Nerd culture is on the rise again thanks to Hollywood churning out action-packed superhero, science fiction, and fantasy movies, what seems to be every other month.
Nerd-dom has always been strongly anchored in New York City; what else would you expect from so many superheroes “living” here? Damsels have been rescued, plans have been hatched, and a countless number of heroes have conquered evil-doers. The city is littered with nerd landmarks; the culture thrives here.
So come fellow nerds, and new fans, and take a look at this comprehensive guide to NYC. Find a place to grab a bite, drink, or do a little shopping. There are so many places for your little heart to nerd out!
Midtown Comics (64 Fulton St, Manhattan)
This spot way down at the bottom of Manhattan has comics, mangas, books, collectible figurines, and clothing. This is one of three Midtown Comics in Manhattan, with the other two in Times Square and on Lexington Ave.
If you are lucky, you may just spot one of several celebrities who have made an appearance at the store over the years. It’s definitely a great place to check out in your quest for nerd culture!
FDNY 8 (14 N Moore St, Manhattan)
Known as Hook & Ladder 8 in Ghostbusters, this was the headquarters of the beloved apparition-squandering masters in the original 1984 film.
If you look close enough, you might be able to see Slimer in one of the windows. Either way, it’s fun to walk past and sing in your head, “bustin’ makes me feel good!”.
Waypoint Cafe NYC (65 Ludlow St, Manhattan)
This PC-dedicated gaming cafe is loaded with delicious drinks, treats, and digital game stations! If you are looking for a place to chill out and catch some online fun with a happy tummy, this is the place to be!
Waypoint offers player-vs-player combat gaming or ranked matches so that you can play however you want while enjoying the amenities.
8 Bit and Up Video Games (86 E 3rd St, Manhattan)
8 Bit and Up is exactly what it sounds like: a video game store that carries old school 8-bit games all the way up to modern releases.
If you want a nice nostalgia blast to the face, walk in this place and buy yourself some NES games. Regardless of your generational preference, this spot is equipped to hook you up with the goods.
The Uncommons (230 Thompson St, Manhattan)
This dope spot is Manhattan’s first board game cafe! It houses one of the largest collections of board games on the east coast, and you can also drink coffee and beer there! What could be cooler and nerdier?
And no, that’s not contradictory, nerdy is cool now! The Uncommons has enough space to seat 65 board-gamers, so bring a friend, bring an appetite and enjoy!
Toy Tokyo (91 2nd Ave, Manhattan)
This anime heaven is loaded with Japanese figurines, collectibles, and other toys. Toy Tokyo has gained the reputation of having the most unique selection of products in the city, getting many of their items directly from Japan and Hong Kong.
So if you are into anime, make sure to pit stop at this spot, you may just encounter a celebrity here as well!
The Strand Bookstore (828 Broadway, Manhattan)
This local independent treasure trove houses several stories of books old and new, vinyl, apparel and New York merch. There is even a section that has centuries-old books for sale; so much history in one spot!
At The Strand, you can experience their famed “18 miles of books” which line the walls. So get down to Broadway and visit the undisputed king of indy bookshops in NYC!
Forbidden Planet (832 Broadway, Manhattan)
Right next door to The Strand is this little gem of a shop that has a huge selection of science fiction novels, comic books and collectible figurines and toys.
Snapple Fact: Forbidden Planet is one of the largest comic book, graphic novel, science fiction book and collectible sellers in the world. Some say it feels like a comic convention all in one store!
The Compleat Strategist (11 E 33rd St, Manhattan)
If you are into games of the not-video kind, this spot is going to have what you need! They stock board games, role-playing games, collectible card games, along with miniatures and accessories.
The Compleat Strategist has been heralded as New York's gaming headquarters for over four decades, and it’s right around the corner from the Empire State Building.
VR World (4 E 34th St, Manhattan)
Go to VR World to check out the United States’ largest mixed reality entertainment destination! There are two floors of fun housing more than 50 virtual reality stations. This is a one of a kind 21st-century establishment that exists as an attraction during the day and a lounge at night!
VR World has everything from epic sci-fi action games, virtual rock climbing sessions, zombie invasion shoot-outs, 3-dimensional painting and countless other incredible sensory-overloaded experiences!
New York Public Library (476 5th Ave, Manhattan)
The iconic New York Public Library on 5th Avenue has had many movie scenes filmed on its premises, the most iconic is 1984’s Ghostbusters.
The Buster boys encounter a Library ghost, this very ghost sparks the idea to create a containment device later used in the film to make bustin’ feel good!
Society of Illustrators (128 E 63rd St, Manhattan)
Located on the Upper East Side, the Society of Illustrators serves as an interactive modern art museum. Hosting illustration showcases, offering art programs, and occasionally holding live-drawing sessions.
The Society of Illustrators was founded in 1901 and is the oldest art-based nonprofit organization in America. The museum was established in 1981, it’s an awesome place to visit and also includes a spot to eat!
Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. (372 5th Ave, Brooklyn)