So in further pursuit of nostalgia, I decided to see if I could find any "penny" candy shops in NYC.
Doing some intense research (*cough*cough* google *cough*cough*) I came up with Economy Candy in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Like every retail store in Manhattan, space is always an issue. Walking in, the store feels a lot smaller than it really is. Similar to most New York bodegas, there are a lot of shelves and narrow aisles, cramming a lot into a small space. In reality, the store is fairly large, and cramming so much stuff into it meant that I knew I had found what I was looking for.
My gameplan was to go for variety; grab one of anything that called out to me. I left with a pretty good variety.
The highlight of the trip for me was the Jelly Belly dispensers. Tucked way into the back corner of the store were a block of probably 30 plus clear plastic dispensers, each containing their own individual flavor of Jelly Belly gourmet jelly beans. I went nuts on this and spent fifteen bucks on jelly beans by the pound. For me the clear choice was maxing out on some of the weirder flavors, sprinkling in tastes of choice fruit flavors.
The premium flavors: Peanut Butter, Bubble Gum, Banana, Buttered Popcorn, Orange Sherbert
The filler: Pink Lemonade (surprisingly not as good as I'd like), Kiwi, Cantaloupe, Pina Colada, Tangerine
After a few weeks, I'm still working on this bag. Of course this is a situation where the better flavors are going to get picked out first. The bubble gum was first to go, but I'm still finding one or two that I had overlooked every now and then. Banana is pretty much gone as well. Peanut Butter, while a premium brand, is not a flavor that I can eat a lot of at a time. This flavor is still in the mix. The majority of what remains is mostly the random tropical fruit flavors.
Other Candy purchased:
Homemade rock candy on a stick
Pop Rocks Dips
Candy Buttons (You know, those strips of paper with small dots of candy that you're supposed to bite off of the paper and you always inevitably get a little bit of paper stuck onto the bottom of them? Yeah, don't hate, they're pretty weird-awesome.)
Anyone interested in making a SnackMaster field trip back to Economy Candy, hit me up. There was a lot that I passed up on the first time around that I'd love to revisit.
Also, random shout out:
Much respect to Dave and Russell for coming equipped to Gino's bachelor party week with the 100 count box of Airheads. Whatever would possess a man to grab this while shopping at BJ's for a week long food and BBQ fest can be called nothing less than brilliance.