Have you been to the Strand? It’s a New York institution: “18 miles of books” in one store. Earlier this month, I walked in while aimlessly wandering around Manhattan. Being aimless was the point. New York is a perfect place for walking without any particular direction.

After just a few days in the city, I already felt tired of shopping. Half of the stores in Soho stand empty, looking ghostly. Other iconic destinations, like Dean & Deluca and Barney’s, are on their way out.

The designer shops still hanging on, with their elaborate window displays, are mostly empty of buyers…

Natalia Ciolko

Writer, editor and book lover.

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