Electronics and Toys
Once just a record store, J&R (23 Park Row and adjoining buildings, between Ann and Beekman Sts., near City Hall, 212/238-9000) has branched out over the years to become a long row of shops selling every conceivable electronic device, including audio equipment, TVs, computers, and appliances. And, oh yes, they still sell recordings, too.
Run by Hasidic Jews, B&H Photo-Video (420 9th Ave., between 33rd and 34th Sts., 212/444-6615) is worth visiting just to see its efficient staff and Red Grooms–esque check-out system at work. Good bargains can be found, too.
In Greenwich Village, the famed Chess Shop (230 Thompson St., just south of W. 3rd St., 212/475-9580) may sell all sorts of chessboards and pieces, but more importantly, endless chess games are always in session. Players of all levels are welcome. Kid o (123 W. 10th St., 212/366 5436) is the home of high design kids’ toys in the West Village.
Across the street from the Plaza Hotel is F.A.O. Schwarz (767 5th Ave., at 58th St., 212/759-5851), a vast and imaginative toy emporium that’s as much fun for adults as it is for kids. The new Toys “R” Us (1514 Broadway, at 44th St., 800/869-7787) in Times Square is said to be the largest toy store in the world. Inside, find a 60-foot-tall Ferris wheel, along with three floors of toys and games. Many new “it” toys are launched here with associated events and concerts.
Kid Robot (118 Prince St., 877/762-6543) is a SoHo anime store more for the kid in the adults than any kids who are towed along. On the Upper West Side, West Side Kids (498 Amsterdam Ave., 212/496-7282) is the neighborhood toy store every neighborhood wishes it had.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition