Crazy dollar! 99 Cent City in Northway Mall

99 Cent City.jpg

You never know what you're going to find.

By Jessica Pasko

If you ever find yourself in need of a samurai sword, a pile of small Buddha figurine, a bamboo plant and a whole bunch of stuff to outfit your pad for your next Chinese New Year party, I know just the place -- 99 Cents City at the Northway Mall Plaza.

I can't lie - I'm just a little bit obsessed with this store.


Sure, there's plenty of standard, run-of-the-mill dollar store merch like three packs of cheap screwdrivers and ugly coffee mugs. But the real fun lies in the oddities - like the rather impressive selection of swords, knives and daggers. You never know when you'll need a good dagger.

99 Cents Plus is kind of like a treasure trove of the bizarre -- with a little mundane thrown in for good measure. I mean, where else can you purchase a technicolor Jesus clock, a large Asian urn and a disconcerting number of figurines that could likely be classified as politically-incorrect? I challenge you to come up with better one-stop shopping than that.

One of my favorite things ever came from here -- a belt with all sorts of song titles and lyrics from the Rolling Stones printed on it, except in Engrish. For example-- Getoff Hy Colud, instead of Get Off My Cloud. They're so awesome I've purchased at least a dozen of them to give to everyone I know.

engrish belts.jpg

Among some of the other great finds were the stack of trucker hats with Ben Franklin's mug on them that I spotted last week and the wide selection of belts and bras for $1. I also go crazy for the different styles of Chinese slippers, which are a total steal at $1.99 a pair. And don't get me started on the bizarro religious paraphernalia - some it is just amazing.

chinese slippers.jpg

Dollar store purists may balk at the fact that not everything at 99 Cents City is actually a dollar. Most of the good stuff costs a little more. But it's good value for some bizarre fun.

Find It

99 Cent City
1440 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12205

(518) 453-9839


Those belts are AWE-SOME!!!

Nothing like the sweet irony of sweat shop labor...

This place is a dump and half the stuff is over a dollar though it is supposed to be a dollar store. I don't know why anyone would want to shop here and how this place stays in business.

Ha. I was at that store a week back and I had a great time browsing the aisles. I loved the buddhas, lightbulbs from GL (General Lighting and the script looks exactly like GE) and even picked up a tomato-shaped kitchen timer for a friend who collects tomato shaped stuff. Bizzaro but totally worth it if you are stuck in the mall while your better half is in Jo Anns :)

"for a friend who collects tomato shaped stuff"

Wow, I guess there's all kinds of collectors out there!

Sorry to be negative, but places like this are just excuses to buy more toxic, plastic, sweat-shop produced clutter we'll never use anyway.
Anyone who has a hankering to go there should visit Naomi's blog first.

I'm with you, Jess - this place is so fun!

It's great for little hair accessories, pot holders, and I outfitted my doors with some good luck poster things at Chinese New Year.

At first it can be a bit confusing, having an aisle or so >$1, but after a few trips I figured it out.

Also, I don't know where else I can find lighted, feathered bunny ears.

Danielle, speak for yourself, if I could find something like this at this store I'd cherish it forever!

"Like a precious picture you naive smiling face left a deep impression IN MY pooh"

I'm pretty sure the bamboo plants weren't made in a sweat shop.

I agree this place is really fun for those of us who are easily amused! I will say that the smell alone is TOXIC. If you can get past that...go to the back of the store and find the yellow rain slicker...the model on the front of the package is actually a male blow-up doll, sporting the slicker!!

I have always been afraid to go in there, it seemed like a freakishly odd place in a bad way. Now that I know its freakishly odd in a good way, I can't wait to find out for myself! Toxic crap here I come! Woot-woot!

I love this place, too; while organizing an office for a client, I found all the stuff to do it here at a *steal,* including in/out boxes, portfolios, pen holders, and all the other stuff that makes an office an office for next to nothing! Love it!

Sounds like a perfect place to play 'Dollar Store Challenge'. Go with friends, secretly choose the name of another person in the party, find the weirdest gift, and have a gift exchange. A great way to spend an afternoon. I got my favorite 'If you like CK One, you'll love Desire' body spray that way.

I'm looking to purchase a bamboo plant for my sister in Latham, NY. I live in Texas. Where can I order one to have delivered???
Thanks. have singlehandedly enhanced the quality of life for perhaps 6 or 7 capital regioners who will be playing your game one weekend this spring.....THANK YOU THANK YOU

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