airfields and airports.

Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), Paris

Address: BP 20101, 95711, Roissy Charles de Gaulle, France

This airport construction started in 1966 and it was opened for service in 1974. The architect was Paul Andreu. It is a little more than 14 miles (23 Km) to the NE of Paris. It is the world’s tenth busiest airport.
CDG has 3 terminals. Terminals 1, Terminal 3 and Terminal 2 being a collection of 6 sections, each acting as a terminal. Hence the terminals here at Charles de Gaulle are 1, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2F, 3. 2E had encountered an unpleasant accident – a portion of the terminal collapsed in 2004 due to what was later determined as “design flaws”. A new terminal is being built in its place with completion in 2008. Meanwhile two departure lounges have been set up to handle the 2E passengers. Between terminals one can commute using the CDGVAL automatic Light Rail System. In terminal 2 the VAL station is quite a long walk from its farther halls. The Terminal 2 is served by RER and TGV stations underneath making it very convenient for commute into the city or other places in continental Europe.
Terminal 1 is mainly for non-Air France flights. All terminal 2 sections cater to Air France. Apart from Air France, terminal 2A caters to Japan Airlines, Continental, Air Canada, Air India, El Al Israel Airlines, etc., terminal 2B caters to the European airlines including Swiss, Bulgaria Air, Austrian Airlines etc.. Terminal 2C is for Air France long haul flights and also Aeromexico, Emirates etc. Terminals 2D and 2F are for Air France. 2D caters to Luxair (Luxembourg), Finnair, Portugalia etc. From 2F it’s Korean Air, KLM etc.  Terminal 3 is mainly for seasonal charter flights and also Air Memphis, Air Cairo amongst others.Charles de Gaulle Airport Map

Car Parking at CDG

One can park the car at the CDG airport and leave it for days if required (of course parking fees apply!). CDG has a number of well maintained car parks and they are efficiently connected by the CGDVAL. Terminal 1 is served P1. P R is also relatively nearby. From here Terminal 1 is a two minute ride by CDGVAL.  P3 Sud (south) and P3 Est (East) serve terminal 3. Terminals 2A and 2B are served by P AB, terminals 2C and 2D by P CD, terminals 2E and 2F by P EF. They are all well connected and accessible by the CDGVAL. P X and P vacances, are the other car parks in the CDG airport. P1, P3, P AB,P CD are the express car parks from where the terminals are accessible by a couple of minutes walk. P vacances and P X are open air car parks with no spaces reserved for the disabled. In case of P X one would have to take the CDGVAL to access the terminals from here. Its rates are different from the others. P vacances is close to terminal 3 – a five minute walk. But from other terminals it is relatively far and would not be a practical option. Mainly ideal for longer hours of parking.   Payments at the car parks can be made by credit card or cash. Checks are not accepted. The first ten minutes are free (except for P vacances).

Commuting between terminals at Charles de Gaulle

There is a free automatic service called the CGDVAL connecting the three terminals, the RER and TGV stations, the car parks and the bus station. This takes about 8 minutes. (Click to enlarge Map; Map, courtesy Aeroports de Paris)

References:
RATP ; Thalys ; SNCF ; SNCF-UK ; Aeroports de Paris

Newport Mall, Jersey City – Low Tax Shopping

The Newport Mall in Jersey City is located very conveniently off of Exit 14C on NJ Turnpike near the entrance of the Holland Tunnel. It is a prime shopping destination in Hudson County, New Jersey. It is a great destination for New Yorkers too because of the lower sales tax (3%) since it comes under the “Urban Enterprise Zone“. It specially makes sense when making big ticket purchases. Continue reading “Newport Mall, Jersey City – Low Tax Shopping”