Meet the Concierge

Your Personal Concierge

Top Three Stores for Only-in-NYC Merchandise

Renaldo Moore
Chef Concierge, Ameritania at Times Square
Renaldo Moore
Chef Concierge, Ameritania at Times Square
230 W. 54th St.

Ellis Island Immigration Museum (Courtesy Ellis Island Immigration Museum)

When it comes to shopping, New York City can’t be beat—what with so many stores offering everything from the latest fashion trends to high-tech gadgets, world-renowned art and more. But, when it comes to taking a little piece of NYC back home, there are plenty of places that offer unique items specific to The City That Never Sleeps. Here, seven-year concierge Renaldo Moore, who currently serves as Chef Concierge at the Ameritania at Times Square hotel, shares his top three places to pick up only-in-NYC merchandise.

Renaldo Moore, Chef Concierge at the Ameritania at Times Square

Few places match New York City’s diverse, multi-cultural population; and, since its inception, the city has been the gateway for immigrants from around the world. These travelers made the trip to Ellis Island before embarking on their new lives, and this former federal immigration processing station processed more than 12 million third-class and steerage immigrants between 1892 and 1954. Today, visitors can explore historic areas including the Baggage Room, Registry Room/Great Hall, as well as the Balcony and Dormitory Room, view thought-provoking exhibits and, possibly, learn more about their own ancestors. At the Ellis Island gift shop, visitors can “purchase books and souvenirs documenting the millions of immigrants that came here,” Moore says. “You can purchase family records, ship documents, and even dedicate a wall plaque.”

Museum of the City of New York (Courtesy the Museum of the City of New York)

In East Harlem, the Museum of the City of New York is devoted to the history and culture of the five boroughs. One of the museum’s current exhibitions includes Soundscape New York—an audio installation that combines sounds from inside NYC landmarks, like Grand Central Terminal and the Seagram Building lobby, with visual animations projected on a panoramic screen. The exhibition is on display thru June 7, 2015, and, at the gift shop history buffs can shop “a collection of books, photographs and souvenirs that you can only find in New York,” Moore says.

The New York Transit Museum (Courtesy The New York Transit Museum)

Across the East River in Brooklyn, the history of the New York City subway system is immortalized at The New York Transit Museum. Located in Brooklyn Heights’ unused Court Street station, the museum is the best place to learn about the engineering involved in building the comprehensive system, as well as what the trains have looked like over the years—thanks to several subway cars on display. One can also learn about other modes of transportation used by commuters, including the bus system. The museum also operates a gallery annex in Grand Central Terminal with changing exhibitions. For those that want to take a piece of the rails home with them, the gift shops affiliated with the museum have “vintage subway signs and memorabilia for sale,” Moore says.