I just moved to Beacon, NY from Kingston[grew up in Duchess, bounced back and forth from MHV to NYC and back], ran across Squidwrench on one of the hackerspaces website.
The TI Launchpad prodded me to finally take the plunge into experimenting with circuits. After ordering a handful of them to play with, I discovered TI's free sample policy and went a little overboard....a bunch of different RF chips, a couple processors, etc. Unfortunately, being new I ended up with a lot of SMD chips, so I'm gonna be learning a lot of interesting new stuff.
I figured I'd also ask what local sources there are for components, and what websites people like to order from.
Sparkfun, Adafruit, etc are interesting and have some good, easy to use stuff.
Beyond that, http://www.newark.com/ seems to be good for components, there's another site I ran across which had cheap SMD to DIP breakout boards and components. Scientific America is ok for some stuff. Beyond that, I'm still looking around. Just got my first breadboard today, so I can start experimenting this weekend. Soldering iron coming over the weekend.
I'd also love to find local space for co-working/hacking. There is a local co-working center in Beacon, Beahive - but it's really for working at, not soldering chips and hacking around.