Saturday, May 16, 2009

Private Shopping Tour for "New to the City" Local

Saturday's tour was definitely a nice surprise.  I'm so accustomed to giving tours for people from other parts of the country and especially other parts of the world that when I asked my customers where they were from (a cute, 20-something couple), I expected to hear the same.  But I didn't.  I was shocked when the girlfriend said she lived on the Upper East Side.  I always thought my tours would be great for locals, but it was cool to have a local finally attend one of  my shopping tours.  It made much more sense, however, when she told me that she had just moved to NYC and didn't know where to go for shopping, dinner and nightlife.  So "New to the City" is a customer base that I've now experienced.  It was definitely different, but also relatively easy and fun.

Even though the girlfriend lives in NYC, and her boyfriend visits her from Philly every weekend and they explore together, the couple needed some guidance about where to shop, go to dinner, go out, etc.  They knew about some of the obvious places, of course, but seemed really impressed with my extensive knowledge about the more "local" side of the city.  They asked how it was that I knew so much and I explained that having lived in the city for five years and having given tours for four of those five years, definitely helped.   

We started the tour in Greenwich Village on University Place.  Some of the girlfriend's favorites included Pia and La Petite Coquette.  Well, at least that's where she made her purchases.  Her boyfriend seemed to enjoy La Petite Coquette too, of course.  I mean, what guy doesn't enjoy shopping for lingerie for his lovely lady?  They were looking for some coffee along the way and I told them about one of my favorites - Grey Dogs: great coffee, great sandwiches and a great chill, downtown atmosphere.  

Next up was Soho, and what was great about the tour being private for just the two of them, was that I could cater to their taste and their needs.  Rather than taking them to the more commercial stores in Soho that I usually take customers to on the Chic Boutique Tour like BCBG, Marc Jacobs and Anna Sui, I decided that they'd like something a little more unique.  So I added some vintage and consignment shops that my Vintage Boutique Tour visits in West Soho.  They really liked INA (well, at least the girlfriend did) and the boyfriend seemed to enjoy the selections in Flying A.  I thought they would have a little more interest in Laurel Canyon Vintage but it wasn't one of their favorites.  

After shopping, I pointed out 60 Thompson as a great spot for happy hour and/or dinner.  I raved about their rooftop bar which I've never been to personally, but have heard amazing things about.

I insisted after the Soho stop that we visit Darling in the West Village/Meatpacking area.  I had gotten a sense of the girlfriend's style and knew she would absolutely love it.  So they enjoyed their champagne en route in the comfortable towncar and I took a cute photo of them.  I also showed the video of Darling, but I'm not sure if they really got the point of it--or the point of any of the tour videos for that matter.  We'll see what they have to say in their review, I guess.

When we arrived at Darling, the girlfriend tried on about 10 different items.  Her boyfriend sneaked one to the register to surprise her for the next day, which I thought was sweet.  The boyfriend, who was from Naples, said they wanted wood-fired brick oven pizza, so I dropped them off at Napoli on Carmine Street at the end of the tour so that they could have an amazing pizza dinner.  

I'm anxious to hear what this couple thought of the tour.  They were trendy, young and hip so they could end up being a very difficult customer to please.  I'm hoping they decide to write a  review so I can post it.  I'd love to get their feedback.  In my experience, locals can be tough.  But I guess I'll just wait and see.....  Thanks for reading.  Don't forget to visit my website and stay tuned for the new ShopNYC Web Series coming soon!

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