â€œI hate shoppingâ€ are the famous last words for Cool Huntingâ€™s Ranjani Gopalarathinam, who finally understands that shopping is a talent, and not merely a consumerist distraction from "more important things in life". Her fabulous new book, "New Yorkâ€™s 50+ Best Little Shops" (Rizzoli/Universe, 2005), maps the city out as a macrocosm of style and imagination, staying pretty clear of chains and corporate clones (excepting an inevitable mention of Barneyâ€™s). She focuses mainly on downtown (below 14th Street) with excursions uptown and into Brooklyn. The book is fun to read and gives the 411 on the places to buy the best street fashion, custom clothing, handmade jewelry (including the best vendors on the street), obscure cookbooks, vintage T-shirt decals, and much more. She also includes top-secret New Yorker fun things to do that a â€œtypicalâ€ magazine reader would be hard-pressed to find.
The book is ultra-compact, cute on the outside, and smart on the inside, kind of like most New Yorkers. Itâ€™s on sale at major bookstores, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble, nationwide.