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This is Making Better Use Of..., in which we explore ways to make better use of certain stores' sideshow features. All retail sideshows—in-store book signings, DJed trunk shows, say, or the classic hipster boutique's cocktail hour—are designed for the express purpose of increasing your cash output. You should at least have a good time whilst you're getting gouged.
In the unlikely event that you've been too busy shopping to notice, we're in an election year. At Charles Nolan in the Meatpacking District, keeping up with political reading needn't be interrupted by the search for crisp white shirts and Lucite candlesticks. The roomy dressing area is conveniently outfitted with a library of left-leaning literature, from "How Bush Rules" to "Blood Money." There are several comfortable chairs for kicking back and leafing through "The Other Side of War - Women's Stories," or to become engrossed in "The Survivor - Bill Clinton in the White House." Take advantage of this public service, but be careful not to overindulge: Reading this genre may inspire you to make a political donation instead of springing for that houndstooth jacket.