NYC June '23

My partner and I are celebrating a special occasion and heading to NYC later on in June. We‘re only staying for a long weekend, but we’re mostly there just to hang out, eat good food, and visit cool little places. I've only been to NYC twice in my life, so I really know next to nothing about cool places to go there.

Specifically, I'm looking for your recommendations for
-game stores
-used book stores / other cool book stores
-music stores
-places to buy cool thrift clothing

We plan to mostly be hanging out in Manhattan and Brooklyn, so I'm especially interested in spots there, but also I'm curious about other places in other parts of the city.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this.

I would not call myself an expert on the city and state of new york but I do know that if I were there I‘d go to Xian Famous Foods at least once. They have several branches and if you like food with spices and good noodles then you should go there. just eat it in a corner of the store if it’s available or outside but don't let it sit for ages. they have vegetarian stuff for me too.

@“rearnakedwindow”#p120098 Exciting! I wish I were cool enough to have way more recs, but here's some stuff I can think of:

Game Stores

Definitely hit up [Video Games New York]( in lower Manhattan. It's a little hole in the wall place, but they make up for size with a bewildering selection of new, used, imported, and mod-related stuff, plus a bunch of museum worthy oddities and signed consoles and such on display in the back. Plus there's a Meet Fresh right around the block if you want some Taiwan-style shaved ice treats after you visit.

Book Stores

The classic recommendation has to be [The Strand]( It's so huge that you could probably spend your whole trip in there if you're really into used books. If you check it out, I would also pop into [Forbidden Planet]( right down the block for comics, manga, figurines, and other otaku faire.

Music Stores

There was a rash of store closures in the past decade or so (Other Music, Kim's), but I've been seeing something of a renaissance lately. I don't know if you're into vinyl, but I would recommend [Face Records]( in Brooklyn #1 with a gold star for Japanese imports. I have to limit my exposure to this place because I can easily spend hundreds there. Other Brooklyn shops I would recommend are [Vinyl Fantasy](, [Earwax Records](, [Second Hand Records](, and [Deep Cuts]( (right next door in Ridgewood, Queens). Honestly, it's hard to go wrong just searching for "record store" on google maps in brooklyn and hitting up whatever's in walking distance.

Thrift clothing I don't have any specific recommendations, but I've checked out a few places in Bushwick (Brooklyn) I encountered just wandering around the area. I definitely defer to anyone with more knowledge, though.

I know you didn't ask about food, specifically, but I'll second @exodus and say that Xi'an Famous Food is fantastic--gotta get their liang pi noodles, especially. Also recommend the cucumber salad as well as the pork burger and any of the hand-pulled noodle dishes if meat's ok. It's grown a lot in the past several years, though, and I feel like it's lost a little bit as it's become this fairly large chain, but it's still a really great sampling of the region's cuisine. Hit me up for recs if you're thinking of heading to Flushing Chinatown!

I'll add more if I can think of anything else, feel free to DM if you wanna discuss more details and recs!

Even with a bit of bias (I have connections to several of the places listed) I will second @kory 's recommendations.

All my recommendations would be like outer borough graveyards and parks or Anthology Film Archives

Oh, just remembered–I wanted to mention that there are at least two Book-Offs that I‘m aware of (one in Midtown Manhattan, one in Industry City Brooklyn) and, after listening to Brandon and Vince pick through some amazing finds in the west coast version in the last podcast, I would probably say don’t even bother with them…I feel like ours are a pale imitation (esp. the tiny one in brooklyn).

Urban Jungle/L Train Vintage near the Morgan Ave L stop is I believe the biggest thrift shop in town, or at least the largest I know of. There are a bunch of good ones though.

Arcadewise there's the [Barcades]( and some [bars]( with great pinball selections, but the best arcade in town is [Wonderville](, an indie arcade with dedicated cabinets for games like Niddhogg 2 and Killer Queen as well as games from local Brooklyn game developers housed in cabinets made on site. Lots of live music and events there as well, so check the website for whatever days you're going.

Toy Tokyo is a must-see toy store for collectibles. The prices on things in their cases are extremely high but still fun to look at and their normal toys are more reasonably priced. Even if you aren‘t a collector, it’s a very neat place to walk around!

I have one extra-tacky tourist recommendation: [Jekyll & Hyde Club]( Some years back a couple friends and I went through a bar crawl of all the horror-themed bars in Manhattan and that's definitely the standout. There are animatronic skeletons and monsters that will talk to each other and folks who are dining. The whole place is absolutely ridiculous! I just went for drinks at the bar and can't comment on the food itself, you can get a transformation cocktail with a souvenir cup and it's worth just SEEING. It's definitely not everyone's cup of tea, not a place to hang out for an extended period, but if you like TACKY SPOOKY CRAP it's fun!

As someone who moved here, to Ridgewood, two months ago ~(partly because I asked the forum whether I should come here or to Miami, good answer etc), I have far more recommendations to take than give (thank you), but some people I met at a BBQ said “you should go to Spicy Village for dumplings; we'll take you”, and then actually followed through on it.

It's cheap, cash-only, the spicy beef black pepper sharing bowl thing is The Move. It was also the subject of [controversy](, when New Spicy Village (aka Super Spicy Village, Spicy Village Remake, Spicy Village 64) appeared, claiming to be a descendant shop, then the original claimed it was the creation of disgruntled employees, and disavowed it. Maybe try both!

re: arcades, i used to hang out at chinatown fair family fun center - i haven‘t been since 2019 so i’m not sure what machines they have now, but they used to have some great rhythm and driving games, including some cool imports. plus it's in chinatown, which is very touristy but a fun place to wander and eat.

ridgewood is a great neighborhood, but if you're staying in manhattan you may not want to take the trek out there. if you find yourself nearby, though, i used to like [topos bookstore](, which is a combo used bookstore/cafe situation. its selection is variable but i always found it pretty fun to browse. [woodbine]( down the street is an awesome leftist community space that usually has some interesting things happening, if you're into that. and you didn't mention films but i have to shout out [spectacle theater](, an incredibly tiny movie theatre in brooklyn that screens some of the wackiest stuff i've never heard of.

We had a great time in New York. Thanks again for all of your recommendations! We went to a bunch of them. We weren't able to get to everything we wanted to due to time constraints and navigating the city being a little harder than we thought, but we did go to a few things mentioned here like Toy Tokyo (very much reminded me of Brandon saying some places are like art museums where you can also buy stuff), Videogamesnewyork (very cool place), and Spicy Village (pure deliciousness).

The biggest shout-out has to go to Wonderville, though. It was hands down the highlight of our trip and, to anybody who reads this: if you like this forum and you go to NYC, check this place out. Lots of cool weird experimental arcade games, tasty hot dogs (I had the Devil May Curry, of course), and a very fun, inclusive, inviting vibe. There was even a DJ playing live music while I was there. We got to play 4 v 4 Killer Queen with a group of was probably the best time I've ever had with an arcade game. What was especially nice was all the games were set to free play. Like, New York is cool but a lot of the cool things are way expensive, so it's nice to feel like you're going somewhere and being treated generously for a change. I'm so thankful to @TracyDMcGrath and others for recommending it, and yeah, just passing it on to anybody else who happens to go to NYC at any point.

hijacking this thread because I‘m visiting NYC for the first time later in the month (sept 2023). I bought tickets to see one of the last PC Music showcases (if you happen to be going, feel free to DM me and/or say hi!), and I’m going to be staying in town for a few days with nothing else to do.

I'd love if anyone had any specific recommendations for cheap/free things to do! Normally, I would be all about shopping for games/vinyl/books/movies/etc, but I decided to make this stupid, spontaneous trip so I'm lower on funds lol. Also, I would love to visit arcade type stuff, but I'm still recovering from a pinched nerve injury in my hands, which rules out games/generally dexterous activities involving my hands.

Otherwise, feel free to recommend anything and everything, including general travel tips! I'm really excited!

@“ninjapresident”#p131939 You should get the good weather! So depending on what you want (and whether you have all this stuff already), how about all the natural spaces? Prospect Park in Brooklyn, the big gothic Greenwood Cemetery, the High Line, Central Park?

Yeah Prospect Park and Central Park are incredible. Might feel weird to visit the city and go for a nature walk but it's really something else

Oh, there‘s also a newsletter called The Skint that shares a lot of (mostly free) things to do. Annoyingly they don’t share more than a few days ahead, but you never know!

@“Salloumi”#p132058 Super sick resource! Def going to share that with the friend I'm staying with.

I don't think I mentioned it specifically in my post, but I definitely welcome more food recommendations! I literally have never been in the area so I have no clue on what's good, cheap, and/or cool lol. I know I'm going to want to try some of that fabled new york pizza.

Definitely going to check out some of these parks! The only thing on my agenda other than the concert is trying to grab one of the PWYW tickets for the Guggenheim when they go on sale.

I'll try doing a little travel blogging here when I'm in the area if I don't get too busy!

Well, I too went to Wondervillle (thanks @“TracyDMcGrath”#244!!), for a date, and it happened to be the second Sunday of the month, i.e. YouTube karaoke. And what an awesome bunch of people they were too.

A general good food resource is an app/site called [The Infatuation]( - don't be put off by the expensive stuff: they have some of the good cheap stuff too. And of course the [NYT 100 Best...](

Waiting in the Orlando airport for my flight home, but just wanted to say I had a great trip! I’ll do a proper write up when I’m less delirious and more well rested. Thanks everyone for all of the recommendations!

Finally slowed down enough to do a proper write up. I hope this is entertaining/helpful to someone!

### **Day 0:**

Mostly waiting all day in the Orlando airport for my layover. Got in late that night at LGA and figured out what bus I needed to take to get to my friend’s place in Flushing. After a slight misunderstanding with the bus, I was on my way. (The people in front of me tried to not pay, so I mistakenly assumed you paid when you got off. Whoops. Sorry, nice bus driver.) The buses continued to be confusing; I thought they would just stop at every stop along the route, but it didn’t seem so? I watched Google Maps diligently enough to figure out when I needed to pull the cord. Maybe it would’ve stopped where I needed it to anyways? I’m still not sure about the whole bus thing lol.

### **Day 1:**

The main reason for my trip! The music label/collective [PC Music]( has meant so much to me over the past nine years, so when I found out they were winding down, I pledged to make a trip to see one of the last shows. Somehow, I actually managed to make it work. They were holding three shows the weekend I visited; I had only bought tickets to the first night, because I’m still recovering from an ear injury from last December and didn’t want to risk pushing it. (I recommend that everyone should always wear earplugs at live shows.)

Before the show that night, they were holding a pop-up shop in Bushwick for rare and older merch. Miraculously, I managed to traverse the subway system for the first time without getting lost!

I got there a little early, so I was one of the first ten people in line. Everyone in line was very nice, and we talked about our excitement for the shows that night and what was inside. My mind melted when they opened up to see A. G. Cook, Alaska Reid, and Umru all hanging out inside while we shopped. I bought 3 shirts, the PC Music 1&2 CD set, and two mystery CDs they had made for the specifically for the concerts. A. G. Cook signed my CD set, and I got to have a picture taken with him. He was super nice!!! I wish I had thought of a few questions to ask him, but my brain had basically melted by that point lol.


Originally, I had planned to eat at [Plaza Ortega]( and shop around some of the aforementioned stores in this thread, but lol, I didn’t think about there not being any bags, so I had to carry everything I just bought in my hands. I decided to just take the subway back and check out Flushing before my friend got off work. It was okay, though: this was already one of the best days of my life.

Flushing is cool! Two guys were randomly busking by playing their electric guitars on a side street. What a vibe. I drank a Misoda Rice Soda (Not bad!) from an H-Mart and just walked around, soaking everything in. There’s a nice manga shop called [Anime Castle](; it’s mostly all new stuff, but they have a pretty big selection. Since I missed lunch, my friend recommended me to try a Colombian place nearby called [Los Marinillos](; they had the best (beef) empanadas I've ever eaten.

After my friend got off work, we walked to Murray Hill for dinner. I rested back at his place for a little bit before heading out to the concert that night. I took the wrong train at one point, but thankfully it wasn’t too big of a problem because I had built in time for accidents like that lol.

The concert was great! As predicted, the secret guest was Underscores/Milkfish; she played an insane remix of Katy Perry’s "I Kissed a Girl," [which you should definitely check out from this recording of the entire night (seizure warning). ]( Holly Waxwing’s set surprised me the most and was one of my favorites of the night. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to bring my foam earplugs with me and only had my Loop Experiences, which are great for sound quality but don’t dampen the noise level as much, so I stayed at the back more than I would have liked. It was still an excellent night, though, and I was super grateful to have gone.

### **Day 2:**

After getting back at 5:30 in the morning, I was prepared to rest most of the day. Thankfully, my ears felt fine, so I was able to take it easy. I had bought PYYW tickets for the Guggenheim earlier in the week, but otherwise, I didn’t have any solid plans. Unfortunately, the friend I was staying with was starting to come down with a cold, so we decided we wouldn’t hang out as much to avoid transmission. I had a bagel sandwich for lunch and was happy to just rest until it was time to leave. The weather was pretty dour, and I was happy enough just to chill.

The Guggenheim was cool! There was primarily only one exhibit on display, [Only the Young: Experimental Art in Korea, 1960s–1970s](, and the main rotunda was blocked off, but I enjoyed what I got to see. After leaving there, I wasn’t sure what to do about dinner, so I decided to check out a Bangladeshi food truck in Jackson Heights, [Tong](, that was on the route back. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend (I believe most of the items are vegetarian, but definitely check before you go if you’re interested.)


### **Day 3:**

Because I was feeling good about my ears (and my friend was still sick), I decided to get tickets for concert #3… which was on a boat that afternoon! The rain from the tropical storm was still in full blast, but the event was rain or shine. So much for getting the good weather lol.

Had most of the day to kill until it was time to get on the boat. I ate lunch at the excellent [Shu Jiao Fu Zhou](, where I had one of the cheapest meals at a restaurant I've ever had. Every entree is like $3; I paid $6 for a plate of wheat noodles in peanut sauce and dumplings, and I couldn't even finish it all. High recommend.

Because it was raining and I was getting on the boat later that night, I decided it would be a good time to visit all the shopping places nearby that interested me so I wouldn't be tempted to buy anything. Well... I was partially right. I went to Toy Tokyo, The Strand, Forbidden Planet (all excellent recommends), but I couldn't resist the pull of a well-stocked, cheaply-priced games store like Videogamesnewyork. I had them place River City Super Sports Challenge on hold for me to pick up the next day. It was a killer price.... I'm a big time collector, and that place gets my full seal of approval; one of the best game stores I've ever been to.

Kept waking until it was time to board; I checked out [J+L Game]( (pretty nice selection, but too much of a markup on most things. You can find some deals, but you have to look hard), walked through Times Square, and strolled through part of the High Line.

On the boat, I had small talk with some people I had met the first night. One of them asked me what my favorite game was and the only game I could think of at the time was Chulip; I gave them a basic description of the game and elaborated on how the potential of digital interaction is akin to that of installation art. They had never heard of someone liking games for that reason and were interested in trying it out. I hope they can find a way to play it!

The boat concert was even better than the first one (esp. because I had brought my other earplugs this time). I don't know if anyone here will ever have the chance to go to a rave on a boat, but I highly recommend it! In a very _magical_ moment, we got to pass by the Statue of Liberty while the sets were going on. GRRL and Doss's sets were great, but A. G. Cook / DJ WARLORD's set blew my mind; it was a nice mix of the old & new and felt like a perfect capstone while still looking towards the future. He is truly one of a kind. I am grateful to have been a part of something this special. Had a really nice moment waiting for the bus with the person I met at the pop-up shop, and we parted ways.


### **Day 4:**

Well, I had been in town this long, and I still hadn't tried any of that NY pizza! Time to correct that. It was still pouring, though it looked like it might eventually let up. (It really never did. lol)

Had a slice at a place in Flushing called [Amore]( that seemed to be a classically NY-styled slice. It was... good! I don't know what I expected. It was solid pizza. lol. Saw another place on my pizza list ([Scarr's Pizza]( was relatively close to Videogamesnewyork, where I had to pick up the game, and thought, why not try both?

Scarr's Pizza was a Sicillian style pizza, and I have to say, I preferred it! Man, I'm still thinking about that pizza. I just love pizza. Definitely going to try more pizza next time I'm in town.

Went back to the store to pick up the game... and also decided to grab the cheap copy of Twinbee Portable that I couldn't stop thinking about. _Sighs._ I can't resist game deals.

My mom is really into board games, so I went to [The Compleat Strategist]( to look for any hard to find titles on her list. If you like board games, I highly recommend checking it out! The games are stacked from floor to ceiling, and they have a huge clearance section in the back.

With a bulk of my day still left, I decided to check out Central Park, in spite of the constant rain. I started at the Conservatory Garden and worked my way down to the bottom. The park was a lot different than I expected! I expected it to be mostly flat, but it was very hilly!


After that, I went to some of the touristy shopping places, like the Lego store, the Nintendo store, Barnes & Noble... and Book-Off lol. While prices were kinda high, I got the Venture Bros. Season 5 on blu-ray for cheap (there was a more expensive copy for $35 also there if anyone is looking for it!).

Back in Flushing, I spontaneously decided to try [Lucia Pizza](, and I'm glad I did; while it wasn't hugely different, it definitively made me appreciate the nuance of my slice at Amore, and I found myself enjoying that first slice even more retroactively lol. Thinking back, I can still taste it now...

(If anyone was curious about my overall pizza ranking: 1. Scar’s Pizza (Sicilian style), 2. Amore (Traditional), 3. Lucia’s Pizza (Traditional), 4. Lucia’s Pizza (Sicilian) [They had both styles at the same place, so I tried one of each]

### **So:**

Thanks everyone again for their direct/indirect recommendations! Definitely gave me an idea of what to do when I didn’t! I used The Infatuation a lot for food and enjoyed all the places I found on there.

Overall, I really enjoyed my visit and hope to be back at some point. Public transit was so nice, and the OMNY system made it so easy to pay. I still want to visit Wonderville, see more of the sights, and go record shopping. Maybe I'll try forming a meetup next time!

And thanks for reading all of this if you got this far!

[I saw the extreme flooding a few days after I left. I hope everyone here made it okay; it was crazy to see a place I had just been look so different.]

Yo dude @ninjapresident that trip + write up rules. Mine won’t be as good as yours but I’m bored on a plane and wanted to contribute what has been my best trip to New York so far:

Day one/Arrival:
-Arrived in JFK
-Friend picked me up, we went to a restaurant called Don Pepe’s in ozone park
-Ate baked clams, chicken parm, and white clam linguini
-Friend locked keys in car, so we walked around ozone park while we waited for the guy to show up
-Got some pizza at new park pizza
-Went for a short jaunt at breezy point
-Went to Brighton beach and walked around
-Got a martini at some weird Russian bar
-Ate Uyghur food on the Brighton beach boardwalk

Day two:
-Hung out with my friends kid, a toddler
-Went to a little park in sunnyside gardens where my fiend lives
-Got some coffee
-Went to the Met for quite some time
-Went bar hopping in east village
-Had a respite at Peking duck house where we had a whole duck
-Went to a karaoke bar (where I randomly met Chris Pearson/highlight reel guy and told him how much I loved his analogue tech expeditions)
-Ate Scarr’s pizza and met some dude in my same industry

Day three:
-Did some more kid and neighborhood stuff in sunnyside gardens

  • - **WENT TO THE CLOISTERS** (my number one recommendation for anyone reading this thread)
    -Met my friends in-laws who are old New York artistic types that live in sunnyside gardens/off Central Park. (Very culture shock moment for me as just some guy from detroit but a wonderful time nonetheless.)
    -Got xi’an cuisine cold noodles at some food court in flushing
  • Day four:
    -My friend had to work so my morning was spent saying goodbye
    -Spent the afternoon bumbling around west village/Washington square eating and drinking/talking way too much to strangers on the street

    Overall, my best trip bar none. What a world class city.