I found a treasure in New York City while I was there this weekend!
Nestled away near the corner of St Marks and 2nd Ave, in the neighborhood unofficially known as “Little Tokyo” is the tiny video game shop “8 Bit and Up”. The owners of 8 Bit and Up attempt to give you exactly what Funcoland and Game Stop could never provide: A true medium to buy, sell, trade, or just generally talk shop on games.
The outside of the shop is unassuming, basically just a standard glass doorway with a vinyl black and white sign over the door proclaiming the contents to be found inside. Once you cross the threshold however, it becomes quite obvious that you haven’t entered a standard Manhattan business.
A rickety set of stairs turns around itself as you ascend a hallway plastered with gaming posters from all eras. The door is held open with a sad and discarded Nintendo Gamecube, and video game maps festoon the walls(think Vice City, Skyrim, and Spectacle Rock occupying the same space!).
Once you reach the upper floor where the store is housed you are immediately greeted by glass cases bulging with game cartridges; from Atari and Intellivision all the way through to Xbox 360 and PS3, with all the stops in between. I was especially thrilled to see an original NES Game Genie with the old purple cardboard display box!
Around the shop are bins of controllers, hardware, and peripheral items. NES power pads are folded onto shelves next to Power Gloves and Advantage controllers. A vast array of controllers, zappers, and memory cards hang from the ceiling, and every horizontal surface holds a few treasures from your childhood.
There are even a few arcade cabinets in the back(that accept quarters!) and some televisions lined up with classic consoles for your playing pleasure. The staff is super helpful and accommodating, and the place has a fun atmosphere that combines a strange dark pawnshop with a gaming palace!
8 Bit and Up is located at 35 St. Marks Pl #2, New York, NY 10003 and they are easily reached from the #6 train at Astor Place!
Go and Get your Game On!