Perhaps it's the thrill of the hunt; perhaps it's the chance to buy "designer" merchandise for a fraction of the price. Either way, people journey to Canal Street in Chinatown every day where vendors both legitimate and illegal sell their wares to herds of shoppers in tiny stores along the overcrowded sidewalks, and occasionally in "secret locations" off the main street. Use common sense and caution when heading off the main street in search of better deals. Generally, the purses, watches, sunglasses and other merchandise sold here are imitations of designer originals. The police patrol the area and sometimes perform raids, but it doesn't seem to slow the transactions.
Aside from the usual knock-offs, Canal Street is also home to some great bargain specialty shops. If the promise of "Prada, Coach and Gucci" doesn't thrill you, head over to the south side. Shoppers can pick up Chinese figurines, unusual foods and remedies, disco balls, costume jewelry, and even electronic belt buckles. A few large stores possess a virtual gallery of ceramic dishware and vases for prices a department store could never match.
Don't worry about offending the sellers by asking for a lower price. Haggling is encouraged throughout the area, but be prepared to pay in cash. For a bite to eat, grab a hot dog from a vendor and watch the shoppers whiz by and try to cross busy Canal Street.
- Subway Stop:
- 6, J, N, Q trains to thee Canal Street Station all times
- R train to the Canal Street Station all times except late nights
- M, W trains to the Canal Street Station during weekdays
- Z train to the Canal Street Station during rush hour
- 4 train to the Canal Street Station during late nights