June 3, 2010

A NYC adventure: 269 Electronics

The month of May was crazy and busy for us--my XYL was in Peru for the first nine days of the month, then a few days after her return we traveled together to New York for our oldest daughter's graduation from graduate school.  We spent about a week in the Big Apple, and before we left, I looked around on the net for anything I could find about surplus electronics parts stores and such in NYC--an article at the Make Magazine site suggested a place called 269 Electronics on Canal Street in Manhattan. 

Years ago, there were many places in NYC where you could find tons of surplus electronics components, but apparently those days are gone.  But I was undaunted, because 269 Electronics looked like it might be a throwback to an earlier time.  So, on a rainy afternoon I rode the subway to Canal Street and began hunting for the store. 

Canal Street is lined with shops where you can buy hats, scarves, t-shirts, watches, consumer electronics, jewelry, purses--almost anything.  Some of these shops apparently sell knock-offs of designer-label apparel and accessories, but if you're looking for those sorts of things, you'll find some great deals (just ask my wife and daughters--they made a second trip to Canal Street later in the week).

I found 269 Electronics just a short (and very wet) walk away from the subway station.  The electronic parts section of the store was at the back, and I have to confess I was underwhelmed.  The stock seemed depleted--there just wasn't much to look at.  I'm not sure what I expected, but I remember my dad's stories of how he could walk from shop to shop on a certain street in NYC (near where the World Trade Center once stood) and collect all the parts he needed for just about anything he wanted to build.  This wasn't that sort of place--not at all.  But even with that said, I did actually make a purchase there--I had seen something on the Web recently about liquid solder flux, and decided I wanted some, and to my surpise, 269 Electronics actually had a bottle of it right there on the counter.

I had heard about another place farther up Canal Street called Argo Electronics, so I bought a $3 umbrella from one of the nearby shops and decided to head up the street--it was a fairly lengthy walk.  Argo actually DID have some surplus electronics, but as near as I could tell, it was mostly just junk, and it was nearly impossible to climb over the piles of boxes, cheap suitcases, and other junk to actually browse through the few boxes of parts they had.  Honestly, as unimpressed as I was with 269 Electronics, Argo Electronics was even less impressive.

But even though the stores themselves were disappointing, I had a great time walking in the rain along Canal Street, and I don't regret having undertaken the NYC adventure. 

73 de aa0ms

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