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Shopping


Clifton Park Center Route 146 (Northway Exit 9), Clifton Park, 371-0087. Renamed from Clifton Country Mall as part of a facelift after some hard times. Anchored by The Marshall’s Megastore, Boscov’s, and JCPenney. www.shop-cliftonparkcenter.com.

Colonie Center Central Avenue (Route 5) and Wolf Road (Northway Exit 2E), Colonie, 459-9020. The smaller and, some would say, more manageable of the area’s two major malls boasts the biggest Macy’s this side of New York City, a Christmas Tree Shops, Boscov’s, Sears, the Gap and other typical retail chains among its 120-plus stores. www.shopatcoloniecenter.com.

Joe Putrock

Crossgates Commons Washington Avenue Extension, Albany. Nirvana for the big-box-shopping crazed—you need your car to drive from store to store at this place. Among the stores you’ll find are Old Navy, Home Depot, Bob’s Store, Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart.

Crossgates Mall 120 Washington Ave. Extension (Crossgates Mall Road exit off the Northway), Guilderland, 869-9565. It’s big, big, big—the biggest mall in the region, in fact. Now features more stores than we want to count (around 230), restaurants and services, plus a 12-screen and an 18-screen Regal movie complex. Filene’s, Macy’s, JC Penney and Cohoes Fashions are among the department stores anchoring the behemoth. There’s also Pottery Barn, H&M, and Best Buy. www.shopcrossgates.com

Delaware Avenue Delmar. A suburban stretch offering up strip-mall fare at Delaware Plaza, where you’ll find a Fashion Bug, Kay-Bee Toy and Hobby, Payless Shoes and the Friar Tuck Book Shop, not to mention the superb Delaware Plaza Liquor Store. For great clothing deals, check out Past Perfect (right next to Friendly’s) and at the Four Corners (where Kenwood Avenue crosses Delaware), look for a collection of boutiques selling children’s clothes, books, gifts, jewelry, gourmet foods and more. And there’s always the Saratoga Shoe Depot for good prices on a pair of cool kicks.

Jay Street, Schenectady. A little retail paradise in the middle of the Electric City: a handful of gift shops here flank a common area that’s been closed to traffic. The Open Door Bookstore holds court at one end, and don’t forget to hop across the street to check out Proctor’s Arcade, where there are a few sweet gift shops and a sheet-music store.

Lark Street/Lower Central Avenue, Albany. Still a modest oasis of specialty shops, restaurants and bars. A handful of new stores and restaurants have spiced up the area lately, amid the secondhand, antique, record, book and gift shops. Don’t miss Romeo’s Gifts, Elissa Halloran Designs for unique jewelry and the Lark Street Flower Market. For the latest in fashion and accessories, check out Shining Star, and the goth-inspired fashions at Unchained. Also, pop into Flamingo’s, a store packed to the gills with retro kitsch treasures. Among the storefronts on Central Avenue, you’ll find Daybreak, an oasis of vintage wear; and Music Shack, with its great selection of alternative and urban music. A few blocks up you’ll find Earthworld—for all your comic needs—and the Central Avenue fixture, the Honest Weight Food Co-op, a must for the organic-food connoisseur.

Latham Circle Mall Routes 9 and 7, Latham, 785-6633. Features standard mall fare in close to 100 shops, plus a multiscreen cineplex. The mall’s anchor stores are JCPenney and a mondo Burlington Coat Factory Outlet.

Manchester Center, Vt. Routes 7A and 11/30, Manchester Center, Vt. A veritable outlet town nestled amid the Green Mountains. Plenty of upscale, outlet-priced retail therapy to be had at every turn.

Mohawk Commons State Street and Balltown Road, Niskayuna. Built over the former site of Mohawk Mall, this big-box supercenter hosts a number of new stores, including Target, Price Chopper, Lowe’s and Marshalls.

Northway Mall Central Avenue, Colonie (across from Colonie Center). This area has been given a face-lift, literally. The old mall has been torn down and replaced with a brand-new strip mall featuring Target, Marshall’s, Eddie Bauer’s, Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts among others.

Prime Outlets at Lee Lee, Mass. (off Exit 2 of I-90). 413-243-8186 Outlet shopping just across the state line, without the hefty New York state sales tax. Among the stores, you’ll find J. Crew, the Gap and Jones New York.

Rotterdam Square Campbell Road (off I-890), Rotterdam, 374-3713. Featuring most of the usual retail chains, with Sears as an anchor store. The mall also boasts a six-screen cineplex.

Route 9, Latham From Hoffman’s Playland to a factory-outlet complex just north of the Latham Circle, this strip offers just about everything you could want from suburbia. Along this road is where you’ll find a TJ Maxx store (at the junction of Routes 9 and 155), another Marshall’s, a Lenox China outlet, a Dansk outlet and Latham Farms—a strip mall that’s home to a big ol’ Wal-Mart, CompUSA and more.

Downtown Saratoga Springs Saratoga may not have old-time prices, but it still has that old-time downtown feeling, with one of the area’s classiest collections of boutiques and shops. Don’t miss the off-price Saratoga Shoe Depot and the hot footwear selection Saratoga Soles. Check out Elevate Cycles for bikes, snowboards, and related accessories; Magic Moon for all things metaphysical and Soavé Faire Fine Arts for discount art supplies. There are even a couple of stores downtown that’ll satisfy your cravings for the true shopping mall experience: Borders Books and Music, the Gap, Banana Republic, Starbucks and Eddie Bauer have all graced Broadway with their chain-store presences.

Sutton’s Marketplace Route 9, Queensbury, 798-1188. An eclectic spot where you’ll find everything from sophisticated women’s designer clothes, a café, a bakery, a gift shop, furniture emporium and a “toy cottage.”

Stuyvesant Plaza Western Avenue and Fuller Road, Guilderland, 482-8986. A more upscale strip mall featuring some distinctive (and pricier) clothing stores, such as Circles, Charmant, Ann Taylor and Casual Set; the Book House, the area’s largest locally owned bookstore; camera and photography equipment store Stuyvesant Photo; Hippo’s, a haven for home electronics connoisseurs; 10,000 Villages, a part-volunteer fair-trade store filled with affordable, exotic furnishings and gifts, jewelry and gift stores; children’s clothing stores; and much more.

Downtown Troy In the past nobody would mistake the downtown section of the Collar City for a bustling retail center. But these days it appears to be making a comeback. There seems to be a good number of shops that display the great potential of the city. Some of our favorites: Hummingbird Designs (handcrafted jewelry), Mary Elizabeth (fancy toiletries, candles) and Counties of Ireland (an import store that carries all manner of Irish gifts and clothing), Iris Gifts (featuring the work of local artist), Dragonfly (antiques and collectables), Aurora’s Willow Creek (Specializing in Victorian and Czechoslovakian Jewelry). And while you’re in Troy, don’t forget to check out River Street, which boasts Gerard Stowell Pottery (unique jewelry and gifts) and several antiques stores that are popping up faster than we can count them.

Upper Union Street Schenectady. Aside from Jay Street, this is the other area of significant retail concentration in the Electric City. Clothing, jewelry, gifts, cards and fast food are all available.

The Wearhouse 30-32 Front St., Ballston Spa. 885-6634. It’s catalog-collection heaven—at discount prices. This is where well-known national retailers send their end-of-seasons, samples, seconds and overstocks. Big savings on name brands.

Wilton Mall Route 50 (Northway exit 15), Wilton. 583-2138. Old Navy, Dick’s Clothing and Sporting Goods, Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M and Aeropostale are newish features of this complex, which also boasts old faithfuls JCPenney and Sears. And when you’re done shopping, you can catch a flick at the eight-screen movie theater.

Wolf Road, Colonie A gauntlet for the shopping crazed. If you can get by Colonie Center on the corner of Central Avenue and Wolf Road, watch out . . . what lies in store (pun intended) is a shopaholic’s paradise. To name a few: Barnes & Noble; Bed, Bath & Beyond; Pier I Imports; Talbot’s Outlet and Borders Books & Music.

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