Monday, November 20, 2017

Second Hand Rose Records


For a few weeks now, there's a been a sign on the door of the Second Hand Rose used record shop on 12th Street, saying they were closed temporarily for renovation.


As Alex at Flaming Pablum noted, "maybe they are just renovating, and will re-emerge, Phoenix-style, from the ashes of their former ignominy with a robust new outlook." But "I’m not holding my breath."

Today the sign just says "CLOSED," no more note about renovation, and the shop is empty and dark. A few Bob Dylan posters sit in the window. When I asked, an employee of the building said, "They're closed forever."


We do not know the reason for the closure. But we do know that the building, 817 Broadway, was sold to Taconic Partners last year and they planned to "reposition" the property. As the Real Deal reported, "by April 30, 2021, all the building’s current leases will have turned over."

More recently, its anchor tenant, the Social Service Workers Union (SSEU), moved out of 817 to a smaller space in Times Square.

And the building is now wrapped in a new banner declaring it "The address of innovation." The website claims that 817 is "now poised to redefine what a building can do to inspire a city."

We can guess that means "Tech Hub" and not used record shop.


Serdar Yegulalp said...

This is eerie. I was in NYC a couple of weeks ago, and I stopped by right when they had the "renovating" sign up. The owners were sitting inside, and I said hi to them and mentioned that I was an out-of-towner that stopped in whenever I had the chance. They were oddly indifferent, and I wondered if they were just busy. Now I suspect I know the real reason.

Like so many indie record stores, this place had a good sense of curation -- what was valuable, what was worth finding and hanging onto. They had a display case with rarities like the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab line of CDs, rare movie soundtracks, imports, etc.

It's a shame to see them vanish.

Ben said...

As much as I hate to see things close especially used record/CD stores) I'm not sad about this one. I found it to be an extremely unpleasant place with overpriced materials and a surly owner who clearly did not want to be bothered. I stopped going because it was just not a nice place. If I recall correctly they had at least 1 other location prior to this one, perhaps 2 but I don't remember where they were, just that they were in the same general area.

Anonymous said...

I used to buy bootlegs from them when they were at their old location on 14th Street & 6th Ave in the 1980s. Back then there was always an older gent behind the counter who reminded me of Morton Downey Jr. - he was loud, abrasive and always wildly gesticulating about something. Place was active, although not exactly friendly but they had good stuff, albeit expensive. I had thought they were gone forever when they left that location. Then about 2 years ago I was wandering around and came across the new spot! I was gobsmacked ... what? how? I went in and spoke to the person at the counter, asking a ton of questions about how long they had been there, what happened to the former manager, etc. Got very evasive answers, and that sense of odd indifference mentioned above. I returned one more time to just nose around the place and it was empty and again the person at the counter wasn't interested in chatting or even acknowledging my existence. It was so odd it made me think they were a front for something else... maybe they always were? I guess we will never know.

Dave. said...

I completely agree with Ben above. There are still a lot of good record stores in the city, but this wasn't one of them. Prices were insane. Service was terrible. $150.00 for a run-of-the-mill copy of David Bowie Heroes? No thanks.

ramashanti said...

Yes, yes, another sad vanishing. I've been going to this building for many years and never bought anything from Second Hand Rose but always looked at their window. The building is being made over by the new RE group for tech startups. That's progress they think.

Unknown said...

My Father used to work in that building in the 70s and 80s. He was a union representative for the NY Typographical Union #6, which represented union members in the printing trade in NYC.
I suspect the Union offices left sometime back in the late 90s, with hardly any members anymore.
Very sad.