Among New Yorkers who love to shop, frugal ones and those who understand good value rarely pass a chance to check out a thrift store. It’s best when the stores are clumped together because then you can get the hunt out of your system more efficiently.
Understanding and appreciating good value are two different things. A pair of way too tight Prada shoes for $40 is a value that must be scooped up. That’s understanding. A fifth cashmere sweater? Appreciation.
I know where there are three good ones sort of clumped together. Housing Works has been written about and it is good but it is also known to be sometimes crazy expensive. They are in the business of supporting HIV research and one of their best bargains is free—condoms!! Most stores have a basket of condoms near the cash register, so there’s that. Housing Works has stores all over Manhattan and in my neighbourhood there is one on Columbus Avenue between 74th and 75th.
Next, consider Goodwill at 157 West 72nd, between Broadway and Columbus. About 21/2 blocks from Housing Works. The men’s section often has dress shirts—with brands like Brooks Brothers—and suits at ridiculously low prices. There is another Goodwill at 217 West 79th between Amsterdam and Broadway. That stock can run hot and cold but therein lies the benefit of batch shopping. When one store is light on inventory, another might be heavy. I hardly ever hit up just one, and usually make the circuit of all three.