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Subject: Buying boardgames in N.Y. rss

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Jonas Persson
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Can anyone suggest a nice shop where I can buy some boardgames when I visit Manhattan in May?

I'm thinking about buying Samurai and some others...

Thanks!
 
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T. Rosen
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Hey Jonas,

The two shops in New York City that I know of are:

1) The Compleat Strategist
11 East 33rd Street (between Madison and Fifth Avenue)
http://www.thecompleatstrategist.com/

2) Neutral Ground
122 West 26th Street, 4th Floor
http://neutralground.com/

Compleat Strategist has a larger selection of board games in a pretty cramped shop, but also focuses on miniatures and role-playing games. Neutral Ground has a smaller selection of board games in an enormous shop (because they have a lot of space for people to play games), and focuses also on collectible card games, like Magic the Gathering. Both are somewhat pricey, but it's still fun to browse their selections.
 
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T. Rosen
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For more opinions on these stores, see also:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/100284

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/81420

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/97351

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/89801
 
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Morgan Dontanville
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The Compleat Strategist is safe for women.
 
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David Rauscher
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Compleat Strategist has a huge selection. It's NYC pricey though. Well, everything is sold at lsit price. Since most game stores I go to offer at least a 5-10% discount, if not more, Compleat Strategist comes across as one of the more expensive stores. The staff mostly aren't friendly, either. Compleat Strategist used to have a number of stores, but "imploded" a few years ago and collapsed everything into just this one store.

Stepped briefly into Neutral Ground once a few years ago, I think when it was brand new and not fully stocked. How's the pricing and stock these days?

P.S. don't know if this was already stated, but Compleat Strategist is just a block down from the Empire State Building.

P.P.S. Because of the pricing and inconvenience factors, I've lived in NY about a decade but still do all my shopping on-line or from Millenium Hobbies in my hometown of Rochester, NY. I think Millenium is great!
 
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Jim C
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I think pricing at NG is the same as Compleat, but their stock pales in comparison, especially for wargames. I would only buy at NG on impulse. The gaming area is very spacious though, whereas at Compleat is relegated to a tiny room. They're fairly close to each other so you could buy a game at Compleat and walk to NG and play!
 
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Kyle S
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Is it me, or is it pretty surprising that New York only has two gaming stores? After all, we are talking about millions of people. I first noticed this when I went to the Rio Grande website to see how many dealers there were in New York.
Are New York City people so pressed for time that they don't play games?
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Dave Riedy
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Actually, I've noticed that Neutral Ground seems to beat Compleat Strategist on some games by about $5. It seems random as to which titles these are.

And I think that NG still has 10% off on Board Games on Tuesdays. They used to, anyway.
 
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Jim C
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Most of those millions are in the other boroughs. There are probably other stores in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island, and Eastern NJ. Manhattan's population is about 1.5 million from what I recall, so two stores on the island sounds about right to me.
 
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Matthew Proper-Lee
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Considering the high rents in Manhattan, I'm amazed both stores have managed to survive at this point (especially Neutral Ground, since it has so much of the store space dedicated to playing space). Just for that reason, the prices aren't nearly that bad when you consider there really aren't many places to play inside the city, and nobody but locals really go to the outer boroughs.
 
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Morgan Dontanville
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As far as I know there aren't any worthwhile game shops out in the bouroughs.

The Strat is easy enough to get to, otherwise, people just order online.
 
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Andrew Smith
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Hiya,
I was a visitor to NY last year and went to the Compleat Strategist. Very safe location just a couple of minutes east of the Empire State building, and as everyone else says expect a great selection but no discount from list.

So it's brilliant for browsing plus selective purchases.

If you're looking for anything like Heroscape, try Toys R Us at Times Square. Huge disney-esque place and good discounts.

Andrew
 
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Kyle S
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Rio Grande games lists one dealer in the burroughs. Days of Wonder does not list any dealers outside of Manhattan. That is what I find to be incredible... 8 million people and 3 or so gaming stores. I suppose rents are prohibitively high in New York, by surely there would be some affordable space in the burroughs. Does this say more about our hobby or more about New York City?
 
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Paul DeStefano
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kilarney wrote:
Rio Grande games lists one dealer in the burroughs. Days of Wonder does not list any dealers outside of Manhattan. That is what I find to be incredible... 8 million people and 3 or so gaming stores. I suppose rents are prohibitively high in New York, by surely there would be some affordable space in the burroughs. Does this say more about our hobby or more about New York City?


But someone in the city would probably opt to pay more in the city rather than head to the burroughs. Its a city mindset thing. Prices are already too high, and going out of the city simply isn't thought of as an option. It has to do with the NYC pace. Why spend 60 minutes to save $10?

As for the rents - you have absolutely no idea the absurd rents paid. Tiny, tiny spaces, far smaller than the Strat, which aint huge, can pull $6K per month.
 
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David Rauscher
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Paul's got it right. Heck, it would probably be more than 60 minutes to any destination in the burroughs from the Island of Manhattan, and unless the game store had a load of cash available for rent, would involve at minimum 1-2 trains and a bus. That's the magic (or the curse) of NYC - unless you're an intrepid explorer, most Manhattanites rarely even leave their neighborhood (e.g., Upper East Side, Chelsea, whereever). I live in Inwood at the Northern most tip of Manhattan (200th street or thereabouts), having moved up from Midtown (a couple of blocks from the south side of Central Park) - I'm in my old neighborhood only twice a year or so now, largely 'cause it's a 30 minute trainride (and that's even with the subway being right outside my house!) I get down to Compleat Strategist maybe once a year - it's easier to go to the store in my old hometown during the various holiday visits than to go around Manhattan. And can you imagine making a splurge on games than having to take them home by Subway (with at least 1, and preferably 2, transfers)?

But, that's all just Blah Blah Blah. I'm definitely rambling now. Manhattan will do that do you.
 
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Gil Hova
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I've always observed that the number of board gamers per capita in the NYC metro area is much lower than that of, say, Columbus. It's just not a big scene. You'd think it would be in the vicinity of a major city or something.

David_Rauscher wrote:

I live in Inwood at the Northern most tip of Manhattan (200th street or thereabouts),

Hey, that's my old neighborhood... I used to live near the corner of Broadway and 207th Street!
 
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Paul DeStefano
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IngredientX wrote:
Hey, that's my old neighborhood... I used to live near the corner of Broadway and 207th Street!

Hey, I think I gave you some of my spare change once!
 
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Kyle S
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Okay... so it takes forever to get to stores in other burroughs. That I can understand. (Well... I can't really understand it... as a a citizen of rural America it boggles my mind that I can go 60 miles in the time it takes you to go 10 miles... but that is another story)
But... that does not explain why there are not more gaming stores sprinkled throughout the city. We are talking 8 million people, folks!
The rent theory is a good theory. I think there is something to that.
I also suspect that it has something to do with the city life. My friends who work in the city work much longer hours and have much less free time. I suspect this is the major reason.
 
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Morgan Dontanville
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"The Game Show" had two stores in Manhattan, one in the Upper East Side and one around NYU. The NYU store (the gamier of the two) folded and then a year later the owner decided it wasn't worth keeping the other store open (this was more family/puzzle oriented, but still had Euros). They were decent stores, clean & friendly and if they had a wider selection and stopped recommending Killer Bunnies to me I would have shopped there more.

The "problem" is that New Yorkers are used to traveling somewhere in the city to shop for a particular item, if I want to buy a CD I'll go to St. Marks, if I want to buy lighting I'll go to the Bowery District, if I want crafty things I'll go to the Fashion District.

I think gamers are used to going to their "places". It is pretty easy to get around the city, so you just go when you feel like getting what you are looking for.

Strangely, I think that a game store would do better to open up right next to the Strat.

That said, a game store could probably be successful in Astoria and Park Slope.
 
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!
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The Slope is too full of stroller-pushing brand new parents to support a boardgame store. They don't have time themselves to play and their kids are too young. Maybe in a few years when the demographic ages, but by then they'll have all moved away to Jersey or Nassau county and there will be no room for retail left among all the hip new restaurants.

That superhero supply place does a pretty good business though, so you never know.
 
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☃ daniel ☃
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As a resident of Park Slope, my bank account hopes that a boargame store never comes to this neighborhood.
 
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David Rauscher
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Why there aren't more game stores in NY?

Darn good question. It is a big issue - I hate having to wait for a trip home to do some good game browsing and shopping. These are just my thoughts as an NYC resident. Happy to have others agree / disagree / disrespect these thoughts.

1. Space. NY apartments are small, and space is precious. I have what's considered a large apartment, and it's still less than 850 square feet. This stops anyone from easily making a hobby of boardgames - most apartment-dwellers would find they'd reached their storage capacity (probably under the futon) with just a couple of games.

2. Social Spaces. NY isn't a big place for going over to peoples houses, especially in the summer where most apartment windows don't open and there's no back deck or yard to walk on. NYers spend most of their social life in public spaces, not at each others apartments (which might be miles apart - another reason everyone meets at mutually convenient public spaces).

3. "Cool." I hate to say it, but even my friends would think that boardgames were geeky, and I have geeky friends. It just seems less socially acceptable in NY. Or maybe it's just the personality types that NY engenders and attracts don't mesh well. I find it hard even to imagine an upper east-sider playing anything other than a party game. Of course, I could be wrong. I'd love to see percentages of this.

4. Heavy-duty workers. Unsure. Good theory posted by Kilarney. My friends are mostly in the arts/music community, so they always seem to have a lot of free time, but it's full with them being out and about. I think partly it's the social life again, above. Even 9-5 workers will usually meet up after work for dinner / drinks.

5. Cooking. Could it be that NYers never learn to cook (small apartments, crappy kitchen, stores expensive, pain to carry home all your groceries, great restaurants everywhere, etc.), so they're spending more time eating out, thereby limiting their gaming time?
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Morgan Dontanville
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David, you must live in Manhattan.

Brooklyn is the promised land.

Come to Brooklyn, David.
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