Planes, Trains, Bots & Games (and a few gadgets too)

The Hobby Guy

October 4th, 2006 at 7:29 pm

Supplies From Canal Street, NYC

Today I was in New York City for some business meetings and I had some time during lunch to stop on my favorite street, Canal Street. I decided to check out the plastic supply houses for some CoroPlast corogated plastic sheets. I was well rewarded, and picked up a clear 4×8 sheet and two 2×4 sheets cheap. I was also rewarded with finding some unique, stickable, vinyl sheets by the yard.

The CoroPlast is for a SPAD flying wing and a Robot RoBoSkin idea I have. I won’t spoil the ideas here, but, I wanted to just post how great Canal is for finding anything you need for your hobbies.

If you have never been to Canal Street, it is the best place to find anything. It is in Lower Manhattan and is where Little Italy and Chinatown meet. Besides the great food in the area, you can find wholesale shops, retail shops, and street vendors selling art supplies, jewelry, electronics, clothing, fabrics, plastics, office supplies, army surplus, brick brack, hardware, computers, car stereo equipment, toys, and just about anything you could imagine as new, used, or surplus. If you take all those items and put them into a blender and shake ‘em out, that’s the feel of Canal Street. WalMart has nothing on Canal Street.

I have been going to Canal Street all my life. I can recall going to Mott Street, just off Canal, to eat Chinese food since I was 2 years old. Afterwards, my dad and I would check out all the stores and street vendors along Canal. My mom would be ahead or behind us in another store looking for fresh vegetables, fish, or other groceries for the week. She also got a kick out of all the fashion knock offs you could find.

When my wife and I were first married, we spent three to four Sundays a month exploring Canal Street. We were newlyweds, had little to no money, but we could always find something to entertain us on Canal street.

Its a great place to get ideas for projects. Strolling through all the shops and seeing all this stuff just gets the creative juices flowing. The imagination kicks into overdrive. For a while surplus computer parts were a big item on Canal and I used to troll the bins of parts looking for parts that would be a good project or a good stock item for future project. My wife thought I was nuts, but she was happy it kept me happy. (P.S. She still thinks I am nuts)

Lately I have not been down Canal Street as often, but every time I do go, I find something that makes its way into my workshop and future project bin.

If you have not been to Canal Street, GO! Make a decision and go. I bet you will find something that is just amazing. Just be prepared for large crowds, stores packed from floor to ceiling and beyond belief, and the most unexpected things to inspire you.

  • 1

    I never knew such a spot in NYC existed- I can’t wait to go! The Akihabrah section of Tokyo is supposed to be similar but more about electronics.

    Matthew on March 23rd, 2007
  • 2

    Akihabarah is very cool! I never thought of it that way, but I guess you could say Canal Street is like the Akihabara of NYC, just not focused on electronics.

    You will enjoy both!

    TheHobbyGuy on March 24th, 2007
  • 3

    @ Hobby Guy-
    I plan on going to Tokyo next fall if things work out- and I plan on going to Akihabara to search for unique RC gear. Do you know of any vendors/etc that could aid? Also, I recently posted pics of my new micro scale RC glider on
    I’d appreciate any comments regarding radio gear that would work well with it. I’m looking at the cirrus micro joule system. Thanks for the info.

    Matthew on March 30th, 2007
  • 4

    Actually your the best person and place to find that out is over at

    He even just posted a Google map with locations:

    TheHobbyGuy on April 8th, 2007
  • 5

    Hobby Guy…

    We meet at the Freehold field. I was flying the BATWING and was talking to about getting the cover form canel st. What the ADDRESS ? – I couldnt find it on your web site.

    Thanks _ Joe

    Joseph Diaz on April 22nd, 2007
  • 6

    Hi Joe!
    Try Here:
    or you can go right to the map here:

    Looks like the link was broken in my post. Try This guy:
    T&T Plasticland
    315 Church St
    New York, NY 10013
    (212) 925-6376

    TheHobbyGuy on April 23rd, 2007


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