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Record stores in NYC: A guide to vinyl, collectibles and more

There's nothing like hunting for the vinyl record you've been missing.

It takes dedication to flip through stacks, but when you place the needle down on the new record and hear the crackle, it's like magic.

And unlike music-streaming sites such as Spotify, iTunes, YouTube and SoundCloud, record shops offer knowledgeable employees to help you curate your perfect music collection. It's a very tactile and personal experience, which is what is missing from digital music.

So, if you plan to make a day of record-store hopping, we have some recommendations. Check out the East Village and Williamsburg, but here are spots to celebrate – and dig into – throughout the city.

Fifth Avenue Record Shop

A neighborhood staple for four decades, this shop
Photo Credit: Polly Higgins

A neighborhood staple for four decades, this shop has vintage vinyl, cassettes and CDs for your perusal. It's got a range of genres, though it seems to skew toward rock. There's a lot to dig through in this small space but there are deals to be found. 439 Fifth Ave., Park Slope, nycgo.com

The Thing

Since 1996, The Thing has offered patrons a
Photo Credit: The Thing via Facebook

Since 1996, The Thing has offered patrons a good record dig. There's so much to look through, you may end up with treasure -- an odd classic or a newer gem for a low price. It's dusty, so prepare to get a little dirty. 1001 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn, facebook.com

Moodies Records

This Bronx shop has stacks of vinyls that
Photo Credit: Newsday

This Bronx shop has stacks of vinyls that span genres, but there's a nice focus on Caribbean classics (and colorful vintage reggae posters) here. The shop owners, Earl Moodie Sr. and Earl Moodie Jr., have extensive musical knowledge and can help you find the singer, song or band you're looking for. 3777 White Plains Road, The Bronx, moodiesrecords.com

HiFi Records

One of the seemingly few record shops in
Photo Credit: Christa Lopez

One of the seemingly few record shops in Queens, HiFi Records serves as vinyl central in Astoria. Selling new and used LPs, CDs and equipment, HiFi is a solid one-stop shop for record enthusiasts. Spend hours perusing the store, which also features its own coffee shop, and check out one of its listening parties. 23-19 Steinway St., Astoria hifi-records.com

The VNYL

The VNYL is a cafe/cocktail bar/lounge that also
Photo Credit: Oleg March

The VNYL is a cafe/cocktail bar/lounge that also happens to sell vinyls on the main floor in a boutique section curated by music director (and star of HBO's 'Entourage') Adrian Grenier. If you're going out for dinner or a drink, this is a fun way to add to your collection. 300 Third Ave., Manhattan thevnyl.com

Jazz Record Center

As the name implies, this store specializes in
Photo Credit: Ken Micallef

As the name implies, this store specializes in everything jazz. Selling books, DVDs, CDs, and -- of course -- vinyl in the genre, Jazz Record Center is a go-to spot. Tucked away on the eighth floor of an office building, it may be tricky to find, but for any jazz fan, it's definitely worth the visit. 236 W. 26th St., No. 804, jazzrecordcenter.com

A-1 Record Shop

This cross-genre shop lets customers buy, sell and
Photo Credit: Christa Lopez

This cross-genre shop lets customers buy, sell and trade vinyl. Wall-to-wall records -- including hip-hop, funk, soul, R&B and jazz -- can make for a cramped shopping experience, but isn't that part of the hunt? 439 E. Sixth St. facebook.com

Westsider Records

Located on the Upper West Side, Westsider stocks
Photo Credit: Christa Lopez

Located on the Upper West Side, Westsider stocks jazz, classical, opera, Broadway and rock. Packed solid with vinyl as well as books, the store is suited to those who like to work for their finds; expect a bit of digging around to pick out your favorites. 233 W. 72nd St., westsiderbooks.com

Human Head Records

With a reasonably priced and well-curated stock of
Photo Credit: Christa Lopez

With a reasonably priced and well-curated stock of rock, jazz, funk, soul, rap and other genres, new arrivals are updated frequently and the store sees plenty of stock turnover. You'll find a mix of rarer items and recognizable artists and some $2 to $6 bins. 168 Johnson Ave., Bushwick, humanheadnyc.com

Generation Records

After shutting down its sister store, Bleecker Street
Photo Credit: Christa Lopez

After shutting down its sister store, Bleecker Street Records, in 2016, Generation still stands on Thompson Street, offering a selection of music covering genres from punk to hard-core. Visitors can also peruse a variety of memorabilia and posters. The store also hosts live bands, signings and readings, too. 210 Thompson St., Greenwich Village, facebook.com

Rough Trade NYC

Rough Trade has long been a London staple,
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

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

Earwax Records

For fans of newer vinyl, Earwax Records offers
Photo Credit: Earwax Records via Facebook

For fans of newer vinyl, Earwax Records offers a diverse selection of records and CDs. The shop also carries vintage audio gear like turntables, receivers, integrated amps and speakers, and other merchandise like totebags, vinyl cleaner and T-shirts. 167 N. 9th St., Williamsburg, earwaxrecords.net

Captured Tracks Shop

The brick-and-mortar shop for the Brooklyn-based Captured Tracks
Photo Credit: Captured Tracks Shop via Facebook

The brick-and-mortar shop for the Brooklyn-based Captured Tracks record label, this store sells new and used records and cassettes. Located in a basement in a residential area, the shop may be hard to locate, but is well-stocked with their labels and other popular indie artists. Also a plus, their sale bins tend to have new and still-desirable titles as opposed to unwanted stock. 195 Calyer St., Greenpoint, facebook.com

Good Records NYC

A great find for anyone looking for a
Photo Credit: 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 worth a scan. You can also check out its social media, where the shop announces new releases. 218 E. 5th St., goodrecordsnyc.com

Academy Records & CDs

You'll find some rock, jazz and other genres
Photo Credit: Academy Records & CDs

You'll find some rock, jazz and other genres here, but classical music is the undisputed main event. Amid the rare opera finds, you can also score music by local artists. Academy opened in 1977, making it one of the oldest record stores in the city. 12 W. 18th St., academy-records.com

Strand Bookstore

One big secret of the Strand: There's an
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

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 albums (Prince, Johnny cash, Jimi Hendrix) on the Strand's lower level. 828 Broadway, strandbooks.com

Black Gold Records

If it's the full experience you seek, head
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

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. The shop recently opened a new location in SoHo in February 2018. 461 Court St., Carroll Gardens, and 568 Broadway, SoHo, blackgoldbrooklyn.com

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