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Where to shop for global goods in New York City

August 28, 2010

It always makes me happy when people like my stuff and as most of it has been bought on trips much of it hold precious memories for me. Nevertheless I cannot stay away from a good exotic buy in New York City and besides scouring the flea-markets and yard sales I have my favorite spots where I go to get goodies. Here is the scoop on my I-can’t-stay-away-from-stores in New York City.


Backwoods on 57th between 8th and 9th avenue. They sell a lot of Moroccan and Asian things to very affordable prices. For the hippie in you they have tie-dyes as well as more Bohemian kind of clothing as well.
Another very cool Moroccan store where you can probably find anything Moroccan – possibly minus a camel – is Timbuktu over on 2nd avenue on the Lower East Side. This place is an awesome source of inspiration though probably not for those on a budget.

I think these guys are from Senegal
If you need an Indian touch any store around Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Height, Queens will do fine for Indian fabrics, jewelry, spices or fun Indian knick-knacks. Also around 3rd avenue and Lexington between 28th to 23rd street – more or less – are lots of fun Indian stores.

Another great Moroccan store is Imports from Marrakesh inside the Chelsea Market on 16th street and 9th avenue. This store is a bit on the pricey side – unfortunately, as everything inside is gorgeous. But since a Berber Handira blanket easily would set me back 700 bucks I may as well go an get it myself in Morocco. But this is still a wonderful place to come for inspiration – just walking into the store is like traveling somewhere else.
J.R. Imports – one of my absolute favorites. Awesome African store with all sorts of Middle Eastern and African things. They carry some fabulous wood statues from all over Africa. 16th Street and Broadway – 4th floor. Since they have items ranging from $1 and up it is not possible to leave without getting something.
The Malcolm Shabazz African Market. This place is so much fun. It is like a little slice of Africa in Harlem. You can browse for hours just keep in mind to bargain for whatever you buy.

New York City street fairs – these are great places to pick up Ecuadorian things as well as baskets from Senegal or masks from around the globe.
For the thimble collector in you
The flea market on 23rd street and 6th avenue. They sell African beads as well as Kuba cloth, bracelets and other African goodies.
Made out of vintage Tibetan cloth I was told
Pearl River Mart on Broadway just before China town. You can probably find most of the things in here in Chinatown but it is great to have it all in one place and to very affordable prices. They also just opened a furniture section right next door on the second floor.

Happy Shopping!


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