Holiday gifts can be a tall order. Whether they are for a friend, a lover, or something in between, it takes a certain finesse to get them right. If you’re tired of giving the same pajamas-fragrance-scarf cadence, we have the perfect idea for you: records. They simultaneously serve as sweet apartment artwork, a visceral serenade, and an emblem of vintage cool. And the best part is that the hunt can be half the fun. There’s nothing quite like the rhythmic flip through record bins on a lazy Saturday. Paintings, photography, fashion and stellar fonts pass with each flick of the wrist. We scoured the East Village for the most noteworthy musical haunts, each with a different personality. Here are our top picks below. (P.S. – Stay tuned for our holiday gift guide on RebeccaMinkoff.com–coming soon!)
Academy Records: A laid-back vibe, well-stocked 2 for $5 bins, rare live vinyls and new favorites. We love the psychedelic Kiss poster on the wall.
415 E. 12th St., New York, NY 10009, nr. 1st Ave.
A-1 Records: Remember the John Cusack music-junkie fav/romance High Fidelity circa 2000? (If not, put it on your list of must-sees.) Well, A-1 is the EV version of Cusack’s movie record shop. Run by guys who are walking music libraries, they specialize in soul, funk and hip-hop.
439 E. 6th St., New York, NY 10009, nr. Ave. A
Gimme Gimme Records: Your old-school, hole-in-the wall, dusty vintage vinyl shop for cheap finds. It’s only open on weekends.
325 E. 5th St., New York, NY, 10003, bt. 1st Ave. and 2nd Ave.
Good Records NYC: Don’t let the hot pink façade fool you, this collector’s haven boasts dark hardwood floors, quiet from the street noise, and a park bench indoors for perusing music mags.
218 E. 5th St., New York, NY 10003, bt. 2nd Ave. and Cooper Sq.
Turntable Lab: The selection of sound equipment is certainly for spinmaster nerds. But if adjusting loops, queuing capabilities, and effects nobs mean nothing to you, check out top shelf items like the Kanye and Jay Z gold embossed deluxe double picture version of “Watch the Throne.”
120 E. 7th St., New York, NY 10009, bt. 1st Ave. and Ave. A
Photos c/o Academy Records, edouardsailer.fr, The Village Voice, EmptySleeve.com, HIPHOP DNA.