Tag: Shopping

M&M’s World, New York

M&M’s World, New York

At 24,000 square feet, New York City’s largest candy store is M&M’s World, located in Times Square. And it is guaranteed to bring out the child in all who visit.

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Visiting the M&Ms World store was a bit of a surprising experience for me. While I would be hard pressed to tell you exactly what I was expecting, I can say for certain that what I saw when I entered the store was not it.

First, the color. That’s the most iconic and fun part of M&M candies, right? So of course the store is just an explosion of colors. Each color character has its own merchandise section. (The OCD in me just loved that neat classification of items by color!)

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The other thing that struck me was how crowded it was. I mean, wall to wall people. I was a bit amazed by that. Particularly when not one, but two different international tourists asked me a question, neither one in English. I always thought of M&Ms as an all-American candy, but clearly they are popular worldwide.

Since the store is three stories high, there were a lot of great opportunities to do an aerial-type shot. This is probably the best one that shows how many people are crammed into that space.

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Of course, in addition to the T-shirts and mugs and candy dispensers, you could buy M&Ms, available in flavors and colors that I didn’t even know existed.

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Note: the above is only a small section of the “Wall of Chocolate.”

I took advantage of the wide selection by getting my daughter a mixture of M&Ms that matched her recently redecorated bedroom. (Of course, they were all eaten before they could even be displayed, so perhaps that wasn’t the wisest purchase.)

The store also has a Personalized Printer, which will allow guests to create customized M&M’s right in the store. Store visitors can select from a variety of images, as well as create customized messages that will be printed on M&M’s in about two minutes.

M&M’s World is a fun stop even if you don’t plan to buy anything, and I recommend dropping in if you’re in Times Square.

M&M’s World New York is located at 1600 Broadway, New York, NY 10019. Telephone 212-295-3850. The store is open daily from 9:00 am to midnight.

Camden & Camden Market, London

Camden & Camden Market, London

The last time I was in London, I decided to go on a couple of the London Walks tours. They’re cheap, informative, run by locals, and don’t require a huge amount of time or an advance reservation.  You show up, pay a small fee, walk for a bit, and learn some cool stuff about the city.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

One of the walks I went on was the Saturday morning Camden town walk.   I met the guide outside the Tube station, along with 15-20 other tourists.  We walked around Camden and she began describing the area and its history.  Honestly, I don’t remember a lot of what she said, except that she pointed to the Dublin Castle pub and said that was where Madness played at the beginning of their career.

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The reason I don’t remember much of what the tour guide said was that I was in complete sensory overload.  There were so many things to look at – brightly colored buildings with three dimensional objects jutting out of them, oddly dressed people, banners and flags moving in the light breeze, people chatting and laughing.  Then, as we entered the Camden Lock market, I was bombarded with smells – all manner of exotic and mundane foods, from Indian curry to fried fish to fresh fruit.  When I wasn’t too dumbfounded to do anything but gape at the sights, I did manage to take a few photos:

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To properly see the Camden area, you will need at least a couple of hours.  Add several hours if you want to shop in the markets there.  But even if you’re not a serious shopper, it’s worth a stop just to look at all of the amazing specialties they offer.  This would be a great place to pick up a souvenir, take photos, or get an inexpensive meal.

Camden Market is open every day from 10:00 am.  The nearest Tube stop is Camden Town.