Regular Flavorwire readers will know that we’ve had great fun over the last year or so surveying the most beautiful examples of some of our favorite places to spend time — libraries, bookshops, coffee shops, and various others. But now we’re setting ourselves a real challenge, and tracking down some examples of an institution that doesn’t necessarily spring to mind when you use the word “beautiful”: the humble record store. The thought of record shopping more often invokes images of teetering crates of vinyl than it does architectural elegance, but that isn’t always the case. Click on through for some of the most beautiful record stores in the world.
Rough Trade East – London, UK
Rough Trade is a success story for record stores in the 21st century, a shop that shows you can make a go of selling actual physical records so long as you know your niche and your audience. The original Rough Trade is in west London, but it’s their flagship store in Brick Lane — opened in 2007 amongst dire predictions about the death of records and the music industry in general — on the other side of the city that’s a particularly pretty piece of architecture, all glass and open space.
The Thing – Brooklyn, NY
Beauty is a subjective thing, of course, and there’s just as much ramshackle appeal in the dusty crates of Greenpoint icon The Thing as there is in the graceful space of Rough Trade. This place is the archetypal record geek’s paradise, a maze of unlabeled vinyl that has some strange internal logic that makes no sense to anyone who doesn’t work there.
Nova Audio – Mumbai, India
Mumbai is a pretty great city for record shopping — the bustling warrens of Chor Bazaar and the host of street stalls in the city’s Fort district are home to all sorts of esoteric vinyl, and occasionally you’ll stumble across something completely amazing — but you’d rarely describe its record shops as “beautiful.” A notable exception, however, is Nova Audio, where proprietor Sushil Anand sells a variety of LPs and will also clean your old vinyl for you if you ask him nicely.
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