A lot of lumber places that sell reclaimed or salvaged wood cater towards woodworkers, and are not so friendly to the general public; they even get impatient with you if you don't know exactly what you're looking for. However, there are some places in NYC (or nearby) that welcome visitors who just want to browse the wood before buying. Below is a list of places you can drop in on, or schedule an appointment with.
No Appointment Necessary:
Big Reuse (formerly Build it Green!NYC)
Where: Gowanus, Brooklyn and Astoria, Queens
NYC's only non-profit retail outlet for salvaged or surplus building materials; everything from reclaimed wood, kitchen cabinets, salvaged flooring, doors, faucets, window shutters, etc. They also have an online shop page with pictures of some of their reclaimed wood, as well as furniture and vintage items.
From the Source
Where: 69 West St, Brooklyn, NY 11222 (Greenpoint)
They have a huge warehouse where they sell beautiful wooden furniture, but if you go to the back they have a huge selection of wood to choose from.
M. Fine Lumber
Where: 1301 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11237
M. Fine Lumber salvages lumber from demolition projects and supplies recycled wood on a wholesale level, but it is also open to the public and sells to walk-in customers.
Call in Advance:
Re-Co Bklyn sells live edge slabs- wide boards that still have the natural edges of the tree. They have an online inventory with good pictures of the pieces, and you can schedule an appointment to see them in person.
Sawkill Lumber Co.
Where: Brooklyn (Crown Heights/Bed-Stuy)
They have an online stock list that tells you what's available, and you can visit their 4000 square foot warehouse and showroom in Brooklyn, but call in advance for an appointment.
Where: Yonkers, Hartsdale, Sunset Park
You can visit them at the Winter Flea at Industry City in Sunset Park Brooklyn to see examples of custom pieces, or visit their shop in Yonkers (by appointment), or yard in Hartsdale, NY (by appointment only).