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The 38 Essential New York Stores, October 2011

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Once again, it's time to update the Racked 38, our list of the city's definitive shopping experiences. You could spend your whole life exploring the city's retail scene, but these are the 38 stores that sum it up most completely—your answer and ours to any question that begins "Can you recommend a store that...?" Because it's all about the mix, we tried to include a range of neighborhoods, price points, and merchandise, leaving out food shops and anything that's been open less than six months.

This time around, we're removing two stores that shook up New York when they opened but have since settled in and lost some of their novelty. Now that the Bowery is lined with luxury hotels, it's getting hard to remember what a big deal it was when John Varvatos moved into the former home of CBGB. And now that Topshop has been open on Broadway for a couple years, we've all finally gotten used to having the UK's fastest fashion at our fingertips. Both stores have been replaced with young but promising upstarts: Creatures of Comfort in Nolita and Alexander Wang in Soho. Also, for housekeeping purposes, please note that we've swapped the Fifth Avenue Apple Store for its Meatpacking sibling until the midtown temple of tech reveals its hot new look.

Are you readying the pitchforks because your favorite boutique isn't on the list? Wouldn't it just be more productive to nominate it for inclusion? State your cases for (or against) stores in the comments or email the tipline.

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Barneys

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Bergdorf Goodman

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Nepenthes New York

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ABC Carpet

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Fishs Eddy

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Housing Works

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Moschino

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The Apple Store

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Diane von Furstenberg

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Aedes de Venustas

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C.O. Bigelow

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The Strand

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Kiehl's

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Ricky's

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Trash & Vaudeville

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Tokio 7

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Partners & Spade

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Patricia Field

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Resurrection Vintage

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Creatures of Comfort

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Alexander Wang

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Opening Ceremony

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Steven Alan Annex

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Dolce Vita

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The Dressing Room

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Gargyle

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Century 21

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Beacon's Closet

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Moon River Chattel

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Brooklyn Flea at One Hanson

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