Tee-browsing along the sidewalks of New York. Photo by John and Keturah
The “I (heart) NY” tee is a global phenomenon. Walk through any major European city and you’re bound to see one, two, or ten of the tees, known for their block lettering and bright red heart. For good reason, too. Nothing translates into “cheap souvenir” like buying five New York shirts for just $10!
We (heart) souvenirs
Created pro bono in 1977 by Milton Glaser for a marketing campaign to promote New York State, the original design for “I (heart) NY” was intended to be in the public eye for only a few months. But locals and tourists alike took hold of the black, white and red symbol. A popular souvenir movement was born.
While finding your own special tee in Times Square or around Soho has its own allure, shops around Chinatown and Madison Square Garden (in the west 30s) offer better deals. Look for street vendors with tables of tees offering crazy deals. Some vendors even sell five shirts for $10. Individual tees go for about $3 to $30, depending on quality.
While you’re at it…
Grab some of the other cheap trinkets available on the vendor tables in Soho and the Fashion District. We’re talking about mini taxi cabs, cityscape snow globes, foam Statue of Liberty crowns, Times Square playing cards, etc. Classic.
Also see: Our recommended budget hotels in New York City.