Midtown Manhattan record store recs?

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by recstar24, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. recstar24

    recstar24 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Family trip to NYC is on the books for mid June! So excited for the kids :)

    We will be staying just south of Central Park/midtown around 54th and 8th/broadway. Would love to stay on foot as much as possible and unfortunately we probably aren’t going to be able to head that much south or hit up Brooklyn, thanks for any recs!
     
  2. Jeremy Bunting

    Jeremy Bunting Forum Resident

    The only record store I can think of in walking distance would be Westsider Records on 72nd and Broadway. It's a cool store. They only do used vinyl, and lean classical, but they've always got a couple thousand 60s/70s/80s pop and rock records on hand as well. Good prices.

    Otherwise, you're kind of out of luck. All the stores I like are in Brooklyn. Even the stores in downtown Manhattan tend to be picked over and overpriced. You've got a much better record store scene in Chicago.

    Also, you're staying in the most abrasive neighborhood in Manhattan. For the sake of your family and sanity, please do your best to see things outside of midtown, or you're going to walk away with a really warped view of NYC. It's not all traffic and congestion, but that particular stretch of midtown...is. It's ok. I don't blame you. That's where most of the hotels are, and you're very close to Central Park, which is lovely. But try to think a little outside the box when you're sightseeing. Make time to walk around the Village, go to Washington Square Park, maybe head to the southern tip of the island and see Battery Park, etc. Do see the Met though. Absolutely world class museum. The Natural History Museum would probably be fun for your kids but it's mostly just stuffed dead things. The Field Museum out by you is a better museum.
     
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  3. recstar24

    recstar24 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Appreciate it! Will definitely make time to walk around the village and Washington square park. I’m sure we will do a day to do the southern tip of the island as well. Definitely hitting up the Met, the kids are great in that regard, they’re a fun museum loving bunch and will appreciate staying away from Times Square lol
     
  4. carbonti

    carbonti Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    I’m a NY’er. There’s nuthin’ wrong with Times Square if you have never experienced it. Go at night. C’mon, don’t listen to NY’ers that thumb their nose at Times Square because there is truly not another place like it in the world. It has all the bombast, over-the-top, larger than life sensory overload that is completely fitting to New York City. OK, maybe a little superficial and crass in some ways but that’s NYC too.

    I am of the opinion that if it is your first visit here, it is not neccesary to think out of the box. Take in all the crazy that you want or can handle, ‘cos we got it. Yeah, even if it seems touristy. Gotta see it once. A more nuanced & refined itinerary you can do next time you visit.

    As jaded as it could seem NY’ers might be, don’t think for a minute any NY’er ever takes this town for granted. Best of time for you and enjoy your stay.
     
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  5. recstar24

    recstar24 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Thank you so much for your post! I should also remember that my kids being as young as they are will definitely get a kick out of the lights and bombast and craziness and touristiness of Times Square for sure! Thanks for your perspective as a local and if you’ve got any random ideas for must sees/must dos with the family I appreciate it! I’m a musical guy so obviously we are hitting up the TKTS booth to see a show at some point.
     
  6. carbonti

    carbonti Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    Off the top of my head, the only places with undeniable family interest would be The Met and the Hayden Planetarium. Lotsa great museums like MOMA; Guggenheim; Whitney at Highline etc but you don’t wanna make the visit focus on museum hopping. The Imagine mosaic in Central Park Strawberry Fields is always a happy spot.

    You cannot see enough of NYC in one visit that’s why it’s OK to do all the obvious things like Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, B’way shows, etc. Allmost anything else you can see on foot: Soho is more like an expensive outdoor shopping mall these days, East Village (go to Veselka for pirogis - that place has become a tourist destination), West Village (everybody walks Bleeker Street. Where CBGB used to be at Bleeker & Bowery is now a Varvatos clothing shop. Yikes.) Chinatown, Little Italy, Lower East Side: all versions of what these neighborhoods used to be but I say this not as criticism but as simply the reality of what is. The slur of “Disney-izing” NYC is true only for 42nd Street/Times Square although it is also true that in many ways NYC has cheapened itself as another permutation of upper tier consumer culture.

    Record shops are all not that great but stop by these only if you are in the neighborhood as they are not destination record shop experiences, as for example Princeton Record Exchange would be. Generation Records on Thompson & House of Oldies on Carmine near Bleeker in West Village; A1 Records on East 6th Street in East Village. Academy Records on 12th Street. Jazz Record Center on West 28 Street in Chelsea. All with NYC prices but if you live here, hey, whaddaya gonna do?

    Recent statistic for number of annual visitors to our fair city was 62 million. Jeez Louise. Enjoy your stay here and with any luck, you will find yourself visiting here again sometime soon in the future. Then we can talk restaurants.
     
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  7. recstar24

    recstar24 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Thank you so much! I love NYC and am just so excited to share it with my kids! The kids love art and have an affinity for modern/contemporary so we are definitely hitting up MoMA. I just asked the kids if the school still teaches them about 9/11 and they said no! We are definitely hitting up lower Manhattan to trek out to the 9/11 memorial and WTC, and of course we have to do the touristy statue liberty/ferry ride!

    I’ve got tons of stuff written down itinerary wise down in Chelsea/Greenwich village so I’m sure I’ll hit up jazz record center and might as well walk over to east village while there an make a day of it. Combined with a day plus of midtown Times Square craziness I’m sure the kids will have a blast! And thank you for the record store recs, I’ll make sure to write down and if we are in the area we will hit them up!

    I’ll have to apologize if I PM you next week for food recs :)

    EDIT: while we are down in lower Manhattan we are planning on crossing the Brooklyn Bridge so I’ll gladly take any recs over there!
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  8. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    Hit Trattoria Del Art near Carnegie Hall for the thin crust pizza- they will make a white clam pizza if you ask though not on the menu. One of the best Italian restaurants in the city is in downtown Brooklyn- nothing fancy but superb food, real deal Sicilian. It's called The Queen on Court St. Please use my name if you go (reservation suggested for that reason) and order from the daily specials menu. Pat and Vinny will take good care of you. Killer Chinese place near Rock Center- Wu Liang Ye. You gotta have a reservation. I can give you a suggested list of what to order and the manager's name (my name may help if he is still there)- just send me a PM.
    I lived in NY from 1981 until 2017. It was great, there were few other cities like it.
    I do think it got corporatized and some of the funk and individual character of the neighborhoods got lost in the process, but that's probably true of every generation's take on the changes in a city. Now, living in Austin, everybody here talks about how the city has changed, but I probably wouldn't have lived here in the 'glory years' - it just wouldn't have had enough for me.
    As a visitor/tourist you get to enjoy stuff most NY'ers are often too busy to appreciate.
     
    recstar24 likes this.
  9. recstar24

    recstar24 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Awesome! I’ll definitely reach out to you once we are on site (we fly in June 18).

    Trattoria dell’arte sounds fantastic, and it’s right by the hotel we are staying at. Will start looking online at your record store recs but I’ll definitely hit up jazz record center. Thank you!!!
     

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