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This is our third “A stroll around…” attempt. (The previous two are only available in Japanese). As before, my partner on this trip was Hiroyo from our web team. Ten days after planning the trip, we arrived at JFK airport.

Our Madison Avenue store opened its doors on October 30th, 2012, the same day Hurricane Sandy hit New York City. Everywhere except for the central part of Madison Avenue – that is, everywhere from 38th Street downwards, including where I was staying – was swallowed in darkness. We had no power for almost a week! Luckily, our Madison Avenue store was saved from the blackouts, since it lies in the Midtown area. We opened our store early that morning with mixed emotions: anxiety and anticipation. It’s hard to believe that it’s been over four years since that day.

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This time our stroll (osampo in Japanese) consisted of Madison Avenue (which runs parallel to Fifth Avenue) and Downtown Manhattan. We had the opportunity to see the everyday lives of the people of Manhattan.

There’s a Citibank branch right next to our Madison Avenue store, and an array of banks opposite. This is the financial capital of the world. Many New Yorkers leave their offices around lunch time – extremely well dressed, classy and intelligent. I wanted to ask everyone for a photograph but I felt hesitant (I guess I’m just shy). Instead I took a few snaps of our customers, so I hope you stay with me for that!

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And we’re ready to set off! It’s bright and sunny, so we start the day with a commemorative staff picture. The two articles I wrote about my previous strolls in Japan were full of beautiful ladies but this time we have three handsome guys, one cute lady, Hiroyo, and my assertive self.

We got the bus to start with and headed to 82nd Street and Madison. The bus was full of local ladies. The subways are great to get around, but the buses are also very convenient. You can even use your subway metro card on the buses too.

I found a beautiful building in the upper area of Manhattan on Madison Avenue.

(Between 81st Street and 82nd Street)

I bought a few odd things here…

Infinity (Children’s clothing and lots of fun goods)
1116 Madison Avenue

It was great fun trying this on. I think I look a little uptight and awkward in this picture.

I may have odd taste, but look at Nana! She looks so happy!

Apparently they have these imported from Kyoto…

A sweets store.
They make sugar into beautiful gourmet candy that line the store.
It’s like a dreamland.

SUGARFINA (“A Luxury Candy Boutique”)
1100 Madison Avenue

This green entranceway is the façade to Ralph Lauren.

It’s very similar to the one at the Harajuku store – this is, of course, the original. The greenery against the classic white background is most fitting for the birthplace of Ralph Lauren. I’m in awe every time I visit.

RALPH LAUREN
867 Madison Avenue

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A tall, fashionable woman walks past Ralph Lauren.
Around 70th and Madison there are a lot of fashionable people wearing relatively simple styles: a frequent sight in Uptown.

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We’ve moved to Fifth Avenue now, and in front of the famous chocolatier, Lindt.

During my stroll I decided to drop by for some souvenirs. The bags in front of me are all the chocolate I bought to take back. They’re so heavy!

I’m standing with the store manager, Ken. We quickly became friends. When I mentioned I was from Kamakura Shirts, he said that although he hadn’t visited the store yet, he did know of us. Great!

Lindt
665 Fifth Avenue

This is the Polo Bar.

We came across it completely by chance.

It must be very popular, judging by how these women seem to be drawn in.

THE POLO BAR
1 East 55th Street

Public Spaces

This is Lotte New York Palace on Madison Avenue.

They have a beautiful open space with outdoor seating and parasols. There’s always a big Christmas tree around the holiday season.

Lotte New York Palace
455 Madison Avenue

2-10 East 47th Street

This indoor public area is very close to our store on Madison Avenue, and right next to Starbucks too, so you can relax here with your coffee and snacks without worrying about the time. This space is fully air-conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter, and also has toilets.

590 Madison Avenue

This public space has a high ceiling and is very spacious. There’s a coffee stand in the corner which made me think it was a proper café!

Head towards the two signs you see in the corner and you’ll find the way to Nike Town and Trump Tower. Head out this door and you’re on Fifth Avenue.

You can see how generous New York City is, with two public spaces on Madison Avenue as well as the hotel plaza. The world’s financial capital is kind to people! These public spaces are absolutely free and well worth a visit.

Take the exit I mentioned earlier to find yourself here, on Fifth Avenue.
The HQ of the man everyone is talking about: Trump Tower.

TRUMP TOWER
725 Fifth Avenue

It’s now past eight o’clock.

I returned to the hotel to do some laundry and dozed off. When I woke up the sun was already setting. I had to carry on with my walk to take more photos. I’d walked all the way down from 52nd Street to Kamakura Shirts on 47th Street. Dusk approached Madison Avenue.

Nana smiling

It’s 8 pm and most stores have shut their doors. The streets are dark, and it’s a little disappointing. I’d recommend you finish your shopping before 8 pm in New York.
Wait – I see one store with the lights still on. It’s Kamakura Shirts! A customer’s still shopping. I wave from outside and Nana, one of our staff members, smiles back at me.

The next morning…

It felt like a good time to take a break from my New York stroll and drop by our Madison Avenue store.
Our staff are all very unique.

KC is staring at the bottle on the table with such longing. Is this bottle so special? Each to their own, I guess…

This smiling young man, with a bouquet in his arms, is Rui.
He has a deep, manly voice – and he loves flowers.

I ran into Christian at the store too: he’s a famous fashion blogger. I asked him if he was on his way home from playing tennis – he said he had played golf that day. To take this photo, he turned around to compose his smile before looking back at the camera. He seemed to be struggling to get his pose right!

The morning commute

Every morning, a throng of businessmen and women exit the subway using the passage opposite our Madison Avenue store. This passage leads directly to Grand Central Terminal. These are diligent and hardworking New Yorkers.

Subway Entrance
27-33 East 47th Street

James, one of our loyal customers, came by fully equipped. He told me that he went to Tokyo on his honeymoon and shopped at our Tokyo Marunouchi store. After taking this photo, I asked if we could use it online and he seemed delighted to be treated like a celebrity.

Seeing James ride away on his bicycle down Madison Avenue with the Kamakura Shirts bag, I was dancing with joy. It’s like a moving advert for our brand!

↑ He’s wearing one of our formal shirts.

I asked this very pleasant young lady if I could take a photo of her, and her fiancé came out of the fitting room to join us. Apparently their wedding is very soon and he’ll be wearing this shirt on the big day! What a lovely couple.

Before

One of our customers, Madan, decided to drop by with his girlfriend, both looking relaxed.
“Do you mind if we use your photo online?”
“Of course not! I’ll come back tomorrow in a suit too”. He seemed delighted.

After

The next day he came all the way to the store in his suit, as promised. He’s like a different person altogether – looking good!
The ‘Before’ and ‘After’ photos…

A Japanese couple came by in the scorching heat. They’re visiting from Osaka. The lady looked exhausted from the heat so our store manager, Teru, handed out ice cold water. She was very grateful. Now that’s the kind of service we pride ourselves on. Sorry, that’s enough self-praise! They said that they’ll visit our store in Osaka when they’re back in Japan. I hope they enjoy the rest of their trip.

Brought up in Shanghai and educated in New York, Mr. Yu went on to start his own company near our store. He is known as the Prince of Madison (aka our ‘Order King’) among our staff. Every three months, he orders a Made to Measure shirt from us. When we asked, he was kind enough to drop by just for a photo! Tall, handsome, soft-spoken and an all-around nice guy.

Around our Madison Avenue store, there are many well-established men’s stores like Brooks Brothers and Paul Stuart. These stores are favorites of New Yorkers and it’s a real honor to be among such company.

Across the street from our Madison Avenue store are many famous banks. This is the financial area of Madison Avenue.

Chase Bank
401 Madison Avenue

J.P. Morgan
383 Madison Avenue

Bank of China
410 Madison Avenue

At this point I feel a little tired and could do with a nap. I think my companion Hiroyo would agree.

Now we’re on our second day.

This is Brookfield Place, a shopping mall located in downtown Manhattan. It’s a luxury shopping district located opposite the famous World Trade Center.

We can head to the Brookfield Place store on the subway.

You can use the underground passage from Fulton Street Station to Brookfield Place so you won’t get wet!

  1. Take the  [4]   [5]  line from Grand Central to Fulton Street.
  2. Head towards the World Trade Center station of PATH rail service.
  3. Keep walking straight as you pass the World Trade Center Station on your left.ony-b35
  4. Once you go up the looooong escalator, you’ve reached Brookfield Place.

We’ll start off at our store, Kamakura Shirts.

A quick photo with our grand shelf of shirts in the background. Even at this store we have two of our very own Ivy Style enthusiasts and two beautiful ladies waiting for us.

The store manager of Hickey Freeman is waving at us. This dandy gentleman’s name is Cliff. I always talk to the staff opposite us at Hickey Freeman and we’ve become great friends.

There’s a luxury fitness club diagonally opposite our store. This is the kind of extravagant space that New Yorkers come to first thing in the morning for their workout.

This large space known as the Winter Garden Atrium, represents the luxury Brookfield Place offers. Beyond the large windows is the Hudson River.

Who’s that? Posing in this beautiful open space is one of our staff members, our lovely Saki.

WINTER GARDEN ATRIUM
STREET LEVEL

The fantastical Winter Garden

We’ve left the Winter Garden to go outside. Many people gather here to have their lunch beneath the parasols. Hiroyo and I bought lunch at the food court and ate it here.

Look at that view!

Waterfront Plaza

This is the head office of American Express.
Lots of finely-dressed New Yorkers head out for lunch. I’m sure they’re just as hard working as the New Yorkers on Madison Avenue.

Brookfield Place at lunch

The food court attracts a lot of people around this time. Everything looks delicious!

Alas, the queue is long.

FOOD COURT

This is Diane von Furstenberg, popular for her unique printed dresses. I always wanted to buy one myself back in the day, but it made me look a little too old. I told that story to my daughter and she said that I am old. Hrmph…

Omega in Brookfield Place. The glistening floor of the Winter Garden is in perfect harmony with the store.

When you think of luxury, the Hermès brand always comes to mind.

There’s a wide selection of great brands.

This is Level 2 but on the other side of Kamakura Shirts. I hadn’t been to this side of the building before and I was surprised that there were this many stores.

drybar (Blow Dry Bar)

babesta (Children’s Boutique)

Can you spot me in the photo?
Where am I?

Fifteen years ago, on September 11th 2001, the World Trade Center was struck by a terrorist attack. New York has done itself proud to recover so strongly after that.

Finally, I’d like to say a few things.
I spend a lot of my time in New York by myself, and people often stop to ask me, “Where are you from?”
When I say that I’m from Japan, everyone, from the taxi driver, to someone that happens to be on the same elevator, to the attendee at the deli, tells me how much they like and respect Japan. At times like that I feel very happy and proud. I guess travelling abroad is a great way to rediscover yourself and your own country. I’d like to thank the people of New York and the people of Japan from the bottom of my heart.
With wholehearted gratitude,

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MADISON AVENUE STORE
400 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017
(Between 47th and 48th Street)
TEL +1-212-308-5266
Mon – Fri 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sat and Sun 9:00 am – 7:00 pm

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BROOKFIELD PLACE STORE
225 Liberty Street, Level 2
New York, NY 10281
TEL +1-212-619-2484
Mon – Sat 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sun 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Closed: All Federal Holidays determined by the US Government.

A stroll around New York… By Tamiko Sadasue