The idea of window shopping really got its start in the late 19th/early 20th century. As the Industrial Revolution got into full swing in America, all of a sudden a new consumer class, the middle class (the bourgeoisie) was created. Now, people had some extra pocket money and started 'window shopping'. The nation was booming in industry and inventions; now there were new gadgets and trinkets that people wanted to buy.
New York has always been the mecca of shopping and consumer culture in America. New York is the king of advertising and suckering people into buying things they really do not need (nor really want). I often walk around the streets of New York taking pictures of different display windows and interesting advertisements that are especially unique and attention getting.
I will break the pictures down by category (clothing, signs, accessories, etc). You will be able to see how NYC really breaks the mold in being able to reach its consumer. People don't just stop and stare outside the Macy's Christmas window display. And, it isn't only Christmas that one can find interesting displays and advertisements around NYC.
Think especially of how advertising was often done up until the 60's/70's, on the sides of buildings. The whole concept of window display is something more modern. It really wasn't until the turn of the century (19th to 20th) that window dressing/display really began to take a form of its own.
Yep, NYC sure has interesting windows. I have a lot more pictures of display windows. By far, however, the best ones always seems to be around Union Square (at Broadway or at 5th) and at 5th and Madison around Columbus Circle. Bloomingdale's is also a sure fire win. Their in and out of store displays are pretty awesome!
NYC display windows is artwork. So take a look around at store front windows sometime. It's like being in an outdoor museum.
Artfully and tastefully yours,