It’s no surprise that great music and New York City go hand in hand. Fans of music history know that the city was the birthplace of many musical geniuses from Ella Fitzgerald, Lou Reed and Carole King to The Velvet Underground, Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z. Whether you listen to hip-hop, jazz, new wave or punk, New York is undoubtedly one of the best cities in the world for finding and listening to music. And if you’re an old-school audiophile, you’ll appreciate the bountiful and genre-spanning record stores the city has to offer.
When Downtown Music Gallery first opened its doors in 1991, there were over one hundred record stores in business in Manhattan. Now, twenty-eight years later, there are less than a dozen. It’s no doubt that nostalgia is part of the charm when walking into DMG (located just a thirty-minute walk from The Wagner, a hudson-river hotel), which is home to an impressive collection of avant-garde jazz, contemporary classical, and progressive rock albums. Regardless of whether you go home with three records or one, you’re sure to experience a bit of New York’s music history during your visit.
Dance lovers will find their groove at this beat-oriented music shop in Williamsburg. Stock up on your favorite house, synthwave, electronic or dub jams, or score new finds to play at your next dance party. Come at nighttime when the cafe serves pizza and cocktails to aid your music search, or when up-and-coming artists or DJs are scheduled to play in their uber-trendy performance space.
Turntable Lab, or “the lab” as known by their customers, is world-renowned for its phenomenal collection of tastemaking records. Started in 1999 in founder Peter’s college apartment, The Lab continues to be a one-stop-shop for music ad DJ-connoisseurs alike. Whether you’re a fan of Coltrane or El Ten Eleven, this is the spot where you’re guaranteed to discover your new favorite vinyl. Just be warned, you’ll want to grab three or four more for the music lovers in your life.
Need that hard-to-find, out of distribution record? Academy Records in the East Village is the place to go. Browse their collection of used records to find that rare album or LP you’ve been looking for. As one of the largest vinyl trading business in town, Academy Records is your best bet when searching for that unique and vintage sound.