May The Fourth Be With You! Geek and Nerdom in the Village.
Not long ago, in theaters far, far away (and near too), a movie came out that influenced the interests and imaginations of generations to come.
There are a few connections between Star Wars and the Village. On December 18, 2015, in honor of the release of The Force Awakens, a large crowd of fans gathered in Washington Square Park for “Lightsaber Battle NYC: Battle of Hoth Edition.” This event was an attempt to set a new world record for largest lightsaber battle; though the NYC crowd was only large enough to fill the (then drained) fountain in the center of the park, their effort was as one group alongside many that were taking place across the country. Additionally, New York Jedi, “a community of Cosplayers, martial artists and teachers, who share practical Stage Combat techniques oriented toward Light Sabers, in order to create illuminated stage combat,” will also hold light saber classes and demonstrations in Washington Square Park. Be sure to look on their calendar to find any coming up.
An undeniable effect of Star Wars though was its legacy on “Nerdom” and geek culture. Many Star Wars fans are also invested in other fictional stories and universes, across the genres of science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, etc., whether it is through books, movies, television, and video or board games. As for the Village, many outlets for these interests can be found within our neighborhoods. Below is a partial list of different places in the Village where one can find the bits of geek and sundry they might be seeking out.
Located on Broadway between 12th and 13th Streets, Forbidden Planet is “one of the largest sellers of comic books, graphic novels, science fiction, toys, and associated collectibles in the world.” Maybe you’re looking for that rare DC or Marvel issue, maybe there’s some Star Wars memorabilia you’ve been seeking for a while. Chances are, Forbidden Planet will have you covered!
If your interests are more electronic, VideogamesNewYork offers a wide variety of contemporary and classic titles. Located in the East Village right off Cooper Square on 6th Street, Videogamesnewyork is an independent videogame store internationally known for its collection of video game systems and games, both American and imports.
A storefront on 2nd Avenue between 6th and 5th Streets, Toy Tokyo is the spot for young and old alike, whether you’re a collector or looking for a certain item. Since 2000, Toy Tokyo has not only been a shop for toys and other collectibles, but also explores the relationship between toys, art, and pop culture and design through their own art gallery, TT Underground.
Manhattan’s only board game café, The Uncommons is the spot for both coffee and drinks, as well as Dungeons & Dragons and Settles of Catan. They also “collect the latest and greatest new games, find independent designers, and make them all available for play.” Finally, The Uncommons will also host different game nights and meetups, so be sure to check out their website or visit them on Thompson Street!