Lower East Side
There’s no reason to satisfy your (completely justified) candy craving at Duane Reade or megashops like Dylan’s Candy Bar when you can pay-by-the-pound at the iconic (and long-lived) Economy Candy, the city’s oldest shop of its kind. Nearly 80 years old, Economy Candy began its life in 1937 as a shoe shop that also sold candy, but the latter persisted through the Great Depression (and then through massive changes to the neighborhood). Now under third-generation management, this eclectic shop has tables heaped with vintage candies -- PEZ, Pixy Sticks, Zagnuts, Push Pops, Abba-Zabba -- as well as ephemera like gumball machines and $1 comic books.
For decades, The Red Caboose has remained largely unchanged, save for a gleaming new chrome and glass storefront helping new model train hobbyists find their way to the basement-level store on 45th St. While, as the name suggests, you can come here for rare model trains and tracks, owner Allan Spitz helps the hobby shop thrive by selling model cars and trucks, airplanes and military ships, and supplies including paint, tools, and glue.