With the abundance of music streaming sites like Spotify, iTunes, YouTube and Soundcloud, these brave little record shops are using well-curated stock and knowledgeable employees to cater to the music-obsessed, nostalgic collectors and those who just appreciate the hunt of good vinyl.
If you plan to make a day of record store hopping, the East Village and Williamsburg are your best bets. But here are spots to celebrate – and dig into – throughout the city.
Rough Trade NYC
Rough Trade has long been a London staple, but it surprised New Yorkers by turning an old concept into a brand new store in November 2013. Now the biggest record store in the city, the 15,000-square-foot space features a vast selection of vinyl, some CDs and even cassette tapes, plus a coffee counter and bar. It also includes a small event space, where it hosts multiple live shows a week, many of them free. 64 N. 9th St., Williamsburg, roughtrade.com (Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt)
Bleecker Street Records
Though rent increases pushed this shop off of its namesake in 2013, Bleecker Street Records maintains its status as a quality institution, known for its selection of music, posters, memorabilia, and, of course, Creeper the cat. The store offers both new and used vinyl and boasts a helpful staff. 188 W. 4th St., bleeckerstreetrecordsnyc.com. (Credit: Google Maps)
Good Records NYC
A great find for anyone looking for a musical education, Good Records' helpful staff and labeled bins (check the new arrivals and recommended picks) make it easy to leave with something just right for a new or growing collection. And if you're still not sure what to choose, the dollar bin is always a worthwhile risk. 218 E. 5th St., goodrecordsnyc.com. (Credit: Good Records NYC via Facebook )
You'll find some rock, jazz and other genres at Academy Records, but classical music is the undisputed main event. Amid the rare opera finds, you can also score music by local artists. 415 E. 12th St., or visit the Academy Records Annex at 85 Oak St. in Greenpoint. (Credit: Academy Records via Facebook)
One big secret of the Strand? There's an ever-growing vinyl collection in the basement. Those who still read paper books also buy records, apparently, and you can find a selection of classic as well as new albums in the Strand's lower level. 828 Broadway, strandbooks.com (Credit: Melissa Kravitz )
Black Gold Records
If it's the full experience you seek, head over to Black Gold Records and enjoy antique furnishings, taxidermy and specialty coffee with your music. The vinyl selection appeals mostly to rock fans, but the sounds, like the merchandise, vary greatly. You never know just what you'll find. 461 Court St., Carroll Gardens, blackgoldbrooklyn.com (Credit: Black Gold Records via Flickr )