Originally Published August, 11 2008 on New2NYC.org
It's summertime. The days are long, the skies are blue...so what does that spell? Two words...OUTDOOR FUN. In the winter months, New York can feel like a veritable habitrail, with the outside serving more or less as a means of getting from one building to the next. But as soon as the sun starts to work from March to October, New Yorkers begin to make their city a sporting destination. This may seem the antithesis for this Urban Jungle, but just look at what the city is doing throughout August - they're closing off streets in the city purely for runners and cyclist to have more room to enjoy. So, how do you get to participate in all this outdoor frenzy...well, it starts with the right equipment. The place to go for this is Paragon Sports (www.paragonsports.com).
Located just one block north of Union Square on Broadway, Paragon Sports labels itself as "The Finest Sports Specialty Store" and stepping into it, you'll see why. On its three floors is everything you will ever need to get your outdoor adventure going with a bang. This is one of those stores that you go to with no idea what you want, (maybe just a vague concept) and you leave completely satisfied. There are little wings throughout the store that go on to another sport that you didn't even thing about? Kayaking? In New York City? Well, actually there is a kayaking on the Hudson. Paragon not only sells kayaking accessories like paddles, waterproof clothing, and books but kayaks, themselves.
Think of a sport and you'll find what you need. You'll find a wide selection of equipment for racquet sports from badminton, racquetball and squash to the more popular tennis. With brands like Babalat (Andy Roddick's brand of choice), Prince, Wilson and Dunlop, you are guaranteed to find the perfect racquet, whether you're a novice or a pro. How about Baseball and Softball? Of course - bats, balls, cleats, hats, gloves and even the bases and home plate! Bet you're wondering about yoga? You'll find clothing and mats that will make Christy Turlington jealous! So you fancy yourself as a sailor? Admittedly you won't find boats here, but you will find swimsuits, boating vests and other accessories.
If you're a runner, half of the lower level is dedicated to nothing but your passion. Running shoes, clothing, gloves (while not for summer - will keep your hands warm in the winter and allow you to swipe your Metrocard without taking them off!), pedometers, water flasks, and wrist worn heart rate monitors. Cycling is another summertime passion for New Yorkers. Paragon Sports has what you'll need whether you want to peddle around the city or be the next Lance Armstrong. Start with name brand bicycles including Cannondale, and then find everything else; helmets, packs, replacement parts, and locks (it's still New York, after all.)
Paragon Sports is located at 867 Broadway at 18th Street. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 8pm and Sunday from 11am to 7pm. For questions, check out their website or call 800-961-3030.