Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spooky Savings in the Cellar

Tricia Lewis, our Fashion Herald blogger, is out on maternity leave. Following is a post from her co-worker Jeffrey who is kindly filling in as guest blogger.

My personal favorite spot to indulge in 34th Street is The Cellar at Macy’s. You can slip in through the 34th Street entrance closest to Broadway, make a sharp left, and head down a narrow little staircase, avoiding all the crowds, escalators, and elevators. Down in this magical basement space, there are none of the crowds of tourists fiending for their Levi’s, and the shopping experience is calmer and more pleasant than anywhere else I can think of on 34th Street.

Of course, we are also in the prime season for housewares. I wandered down hoping to find ridiculous, unnecessary, but lust-worthy items like pumpkin-shaped soup tureens and ghost-shaped cookie cutters. I was shocked to see that Christmas was already in full swing down in this netherworld, but there were still a few Halloween goodies to be found and most were on sale!

Halloween can be tacky, but we all know that Martha Stewart can make anything both overwrought and moderately tasteful. I fell in love with just about every item on this clearance rack, from maple leaf spatulas to haunted house kitchen towels, but my favorite had to be the cake stencils (originally $12.99, now $8.99) for dusting powdered sugar or cocoa onto baked goods in three spooky motifs. I would love experimenting with dusting everything from cheesecakes to pumpkin pies for a little bit of fall flair.

Also down in The Cellar are a variety of different brands of chocolate. I was drawn to the Frango display, offering a variety of treats for 25% off. I nearly bought the Pumpkin Cheesecake Chocolates ($7.50 after discount) as a pre-dinner snack, but a bear in a mummy costume ($16.50 after discount) was so cute that I forgot all about my growing, early evening hunger.

On my way out, I stopped by the Macy’s Culinary Council kitchen. Although I didn’t catch a celebrity chef whipping up a gourmet meal, the space is also used to demonstrate products. I got a free cup of coffee from a Keurig coffee maker that uses disposable coffee pods (pictured model on sale for $129.99, smaller and larger models on sale for $89.99 and $169.99 respectively). The coffee was not as full-bodied as what I make in my French Press at home, but the cleanup cannot be beat. To boot, Macy’s stocks 20 different varieties of coffees and cocoas for the machine and more are available online from Keurig.

The Cellar at Macy's Herald Square, 151 W. 34th btwn Broadway & 7th