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The Best Places to Buy Vinyl Records in NYC

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It's no surprise that vinyl records are having the boom they are; look at just about any other type of vintage product. Nostalgia has a very strong effect on the market, whether you're talking about music, fashion, sports, gaming, or pop culture.

Long before the days of DSPs and streaming (even CDs), everybody would consume their music through vinyl records. They'd set up their record player, find their go-to spot, and then vibe out to a whole album - not just a song of their choice, the whole damn album.

There's something special about this, beyond the nostalgia. It represents a time where listening to music was a significantly less impulsive experience. We mindlessly skip from song to song, rather than listening to projects all the way through - like artists intended them to be. Shuffle is another aspect of modern music listening that has drastically changed the listening experience of music fans.

This piece is not meant to criticize the streaming model of music; rather, it's dedicated to celebrating vinyl records. Here's a list of seven vinyl record stores in NYC (in no order) that you've got to see for yourself.

Ever since I was 12 years old, when my fascination and obsession with music started, I would get on my skateboard and ride down to the local record store. I’d find the most tattooed guy there and have him recommend me a new album once a week.

- Josh Dun, Drummer for Twenty One Pilots

1. A1 Record Shop

Located right next to Tompkins Square Park on E 6th Street, A1 Record Shop is one of the premier record-shopping locations in the city. The shop's customers applaud them for their expansive record offerings, which span genres from a variety of cultures. It's a great reflection of the community its located in, as well as the city as a whole. If you love music and ever find yourself by Tompkins Square Park, it's definitely worth stopping by A1.

2. Stranded Records NYC

Stranded Records is just a couple blocks from the first store on our list; it's nested between 2nd Ave and Bowery on 5th Street. This shop is known for its music-savvy collection of records dating back to the 1950's. Stranded is owned by a label, Superior Viaduct, and is one of the go-to record stores in NYC, San Francisco, and Oakland.

It's not easy to fill big shoes, and Stranded has done just that in the wake of Good Records' closing. Good Records was located at the same storefront, and had built a superior reputation in NYC since its conception in 2005. If you're looking for a peaceful Bay Area vibe while you're shopping for your records, then Stranded is just for you.

3. Hifi Records & Cafe Astoria

Astoria has become known for some of the finest food in all five boroughs, and thanks to Hifi Records, the same can be said for records.

The store can be found on Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens, and is highly regarded for their catalog of pop, rock, and latin records. As if that's not cool enough, just like the ONE37pm office in the West Village, Hifi doubles as a cafe.

4. Village Revival Records

Just a stone's throw away from our cafe in the West Village is Village Revival Records on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village. The legendary store has been in business for over 30 years.

With an easygoing staff and wonderfully curated selection of music, this shop is a must if you're ever in the area. If you fancy yourself a fan of New York Nico, then you probably saw him bring Bella Hadid to Village Revival.

5. Academy Records

Next up is a record store with two locations in the Big Apple: Academy Records. Their stores can be found on East 12th Street in Manhattan, and Oak Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

The company has been in business for over 20 years, and has occupied its East 12th Street storefront since 2008. If you like vintage aesthetics and retro sounds, then you're going to love Academy Records - regardless of which of their storefronts you choose.

6. Mercer Street Books & Records

Right where Mercer Street meets Houston Street (pronounced house-ton for those not familiar), lies Mercer Street Books & Records.

The store is exactly what its name says: it has a top-notch selection of books and records. The appeal of reading books and listening to vinyl records seems so similar, both are a phenomenal way to slow down and take a step away from chaos. The store has been in business for over 30 years, and it's pretty clear why that's the case.

7. Rough Trade NYC

Last on our list (again, this is in no particular order) is Rough Trade NYC.

Rough Trade is a chain of record stores founded by music fanatic Geoff Travis in London. The first shop was opened in 1976 in its home city, and was inspired by the inviting nature of City Lights Bookstore in San Franciso, where customers felt a natural urge to not just shop, but stay. I grew up in a small town with a store like this; it does more than just boost sales, it starts to create a culture that surrounds the brand. Before long after its initial opening, Rough Trade spread like wildfire. It even spawned the creation of a record label to be run alongside the chain of stores, Rough Trade Recordings. The label has become known for its work with The Strokes, Sufjan Stevens, The Alabama Shakes, and more.

Their New York City location is one of their most notable, and can be found at 30 Rockefeller Center Plaza, on 6th Avenue between 49th and 5th Street.

There you have it! Now you've got plenty of exploring to do - not just exploring from store to store, but within them. Also note: these are just seven of the countless record stores in NYC. There are plenty more to check out as well, in NYC and beyond.

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