1435 Lexington Avenue, 212-987-4765
At Jan’s in Yorkville, kit packages and fittings for miniature model boats, pocket-size planes, small soldiers, and the like are stacked floor-to-ceiling, waiting for the next pair of hands to come along and bring them to small-scale life. Manager Fred Hutchins’s own obsession started at the age of 5 with plastic kits from Woolworth’s. By the time he was a teenager, he noticed a for sale sign in a York Avenue hobby-shop window and persuaded his folks to buy the store. That was 1973. Today, the shop, which moved last year to a bigger space on Lexington Avenue, attracts hobbyists and parents eager to tear their children away from the television. Two even persuaded Hutchins to have their kids’ model-building birthday parties in the store’s dusty dungeon (his only rule: no food). Hutchins and his mom, Collette, are happy to share their architectural secrets. Or catch him Sundays at the 72nd Street Model Boathouse in Central Park, where he sails his remote-control ships for all to see.
Best Hobby Shop
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
Where can you find the city’s top dog groomer? Last-minute tailor? Beef tongue? We eat, drink, dance, shop, shvitz, and trampoline our way around the city, not to mention poll scores of in-the-know colleagues, hard-partying friends, opinionated family members, and, this year, a team of guest expert bloggers to bring you answers to all of the above questions, and hundreds more, in the form of our annual “Best of New York” issue.