03 July 2012

On the Avenues

Howdy folks! Today, let me take you to another area of New York City that I frequent: Sixth and Seventh Avenues in midtown. Sixth Avenue is also known as "Avenue of the Americas" where you'll find towering corporate offices and commercial buildings. But in the middle of it all is an oasis called Bryant Park.

It's so much smaller compared to Central Park, and that's the reason I like it. It's not overwhelming {it can be explored in less than an hour}, and it has the things you'd normally require of a park, like a fountain, open spaces and lots of trees.

The park management provides many activities all year round, especially during the spring and summer months. You'll find people playing chess, table tennis, petanque, doing yoga or tai chi. Free classes are also offered like juggling, knitting, and writing.

There's a "Reading Room" with racks of books, newspapers and magazines. You can borrow these while you have your lunch or afternoon coffee break -- simply pull up a chair.

Look, they even have books for little ones!

The lawn invites picnickers, sunbathers, and anyone with weary feet to sit and rest.

During the warm months, a stage is set-up for free Broadway performances and sunset movie screenings. During winter, this becomes a skating rink with a Christmas market surrounding it. Not so long ago, this was where the white tents of Fashion Week were set-up before they moved them to Lincoln Center.

There's a restaurant and several cafes within the park, as well as a public restroom. Truly, it's the patch of nature you need without having to leave the city.

There's no playground but there's a carousel to keep the children entertained.

When you're ready to wander off, may I suggest the following places?

Books Kinokuniya is a Japanese shop that carries books {a treasure trove of English titles available}, magazines, and Manga comics. There's a cafe on the third floor and the basement houses gifts, art supplies like Origami paper and paint brushes, stationery and super cute office supplies.  I come here for Asian cookbooks, craft books {instructions are in Japanese but the pictures give the step-by-step guide} and Washi tape.

This part of midtown is called the "Garment District", and Seventh Avenue is also known as "Fashion Avenue" where many fashion designers have showrooms. You'll also find Parsons The New School for Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology here, so it's no surprise that there's a concentration of fabric stores and places to buy trim such as ribbons, buttons, beads and jewelry findings. Here are my favorites:

Here's a peek inside Tinsel Trading Company -- don't 
these fabric flowers excite you?!  

You're sure to find everything in New York City, whatever you're into. If you're an avid crafter like myself, a stop at these shops {ones you won't find in a tourist guidebook} will surely get your creative juices flowing -- and allows you to produce a unique travel souvenir.

Bryant Park: 1065 Sixth Avenue and West 42nd Street
Books Kinokuniya: 1073 Sixth Avenue and West 41st Street
NY Beads: 989 6th Ave, New York, NY 10018
M and J Trimming: 1008 Sixth Avenue and West 37th Street
Toho Shoji: 990 Sixth Avenue and West 36th Street
Tinsel Trading Company: 1 West 37th Street and 5th Avenue (new address here)
Pacific Trimming: 218 West 38th Street and 7th Avenue
Daytona Trims: 251 West 39th Street and 8th Avenue  


  1. I had the opportunity to visit NY this year. We went with my daughters band so it was a fast visit to get in as much as we can as fast as we can. I really want to go back. I loved it there. Not so much to live but I would go back just to shop and explore. We did not get to see much of Central park. What we did was beautiful! Bryant park looks like a great place to hang out for awhile as well. Thanks for sharing with us this place. I enjoyed your photos very much.

  2. Thank you for sharing your New York story, Diane! Your daughter has a band? That's super cool! I hope you guys find yourself in New York sometime soon -- there's lots to do and discover. Take care! :)

  3. You just named some of my favorite spots in the city... :)New York Beads is definitely the best bead shop in that area.

  4. Happy Monday Beeca Ray! Hope to bump into you one day :)


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