China Station

Shopping in Chinatown can seem initially daunting: the uphill climb, the overabundance of stores, the ever-present possibility that you will accidentally end up in some stranger's vacation photographs. But, with a little investigation, it doesn't take long to hit pay dirt. Almost immediately one comes upon China Station (456 Grant Ave.); it is easy to miss, as, under the most casual of glances, it appears to carry much of the same merchandise as any other store in the immediate (and I do mean immediate) area. A little further investigation, however, yields hand-embroidered silk kimonos ($29.50) and, even better yet, ombré-dyed silk kimonos ($29.95), ideal candidates for adding the Eastern influence, so heavily indulged in this year at New York's Fashion Week, to your own wardrobe in the guise of a coat or a wrap. -- Anthony Russell