Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Welcome to Drunk Shopping, our feature celebrating the time-honored tradition of getting totally wasted while the sun's still shining before buying a bunch of debatably useful stuff that the sober you would be too timid or too restrained to take home. Each Friday we'll cobble together a new itinerary starting you off with a boozy Saturday or Sunday brunch before meandering through a few neighboring retailers and happy hours notable for seasonal specials, limited time availability, fantastic deals, recent openings, or new shipments.
Congratulations Laura—you're one of three Drunk Shopping contest winners! Laura will be taking home a sweet Pierre Hardy-designed Sequoia bag; but more importantly, she has the unparalleled honor of dictating this weekend's Drunk Shopping expedition—a high/low jaunt through the Upper West Side.
Took a peek at the #drunkshopping tag and noticed that the Upper West Side has largely been neglected. This is unfortunate, since it's one of my favorite neighborhoods to eat, drink, and shop in on a leisurely/lazy afternoon. Here are my recommendations:
Grab a group of your favorite friends for a drunk brunch at Calle Ocho, where you can munch on chorizo-filled burritos, Venezuelan sweet corn crepes, Cuban sandwiches or cinnamon-sugar doughnuts—for about $16. For the price of an entree, you'll have access to their infamous sangria bar with no less than eight different varieties. Though it's self-serve, the sangria is also unlimited and you'll be tempted to stay until they break down the sangria bar at 4pm. Do yourself a favor and try to limit your Bacchanalia to a generous two hours: anymore than that and you might end up with some questionable purchases after blacking out during shopping.
It's always fun to do a little thrifting when you're drunk because you'll feel less inhibited about trying on that '80's sequined pink blazer that somehow ends up making you look faaaabulous. After brunch, stop by Housing Works Thrift Shop on Columbus. Though there's a Goodwill on Amsterdam, it's probably better to stay strictly on Columbus for the best shopping. After this pit stop, you'll then have two routes to choose: shopping for beauty products or clothes (or both!).
If you're sick of dirty makeup counters and overcrowded, understaffed Sephoras, the stretch of Columbus from 66th to 69th is pretty glorious. Stop by Space NK for some lesser-known imported cosmetics, or visit the more familiar Lancome store for top-notch service at their makeup counter. With your brunch buzz, you'll feel less inhibited about trying all the free samples.
Your favorite shea butter hand creams and face washes are available at L'Occitane and Kiehl's, but if you're looking for a fragrance, I'd recommend Fresh. At any of these locations, persuade one of your friends to give you a hand massage, or maybe you'll get lucky and an employee will offer you one.
Round off your drunk shopping with a little makeover at the MAC store—and don't be afraid to experiment!
If you're looking to shop for clothes, hit Broadway. Check out the trends at Barney's Co-op, but instead of paying full prices, head next door to Loehmann's for designer deals at heavily discounted prices.
Finally, if you're still looking to maintain your buzz, head back uptown to Jake's Dilemma for half price drinks until 8pm, or walk towards places like Whym in Hell's Kitchen; one of more than a dozen Thai spots offering happy hour drinks and cheap dinners.
Nicely done, Laura! You're right, we tend towards the lower end of Manhattan if only because we know it a bit better. We're about to learn all about Calle Ocho, though—that sangria bar sounds unreal!
Enjoy! And please do share your Drunk Shopping tips, tales, and war stories in the comments!
· Drunk Shopping archives [Racked NY]