Originally posted by Tim Brown:
Well I guess that I will throw my two cents into this discussion. I made the pilgrimmage to Tannen's a few years ago during my first visit to New York. I was on business at a conference and of course I spend time wandering aroung Manhattan with a co-worker who grew up in Connecticut and knew the city well. I managed to talk him into visiting the Tannen location with me, although he had virtually no interest in magic. We walked from our hotel in Times Square to Tannen's. Upon arrival we were greeted by two counter persons (not exactly greeted as they completely ignored me during my entire visit and would barely even answer my direct questions). To my surprise and ultimate displeasure, Mr. Spina arrived while I was there and walked behind the counter. I tried to make some sort of conversation with him (basically "Hello Mr. Spina") but was also rather rudely ignored by him.
I did purchase a book (Lorayne's book on David Regal) but only because it was on sale for just $10. There were stacks of this book piled high(Star Power I think was the title) and the price was right. But the experience was dreadful and I haven't purchased a thing from Tannen's since.
Contrast that to a visit to Denny's near Baltimore. Now THAT is a great experience. Denny is helpful, friendly, a little crazy, knowledgeable and just plain nice to deal with. I will purchase from him again.
So good luck with your ventures.
Let me contrast that with a description of my last visit, this past Saturday.
First off, they haven't been in Times Square for a while, so I hopped on the PATH train to 23rd St. and walked over to 25th, where Tannen's is now located. I rang the buzzer for the second floor, and was buzzed in. I went up the elevator and walked into a somewhat crowded room. Behind the counter, as always when I have visited, Majick (or however he spells it), their main demonstrator, was holding court. Steve and Tony were behind the counter as well, attending to their business. I walked up to the counter and caught Steve's eye. "Can I help you?" was his immediate reaction. I asked about a few items, but they were either out of print, or not in stock. Ok. So I turned my attention to Majick, who was performing some effect for two guys visiting from, I believe, Texas. I hung around for probably two hours, watching the demonstrations and looking around. While I was there, I received help from both Tony and Steve -- I didn't feel ignored by anyone. I left with three purchases, a Sankey DVD, Vernon's Tribute to Leipzig, and Sawa's Library of Magic. (How's that for variety?) While I was there, Doug Edwards and Michael Rubenstein both popped in. I saw Doug helping a younger fella with his pass, and Majick was also helping this same young'un with some other sleights. I left pleased with my experience. Though there is certainly room for improvement, I was certainly not ignored while I was there.
PS - I've never been in Denny's, but I have ordered from them online...they ARE a great shop, from the experiences I've had with them.