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Lots for Little

Park prospects: When drive-to-the-Hamptons season approaches, you don't have to choose between your summer share and paying your car's rent.

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Tired of hauling your beach baggage on the bus every summer weekend, but think it's too expensive to keep a car in town? Alternate-side-of-the-street is not Manhattan's only budget parking option: If you're willing to take a short hike to your car, you can save up to 75 percent on a garage. So whether you're splurging on a new convertible or working on your favorite uncle to lend you an old pickup for the summer, consider one of these safe, money-saving spots.

Downtown: Mayor Parking's Houston Street parking pier is a good bet for downtown residents in search of indoor or outdoor space. A spot on the roof will set you back only $135* per month, and indoor spots are a deal at $161.

Chelsea: Edison Park Fast's garage and outdoor annex are good options for Chelsea residents: Indoor spots are $186; outdoor ones are $165.

Midtown: On West 38th Street, an outdoor spot at Central Parking System (monitored by a 24-hour attendant) is a steal at $105 per month.

Uptown: More Than Parking has several inexpensive facilities on the West Side: at its West 59th Street Garage, an indoor spot is a mere $150 per month. Or, for even better deals, check out MTP's Columbia Parking location on West 125th Street, where an indoor spot is $135. Or, for $99 per month, MTP will store your vehicle in an indoor lot further uptown and deliver it to the 125th Street garage whenever you need it (just call half an hour ahead).

*Prices listed do not include the citywide 18.25 percent parking tax. New York City residents who apply for a reduction pay only 10.25 percent.

Mayor Parking, Pier 40, West Street at Houston Street (989-9536); Edison Park Fast, 527 West 23rd Street (888-PARK-FAST); Central Parking System, 541 West 38th Street (889-4444); MTP West 59th Street Garage, 540 West 59th Street (307-7886), and MTP Columbia Parking, 627 West 125th Street (280-7487).

Picks of the Week

Barry Kieselstein-Cord's leather handbags with sterling-silver animal-shaped clasps are a society lady's best friends. At the sample sale, styles for day and evening, as well as the designer's collection of sterling-silver jewelry, belts, and bags, are about half off regular prices: from $150 for a belt (strap only) to $550 for a bag. Parsons School of Design, 560 Seventh Ave., at 40th St.; A.E., M.C., V.; Wed. 1-6, Thurs. 9-6, Fri. 9-4; 2/24-2/26.

Morgenthal-Frederics Opticians usually sells for $225-$500. Now the company is moving a ton of fashionable prescription and sunglasses styles to its SoHo shop and clearing it all out at 35 to 50 percent off. The sale includes frames from designers like Yamamoto, Armani, and Gaultier, as well as discontinued Morgenthal-Frederics private-label styles. A Gaultier frame, was $385, now $195; prescription lenses are 15 percent off with the purchase of any sale frame, and eye exams are an additional $60 to $100. 399 West Broadway (966-0099); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Fri. 11-8, Sat. till 7, Sun. noon-6; 2/22-3/3.

Ruth Caplan's interior-design fabrics cover such swank spots as the Plaza Hotel and Bill Gates's home. No decorator? Head for the showroom sale, where overstock is available for up to 80 percent off the retail price: silk velvet is $30 per yard (retail $175); cotton damask is $25 per yard (retail $130), and trimmings are 50 to 70 percent off. Fine Arts Building, 232 E. 59th St., fourth floor (826-3756); cash only; Mon.-Fri. 9-1; 2/22-2/26.

D'Amico Foods's coffees have been favorites of Cobble Hill java lovers for more than 50 years. During its spring sale, D'Amico is not only selling most gourmet beans for 20 percent off (try the Colombian Supremo Dark, $18 for three pounds); the shop will also ship them free of charge (with a three-pound minimum). Gift packaging is available. 309 Court St., Brooklyn (718-875-5403); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Sat. 8-7; 2/22-3/31.

ALWAYS A DEAL
Power Saver

If you're prone to leaving on your car lights but hate waiting around for a jump-start, consider investing $50 (plus $6 shipping) in Comtrad's Auto Starter. The rechargeable unit fits in a glove compartment, plugs into your car's cigarette lighter, and will replenish power in fifteen to twenty minutes. (It won't work on a battery that's completely dead, however, so don't think you've found a way around buying a new one every few years.) Auto Starter's also a handy portable power source for, say, cell phones and boom boxes. Call 800-992-2966 to order.


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