Ah, yes, the famed New York City Diamond District. Not one of the city's more welcoming areas. Anyone who has walked down 47th Street knows, your reflexes will get a workout with any number of questionable characters lunging at you demanding to know if you're "selling miss?", "buying?", and "..come in beautiful I have something for you". Somehow, maneuvering to dodge between them and the smokers that line the sidewalk. If you can walk away without any business cards or pamphlets and only your clothes smell of smoke, congratulations, you survived. If you can do all this without breaking pace, well, you might as well buy yourself a drink.
As seemingly unwelcoming as it is, these are the NYC streets I find most familiar. Traditionally, the jewelry industry is a very male dominant industry that has a very "closed door" policy. Understandably so, many vendors won't open their triple-locked double-doors to you unless they know who referred you.
Once you get past the hardened exterior, a lot of times, it's just more hardened exterior. What the heck? I'm kind of kidding but also kind of not. I have been lucky enough to find a team of old school jewelers with hearts of gold. You might even say they're diamonds in the rough (eh, ehh? see what I did there?)
Stay tuned, in my coming posts, I'll definitely share some of the more specific adventures of the district and my experiences. Oy, the characters!