Requiem for a Record Store

Categories: Transitions

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Its doors have been closed for months and its records collecting dust. And now it seems Finyl Vinyl is closed for good.

The store's proprietor Robert Cohen, who opened the record shop on East 6th Street in 1985, has been suffering from health problems, said Michelle Taylor, who owns the American Painting art gallery a few doors down.

A few guys from Academy Records were down there last week picking through the best of Finyl Vinyl's collection. The American Painting gallery is going to move in the space, said Taylor.

I can't say I knew Robert Cohen that well, but if you ever went in there, you could tell the guy was a true head. One crate-digger from England commented on a message board that it was worth a trip there just to talk to the interesting owner.

The store was named Best Honeycomb Hideout for Maggot-Brained Vinyl Fetishists and Wigga Boyz Who Think Beck's a Prophet in the Voice's Best of New York 2000.

Kandia Crazy Horse put it thusly:

As a po' brokedown rock critic, I never actually have any money, so I just roll up on small East Village shop Finyl Vinyl to drool over the wall where divine proprietor Robert displays all the latest funk and soul rarities that have resurfaced. One-stop shopping: Chocolate Milk, Cymande, and Allen Toussaint. There's stuff on the rock side too (right wall), but it's never as dynamic nor dire. Any given day, you're apt to see some maniac collector plopped on the stool babbling frenziedly about the merits of obscure Spector demos, while mid-'60s boogaloo blares on a real live turntable. Sho'nuff it's a haven for overgrown adolescent whiteboys. But I too love how folks toss off the query for some vinyl grail rather than "Howdy" by way of greeting. My personal big score: Right on Be Free, by the the Voices of East Harlem.

Let's hope Robert can bounce back from his illness.

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