Must-See East Village
by nycgo.com staff, 03/03/2015
St. Mark's Bookshop. Photo: Kate Glicksberg
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Old Media Bonanza
One of the ways the good old days live on is through the East Village's array of book, record and video game stores. Among the most venerable of those institutions is St. Mark's Bookshop. Open since the 1970s, the place has dodged seemingly certain doom more than once; last year, with help from an Indiegogo campaign, the shop moved its best sellers, imports (we spotted Charlie Hebdo), 'zines and other literary goods down to 126 E. Third St. Also recommended: Mast Books, whose devotees rave about the selection of used literature and art books, and massive Union Square mainstay The Strand, which has a trove of used books and deep discounts on some newer releases.
Music fans will want to head to Sounds, A-1 Records, Good Records and Other Music, which, between them, carry practically everything you could ever want on vinyl. St. Mark's Comics is jammed with the self-explanatory as well as toys and T-shirts. Equally noteworthy is Fordbidden Planet, which carries comics, graphic novels, manga, anime and gear for alternative hobbies like sci-fi and role-playing games.
Speaking of nerd culture, old-school gamers will be floored by the selection at 8-Bit and Up and Video Games New York. The latter is practically a video game museum: name a vintage system, and they'll almost surely have it. (Last time we were in there, we saw a Vectrex!)
While you'd be hard pressed to find many video stores these days (RIP, Kim's, where the clerks never approved of your choices), Two Boots pizzeria maintains a display of favorites from their recently ended days as a rental emporium and screens movie footage in the dining area. —Jonathan Zeller