Walking along the famous stretch of 5th Avenue between 42nd Street and 59th Street is spent elbowing through crowds, dodging bicyclists and endlessly bumping into people who have not mastered the art of walking while texting.
The high-end stores that line the block are filled with those either not actually buying anything or with shoppers who welcome the awing looks of others while they strut down the street with their Tiffany Blue bag.
The Upper East Side section of Madison Avenue is the less pretentious alternative to high-end shopping. Madison runs parallel to 5th Avenue but is more peaceful and considerably less crowded. Here you will find the same extravagant stores – Chanel, Fendi, Michael Kors – mixed in with luxury boutiques.
Even if just window shopping, I notice that each store’s staff is more friendly because they don’t have to manage the large crowds coming in and out of the stores like those on 5th Ave. My favorite day for strolling through Madison is on Sunday late mornings/early afternoons carrying a cup of espresso and gawking at all the amazing clothes. Tired of walking? Sit it one of the window front cafes and people watch.