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4 Shops Near Sheridan Square, Manhattan

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Today I decided to take an excursion downtown to see if I could find a hookah. After consulting Google, I narrowed it down to 5 places and headed down after work. This review is of 4 of those places, I had the wrong address for the 5th.

Name: [b]Shisha International[/b]
Location: [b]171 W 4th St New York, NY 10014 (212) 229-0562[/b]
Store: [b]Headshop[/b]
Website: [b]N/A[/b]

Of the four, this was the best. It was also the largest. You walk in and it is your typical shop with glassware. But walk through that to the back room and you are greeted by a floor to ceiling set of shelves of hookahs. Both sides. There are also some on shelves by the doorway and others on top of display cases. They range from cheap pieces to some big funky pieces (they had one made to look like a tree). They also had Mya Saray, I recognized a QT right off. The Myas started at $75 for the QT (I believe) with the Chic at $85 (remember, this is in a brick and mortar in New York). They also had a bunch of loose hoses, mostly Myas. The display case next to the hoses had a great selection of shisha as well as vases, bowls, and other accessories.

Name: [b]Smoking Culture[/b]
Location: [b]177 W 4th Street New York, NY 10014 212-555-4616[/b]
Store: [b]Headshop[/b]
Website: [b]http://www.smokingculturenyc.com[/b]

This was just a few doors down from Shisha International. Their website is very snazzy looking and has discount coupons. Their shop was a bit of a let down. I thought, based on what I saw online, that they'd have a great hookah selection as well as accessories. I was disappointed. They had a case in the back with hookahs, a couple bowls and some other accessories. I didn't really notice shisha or coals. The guy there couldn't tell me much about hookahs, I don't recall if I even asked where they were made. I saw one of those metal coal screens and I could swear the price tag on it said 15.00 (at hookah-shisha.com they're 2.00)

Name: [b]Smoking Stop/Smoking Shop[/b]
Location: [b]45 Christopher St New York, NY 10014 212-929-1151[/b]
Store: [b]Headshop[/b]
Website: [b]N/A[/b]

This stop didn't really leave a big impression. They had a not bad selection but the prices were a bit high.

Name: [b]Blue Nile[/b]
Location: [b]324 Bleecker St New York, NY 10014 (646) 336-1118[/b]
Store: [b]Headshop[/b]
Website: [b]N/A[/b]

While this place did not have the selection of Shisha International, I got the feeling the guy working there cared about the hookahs and wasn't just "Yeah, we have 'em." They carried Sahara Smoke hookahs as their brand name, in addition to the cheap stuff ("You don't want those, they're not nearly as well made"). I was interested in a Sahara Smoke [url="http://saharasmoke.com/store/small-sahara-genie-bubble-hookah.html"]blue model [/url]which had good heft ("This is pyrex glass, those over there are just regular glass.") and a vortex bowl (he made a point of pointing it out). The price was a little high, I liked it but not enough. He did the "I can give it to you for" but I just didn't love it enough.

So on my excursion, the first and last places I visited were the best. I will probably be back to Shisha International, if only to look at the hookahs.

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