New York Daily Photo Analytics

Friday, October 03, 2008

Love Affair

Why would anyone have a love affair with a sporting goods store? It's simple. Let's say you just moved to NYC to go to college and it's 1969. And let's say you never left home before in your life - everything is new, exciting and scary all at the same time. Winter is coming and you need a warm coat. You have virtually no money but fortunately your mother gave you money to buy one. Where do you go and what do you buy?
Those who know things say go to Tents and Trails or Paragon.
Tents and Trails was on Park Place - virtually no man's land at the time. It was a real destination retailer with a virtual cult status and a quality reputation - I have purchased many things there. But it wasn't that big. I needed a place that felt overwhelming like the city itself. Paragon just felt like the right place. At the time, Northface was the brand of choice. So that is my first memorable NYC shopping experience - Northface at Paragon. That coat lasted years and I saw it and Paragon as responsible for providing protection from harsh
There's a wave of comfort that comes over you when you enter a place like this - a feeling of confidence that you need look no further. After all, this is the leading sporting goods store in NYC - the preeminent city in the country. This is a no-nonsense new york place. All the quality brands with a experienced sales staff that can be brutally honest.
Paragon Sports, 867 Broadway at 18th Street, has been in business since 1908 - many consider it to be the finest worldwide. It has an enormous product line (50,000 products), cutting edge equipment and clothing - many products are unique, carried exclusively at this store. It has only one location, much like a handful of other unique, iconic, legendary NYC stores like B&H Photo and J&R Music World. There's an intensity about these stalwart, single location shops - no dilution of expertise or product. Everyone and everything is under one roof.
Be forewarned - if you visit you may fall in love too :)

Suggestion: If you visit, make sure to see all three floors and all the rooms on the ground floor. While in the area, visit ABC Carpet and Home and nearby Union Square - see here. If you work up a hunger, grab a meal Republic - see my posting here.

4 comments:

the mountain king said...

This place is wonderful.

Having first moved to the city in May, running was kind of annoying (I live in Brooklyn, not too much to see). I'd love to have been able to run anywhere I want without worrying about the energy to get back, but didn't feel like carrying a metrocard in my hand. Came to Paragon. Told the man my story. Showed me to a display for runners, and it had these WristRunners that hold a metrocard and keys. I could have kissed him.

Giorgio said...

New York is a great City. I have just made a movie some months ago...I'll come back for sure...!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeVF51KGFyQ Cheers

Michael said...

I shop there often. The Friday before the NYC Marathon the store was packed with out-of-towners spending lots of money. I happened to be standing next to the manager of the running department. I asked "Don't these people have a store like this where they are from?" The correct answer in one word was "NO."

Lyxmannen said...

I as a Swede truly LOVE Paragon Sports.
The first couple of weeks in New York i went there like 5-6 times to buy stuff or just hang out in the baseball department.

Keep it up!
/ Martin