By Tom Midlane @GoldenLatrine
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Videographer / Director: Adam Gray
Producer: Tom Midlane, Ruby Coote
Editor: Thom Johnson
Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. is the destination of choice for New York’s existing and wannabe caped crusaders wanting to replenish their supplies of capes, x-ray goggles and “immortality".
Featuring everything from a cape-testing area to a “Devillainiser” and a mind-reading machine, the shop is based in the Park Slope district of Brooklyn, New York.
Customers can also stockpile tins of superpowers, including justice, chutzpah, magnificence, immortality and vengeance.
Store manager Chris Eckert said: "It’s Metropolis, it’s Gotham, all the best superheroes live in New York. And I think we’re one of the best superhero suppliers in the five boroughs.
“Capes, masks, utility belts are all perennial best sellers and of course capes - that’s one of the first things the kids go for when they come in the store, they make a beeline for the capes and we are probably the only place where you can actually test your cape out in a wind machine."
The store also functions as a front and money-spinner for 826NYC, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to helping students aged 6-18 with their writing skills.
Founded in 2004, 826NYC is the New York chapter of the non-profit originally set up by novelist Dave Eggers and educator Nínive Calegari in San Francisco.
Since the area they opened in was zoned for retail, the writing space was based around a storefront selling pirate supplies - and the idea proved a big hit.
There are seven 826 chapters in total, including a robot store in Detroit, secret agent supplies in Chicago and big foot research station in Boston.
In the NYC branch students students access the writing room via a secret door in the store, giving the impression of a superhero entering their hidden hideout.
Eckert said: “When students see the secret door generally they get excited because why wouldn’t they? It’s a secret door, everyone loves secret doors.
“In 2004 superheroes weren’t such a pandemic in popular culture, but we thought it’s a great jumping off point for thinking about imagination and creativity, and to frame our students as superheroes."
826NYC worked with over 4,000 students last school year, doing everything from after-school writing and homework help, to writer’s rooms, field trips and workshops.
Eckert ir proud of the work the non-profit does in the local community, and is adamant that the need for superheroes is greater than ever.
He said: "I think there is always a need for superheroes. I think there is definitely periods of greater injustice and perhaps villainy in the world and certain evil organisations that might need people to resist them
“Whether that is someone who wears a cape and jumps off of buildings or someone who fights injustice with whatever tools they have at their disposal, I think hopefully we’re inspiring a new generation of them:"