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New York City Record Store Tour

The New York Record Store Tour starts off in Greenwich Village accross to the East Village before arching back into Union Square. There are plenty of stops on the way and lots to see. If you plan to spend more than 15 minutes in each store then you will probably need more than a day to complete everything (allow for lunch and coffee breaks). As ever, this list is only my personal opinions so best of all try it out for yourself. If you want to add your store then contact me.

The Tour

  We start the New York tour on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. This is a great area to look around in regardless of the record stores so take your time. Take the A,C or E Subway to West 4th and take a walk down 6th Avenue to Bleecker street. Head East down Bleecker Street (i.e. thats right if you are heading downtown from the Subway). The first port of call is two blocks up on Bleecker.
  Stop 1: Bleecker St. Records - 239 Bleecker St. - 212 255 7899 There is a nice selection of all sorts of music here. There downstairs does older vinyl but is not always open. Low on the Dance music side but nice all the same. (3/5)
  Next take double back on yourself and take a right onto Carmine Street. This short street is home to at least four Music Stores. Number 35 is House Of Oldies (212 243 0500) which specializes in old Vinyl releases only. A few doors up at 43 is Rockit Scientist Records (212 242 0066). Also on the street are two dance music stores.....
  Stop 2: Sonic Groove - 41 Carmine St. - 212 675 5284 - www.sonicgroove.com Sonic Groove is both a base for a record label and a records store. There is a pretty good range of Dance stuff. Lots of US vinyl. Beware the draconian deck policy however.... an ominous sign reads "For every 5 records you listen to you MUST buy 1" (2/5)
  Stop 3: Vinyl Mania - 60 Carmine St. - 212 924 7223 - www.vinylmania.com - This store has a vibe and character all on its own. They specialize in Disco, R&B, Pop and Dance. However the records are arranged like no other store I know and you will never know what is in the next row. There are some real characters in the store too, worth it for that alone. (4/5)
  Now get back onto Bleecker Street and head West, cross over 6th Avenue and carry on about 5 blocks until you come to Thompson Street. Now turn right onto Thompson Street.
  Stop 4: Generation Records - 210 Thompson St. - 212 254 1100 - This is place to come if you are looking for Bootlegs of concerts and unreleased material. The selection is wide in this area and you will always manage to find something you have never seen in this store. Low amount of Dance or Electonic stuff. (3/5)
  Jump back onto Bleecker and carry on heading West past the supermarket and onto Broadway. If you are hungry for Pizza then try "Two Boots Pizza" at 74 Bleecker @ Broadway. Now start heading uptown on Broadway. After about 5 blocks you come to Tower Records. This is an OK Tower records with an average Dance section.
  Stop 5: Other Music- 15 East 4th Street. - 212 477 8150 - www.othermusic.com - Turn right out of Tower and then right again onto 4th Street. 20 meters on the right gem" of a find. It cleverly steers away from pop & rock and stocks a good selection of independent, dance, alternative, new age and "other" music. Some vinyl but mostly CD. The sort of place you could pick up every Durutti Column release. (4/5)
  Stop 6: Satellite Records - 260 Bowery - 212 XXX XXXX - www.satelliterecords.com - Carry on east up 4th Street until you come to Bowery St. Make a right to number 260; this is the most extensive dance (only) music store in New York. This small space defintely wins the award for the "most records in a small space" category. The place is literally wall to roof records 20 deep. Most of the wide-selection of stock is new release, Don't expect to find much older than 1 year there. Avoid Tuesday @ 1pm when all the weeks new releases turn up and the place is mobbed. These guys were one of the first to do MP3 clips on the web a few years back and they ship out a "UPS Van Full" every day. (4/5)
  Stop 7:: Beyond Bass - 60 E 3rd Street - 212 677 4959 www.beyondbass.com - Now for a spot of walking. Get on to 3rd Street and talk a three block walk into the East Village. Just past the Hells Angels headquarters on the right is dance music specialist Beyond Bass. The guys in there are very friendly and helpful. The stock is a bit of a mix - the "new" releases are a few weeks late and they seem to be going for the "CD compilation crowd". Next door is Jammy Land the reggae and dub music specialist. (3/5)
  Stop 8: Dance Tracks 91 East 3rd St - 212 260 8780 - www.dancetracks.com - Continuing on the East Village Vinyl run carry on further up 3rd Street until you come to Avenue B. Between the Pancake place and the Bar is a neat vinyl store, Dance Tracks. It serves up sofas, decks, good vibes with banging sound system. The stock is mainly US house (with sections for Detroit and Chicago etc etc. There are also Garage, Disco and "Electronic" sections. (3/5)
  Next on the route we take a foray further into the East Village. If you have never been there it is well worth it. The more funky, artistic side of the city. If you are hungry by this point the best cure for all you meat eaters is a quick side step to Katz's deli. This is a Jewish style New York deli which specializes in Pastrami sandwiches which you climb as opposed to eat. Its the spot where Meg Ryan tried their orgasmic pickles in "When Harry Met Sally". Its 2 blocks south on Houston St (think of Houston at "1st St"). For the next stop on the tour however carry on east up 3rd Street until you reach Avenue B. Next to (another) Two Boots pizza on the right is our next stop.
  Stop 9 - Temple Records - 29a Avenue B - 212 475 7552 - www.temple-records.com - Temple records specialize in Dance music. Mainly House, Deep House and Garage but plenty of decks and a laid back feel. I always remember this place for the multi-jeweled Weekender "Kneel Before Zod" alhum, because thats where I heard and bought it. (3/5)
  Now it is time for a stroll up Avenue B. Check out the Park on the right (which has the same hippy, eclectic mix as Vauxhall Grove in London). When you come to XXX6th Street take a right onto it. This is the turning point on the tour as we start heading west now. Carry on west up XXth until you come to 2nd Avenue. XXth Street turns into St. Marks Place after the 1st Avenue. St Merks place is a touristy version of the East Village, however it is home to some great record stores.
  Stop 10 - St. Marks Sounds - 16 St. Marks Place - 212 677 3444 - This is a 2nd hand CD store with a medium sized selection. You can find some OK bargains. (2/5)
  Stop 11 - Joes Compact Discs - 11 St. Marks Place - 212 673 4606 - Joe has to win the prize for best on St Merks. The reason - good selection but really really keen prices on the 2nd hand stuff. A wide range of all types of music and some real bargains to be found in the $2.99 shelves. There are 2 stores one for 2nd hand and one for new. (5/5)
  Stop 12 - Kims Video & Music - 6 St. Marks Place - 212 598 9985 - Kims is a good 2nd hand store with a wide range of Dance, Electronic and Reggae CDs. Prices are good.
  When you come to 2nd Avenue you may want to stop off some of the best chips/fries anywhere. "Pomme Frites" sells fries and fries only. However you can choose from over 20 types of mayonaise and sause. Pomme Frites is at 123 2nd Avenue (212) 674 1234. When you belly is full head uptown a 2 blocks and then turn right onto 9th Street.
  Stop 13 - Eightball Records - - 212 XXX XXXX - www.eightball.com - Eightball is another good NYC store with a good selection of European imports as well as a strong batch of local vinyl too. I picked up a new mix of Trancecetters "Roaches" there on a US label. A spacey feel and friendly staff. They have 3 decks as well and a cool listening policy. (3/5)
  Stop 14 - Virgin Records - Union Square South - 212 XXX XXXX - This Virgin Megastore is well up there with the others around the world. The selection is greater than the one at Times Square. There are very large dance, classical and all other types. If it is a clinical super store you are after then this is your place. (4/5).

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