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Welcome to Drunk Shopping! Our new feature celebrates 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.
It's July. The weather is miserable. The City stinks. Everyone you know is somewhere else. But it's not just any July, is it? It's the Summer of Suck. The temperatures have been unreal and the ensuing brownouts and confused, brown trees are just a bummer. All the movies are bad. The economy still stinks. Earthquakes and oil spills, Lindsay Lohan, the threat of a Sarah Palin-related reality show—just, wow. There are but two activities that have no forsaken us: Sale shopping and power drinking. Enter Drunk Shopping.
Drunk Shopping explores new territory this sticky, sucky weekend: The Upper East Side. Why now? Who? Huh? Yeah—the department stores are all on sale. We're doing lunch instead of brunch, hitting JG Melon for tall Bloody Marys and the burgers and cottage potatoes that made this east side institution the go-to spot for generations of seersucker-clad preppies seeking solid, all-American fare amongst other seersucker-clad preppies.
Now, let's get down to business, it's sale o'clock. July is one of those mystical, transitional months when retailers mark down—sometimes for the second or third time—many of the spring and summer items that they received back when it was still snowing. Meanwhile, New Yorkers have at least six more weeks of sweating misery to look forward to. So summer dresses, swimwear, shorts, tanks, tees and all that ubiquitous seersucker remain not necessarily impractical—especially at 40 or 50 or 60 percent off! On top of all of that, pre-fall is trickling in and what better time to set your sights on the stuff you'll be buying on sale come New Year's?
Head south on Lexington and you'll hit Bloomingdale's. That's your first stop. From there Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman are just steps west. Hit them all; people watch; try stuff on because it's funny; fondle; even go to the crazy expensive floors because, hey, 60% off way too much is only too much; rinse and repeat.
Before, after, in between—take a break. The Subway Inn on E. 60th Street is one of those original, old-timey dive bars that are becoming harder and harder to find. Dark and dusty, cheap and friendly, it's a nice juxtaposition to the cathedrals of high-end commerce you've spent the afternoon pillaging. But don't get overly philosophical, just get another beer.
Post the Subway Inn-adjacent cluster you have a couple of options: You can continue your shopping at Saks, just a few blocks south. You can go roll around in Central Park. Or you can head north and try Daniel Boulud's fancy, new cocktail spot Bar Pleiades. It's not cheap but people are buzzing; and when in Rome?
Enjoy! And please do share your Drunk Shopping tips, tales, and war stories in the comments!
· Drunk Shopping [Racked NY]