Tuesday, November 11, 2014

On Broadway

The original Macy's department store is at the corner of Broadway and 34th Street in New York. Broadway and 6th Avenue, which are generally parallel, converge at 34th Street forming Herald Square, which is why it's also called Macy's Herald Square. Since the last time I visited Macy's (which was probably in the '90s), the stretch of Broadway in front of the store has been closed to traffic. Not knowing that, I was surprised to see café tables sitting in the middle of the street. The store was built around 1902 and was grand and elegant when I was a kid. It grew tired over the years, and a bit ordinary (to me at least). It's had a number of make-overs and is once again grand and elegant — although I miss the woody, warmth of my childhood.

ON BROADWAY... AS VIEWED FROM 34TH STREET.

There's still a huge billboard out front claiming Macy's 34th Street to be the world's largest store. But I've read that a South Korea chain, Shinsegae, took that honor in 2009 (after Macy's had held it since 1924). Either way, at 2.2 million square feet (205,000 square meters), it can keep bragging.

I didn't have time to visit more than the main floor and "The Cellar," a store of its own with cafes, shopping, and a new men's accessories department. I'm sorry I don't have more photos to share. I was too busy shopping.

ENTERING FROM 34TH STREET.
AMID ALL THE CONTEMPORARY, THEY'VE RETAINED
THE ORIGINAL WOODEN ESCALATORS TO AND FROM THE CELLAR.
A TINY SECTION OF "THE CELLAR."
CAFES AND SO MUCH MORE...
SANTA...
WISH...
LOOKING TOWARDS THE 34TH STREET DOORS.
AND BACK TO BROADWAY.

24 comments:

  1. great photos.....

    as much as i love macy's, i don't mind not going here. can be very crowded...

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    Replies
    1. Mike:
      For me, Christmas season is especially awful. I was just early enough to enjoy it in relative peace.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for this Mitchell! I've always wanted to visit the original Macy's... and now I have, thanks to you.

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    1. Jacqueline:
      Sorry I didn't do a better job of giving you a tour, but glad you got the idea.

      Delete
  3. The first time we were in New York I went to the Met and Mrs. C. took a cab to Macy's. The driver asked which entrance she wanted because the store took up an entire city block. She had no idea, and city blocks in New York are triple the size of city blocks in Portland, if not bigger.

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    1. Stephen:
      Daisy was specific that we meet at the main 34th Street entrance. I don't think I have ever used that door before. I always entered from Broadway. At least, whatever door Mrs. C chose, she did all the city-block walking inside the store.

      Delete
  4. The illuminated decorations in the second last photo are very spesh.

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    1. Andrew:
      And they're not even finished yet. I think Saturday is the unveiling of the window displays (which are always amazing) and they're doing a screening of the original Miracle on 34th Street. I wish I could be here for that!

      Delete
  5. I did not know they had closed the street in front of the store. Looks somewhat lost space like. Mind you the weather is cold now. Macy's what an institution.

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    1. Laurent:
      I also thought the street was kind of dead looking, but maybe it's better in spring and summer. I've been lucky with the weather. The first below-freezing day in New York this year is supposed to arrive Friday; I go home Thursday!

      Delete
  6. how exciting to be in NYC for Christmas time.

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    1. Spo:
      I do love seeing New York at Christmas, but hate the crowds at that time. That's why I'm so early this year.

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  7. I love the wooden escalators at Macy*s. They're one of things I remember most about the flagship store. I'm glad they kept some. I shopped at Macy*s in Albany for years, then again at Macy*s Union Square in San Francisco for many more years. It's always been my favorite store.

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    1. Walt the Fourth:
      It was amazing how happy I was to see those wooden escalators. Macy's got kind of mediocre for a while. It's good to see it make a comeback.

      Delete
  8. Mitchell I love big supermarkets.I love shopping so I think Macy's it would be very nice experience to visit it. At my place there is Silesia City Center the biggest shopping mall in Europe.. There is 310 shops under one roof and it is 86 000 metres. And there are Christmas decorations too,. But I love Macy's.. And it very crowded,...

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    1. Gosia:
      You should plan a trip to New York one Christmas season. It's spectacular. And the original Macy's is really its own shopping mall; it's so big. Ten floors taking up an entire New York City Block!

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  9. I always feel a little lost inside that particular Macy's.

    Our closest one--about 50 miles away--is just two floors.

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    1. Bob:
      I do love this Macy's ... although I preferred the look 50 years ago. Classy! Have you ever been to Mall of America in Minnesota? I had a panic attack my first time there.

      Delete
  10. Be still my heart! Shopping at Macy's in New York? Macy's is all around us, but not nearly as spectacular as that one. Thanks for sharing the photos.

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    1. Linda:
      I do love Macy's but this one is my favorite. I hadn't been there in more than 20 years. Wish I had more photos to share.

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  11. Replies
    1. Sorry, Tynan. Never had the chance to get up to 59th Street. I would love to get back to Bloomingdale's!

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  12. What a store! We were there in 1988 just after Christmas....could spend a week in there alone!!
    Great shots Mitchell. And thanks for a little bit of George Benson....hadn't heard that in a while.

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    Replies
    1. Jim:
      I often have "On Broadway" looping in my head... in George Benson's voice.

      Delete

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