Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tribal Soundz

Tribal Soundz, the music shop on East 6th Street that sold instruments from around the world, has vanished.



A benefit concert was held for them last year when they were about to lose their space "to the real estate bastards who seem to own NYC," according to voodoojive. So I'm not sure when it closed. I just walked by and noticed it was empty and shuttered.

A shop girl recalls her days selling dumbeks and djembes at the shop, saying, "I used to fill in for the digeridoo teacher and the jaw harp teacher... East Village was my spot, I made friends with every sitar player on Indian Row."

Indian Row itself is vanishing, too. Little by little, this block is being nibbled away by demolition and new, non-Indian restaurants. How long before the sound of sitars is gone?

13 comments:

(tani) said...

How terribly sad! I loved this place and I hate to see it go, there aren't enough independent instrument stores around. Let's hope Music Inn can stick it out.

KnicksBasketballNY said...

Is A-1 records still open?

Or have they also closed as well?

BaHa said...

Indian row began to die when Bloomberg ordered the signs torn down under an extremely obscure old law that was brought back to life for less than a week. Never quite recovered.

Jeremiah Moss said...

baha, please say more--what's with the signs?

chris flash said...

That building has an interesting history....way back in the early 1980s, the tenants somehow took over the building when the owner died with no relatives or will. They used the ground floor to cover building expenses (taxes, insurance, water, sewer, etc), enabling them to live for free.

I wonder if they sold the building at some point, or if they have become greedy landlords themselves, squeezing more from commercial tenants than the tenants can afford.

That WAS a great little spot, just what the neighborhood should have more of....

Jeremiah Moss said...

love those old accidental squatter stories

Mark said...

When I moved to 308 East 6th Street in 1975, there was only one Indian restaurant on the block, the ground floor Shah Bagh, just east of me, down the block. The block was extremely quiet and mostly untraveled.

honey west said...

It's a sad irony(and I mean that in the real sense, not the faux 'hip' sense) that the owner of this shop was one of the first victims of the Economakis mcmansion builders at 47 e3rd st. As soon as their corporation took over the building,they started eviction proceedings against her as an "illegal subletter" because her roommate had just moved and they refused to give her a lease in her name. They evicted another tenant in the same manner and then decided that the way to get rid of the remaining 13 apartments' worth of tenants was to say they needed those spaces for their private gym, "library" and servants quarters.

Now another unique business that once made the neighborhood a destination for creativity and diversity will probably turn into another destination for frat boys and tourists.

BTW, the Economakises also took over and recently "flipped" the building where Jammyland, the reggae music store, used to be.

Jeremiah Moss said...

she lost both her home and her business--how do you deal with something like that?

as a total aside, no one has remarked on the rather amazing imagery that the "shop girl" hotlink will bring you to...it's worth the click.

Marlie said...

Panna has always been my favorite Indian Restaurant-
celebrated many occasions there including Christmas Dinner and a reunion with my brother--
I really like those guys there. The place is britely garish-the food plently and rather inexpensive--their breads are totally delish.
Long Live Nan Bread and Panna!

BaHa said...

Not long into Bloomberg's regime--and thus not long after 9/11--the financial genius that is our Beloved Mayor scrounged around looking for new ways to plump the city's sagging coffers. What he found was an old, unenforced-for- decades law mandating that storefront signs could have letters no taller than one foot, containing nothing more than the store/restaurant's name and address. Given Bloomberg's penchant for cleaning up by way of destroying ethnic/low-income enclaves, it was no surprise that the first place his storm troopers went was East 6th Street. The glittering glory that was Indian Row was gone in a single afternoon. The fines for the so-called illegal signage were substantial. More than one restaurant could not afford the cost of the fine plus that of a new sign. The public outcry was so great that it was less than 48 later that the law was ruled "unenforceable." Pity he didn't start on the Upper East Side.

BaHa said...

48 hours, sorry.

SB said...

my god. i have to get home soon.
i'm glad you're keeping this blog. i might otherwise get lost when the whole place is stripped of my favorite landmarks.
*cries*
i guess when they say, "you can't go home again," it's actually true for a new yorker.