In an age when independent sporting-goods stores are nearly as rare as 1909 Honus Wagner baseball cards, Paragon Sports is, well, a paragon. Founded a year before the American Tobacco Company printed up its first Wagner T206, it has been serving the city ever since, stocking everything from tennis racquets to rock-climbing gear and ping-pong paddles. The selection is impressive, the prices right in line with the big-retailers-who-shall-remain-nameless. Service is attentive, staffers well versed in what they carry and what best suits your needs. (Do I really need the DWR moisture treatment on that climbing rope? Is this rain jacket really worth its hefty tag, or am I paying for the logo? Paragon will drop the knowledge.) Situated at 18th Street and Broadway just north of Union Square, it’s also convenient to the subway, so no problem hauling all that stuff home.