Monday, January 21, 2008

In Harlem, 2 Record Stores Go the Way of the Vinyl

By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS (New York Times)

On Saturday morning, Bobby’s Happy House, a music store in Harlem that opened in 1946, was in a state of chaos.

The store’s owner, 91-year-old Bobby Robinson, who was wearing a dark blue suit and his trademark black fedora, seemed bewildered as he surveyed his store. Albums were stacked on the floor, photographs of him with Fats Domino, James Brown and others had been pulled from the walls and the store’s glass display cases contained only a few scattered CDs and cassette tapes.

A few hundred yards northwest, at the Harlem Record Shack on 125th Street, an employee with a handmade sign was urging passers-by to sign a petition to keep that store from being evicted.

Inside, the voice of the store’s owner, Sikhulu Shange, 66, rang through the Record Shack as he vowed not to go easily, even though he was under a court order to leave within a few weeks, after 36 years in business there.

To read the full article in today's NY Times, click here.

I don't even feel like saying anything... except I believe that Nene's older (and only) sister was killed in the fire at Mr. Shange's store. She was 16.

(Thanks, Professor, for forwarding the article. See, she actually reads a lot more than I do...)

2 comments:

Nina said...

Oh, man, I am really sorry to see this. That is awful. The kind of change I don't like to see.

The Bear Maiden said...

More than even being angry, I'm just sad. It's so sad to see whole blocks change; the architecture, the skyline, the feel. It all looks like everywhere else. Harlem used to have a particular feeling... it's just not the same and it's heartbreaking.