If you’re craving an afternoon of pampered style and high-quality leisure, a stroll up Madison Avenue will quickly quench your thirst. While returning home with a $200 shirt stuffed in a brand-named shopping bag is your own prerogative, simply friendly window-shopping and overtaking dressing rooms can sometimes be more entertaining. Perusing the clothing racks with your friends, it is worthwhile not only to check out the price stickers on the sole of shoes but also the people around you. Expectations of high-class, tidiness and eloquence are indeed met by the facades of many fellow shoppers; however, not all the Madison Ave onlookers exemplify superior wealth. Many, if not most, of the onlookers are merely window-shopping or socializing with friends as they walk up and down the avenue in a leisurely style. While unfazed by the overpriced jeans and jewelry for sale in the beautifully decorated windows, it is highly probable that they bought their oversized sunglasses and floral dresses at the discounted Forever 21 in Union Square or Soho. The women who are not empty handed as they walk in and out of stores like Dior, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors or Yves Delorme are a fashion show on their own. Housewives rummage through hangers while talking into their iPhone headsets (although it looks like they’re talking into thin air). Teenage girls’ mouths water as they hold expensive dresses up to their bodies, modeling the apparel for their schoolmates. Boys hurry passed the shoe stores and into E.A.T Café between 80th and 81st. The restaurant offers a relaxing break from what can be a very tiring day of shopping and decision-making. I highly recommend the cafe: it serves your typical salads, sandwiches, and coffees, but is not too expensive relative to its neighboring Upper East Side venders. Overall, I suggest you visit the upper reaches of Madison Avenue for a vista of splendid luxury and a taste of sophisticated Manhattan class.
– Nicole Sales