Every day, small shop owners from Africa and Latin America fly into New York with wads of cash and empty suitcases. As Robert Smith reports today, their destination is zip code 10001 in Manhattan, home to a cluster of wholesale stores selling a quirky mix of decently made goods at cheap prices.
There's a neighborhood in New York City that has always been a mystery to us. Smack dab in the middle of Manhattan, around 29th street, is the wholesale district. There you can find rows of narrow storefronts packed to the ceiling with trinkets. Racks and racks of fake gold chains. Acres of souvenir lighters and walls of belt buckles. Plastic, plastic, plastic toys.