Manhattan shopping challenge

I vaguely recall hearing several years ago that in a bid to boost shopping trips to NYC, the mayor’s office (? - tourism board maybe?) was offering a cash bounty for anyone who could come up with a legal product that someone couldn’t find for sale in Manhattan in (48? 24?) hours.

I understand the prize for stumping the city was enough to get attention, something like $10,000. Anyone recall the details of this program? Did anyone end up stumping the city and getting paid? What did they propose trying to buy?

I’ve been wondering about this for years & every now and then spend a few minutes of downtime trying to come up with something that might have been unavalable.

A little weekday >bump< … if no one answers this in a few days it’ll be the first Q I ever submit right to Cecil himself!

I don’t know about any challenge, but there are a few things that might be hard to find for sale in Manhattan;
[li]AK-47[/li][li]Colt 1911 or other pistol[/li][li]Hang glider[/li][li]Ultra light aircraft[/li][li]747[/li][/ul]

As far as the weapons, I would assume they are illegal within NYC.

There have to be thousands of products you can’t find in Manhattan.

Anybody have a link to more info about this challenge?

I consider myself something of a NYC buff. I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve studied local history pretty intensely. I’ve never heard of such a shopping challenge.

While we’re adding to the banned list of items, here are two surprising ones that have only recently been declared permissable:

  1. Portable BBQ-size tanks of propane
  2. Garbage disposals*

*That’s what they used to call them, but I think it’s a passe term today. Anyway, it’s that gizmo that sits under your kitchen sink drain that grinds up organic waste and cuttings as they go down the drain. They were banned decades ago as a water-saving measure, but that ban was recently reversed to help decrease landfill waste. You could probably buy and/or sell them in NYC, but you were not allowed to install them.

In Manhattan proper? How about a septic tank? Of course about anything could be purchased if you allow it to be shipped in. I’m sure that a plumbing supply store could set you up, but I doubt there are very many septic systems still in use in the city. If any.

Combine? Farm tractor? Western Family brand tator tots :smiley:

Legal, and something that might be affordable to a person or family is how I would approach it.

I’m sure you can buy the combine and the farm tractor. I can remember walking by a storefront somewhere by Canal Street and the sign in the window said “Factories bought and sold.”

That being said, I, like stuyguy, can’t ever remember hearing of such a challenge. Sounds like an urban myth. (We will sell you the Brooklyn Bridge).

It happens to be against the law to sell a toy gun that does not show a primary color-orange. I know I’ve seen them in toy stores in other cities in the U.S.A., but NYC has specifically banned any toy gun lacking certain orange markings.

Hence, you cannot legally find one for sale inside of New York State, no less NYC.


Yes but, legally or illegally, you can find just about anything within a 2 mile radius.

It seems like food products from other areas of the country/world, especially those that are highly perishable and have extremely limited distribution, would qualify. For example, could you find loaves of bread from every obscure bakery on Earth in Manhattan? I would think that many thousands of products would fit this bill.

Could you find diesel gasolene. Last time I was in NYC I had to search far and wide to find a place to get regular. Seems most people fill up outside of the city.

My guess is that you would not be able to find a lot of books, guidebooks, maps, etc., aimed at very local markets.

I don’t think you would be able to find English-language DVDs that have only been released in Region 2 or 4, e.g., Shakespeare ReTold or SeaChange (both of which I own in the US, having bought them in the UK and Australia, respectively).

I don’t think this is an urban (! - in more sense than one) myth; I recall seeing a TV news report on it. This was likely in the range of 5-10 years ago, sorry I can’t be more specific.

I imagine that you had to have reasonable submissions. For example maybe not a loaf of bread flown in this morning from a particular location, but a particular ethnicity’s tradtional bread recipe baked in Manhattan would likely count.

I wonder if you can’t actually purchase something like a 747 in Manhattan; getting it delivered is something else (Queens I should think…).

I’m always surprised what you can find for sale in any given city. Several years ago my company was hosting some Japanese businessmen who used a lot of their downtime to do comparatively cheaper shopping for high ticket items. One day one of them came back from a lunch break with a full sized surfboard. I’ve lived in Philadelphia my whole life, and if you gave me two hours to locate a surfboard I wouldn’t have a clue where to start looking… (I mean yes sporting goods stores, sure… but I never recall seeing surfboards in one!)

Best Foods mayonaise?

Huh? What would you call them? Especially being new and all. “Chazzwazzers”? :wink:

A tubax.