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New York is filled with countless stores, but there are few shops that specialize for hobbies. From pen collectors to button and clock collectors, here are some of the New York’s best niche stores. By John Friia/Lanya Trypupenko

(Credit: Fountain Pen Hospital)

(Credit: Fountain Pen Hospital)

Fountain Pen Hospital

10 Warren Street
New York, NY 10007
212-964-0580

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Nestled on Warren Street, Fountain Pen Hospital has been a staple in the neighborhood since the 1940s. A destination for any pen collector, the store has a wide selection of pens for every budget with vintage instruments and high-quality limited edition pens. Serious collectors can revel in their back room, which features pens from that are no longer manufactured, gently used pens and other rare finds.

Rudy’s Hobby & Art

3516 30th Ave.
Astoria, NY 11103
(718) 545-8280

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Rudy’s Hobby & Art Shop is a hidden gem located on 30th Avenue in Astoria, Queens, among various restaurants and cafes. The shop first opened in 1939 as an ice cream parlor and then later expanded into a hobby shop. Variety is the key word for Rudy’s. The store is chock-full of quality model trains, airplanes, acrylic paint, toys and much more.

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Tender Buttons

143 East 62nd Street
New York, NY 10065
212-758-7004

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Fashionistas will get lost in the impressive button collection at Tender Buttons. The Upper East Side boutique is solely devoted to the uniqueness of buttons, including a large selection of military-style clasps, kaleidoscope glass and fossilized ivory. Button collectors can browse through 400 styles of buttons for suits and be impressed by buttons that resemble 18th century paintings. Shoppers that want to add a little detail to their outfits can purchase single or mismatched designs.

Tinkersphere

304 E 5th St.
New York, NY 10003
(646) 449-8581

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If you’re looking for an electronics hobby shop, head on down to the East Village and pay a visit to Tinkersphere. Tinkersphere specializes in hobby electronics and robotics. Build your very own beginner, intermediate or advanced robot. Pick up a soldering kit and learn to solder. Show off your “tinkering” pride with a novelty shirt, available for both men and women. Just a warning: Tinkersphere is the perfect place to get lost for hours on end, so don’t make any other plans!

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Sutton Clock Shop

218 East 82nd Street
New York, NY
212-758-2260

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In the digital age, people may feel clocks are becoming obsolete. However, Sutton Clock Shop proves that there is need for this niche shop. Offering repairs and a quaint salesroom, the Upper East Side store sells barometers, antique and modern clocks. Since the 1940s, people have passed time at Sutton Clock Shop to admire the large inventory of vintage timepieces. New Yorkers should not be surprised to find clocks over 100 years old at the shop, including the Ithaca Calendar Clock from the late 19th century.

NJ Hi-Railers' model train display in Paterson, N.J. (credit: Sean Adams/WCBS 880)

NJ Hi-Railers’ model train display in Paterson, N.J. (credit: Sean Adams/WCBS 880)

Red Caboose

23 W 45th St.
New York, NY 10036
(212) 575-0155

Known as “New York City’s original full line hobby shop,” the Red Caboose is the ultimate destination for the model train collector. In business since 1946, Red Caboose sells model trains, die-cast cars and planes, plastic kits, glues, tools, paint, books, videos and much more. The shop is located in the building’s basement, just past the lobby. Every shelf is stocked with impressive products, both vintage and new.

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CW Pencil Enterprise

100A Forysth Street
New York, NY 10002
917-734-8117

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When people step inside CW Pencil Enterprise, they are transported to a pencil wonderland. Opened in 2014, this store is the go-to place for pencil collectors. The shop offers an abundance of colorful pencils that are different from the traditional pencil. From jumbo to sets and vintage styles, there is something for every pencil lover. Among the large inventory, CW Pencil Enterprise has one of most sought-after collectible pencil, the Eberhard Faber Black 602. This style of pencil has been used by countless authors and artists.

(Credit: Casey Rubber Stamps)

(Credit: Casey Rubber Stamps)

Casey Rubber Stamps

322 East 11th Street
New York, NY 10003
917-669-4151

While many people collect postage stamps, others collect rubber stamps. For over 35 years, Casey Rubber Stamps has been a staple in the East Village. People are welcomed by a wall of pre-made rubber stamps, but they have the option of creating a customized version. With a selection of more than a thousand images, the handmade stamps vary in price and are made with real red rubber. Artistic stamp collectors can bring their drawings to Casey’s to transform it into a stamp.

John Friia is a freelance journalist and native New Yorker writing about food, drinks and lifestyle. You can follow his adventures on Instagram.

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