The wise Tom Haverford of Parks and Recreation once said, “Sometimes you gotta work a little, so you can ball a lot.” But sometimes, you don’t have to work that hard at all to ball a lot. And that’s the way it should be.
When you’re in the greatest city in the world for New York Comic Con (NYCC), take a break from the convention center and all of its long lines and explore all the geeky goodness this New York has to offer. Scroll down for some of the places you have to visit—without having to spend a dime (or just quarters at the arcade)—to make your NYCC trip complete!
Who you gonna visit? See Ghostbusters HQ for yourself at this actual firehouse in Tribeca, featured in all three films. You’ll feel like a kid again watching the movies for the first time when you see this building in person. It’s a fun photo opp—but the only thing missing is lots of slime! Pro tip: The firefighters here are rumored to be super friendly, so don’t be shy, but don’t expect to roam the firehouse and slide down the pole. Plus, the building just finished being renovated in April, so it’s nice and shiny for new visitors.
Address: Firehouse, Hook & Ladder Co. 8, 14 North Moore Street, New York, NY 10013
Photo: Midtown Comics
This is my safe space where I can fully geek out about everything. One of my personal favorite places to walk around when I have some down time, Midtown Comics has literally e v e r y t h i n g you could want. Conveniently located on 40th street right near Times Square (if you’re into that sort of thing), this two-story shop houses countless racks of comics, graphics novels, back issues, toys, and lots more. If you’re lost, this comic book destination starts on the second floor—just let the giant poster of Spidey guide you to your way!
Address: 200 W. 40th St., New York, NY 10018
Photo: Central Park Tours
Bethesda Terrace in Central Park
Remember the end of the original The Avengers movie, when our biggest problem to deal with was Loki??? Our Marvel heroes all made an appearance in the end at Bethesda Terrace before everyone parted ways, and Thor was headed back to Asgard with the Tesseract and Loki in chains. Ah, a simpler time. While you’re there, also hit up the Bethesda fountain for some ~*pretty water pics*~.
Address: 72 Terrace Dr, New York, NY 10021
Photo: Manhattan Sideways
Yeah, drinking is cool, but drinking while playing classic arcade games is even better. The Pop Insider team’s go-to happy hour spot, Barcade is home to a ton of classic arcade games with more than 20 craft beers on tap at any given time. (If you want to splurge a little bit, you need to try the food, too! Tetris Tots, anyone?) There are a few locations around Brooklyn and Manhattan, but the closest one to the Javit’s Center is the address below! Throw in a couple of dollars into the machine to get some tokens, and it’s game on!
Address: 148 W 24th St., New York, NY 10001
Photo: Sygic Travel
This famous NYC landmark probably already looks familiar to you! The Flatiron Building, is home of Marvel’s Daily Bugle newspaper, or you may recognize it in the many times it was shown on Friends. Another fun photo opp, this uniquely-shaped building is just steps away from LEGO’s flagship store.
Address: 175 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010
Photo: Viewing NYC
The Way Station
This self-proclaimed nerd bar is everything a Doctor Who fan would want and more, from themed cocktails to a Tardis. It’s def worth the trip out to Brooklyn. Come for the good vibes and Insta-worthy pics, but stay for the happy hour—open until 8 p.m. every night with $4 draft beers, well drinks, and wine, it is the definition of ballin’ on a budget. It even has tons of free events this NYCC weekend (A Doctor Who premiere party? Sign me up!), so check it out!
Address: 683 Washington Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11238
Photo: Time Out
This place will make you want to dust off your Nintendo 64 and never go back. This scrappy video game retailer has (probably) thousands of classic and current video games all over shelves and behind glass. I myself have spent too much time browsing all of these games and squealing at ones that I loved fondly. You have NEVER seen a video game haven like this!
Address: 202 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003
Photo: NYC Go
This specialty chain will go beyond every proud nerd’s wildest expectations. Forbidden Planet sells comics, collectibles, action figures, and toys—all without the bad rep of most comic book shops of being old and dirty. Pop into this airy and spacious area to browse a giant selection and hang out. Also check out the Strand right next door!
Address: 832 Broadway, New York, NY 10003