One thing people who live in New York for any significant length of time should always steel themselves for: If you live in any one neighborhood long enough, it’ll eventually morph into something that’s quite different than the place you’ve come to consider home. While plenty of folks have been saying that Williamsburg abandoned its mantle as Brooklyn’s art and culture hub some time ago, this summary post from Brooklyn Vegan yesterday of neighborhood-defining record stores being priced out of their W-burg spaces is still a total bummer for a long-time resident. First SoundFix shuts down and now this! Killing time frequenting rad record stores was, like, part of the whole deal!
The biggest blow is the impending move of crate-digging destination Academy Record Annex from its home on N. 6th to a space on Oak Street in Greenpoint, between Franklin and West. That move (scheduled for September), in addition to the soon-to-open Captured Tracks retail store, suddenly makes neighboring Greenpoint Brooklyn’s record shopping mecca. Co-Op 87, Record Grouch, and Permanent Records are all doing just fine over there, thanks. You can’t beat that sort of centrality for weekend splurge strolling potential.
For now, O.G. area music shop Earwax is just inching towards McCarren rather than crossing over, leaving its corner spot on N. 5th for one on N. 9th, a move that takes them off of Bedford Avenue after 20 plus years. Along with Norman’s Sound and Vision on Metropolitan, itself a high-rent refugee from the East Village, and maybe a few Graham Ave. vintage shops with side bins, it’s the only thing holding down the neighborhood’s vinyl-snob credibility. Which feels pretty weird! Because if Williamsburg hold-outs are stuck waiting for the Rough Trade shop/concert space/30,000 foot indie-rock Disneyland to save us, we might be waiting for a looooooooong time.
Follow Jeff Klingman on Twitter @jeff_klingman