At the ribbon-cutting for the new Century 21 store on 66th Street and Broadway yesterday, politicians announced that a new era of shopping has begun on the Upper West Side. The mayor even called the neighborhood “a shopper’s paradise.”
To which we say: Really?
Not many Upper West Siders I’ve talked to are ecstatic about the new store, although there’s certainly quite a bit of buzz. It’s very nice to have something in that space, because the corner where it sits is kind of the southern gateway to the neighborhood. And there are lots of nice designer clothes. People smarter than me can tell you about all of the discounted stuff from Marc Jacobs, Manolo Blahnik and Diana van Furstenberg you can buy there.
But folks definitely miss the Barnes & Noble that sat there. And Upper West Siders are already cringing a little about the Century 21: one told DNAinfo’s Leslia Albrecht that it’s “schlocky and awful.” Another said “[Barnes & Noble] was very high-class, and it’s being replaced by something so inelegant.” I checked the store out last week, and was pretty impressed by the men’s section, including the brand-name shirts at discount prices. But the whole fluorescent lights and silver walls decor was a little off-putting.
Or as our columnist Harriet Flehinger recently wrote:
The question of the day…..do you like Century 21 (opportunity to buy more clothes at cheaper prices) or not (out-of-town bargain hunting tour buses interrupting the cultural oasis of Lincoln Center)? This writer clearly comes down NOT in favor, having always thought of the Lincoln Center area as a gentle haven for culture, arts, books, music, etc. I value the fact that there is still a store in this area that specializes in woodwind instruments. I wish there were more stores like that.
You will not find woodwind instruments at the new Century 21, but below are a few pictures of items you can find: