F, M, R at Fourth Ave.-9th St.
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The brainchild of literary wonder boy Dave Eggers, this "costume shop" has a second, secret identity—like any good superhero. Beyond the platform on which young and old alike test capes while being blasted by a high-powered fan, and behind the shelves stocked with grappling hooks and invisibility paint is something infinitely less silly but no less stupendous: the headquarters for 826NYC, a not-for-profit writing program that focuses primarily on kids ages 6 to 18. Encouraging writing in any and all forms—comics, fables, poetry, essays, songs, short stories, novels, and even teleplays—the organization seeks to help young people express themselves creatively and confidently through the written word. The agency (accessed via a trick bookshelf) offers free after-school one-on-one tutoring on a drop-in, first-come-first-served basis, as well as weeknight and weekend workshops and help with school publications. They'll also host class trips to 826 and help teachers with in-class, writing-based projects.