New Yorkers were so excited by the opening of their very own Rough Trade, the store even tweeted about the “abnormal” amount of PDA’s going on all around them… “We’re not even mad about it – just glad records turn people on so much.” The self proclaimed and simply put “place to celebrate music” is an exciting addition to New York City, and even more exciting, it’s in my local Williamsburg.
Not only is Rough Trade a record maven’s heaven, there is a plethora of ‘things’ to do and see at the store. From The Room, a shipping container above the entrance used to host artist signings & display artist exhibitions & installations, to a Main Drag music equipment trial cage, to the complete live music venue out the back; you can spend hours in there.
Sky Ferreira played the opening of the store, and most recently Childish Gambino hosted a signing in The Room. The live music was only short lived sadly, as all live shows are cancelled for the immediate future while they take care of some sound/noise issues, but it’ll be back soon.
Rough Trade’s punk and post-punk roots from when the store originally opened its doors in the 70s are evident throughout the store, retailing a thorough collection of music, books & magazines on every aficionado’s wish list.
More roots from Rough Trade’s sister store in London East + West are instantly recognizable too. The New York store is located just slightly off the beaten path – set several blocks behind Williamsburg’s overcrowded Bedford Avenue, but still close enough not to deter New Yorkers who hate to walk. The old HBO prop warehouse has been converted to utilise the giant space in a way only New Yorkers know how – giant shipping containers are stranded in mezzanine corners, for individual purposes.
It’s only been open a couple months, and there are still plenty of cool things to come; they’re currently working on developing a the complete Rough Trade experience, where punters can buy a tour of the store and venue, with their favourite artist as their tour guide.
I went to check it out on a Friday night, mainly because I heard there was a bar, and I thought my retail experience would be heightened by alcohol, obviously. Sadly there is no bar for shoppers, but there is a café in the works, to be supplied by Heath Ledgers’ posthumous café Five Leaves on the edge of Williamsburg + Greenpoint. This is great news, considering they make the best Flat White an Australian in Brooklyn can find.
Anyway, Bar/Café – I think New Yorkers can’t tell the difference sometimes, seeing them drink extra tall coffees on their way out at night. Just gotta keep going, you know.
I had to contain myself, but I came away with a swag I’m pretty happy with/*shaking in boots with excitment*.
- Robert Mapplethorp’s Polaroids
- Finally I have Radiohead’s In Rainbows on Vinyl
- Patti Smith’s Just Kids
- Morrissey Autobiography
- Flash Art Magazine
- And of course, a Rough Trade NYC tote. Because I’m so industry.