As recently noted, for the past thirteen years, I’ve devoted a sizable swathe of this blog to documenting my native Manhattan’s vanishing network of music shops (and by that I mean outlets that sell records, tapes and compact discs, not places that sell instruments). While most of the rest of the world seems content to fully embrace digital streaming technology for their listening pleasure, for those of us who still hold the tactile manifestations of our favorite music dear, the swift erosion of this city’s community of independent record shops has been legitimately painful to witness. If you’re a regular reader here, you know it’s a topic I frequently return to.
But apart from the hallelujah choir of pedantic music geeks and fellow downtown nostalgists, the rest of the world -– and specifically the younger generation of millennials I all-too-frequently lambast –- probably isn’t especially bothered by these sorts of developments. The loss of yet another dusty, old CD shop for me might mean the end of an era, while -– for them –- it means the potential of another pricey sneaker emporium or vaping establishment or tony fitness joint or whatever mindless bullshit that generation is excited about. Yeah, I’m not bitter at all.
But just like Andi Harriman upended my preconceptions about the younger generation, enter my good friend Rob’s niece, Katie.
A college student who’d heard Rob’s comparable laments about the sad state of NYC”s once-thriving music shop scene, she decided to make a “story map” of these lost shops as a school project, and asked if she could use some of my photos. I said sure, of course, and didn’t really think more of it
Well, a week or two back, she wrote in to thank me for my input and show me her work. I asked if I could share it here, and she said ‘sure,’ so please avail yourselves to…
Technically, I’d throw the 90’s in there, too, but it’s not my project. Anyway. Do check it out.