Interesting, his house is near mine on LI, never had a chance to stop by though. Magic Isle in Centereach on LI has plenty of Pygmy Cories. I asked them how often they had them, and the guy told me they have them all the time. Few different species of shrimp as well. Personally that is my favorite LFS for the LI/NYC area.
Magic Isle is a good store, but most of the time run of the mill stuff. I did once get Coral Pencilfish and Zebra Otos, but they only have those occassionally. Another store out East is Country Critters in Patchogue. A cut above as far as selection and finding interesting items.
Probably the biggest store in the NY Metro area though is Aquarium Adventure in Carles Place. It's about 9000 sq ft. and they have a decent plant selection and I've found Celestrial pearls and some harder to find tetras on a regular basis.
One thing all of these stores have in common, though is all the owners have an attitude. Not sure why, I guess it's something in the water.