I'm an East Side girl and terribly fond of neighborhoods populated by rich, old people. Behold, my favorite Manhattan haunts.
14th Street/Union Square. Featuring Books of Wonder, Pret a Manger, a massive Barnes and Noble, an Anthro, Banana Republic, J Crew and Free People. Also a park, great Halal food, Whole Foods, a big AE, two craft stores and ABC Home and Carpet. It's very relaxing and casual.
The Financial District. Featuring Trinity Church, Au Bon Pain, many old historical sites, South Street Sea Port in one direction, Battery Park City in the other. The Fireman Museum. It's fun to go here and march around as if you had a purpose... but actually just meander and get lost.
The Upper East Side. Featuring The Met, a beautiful Barnes and Noble, the Lexington Diner, Alice's Teacup, Jamba Juice and of course... CENTRAL PARK! Although I never dare go into the stores it's always fun to look. And wander. And imagine. (Being a rich old lady. Yeahhh...)
Columbus Circle. Featuring Whole Food, Borders Books, Subway, a pretty park thingy, this mini art gallery, Sephora, William-Sonoma, Bouchon Bakery and Dean and Deluca. Also United Colors and Bebe which are fun to look at. This is by far the best place to waste time and money in Manhattan. It's one-stop fun, you never have to leave the building!
5th Avenue from Central Park South to 40th Street. Featuring Saks, Bergdorf Goodman, FAO Schwarz, The Apple Store, the former Disney Store, St. Patrick's, Crabtree and Evelyn, Hale and Hearty, Rockefeller Center, the main branch library, Barnes and Nobles... Etc, etc, etc forever and ever amen. Quintessential NYC if you ask me.
Going to Target and Starbucks in an hour... ♥