I got my original Lionel set in 1958.....the New Haven F3 freight set. I was 5 yrs old.
I know it was purchased at Macy's in White Plains. The remnant of the Macy's tag can be seen on my original ZW box.
I barely remember the Macy's train display. However, as I got older our "go to" train store was Honig's Parkway, an appliance/variety store on White Plains Rd near the Allerton Ave El station. I would always look forward to our annual trip there. Boxes of Lionel and American Flyer sets where displayed in piles taller than me. The glass counter had various sets, operating cars and accessories displayed. Every year when I went there, it was like going to York for the 1st time.
They had a repair shop there and the red tap on my ZW box came from the repair shop there.
They always had great deals on "close-outs"......around 1962 I purchased the 415 Diesel Fueling Station there for $4....a pretty good deal....since it hadn't been in the catalog for a while.
After the 70s and college/med school were over, the trains came out while I was doing my Internal Medicine residency at University of Maryland in Baltimore. Antique Train & Toy World on Falls Rd became my local "train shop". I have a lot of memories of that store. There, I met Bud Ritter, a legendary Eastern Division train collector, who was always full of great stories. I learned about and joined TCA. I bought my 1st operating milk car and my 1st steam engine.........and, I started going to York in April 83.
With the cold weather returned and the smells of the holidays in the air, please share your memories....