From the Pearl River Mart. When I visited my friend Alex in NYC during med school, we had a grand time. Including this one time when we got locked out of her apartment and tried to climb down via fire escape and got stuck on the roof; the people who lived on the top floor heard us being loud and let us climb out their window and down the fire escape to Alex's bedroom window:
Anyways, Alex had to work during the day, so I would go out and wander on my own, with the "City Walks of New York" cards as my guide. One of my favorite places was Chinatown. Because after being on Manhattan for only a couple of days, I really enjoyed finally finding a healthy dose of CHEAP.
That day, I think I spent about two hours wandering around the Pearl River Mart picking things up, wondering over them, and ultimately buying a large bag full of stuff (and most of my Christmas gifts for that year) for less than $100. And I still love to look at their store online to see what awesome deals can be had. here are my favorite things:
A 36 inch white rice paper lantern
Pretty Packaged soaps
Stacking lunch box
Tea in cute tins (let's be honest I don't care about the tea, but the packaging is so nice!)
Blue and White geometric bowls
I could really keep going but they DO have their own website, so there's not really a need for me to list the entire store's wares on my blog.
I cannot for the life of me remember where I read this, but I do remember this tongue-in-cheek formula for how to make a room look like you've hired an interior designer: you just need something Asian, something animal print, something red, and something metallic. Perhaps I should do a series on each so that we can all be so CHIC.