Funny Business Comics in New York, NY needs to rename the store to "We Don't Sell Comic Books Anymore But Check Out Our Opera CD Collection". Okay, let's start from the beginning again.
This place, for what I have heard, used to have a steady flow of new comic books coming in but that slowly disappeared. They do have a plethora of back issues in stock, but it feels creepy browsing through the collection. It feels like being looked up in a small, dark basement trying to look through to see what they have. As you might have guessed, the store is small and dingy at best. You you don't mind tight surroundings, this might be the place for you.
But the weirdest thing is the amount of opera CDs that they are selling. Why call yourself Funny Business Comics in the first place? The funny business about the whole place is the lack of comic books vs. the amount of opera CDs. This can be very misleading for those coming here thinking that comic books are going to be the prominent item in this store. I was one of those that got suckered.
The comics that they do have are of the old, vintage quality but they do seem overpriced. If you willing to buy something from here, then you are a brave person.
Personally, I don't think I can get myself to visit this place again until they either--
a) get more comic books; or
b) change the name of the store to reflect what they are really selling.
PROS: Old comic books
CONS: What's with the opera CDs?
Jim Hanley's Universe in New York, NY is close to Madison Square Garden, and from the looks of the place, it definitely caters more towards the tourists that frequent the area. That would explain the lack of back issues which is the first thing I noticed. Fortunately, this store is looking to remedy this situation as they are willing to buy old comic books from those willing to part with their precious collections.
A lot of the business stems from the new issues that come into the store every Wednesday, and they do fly off the shelves really fast. The major publishers are always prevalent on the rack as well as teh many trade paperbacks for those wishing to collect an entire story arc in one shot. They also sell a lot of independent comics, manga comics, kiddie comics (Disney and Archie), and international comics (anyone remember Tin Tin?).
As with any comic book stores, they also selling a lot of comic book merchandise such as posters, statues, action figures, trading cards, magazines, comic supplies, and so forth.
One of the best things about this place is how they manage to get a lot of writers and artists to do comic book signings, and not just one at a time. They come by the truckload of 5 or more. This makes for good exposure and great business as lots of activity takes place when these signings occur. Not only that but they do get celebrities coming by as well. the cast of the Fantastic Four movie made an appearance celebrating the debut of the movie. As one can imagine whenever events like this occur, the store becomes super busy and very crowded. It's a good thing it's big store.
If you are ever in the area and want to experience the Manahttan-type feeling of grandiose and celebrity-style workings, this is the place to hangout. You'll never know who will drop by.
PROS: Big events, lots to see
CONS: Sometimes too tourtisty
Comic Explosion in Nutley, NJ moved into a bigger space thanks to its popularity. They used to be in a little store before the move, but now they really look like a major place. They carry the big two companies--DC and Marvel Comics--as well as a lot of independent comic book and small press publishers. In fact they advertise themselves the most "Indy Friendly" store in NJ!
The range of comic books include new and back issues, imported comics, manga comics, both Golden and Silver Age comics, graphic novels, and trade paperbacks. They also have posters, t-shirts, magazines (both national and international), trading cards, toys, games, books, DVDs, Anime videos, and so much more.
The staff is super friendly and always ready to help out, especially going out their way to find what you want. If they don't have it in stock they will definitely hunt it down for you. I think they really enjoy the scavengetr hunt. It makes things very interesting.
The clientele base is very steady and keeps growing, thanks to the easy-to-use customer subscription that guarantees you get what you ordered. This way you don't miss an issue or item especially if they sell out.
Definitely stop by whenever you get the chance because they service is great. Comic Explosion fills a need in its area and I'm know for sure the denizens are happier because of it.
PROS: Bigger place, more to see, friendly staff
Burlington Coat Factory is a store that my wife loves because it has a huge selection of coats available to try on and purchase. Because our son is growing a mile a minute, a store like Burlington Coat Factory comes in handy when we have to purchase a few winter jackets for him to wear.
I wouldn't say that the prices are radically discounted--but our philosophy is that if it fits and looks great, the price is right. They DO offer discounts, but not at rock-bottom-flea-market-esque prices. However, I like the fact that the store offers a one-stop-shop for our family whenever we need jackets.
They do sell clothes here too, and they are name-brands. Personally I have not purchased clothes here. My wife likes to browse in the houseware section--there is a nice selection of table linens, towels, sheets, and the like. Burlington Coat Factory does have sales as well, which whittles down the prices. There is a lot to see in the store, so enjoy it!
PROS: Huge jacket and coat selection
CONS: Could have better discounted prices
When my wife and I were shopping for engagement rings, the first place we visited was Arthur Groom and Company on Ridgewood Avenue. With an impeccable reputation, Arthur Groom's gemologists and salespeople are helpful, courteous, and informative.
We concentrated the most on diamond rings, but Arthur Groom has beautiful gems that sparkle beneath the glass cases. The salesperson we worked with was the manager at the time, and she was able to show us loose diamonds in our price range, as well as mounted rings that were lovely. My wife was really drawn to the vintage style settings that Arthur Groom had on display. Both of us were impressed with the selection and the quality of the diamonds.
This is a high-end store with prices to match; although I purchased my wife's diamond ring elsewhere, I would recommend Arthur Groom for anyone who is looking to purchase a diamond as an heirloom and an investment. If you are interested in beautiful, unique jewelry, absolutely check out Arthur Groom's impressive selection on sale.
PROS: Best quality gems and jewelry
When my wife and sister-in-law started making greeting cards and other paper crafts, I was sucked into the business and started to notice more stationery stores in my travels. During one visit to NY, we noticed the large Jam Paper in Manhattan. Although they do have two other locations (one in NY and one in Tenafly, NJ), I visited this particular locale.
I am impressed with the envelopes for sale--one of the harder things to find at a decent price is an envelope to protect the greeting cards that we make. The clear cellophane envelopes were just perfect for our projects. The store has an impressive collection of paper, gift bags, tissue, stickers, envelopes. The only downside to this store is that sales tax in NY is higher than in NJ. However, it is open on a Sunday and you can place an order online if you can't make a trip in the Big Apple.
Jam Paper is a great specialty store that has much to offer--planning an event? They have matching card stock and envelopes. Holiday party coming up and you need invites? Visit Jam Paper for festive choices. This is a store you shouldn't miss if you would like something different than the typical mass-produced cards.
PROS: Great selection
CONS: Far, far away
When my son was playing baseball, he participated in several clinics hosted by the Professional Baseball Instruction group. The instructors are experienced, skilled, and encouraging. Recently, the group situated itself at this Upper Saddle River locale (which used to be Speedway 17) and has become a hugely popular stop for kids, teens, and young s who wish to practice the art of baseball in a top-notch facility.
Batting cages galore! This large facility boasts enough batting cages to cater to its large client base. PBI provides in-house instruction and clinics throughout the year--and the clinics are for all areas of baseball (not just batting!). They offer summer camps as well, which is great if your child wishes to bone up on baseball skills without melting in the NJ heat.
PBI offers loyalty discounts and different length clinics and training programs. The prices are posted on their web page at http://www.baseballclinics.com --and I know from experience that their prices for private lessons are comparable to other services I've used.
Check out the PBI group if baseball is your child's sport. It's the best facility in the local area in my opinion!
PROS: Good instructors, great clinic
Wild West City is a day trip that is great to make if you have little kids who enjoy a fully interactive environment. A recreation of a western town (Dodge City) from the 1880's, Wild West City has been in business for years and continues to please tourists looking for some variety in their recreational time.
Everything in this Wild West community is recreated--actors play the part, staging bank robberies, operating stage coaches, having gunfights, and assisting customers in the shops that line the streets. It's a lot of fun to go to this "city" and feel the western vibe.
You can learn a lot if you spend some time checking out the museum areas and reading plaques as you visit the different areas of Wild West City. The post office, for example, is a functioning postal center and has interesting postcards for sale. There are all different tourist items for sale that attract kids, like bows and arrows or cowboy hats. The relaxing train ride around the city is a great way to get off your feet and see the sights. Just be careful--you may be "robbed" by an escaped prisoner from the local "jail."
Coupons are often available in Entertainment books or in the newspaper. There is lots to do and see--so pick a day when you plan to mosey instead of rush. Just a tip--the "guns" are loud when they "fire" and scare stroller-bound kids. Be warned!
PROS: A great day trip for the family
Bored of the same museum trips? Take a day trip to Mtter Museum in Philadelphia. A teaching museum, the Mtter Museum (pronounced "Me-YOU-Ter") houses all sorts of fascinating medical anomalies.
Inside, there is a room where large groups can sit and view a helpful documentary about the exhibits in the museum--this is great since there are over 20,000 artifacts and anatomical items on display. When you begin to explore the museum exhibits, keep in mind that the skulls, bones, and bodies that you see are real (and not for the faint of heart).
The medical paraphrenalia and equipment representing medicine's evolution over a century is so interesting. You can learn how doctors treated medical maladies, and how explorers utilized natural herbs to combat illness. This Lewis and Clark exhibit was incredible and detailed. Currently, there is an exhibit that highlights cojoined twins.
If you click on the website (posted above), you can access a $2.00 off coupon for general admission.
This is a fantastic museum that is educational and totally unique. Once closed to the public, the Mtter Museum is a destination you should definitely visit at least once.
PROS: Informative and odd exhibits that pique your interest in medical science
CONS: Want a trip to Philly?
Recently my son required a book for his class--The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. Of course, he told me at the last minute (i.e. the day before he needed it) so I started hunting around for a copy. It didn't help that it was a Sunday and everything in the vicinity was closed. Enter Bennett Books--after shopping at large chain bookstores and coming up empty handed, I left Bennett Books with the novel I needed and a desire to return.
This store is a local business that has friendly, professional staff and an appealing layout. They stock unique greeting cards if you are in the market for a gift and you need a one-stop shop for print material and a happy birthday card. I was impressed with their selection of books, educational toys, and interesting gifts available for purchase. I browsed the aisles for a long time and didn't feel rushed. While shopping, I encountered a Mom and Daughter team who were looking over the test prep materials--they remarked how the particular guide they were searching for in other stores was here in Bennett Books.
Bennett Books is a store I plan to visit during the holiday season, because I have young nieces and nephews and I prefer sending them educational toys--such as puzzles, creative kits, etc.--and Bennett Books fills that niche.
PROS: Hard to find books in stock, unique greeting cards, friendly service