It may be a bit of stretch to call the Midtown Global Market a "shopping mall," what with its decidedly un-mall-like open layout and festive atmosphere (live music acts regularly play on center stage). Shoppers seeking respite from the sprawling, chain-store mega-malls of suburbia relish Midtown for its myriad ethnic specialty shops. Where else can you buy Hmong crafts, North African dishware, and Tibetan-made jewelry under the same roof? The grub is equally eclectic, ranging from West Indies soul food (from West Indies Soul) to Scandinavian pastries (from Café Finspang). And while the Midtown Global Market lives up to its name with its international ambience, its philosophy remains stridently local. All of its 50-plus shops and restaurants are locally and independently owned.