I find a lot of great stuff at Alice Underground Ltd., on 78th and Columbus. I found really good bargains on tuxedo pants and tuxedo jackets, shirts, sweaters--and often they have big bins of things for 5 and 10 dollars, like jeans and curtains that you can do fun stuff with.
Alice Underground Ltd.: 380 Columbus Ave. (212-724-6682) and 481 B'way (212-431-9067).
For shoes, I always go to Anbar, down on Reade Street in Lower Manhattan. They have excellent stuff at the best prices--and find out when they have their sales.
Anbar Shoes Company: 60 Reade St., (212) 227-0253
The Basement, of course. I used to get work clothes there, really cheap.
Basement Clothing Co.: 1411 Broadway, (212) 869-9320.
--Kirk Wood Bromley
Canal Jean is a terrific place to go for bargains on all sorts of unusual clothing. I've gone there for costume research. They have vintage wear and bargain bins. Great work clothes. Their prices are extremely affordable. Recently I got a great mechanic's jumpsuit for $13.
I looked for furs there when I was costuming a show. They have furs during the winter, coats and stoles, usually ranging from $20 to $65. I just missed a sale where all the furs were $5.
Canal Jean Co. Inc.: 504 Broadway, (212) 226-1130.
--Robert Bowen, Jr.
Daffy's is a good place for men's underwear. They always have good deals on Calvin Klein men's underwear.
I always check out Daffy's, either at 34th Street and Broadway or 57th and Lexington; Filene's Basement at 79th and Broadway; and occasionally Bolton's--they're scattered throughout the town.
Other locations for Daffy's are 335 Madison Ave. and 111 5th Ave. Filene's has a second store at 620 Ave. of the Americas. Bolton's has about a dozen branches in Manhattan; see the phone book for details.
When I lived in Manhattan, if I wanted to buy clothing, a lot of times I would hop on the PATH train and come to Jersey to dump the sales tax. Also, it's kind of fun to go to the Pavonia/Newport stop and "do mall." If you have a mall attack, and you don't have your own transportation, you're only a dollar away. If you buy anything, the trip pays for itself. And you get to play mall.
Located in Jersey City, just across the Hudson from the Wall Street area, Newport Center Mall boasts about 130 stores (among them, Sears, Stern's, J.C. Penny's, and Filene's Basement) and a Cineplex Odeon movie complex. There is no sales tax on clothes in New Jersey.
The underground PATH trains are also a bargain ($1 as opposed to the NY subways' $1.50). They run under the Hudson River to several New Jersey locations--most of them just a few minutes away. In Manhattan, one PATH line originates at the World Trade Center; a second stops at Christopher Street and four other cross-streets along Sixth Avenue.
A great, little-known place for T-shirts and kitchen stuff is Pearl River, a department store on Canal Street, just east of Broadway. There are plenty of choices for clothing and gifts.
Pearl River China Resource Products, Inc.: 277 Canal St., (212) 219-8107.
Sample sales. In the garment district, if you don't ignore those people who stand on the corner passing out the flyers, sometimes you can buy some wonderful stuff for what Manhattanites consider to be no money.
Manhattan's garment district is bounded roughly by Sixth and Eighth avenues and 41st and 36th streets.
T.J. Maxx is great for clothing and accessories. I get all my Calvin Klein and Perry Ellis underwear there, for half what it costs at Macy's.
I buy a lot of clothes at T.J. Maxx. There's always something different there each time I go. They often have beautiful Tahini suits. The whole suit is typically about $200; it would normally be about $500 or $600.
I've found that T.J Maxx has got really great stuff besides clothes. I saw these beautiful candles in a real candle store, and they were double the price that they were at T.J. Maxx. They have household appliances; they have lingerie--not that these things go together. They have shoes, they have everything.
T.J. Maxx: 620 Ave. of the Americas, between 18th and 19th streets, (212) 229-0875.
Books, Music, Video
I go to Academy Records for terrific bargains in CDs and LPs. They have a great classical selection, and a reasonably good original cast section, along with other types of music. Most of their stock is used, but it's hard to kill a CD. Prices are about half what you'll pay at a regular store.
Academy Records and CDs: 12 W. 18th St. between 5th and 6th avenues, (212) 242-3000.
Disc-O-Rama Downtown is great for CDs. Every CD is $9.99. Unlike most discount CD stores, they have new stuff. But sometimes they're out of what you're looking for, so you might want to call before you go.
Disc-O-Rama: 186 W. 4th St., (212) 206-8417.
East Village Books and Records has very rare, very cheap books, with--I think--a very good section on the stock classics.
East Village Books and Records: 101 St. Mark's Place, (212) 477-8647.
--Kirk Wood Bromley
Kim's Underground on Bleecker St. now has videotapes for very little money. A lot of movies are only $9.99. They have most of them arranged by director, which is terrific, I think. Kim's Video III (aka Kim's Underground): 144 Bleecker St., (212) 387-8250. Kim's Video stores are also located at 85 Ave. A, 133 Second Ave., and 350 Bleecker.
For used CDs, I go to NYCD on the Upper West Side. No CDs are more expensive than $10.99. They have an unbelievable selection. They also have a deal where if you buy eight CDs, you get two free. Of course, I've never actually bought eight CDs at once.
NYCD: 426 Amsterdam Ave., between 80th and 81st streets, (212) 724-3790.
You can find almost any book you could want at the New York Public Library, and it's free. If you want to own a book, they have sales every couple of weeks.
Riverside branch: 127 Amsterdam Ave., (212) 870-1810, has book sales every other Monday. Other branches also have sales.
See the phone book for the dozens of New York Public Library branches throughout the boroughs. For two more favorite branches, read on:
If you live in Brooklyn, go to the Central Library to get videotapes, because it's free. Sometimes the selection is not great, but if you're willing to put the time in looking through the stacks of cards, you can usually find something good. Also, they have some great documentaries that I've never seen at Blockbuster Video. Brooklyn Public Library, Grand Army Plaza, (718) 780-7810.
Don't buy sheet music. Just go to the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library. You can find anything you would ever need there. It's free. You copy it.
The New York Library for the Performing Arts: 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, (212) 870-1600.
If you're looking to expand your library, go the Strand and browse their thousands of books. It can make your head swim, there's so many. And at low prices.
For out-of-print and gift books, I shop Strand. I have a qualm about the megabookstores. I prefer to patronize the privately owned.
The Strand Book Store, 828 Broadway, (212) 473-1452.
The best video store in the city is World of Video. It's an art-type of video place with prices equal to the major video rental places. But the employees are much more informed, very helpful. They really know what they're talking about.
World of Video: 178 Seventh Ave. South, (212) 691-1281.
The Brooklyn Bound Writing Workshops are run by two women who are professional writers and teachers. It's such a nurturing environment. Every week we study different writers and do exercises from writers we're working on and critique each other's work. There's one group in Park Slope and one in Carroll Gardens.
Workshops include writers who work in a variety of modes, and there are 5-15 students per class. The next 14-week semester begins Sept. 11 and costs $205. For information about the Brooklyn Bound Writing Workshops, call (718) 965-1541 or (718) 854-5225.
The Field has workshops that are really inexpensive, where there are peers involved rather than someone trying to make a lot of money off of you.
The Field's workshops--called "Fieldwork"--are designed for people who are developing their own work. Workshops are held in choreography, theatre, mixed-disciplinary work, writing, and for Asian-American artists. Each 10-week workshop includes a performance and costs $50 for members, $60 for nonmembers. 161 Ave. of the Americas, (212) 691-6969.
For designers who need to keep up their drawing skills, the best deal in town for figure drawing classes is the Spring Studio. It's 10 sessions for $55 or $7.50 for each single session. And all the classes that she has have a live nude model for three hours. So it's an incredible deal.
Spring Studio: 64 Spring St., (212) 226-7240.
--Mary Ann Hoag
Bonus Tip: Any course I ever took, even anything from Back Stage, I would always monitor the class before I took it to make sure it was something I wanted to do. That's very important--not to get trapped. The same is true with headshots--go and look at everyone's book before you decide on a photographer.
Any of the Indian restaurants on Sixth Street in the East Village. I go to Bombay Dining; it's in a basement, and they always have live sitar music. Also, The French Roast at Broadway and 85th, for no-nonsense French provincial cooking at lower-than-usual prices.
Bombay Dining: 320 E. Sixth St., (212) 260-8229.
The French Roast: 2340 B'way, (212) 799-1533.
I ate twice at Dojo's today, because it's good and the food is so cheap. A chicken patty pita sandwich over rice and a little salad costs about $2.95. My dinner was about $4.
Dojo West Restaurant, Inc.: 14 W. Fourth St., (212) 505-8934.
Cafe Edison. I go there all the time. The price is right. The best matzo ball soup in town--delicious.
Cafe Edison: 228 W. 47th St., (212) 840-5000.
--Bill Van Horn
Cafe Mingala has Burmese food. It's not dirt cheap, but you definitely get your money's worth for under $15. The food is spicy and delicious.
Cafe Mingala: 1393 Second Ave., (212) 744-8008.
For a good burrito place, there's the Flying Burrito Brothers. The staff's a little warmer and the food is very fresh. $6 or $7 will give you a full stomach you can ride on all day.
Flying Burrito Brothers: 165 W. Fourth St., (212) 691-3663.
In TriBeCa, I like The Ivy Bistro at North Moore and Greenwich Street, and The River Run at Hudson and Greenwich. Both have great food and nice atmosphere.
The Ivy Bistro: 385 Greenwich St., (212) 343-1139.
The River Run: 176 Franklin St., (212) 966-3894.
Kraft Restaurant at 42nd & 10th has a lunch special for $4.30. You can get soup or salad, entrƒe, fries or cole slaw, and a drink, from 11 to 4 every day.
Kraft Restaurant: 460 W. 42nd St., (212) 239-1388.
The Lemon Tree Cafe, a middle eastern restaurant at Ninth Ave. between 51st and 52nd, has a great vegetarian plate--more than you can eat for $6.
Lemon Tree Cafe, 769 9th Ave., (212) 245-0818.
If you want a really good Italian meal, in a restaurant that's fun and crazy, go to Mangia e Bevi on 53rd Street and Ninth Ave. It's not really cheap, but you get tons of food. They give you tambourines and you can color on the tables. Also, you sing songs and you get to do the bird dance.
Mangia e Bevi: 800 Ninth Ave., (212) 956-3976.
Mugsy's Chow-Chow served mostly home-cooked, very basic Italian food. Really good fish soup. The cook stands right in the back and whips it up. Really good deals.
Mugsy's Chow-Chow Cafe: 31 Second Ave., (212) 460-9171.
--Kirk Wood Bromley
At Odessa's Restaurant on Ave. A, for $1.75 you get a breakfast special: eggs, toast, potatoes, juice, and coffee. You can't beat that.
Odessa's Restaurant: 117 Ave. A, (212) 473-8916.
Planet Thailand is kind of a well-known place. But it's very affordable and very good.
Planet Thailand: 184 Bedford Ave., Williamsburg, B'klyn, (718) 599-5758.
If you've never had dim sum, which is a variety of steamed dumplings and other appetizers, try Silver Palace in Chinatown. You get tons of food, for about $2 a plate. (They bring you plates on wheeled carts, and then add up the empty plates at the end of the meal.) I spend about $10 for a good meal, but it's a lot of food.Silver Palace: 50 Bowery St. at Canal Street, (212) 964-1204.
Teresa's, on First Avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets. It's a Polish coffee shop, of which there are many, but it's one of the best. You can stuff yourself for under 10 bucks.
Also, Wo Hop, on Mott Street in Chinatown. Not only is it cheap, but it gives you a rare chance to experience the kind of Chinese food they used to sell in America years ago, before we had all these Hunan-Szechuan places.
Teresa Coffee Shop & Restaurant: 103 First Ave., (212) 228-0604.
Wo Hop Restaurant: 17 Mott St., (212) 267-2536.
A fun diner is Tom's Restaurant up by Columbia. It's been made famous (the exterior) from "Seinfeld" and by Suzanne Vega's song, aptly named, "Tom's Diner." It's pretty much a dive inside, but they have great shakes and fries, for little money.
2880 B'way, (212) 864-6137.
Here's a deal on dining, with a twist:
If you get home delivery of The New York Times, they give you a free Transmedia card that people can use in restaurants and get 20-25 percent off for dinners.
The free card is available to those who subscribe to seven-days/week delivery of the Times at the regular cost of $187.20, have a credit card, and pay for 26 weeks in advance. Call: (800) 631-2500.
To get the Transmedia card without subscribing to the Times, or for more information about the card, call (800) 422-5090. Transmedia has two plans: Diners using the card get either 1) a 25 percent discount per meal with an annual fee of $50; or 2) a 20 percent discount per meal with no fee. On this second plan, the cardholder must charge a minimum of $200 in first year.
Entertainment & Enlightenment
Some cheap entertainment is bowling at Port Authority Bus Terminal. You think it's going to be nasty inside, but it's not. It's two dollars for renting shoes, and then three-seventy-five for a game. If you play two games it's the same as going to a movie. It's "fun family entertainment."
Leisure Time Bowling: 625 8th Ave., 41st Street entrance, second floor, (212) 268-6909.
If you go to the Bronx Zoo on Wednesdays, it's free. My personal favorites are the baby gorillas. Bronx Zoo: Bronx River Parkway at Fordham Rd., (718) 367-1010. Take the 2 or 5 train to Bronx Park East.
Cafe Sinƒ has live music every night for free. It varies from folk music to Irish music to acoustic rock. It's a really small place.
Cafe Sinƒ: 122 St. Mark's Place, (212) 982-0370.
This is cheesy, but I got standby tickets for "Regis & Kathie Lee" by going there early one morning. It's free, and can be a scary experience or very amusing, depending on how you feel about Kathie Lee.
"Regis & Kathie Lee": ABC, 7 Lincoln Square, 67th St. and Columbus Ave., (212) 456-3054. Get there before 8 am.
TDF (Theatre Development Fund). If you're on their mailing list, and if you're really lucky, you can get $14 tickets for "Show Boat" or "Sunset Boulevard." Even if the seats are in the last row--which they aren't always--it's worth it. I got front row for "The Apple Doesn't Fall." The really hot shows aren't generally included, but sometimes they are, during previews.
For an application to be on the TDF mailing list, send a legal-sized, self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Theatre Development Fund, 1501 Broadway, Rm. 2110, New York, NY 10036. Specify whether you'd like an individual or group application (the annual fee is $14 individual, $75 group). Payment should be sent along with the completed application. Information: (212) 221-0885.
I like to take the tram to Roosevelt Island. It's not really entertainment, I guess, but it's a great view, and a good place to bring a date. It's $1.50 each way. You get on at Second Avenue and 59th Street and are lifted across the river to suburbia. Very refreshing. (212) 842-4543.
Anyone in the business who wants to see professional Off-Broadway performances should consider ushering; you work for free in exchange for seeing the performance. Some of the Off-Broadway theatres where I've done this are always looking for ushers: NY Theatre Workshop (780-9037), Orpheum (477-2477), WPA (691-2274), Promenade (580-1313), Classic Stage Company (677-4210), Vineyard Theatre (353-3366), Playwrights Horizons (564-1235), Theatre for a New Audience (229-2819), Pan Asian Rep. (505-5655). But you can call any Off-Broadway theatre and ask if they need ushers.
--Mary Ann Hoag
The Walter Reade Theatre at Lincoln Center has a Movies for Kids series on weekends. You don't have to be a kid to enjoy the magnificent Sally Ann Howes in "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." They showed a spectacular print of that film a few months ago.
The Walter Reade Theatre of the Film Society of Lincoln Center: 165 W. 65th St., (212) 875-5600. Movies for Kids tickets are $2 each, regardless of the patron's age.
In Washington Square Park in the summer, there are a number of theatre groups that put on free shows. This summer I saw RAKKA-THAMM's production of "Hecuba." It's the cheapest of summer evenings, and there are no long lines to stand in like for Shakespeare in the Park.
The three-dollar movie theatre at Worldwide Plaza. It costs less than renting, and less than pay-per-view.
I usually see movies I wouldn't necessarily go see, the stuff that's going to wind up on television the next year, anyway.
Cineplex Odeon at Worldwide Plaza, 50th Street between 8th and 9th avenues, (212) 246-1583.
Two other Cineplex Odeon complexes offer $3 movies: the Manhattan Twin, 220 E. 59th St., (212) 935-6420; and the 59th Street East, 239 E. 59th St., (212) 759-4630). Both are between 2nd and 3rd avenues.
Once a week I go to Fairway and Citarella's on the Upper West Side. Fairway is really like produce and specialty, Citarella is meats and fish as well.
As far as supermarkets go, I love Fairway, because you can shop outside for fruits and vegetables, and the produce is cheaper and fresher outside.
Fairway Fruits & Vegetables: 2127 B'way; Citarella: 2135 B'way.
Instead of eating meal by meal at the little delis, suck it up, go to the grocery, and you'll save a lot of money fast. I go to Met Foods, on Seventh Avenue.
Met Food: 2541 Seventh Ave., (212) 862-0239.
If you want good bulk spices and beans, go to Ninth Avenue between 39th and 40th on the west side of the street. There are a couple places there to buy things in bulk: bulgar, couscous, chile powder. They're so much cheaper than McCormick's."
International Groceries and Meat Market: 529 Ninth Ave., (212) 279-5514.
International Foods, Ltd.: 543 Ninth Ave., (unlisted telephone)
A loaf of prociutto bread at the Palermo Bakery will make a meal for about $2.75.
Palermo Bakery: 213 First Ave., (212) 254-4139.
If you can read, you can cook. Buy a cookbook that has a variety of different foods, and do your own grocery shopping. Clip coupons, and know what you're putting into your body. There are lots of markets in New York, including organic markets.
I like Whole Foods in Soho, on Prince St. They have a variety of health foods, including microbiotic foods, organic fruits and vegetables. Actually, from what I've found, it's the cheapest health food store in the Village.
Whole Foods In Soho: 117 Prince St., (212) 982-1000.
In Zabar's cheese department, they sell bags of cheese odds and ends. For under two dollars you can eat cheese for lunch for a week, if you don't mind sometimes when they throw in the smelly cheeses.
Zabar's: 2245 B'way, (212) 787-2000.
Hair, Makeup, Manicures
If you're an actor, you can go to MAC for makeup. If you bring your resume and headshot, or Equity card, to the Christopher Street location, they'll give you a card so you can get 30 percent off of MAC makeup in any department store that sells it: Barney's, Bergdorf Goodman, etc.
MAC: 14 Christopher St., (212) 243-4150.
I get my nails done at Susie's, on West 52nd Street, between Eighth and Ninth avenues. Monday through Wednesday, a manicure and pedicure is, I think, $13.
Susie's Nail Salon: 373 W. 52nd St., (212) 245-7277. Manicure-and-pedicure at a second store, at 2188 B'way, is $19 daily.
If I'm feeling adventurous, I get my hair cut at Astor Place in the Village. It's $10 for a cut. Sometimes you get a nice cut, sometimes not. You have to be a gambler, but I've had good luck.
Astor Place: 2 Astor Place, (212) 475-9854.
Health & Fitness
For a low-cost workout, join any of the city Parks and Recreation gyms. For $25, you get a year's membership. I go to Carmine. It has a gym, equipment including weights, a full basketball court, Olympic indoor pool, and an outdoor pool. It offers classes in yoga, dance, fencing, and other activities, and they're very inexpensive. They usually last 8-10 weeks for about $40.
Carmine Recreation Center: Seventh Ave. & Clarkson, (212) 242-5228. The city operates 12 recreation centers in Manhattan. Check the phone book under "Government Listings: New York City Offices, Parks & Recreation, Recreation Centers" for locations.
The College of Optometry gives full eye exams for about $50. An optometry student performs the exams under supervision of an eye doctor.
College of Optometry: 100 E. 24th St., (212) 780-4900.
--Robert Bowen, Jr.
There are dental clinics at Columbia Presbyterian and New York University. Students do the work but, of course, they'e well supervised. It takes a little longer, but it's worth it. A friend of mine had his entire set of braces done at Columbia at a considerable saving.
Go to the New York University dental school. I'm not going to say it's a painless process, but its very inexpensive. Students work on you under the supervision of their dental professors. It's extremely good for an emergency stituation.
New York University, Kriser Dental Center: 345 E. 24th St. at First Ave., (212) 998-9856.
Columbia Presbyterian, Vanderbilt Clinic: 622 W. 168th St., (212) 305-6725.
If you're going to breast-feed, La Leche League is the best place for getting information, help, meeting other people. It's an international organization; just in Brooklyn there are eight different meetings. It's free to come to any of the meetings. You can call any of the leaders any time that you have problems.
La Leche League Int'l welcomes all prospective mothers; membership is voluntary and its benefits include a magazine and discounts on various items. (Over-the-shoulder baby carriers, for instance, cost $35 for members, $40 for others.) Information: (718) 643-9219.
Household and Decorating
The ABC clearance center downstairs is always worth a trip. I bought great towels there, less than half-price, that are beautiful. And this great knitted baby cap for a gift that was $9.99 and is normally something like $30 to $40. At 17th and Broadway? They have all kinds of furniture, pottery, and dishes, sheets, spreads, and pillows that don't get sold, and they just mark them down more and more.
ABC Carpet and Home: 888 B'way, (212) 473-3000.
Pottery Barn Outlet and Hold Everything: They're separate stores, all under one roof. I've gotten some great deals on Mexican glasses for a few dollars a piece at Pottery Barn. Hold Everything has useful stuff for organizing your life.
Pottery Barn, Hold Everything: 231 10th Ave., (212) 206-8118.
Thrift Shops, Flea Markets, Close-Outs
I love the Columbus Avenue Flea Market, which is every Sunday at 77th Street and Columbus Avenue. They have great, cheap jewelry there. And some nice clothes, which I haven't bought yet, but will one day when I have the money.
There's a huge clothing warehouse out here in Williamsburg: Domsey. I recommend it highly. You can get anything from what is now trendy to service uniforms. There are also housewares: cleaning equipment, pots, and pans.
Domsey's is the biggest and, by far, the most well-organized thrift store I've ever been in. They have clothes from many different decades: mainly the '50s through the '90s, with sometimes some rare finds from the '20s. It's huge: four stories of clothes and shoes, with some household goods. And very inexpensive. You can spend $50 and walk home with two large bags.
Domsey International Sales Corp.: 431 Kent Ave., B'klyn, (718) 384-6000.
The old standbys are Weber's (see below) and the Odd-Job stores. They have all kinds of things, but I always go there for stationary, toiletries, and candy.
Odd Job Trading Corp. is located at 10 Cortlandt St., 149 W. 32nd St., 66 W. 48th St., 465 Lexington Ave., and 390 E. 36th St.
The Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town have a yearly yard-sale-type thing. That is great. I actually, while living in New York, bought some things there. All around the perimeter plus all up and down the roads around the place--from the obvious bicycle to the less-obvious tuxedo. You do better there than you do in the thrift stores in Manhattan." The sale is held annually in May; only residents may exhibit, but visitors are welcome to buy. The Peter Cooper Village-Stuyvesant Town complex is located on the East Side between 14th and 23rd streets. Administrative offices: (212) 780-1300.
St. George's Furniture Thrift Shop, on 21st and Park Avenue, for furniture and stuff for your apartment. They're constanty getting turnover there from fairly well-to-do-people that live in the Grammercy Park area. It's always worth a trip--instead of going to ABC--where they have the same stuff for thousands of dollars.
St. George's Furniture Thrift Shop: 277 Park Ave. South, (212) 979-0420.
The Salvation Army on 46th between 10th & 11th. It's an old warehouse building filled with clothing and furniture.
I'm a big fan of the Salvation Army in Gramercy Park. You can get all kinds of dresses and jackets there. Prices vary, but they're relatively cheap. A dress or sweater goes for about $5.
There are seven Salvation Army Thrift Stores in Manhattan and 17 in Brooklyn and Queens. In Manhattan, these include: 536 W. 46th St., (212) 664-8563 (the largest), and 220 E. 23rd St., (212) 532-8115.
Weber's sells everything from clothes to food, appliances, make-up, and odds and ends. The best one, especially for kids' clothing and gifts, is on 45th, between Fifth and Sixth, around the corner from the American Place Theatre. Prices are excellent. You just have to be patient, or willing to see what they get in new. For gift shopping, it's the best.
Weber's is always worth a trip. I've bought tons of candles for $3. I bought sun-dried tomatoes for $4.49. I've found coffee there that's incredible--fresh bean coffee. Sometimes they have great gift bags, like Picasso gift bags for 79 cents.
I always go. It's hit and miss, but you can really do well if you like that kind of shopping.
Weber's Closeout stores are located at 45 W. 45th St., 48 W. 48th St., 2064 B'way, 116 W. 32nd St., 475 Fifth Ave., and 138 Church St.
The true deal, if you have access to transportation, is to go to a nice neighborhood in New Jersey, buy the local paper from the day before, get a city map, and chase yard sales. That's more a group exercise, 'cause you need a good navigator--or at least someone with a good sense of direction.
Travel & Taxes
Actors' Equity has the VITA Tax Program, which offers free income tax preparation for anyone in AEA, AFTRA or SAG. You have to line up at the Equity offices on the morning of the first Monday in February to make an appointment; they'll ask you to show a paid-up union card. The volunteers who do your taxes are actors who've gone through a training program, so they know every possible deduction an actor can make. They always get a lot of money back from the government for me.
For those who don't wish to line up for a VITA appointment as described above, the program takes people on a first-come, first-serve basis on the 14th floor of the Equity building, every Mon., Wed., Thurs. and Fri. from the first Mon. in Feb. until the last Fri. in April. The Equity building is located at 165 W. 46th St.
If you're traveling out of the country, call 1-(800) FLY CHEAP. Using them, I went to Amsterdam for $400 round-trip.
And then when you need to get to the airport, call the Tel Aviv Car Service, (212) 777-7777. That will get you a cab for a flat rate of $17, plus tolls and tip, to any airport in the NYC area.
Hot Pix From '95
Some hot bargains mentioned by more than one shopper in past features just didn't show up this year. We think they're still good bets.
Century 21 Department Stores: Men's and women's clothing, household goods.
22 Cortlandt St., (212) 227-9092.
Duane-Reade Drugs: Some groceries as well as standard drug store fare, including pharmacies.
The chain maintains close to 40 stores in Manhattan. See the phone book for locations.
Staples: Stationery and office supplies and furniture, some groceries, inexpensive photocopying.
There are 11 locations in Manhattan, many more in the boroughs, New Jersey, and Connecticut. See the phone book for details.
Stiles Farmers Market: Fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts; also some coffee and breads.
569 Ninth Ave., (212) 695-6213.
And another bargain from '95: If this year's installment isn't enough, stop by Back Stage and pick up a copy of our Second Annual Bargain-Hunters. First-come, first served 'til we run out. The price is $2.25.
"Best Buys" was compiled by Roger Armbrust, Michle LaRue, Scott Proudfit, Michael Portantiere, and Robert S