The first thing you’ll notice is the elephant in the room: an old stage prop standing just inside the door. Unless you don’t, which is what one Tannen’s Magic clerk says happens when customers are just too eager to inspect the tricks lined up in glass cases around the room. Half an hour later, after poring over rare items or talking with the staff (all magicians, of course), they’ll turn around and jump when they see the elephant. Think of it as misdirection on a large scale. The shop is full of distractions, from drawers labeled “dove harnesses” and “Presto Printo” to store catalogs dating back nearly a century (Tannen’s has been around since 1925) to magic books of all kinds, including some antique volumes printed in Latin. Tannen’s is more than worth the trek to Herald Square and the six-story elevator ride. After all, as employee Magick Balay (of Syfy’s Close Up Kings) puts it, “Magic is the best thing in the world.” Pro tip: Magician Noah Levine’s intimate ongoing show in the shop, “Magic After Hours,” is an excellent introduction. 45 West 34th Street, Suite 608, Manhattan 10001, 212-929-4500, tannens.com
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 13, 2015
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