Best department store for strolling, if not buying - 2006
Takashimaya - CLOSED
Though Fifth Avenue boasts a famous roster of department stores—Saks, Bendel's, Bergdorf's—each of which has its undeniable charms, none is as quirkily eccentric as Takashimaya. The New York branch of this Japanese company features a frankly nutty collection of departments: There's a gardening department (anybody you know need a spade?) on the main floor and a travel area upstairs featuring Baedekers and cashmere blankets, vintage watches and rolling suitcases. One whole floor is devoted to Asian antiques and furniture. The store buyers appear to seek out things you just don't see anywhere else, which is why you can find an aubergine silk negligee or a coral-beaded handbag but not a plain cotton T-shirt. Then again, who needs another T-shirt?