December 2, 2023

Minifigures on Vacation – New York (Day 3)

Day three began with coffee and donut at Gossip Coffee in Astoria. The donut was very good, the coffee was great, probably the best coffee I have had so far on this trip!

Our Minifigure crew at Gossip Café in Astoria, NY.

Afterwards, it was onto the train again and off to another part of the city. We wandered around Soho and Noho (yes, I found out today that Noho is an actual place) today. We visited an art gallery with some really nice works that cost more money than I currently have… a lot more. We also went to the Housing Works Bookstore and Café. It is a second hand bookshop in which all of the books have been donated. Proceeds go towards helping homeless and low-income individuals affected with HIV or AIDS. The staff was super friendly, and even told us a few jokes at the register. To make the experience more fun, I found a book about LEGO for $8.00!!!

I also visited a very interesting store called Evolution that catered to the scientist in me. They sell fossils and other natural history collectibles. There was some really interesting stuff in the store. Ethically speaking, some things made me wonder a little (like the lion pelt), but the website says that everything was obtained legally and is government approved. I also don’t know the story behind the acquisition of any of their products, so I will reserve judgement for now, especially since there was so much other cool and educational stuff in the store. You can buy buildable anatomical models of people and animals. You can buy Spinosaurus and Megalodon teeth. You can get insects preserved in amber a-la Jurassic Park. But, the collection that had me dishing out my hard earned dough was the meteor fragments. I now own a small, but inexpensive fragment of the Nantan meteor that is older than the Earth. But, I am so excited about it that I will actually make a whole post just about it soon.

The Evolution Store in New York sells lots of cool fossils, minerals, models, skeletons, and meteorites.

Following Evolution, we stopped in a few other shops and eateries on our way to Flat Iron Building. My wife and sister went to enjoy the Finnish designs of the Marimekko store, while I went to explore another LEGO store. This store was not around on my last trip to New York, but I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. It was spacious and, like the store in Rockefeller Center, full of LEGO sculptures. This store also had a very interesting historical theme. There were vignettes made of LEGO depicting various stages in America’s history, and historical facts posted around the store. The outside windows on one whole side of the store showcased a mosaic of New York scenes. Also like at Rockefeller, this store had a Minifigure scale version of the neighborhood on display. I didn’t buy anything this time around (due to the exchange rate), but I sure did enjoy my visit!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for more New York adventures!