Century 21, The Oculus and Lower Manhattan
Right in front of lower Manhattan’s fabulous Oculus, the flying bird house for the new downtown Manhattan transit hub and retail Mecca, sits Century 21.
Century 21 has been there a long time. I discovered it in the mid-1970's, when I had a summer job at a law firm in lower Manhattan. Century 21 opened at 7:45 in the morning, and became the place I learned about style. Back then, it had wondrous designer clothes tumbled together on part of a floor. Half the fun was the search, and if you arrived at 7:45 am, before the visitors to the city, you almost always found a treasure. At a huge discount. You could also buy staples--underwear, towels, makeup, shoes. But I went there for clothes I could hardly imagine.
After 9/11, Century 21 reopened to general cheering. It has since been expanded and remodeled, and even includes a super-luxe corner. But it still opens at 7:45 am, and still has wondrous discount designer clothes. And even though I no longer work in lower Manhattan, the downtown store is where I go to get my fashion updates. I learned a lot there when I was a new career girl, and I still do now that I am a new blogger.
Century 21 is an unlikely, but real, part of the longtime fabric of lower Manhattan, a truly local, truly New York department store. So is the Oculus, an incredible structure that houses lots of amazing luxury stores and represents the rebirth of that part of the city. Either can give you an ongoing style education, in one of the most vibrant neighborhoods of Manhattan.