Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Old New York: Christmas is Served, at Rolf's German Restaurant

By Mitch Broder

The angels appeared to be tooting, but there was no way I could have heard them, what with all those other people chattering away on our branch.

Still, I couldn’t help liking my afternoon in the tree, even if I couldn’t help expecting an icicle to fall and puncture my head.

Anyone who will listen knows that I get sick of the holiday season around the time that the first bag of candy corn arrives at Duane Reade. I blame this on years of working at newspapers where every story written after Labor Day began: “Christmas came early for...”

I used to look forward to going to, say, Rockefeller Center. Now I almost look forward to not going to it. But Bob Maisano said his place is different. He said I must come see it. And he was right. Christmas came early for me, at Rolf’s German Restaurant.

Rolf’s is not a restaurant with a Christmas tree. Rolf’s is a Christmas tree with a restaurant. It is a place packed with ornaments, lights, fake pine, fake ice, and fake snow, such that you don’t feel like you’re around a tree; you feel like one’s around you.

The dominant feature are the ball ornaments, in clusters of red and gold. Also the icicle ornaments, aiming squarely at your head. Also the tiny lights, of which Bob says there are 85,000. Every feature is dominant. Everything glistens or glitters or glows.

Walk around, if you can, and you’ll pick out the dolls and the sleighs and the tooting and fiddling angels, and maybe the three Santas swigging Merlot. And none of it’s junk. That is, none of it’s cheap. Bob says that the thousands of pieces are mostly nineteenth-century German antiques.

Last year, I chatted with Bob on a sultry summer’s day, when the crowd at Rolf’s, besides me, consisted of Bob. When it’s hot, people withdraw from jaeger schnitzel and smoked bratwurst. That’s why Rolf’s needed Christmas. That’s why Christmas there lasts for three months.

It wasn’t like that in 1968, when Rolf Hoffman opened the place. Back then, the patrons were satisfied with glowering waitresses in dirndls. It was Ben House who decided to fortify the holiday décor when he and Bob took over, after Rolf died in 1981.

Ben started off cheap. Bob says his taste ran to dollar-store silver garlands and animated polar bears swigging martinis. “You wouldn’t know if it was a restaurant or a store that sold Christmas decorations,” Bob says. “He loved Christmas decorations. … It seemed like the business was secondary to that.”

Ben died in 1996, and Christmas fell to Bob. He bypassed the dollar stores in favor of New England antique barns. He added stuff each year, and his tree became a destination. “If we didn’t have this Christmas here,” he says, “we wouldn’t have this business here.”

Rolf’s perked me up, at least until I hear “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” And perking people up, Bob says, justifies the six weeks of installation.

“Maybe they had a bad time somewhere. Maybe they had a bad day at work. And at least they walked in here and had a moment of happiness.”

Find happiness at Rolf’s German Restaurant, at 281 Third Avenue, between 22nd and 23rd streets, in New York City.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

New in New York: Warm Up to the Cup at Meatball Obsession

Meatballs in a cup are a treat for anyone dining in New York
By Mitch Broder

When it’s hot, you want a cup of ice cream. When it’s cold, you want a cup of meatball.

When you look at it that way, you may begin to grasp the logic behind the Home of the Original Meatball in a Cup.

Meatball Obsession offers those dining in New York a casual way to taste the obsession.
The Home is Meatball Obsession, which looks like an ice-cream stand except that instead of ice cream containers it has meatball pots. It serves you a cup with a giant meatball in the flavor of your choice, with the toppings of your choice and Parmesan bread instead of a wafer.

It opened in time for summer, since it is clearly up for a challenge, but it is now embarking upon its maiden meatball season. It has unveiled new items, new toppings, and a new meatball, and it is waiting to see you having yourself a little Italian meal walking.

In keeping with popular practice, it provides you with three steps toward acquiring your optimal movable feast. Step 1 is “Indulge Your Obsession,” which means “Choose Your Meatball,” which means you can have Beef, Turkey, Pork Sausage, or the new Chicken, in Sunday Sauce.

Step 2 is “Choose Your Style,” which means that if you don’t like cups you can have your meatball stuffed in the Original Pocket Sandwich. Step 3 is “The Toppings,” which means that you can complicate your meatball with flavorings from Locatelli Pecorino Romano to the new Sautéed Peas and Onions.

A lineup of dutch ovens simmer the meatballs for those dining in New York at Meatball Obsession

You get a single meatball — in either format — for $4; you get one topping free and others for 50 cents or $1 apiece. To expand your options, there are now ravioli, and to complete your meal there are now cannoli, which come from Arthur Avenue but get assembled in the store.

It may all sound a little detached, but be assured that, in fact, it all came straight from Grandma’s kitchen. The Grandma was Anna Mancini, and her grandson is Daniel Mancini, who has spent his life obsessesed with her meatballs, which is why he brought them back.

“One of my favorite memories was waking up every Sunday morning to the wonderful smell of her meatballs and Sunday Sauce cooking on the stove,” Daniel says in his meatball credo. “Sunday afternoon our home was full of family and friends enjoying the feast my grandmother prepared.”

Dining in New York you will have a hard time resisting Meatball Obsession

He had a career running clothing companies but ditched it to make meatballs, which he has since sold in stores under the name of MamaMancini’s. But he also wanted to sell them hot, so this year he opened his meatball stand. He didn’t come up with the cup. Grandma did that, too.

The city, of course, has been in a meatball phase for a while. The phase has given us, among other things, The Meatball Shop and The Meatball Factory. No meatball source, however, has been quite as accessible as Meatball Obsession’s color-coded pots and open window.

Nothing goes better with meatballs then fresh bread at Meatball Obsession in New York

I had meatballs. I had Beef and Turkey. (I had them before there was Chicken.) Both of them were excellent, and the sauce was delicious. Two or three make a good meal. You get two for $7.50 and three for $10. You get a 10 percent discount on 50, but my limit is 45.

“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous before we opened Meatball Obsession,” Daniel says in the credo. “Would people not want a meatball in a cup?”

So far people have wanted it. And more are bound to want it, because meatballs always look better in December than in July.

When dining in New York try not to mistake Meatball Obsession with an ice cream stand

Roll with it at Meatball Obsession, 510 Sixth Avenue, between 13th and 14th streets, in New York City.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New in New York: Populence and Pop Karma Make a Crop Pop

Delicious popcorn at the New in New York popcorn venue Pop Karma
By Mitch Broder

For Porcini Cheddar popcorn, you want the East Side. For Three Cheese popcorn, you want the West Side. Then again, for Pumpkin Spice popcorn, you want the West Side, whereas for Bacon Apple Bourbon Caramel popcorn, you want the East Side.

It could have been simple. But nothing ever is. So the popcorn department of your life just got complicated. Through what you’d have to call karmic opulence, New York has just furnished you with two new popcorn shops — Pop Karma and Populence.

Visit the New in New York Populence

Each is a little place run by a woman inspired by corn. Both popped up at practically the same time, though apparently by coincidence. Each offers popcorn in flavors that you don’t get in cellophane bags. Both sell popcorn with a conviction that it will make you happy and healthy.

Pick your popcorn flavor at Pop Karma

So take your pick. Or don’t, for if you love popcorn, you’ll want to try both. They’ve made themselves just different enough so that you have no choice.

The menu at this New in New York establishment makes your mouth water
Populence, in the West Village, is run by Maggie Paulus, whose very life was essentially launched by popcorn. “My dad proposed to my mom with a ring in a Cracker Jack box,” she told me. “So growing up, popcorn was always associated with something fun.”

Pop Karma, on the Lower East Side, is run by Jean Tsai, who wants to inspire you in much the same way that popcorn inspired her. On the chalkboard outside her store, she puts inspiring quotes like Herbert Spencer’s “The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.”

A white board of popcorn goodness at the New in New York Pop Karma
Populence carries six flavors at a time — usually three sweet and three savory. The top sellers have been Salted Caramel, Sun-dried Tomato, and Jalapeño Cheddar. There’s also Kettle Corn, Ginger Caramel, Garlic Rosemary, Real Raspberry, and Sweet Cinnamon. Salted Caramel could count as sweet and savory.

Pop Karma carries six flavors at a time — usually three “classic” and three seasonal. The classic are Caramel, Mediterranean, and Zen Cheddar. The seasonal have included Barbecue, Margarita, and White Truffle Cheddar, and now include Za’atar, which is described as “a visit to a Middle Eastern souk.”

The Populence Web site says: “Our artisanal method of creating cornfections involves small batches of heirloom popcorn combined with the finest whole ingredients.”

The Pop Karma Web site says: “Our ingredients lists are minimal since we source the best food possible from responsible, sustainable producers.”

It’s close, but I have to give that round to Populence, because of “cornfections,” and in spite of “heirloom.”

Don't stop with just a days worth of popcorn, bring a bucket of Populence home with you

Maggie and Jean, of course, are not the first to have popcorn stores in New York, regardless of which one of them thought of having one first. Awhile ago, Times Square had a store called Popcorn, Indiana. In the eighties, the Upper East Side had Jack’s Corn Crib. The Jack was Jack Klugman.

Those are gone, of course. But they were chains. Pop Karma and Populence aren’t. Yet. And their owners both seem devoted to their products and their neighborhoods.

As the Pop Karma Web site puts it: “Kind words and kind actions inspire a beautiful day. A lifetime of beautiful days is a work of art. Live it.”

A good sign is an imperative for any New in New York establishment

Pop into Populence, at 1West Eighth Street, and Pop Karma, at 95 Orchard Street, in New York City.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Signing Off: You Name It — Just Don't Give Us the Wrong Idea

Out of the Kitchen is a restaurant in New York that will no longer invite you in
By Mitch Broder

They said they'd be Out of the Kitchen!

And now they are!

Think of the rent they could have saved if they'd never opened at all!

I don't like to mock this place. For one thing, it was homey, and for another, it had one of the best chocolate-chip cookies in the city. But its subliminal message was either that no one ever worked there or that no one was welcome — neither of which is what you want to impart to the crowd.

So now Hudson Street has one less takeout and the city has one less good cookie. And once again, the lesson is: Don't let this happen to you. Holding fast to the flimsy premise that stores' names can determine their fate, Vintage New York offers up the latest cases of nominal self-sabotage...

Dining in New York will never be the same without the Village Crabhouse

 Nobody wants to eat in a house full of crabs...

Apparently shelves were not the New in New York thing everyone thought they were going to be.
Nobody wants to live in a house full of shelves...

The Meatball Factory shuttered it's doors disappointing those dining in New York

The last food you want to get from a factory is a meatball ...

Another establishment in New York that is no more, Silver Spoon

The last spoon you want is one that was in someone's mouth when he was born...

Isn't all luggage International by design?
This seemed like a place that was loaded down with too much baggage...

Roam has been closed and will be making way for another New in New York tenant

This seemed like a place that was telling you to go someplace else...

A health and beauty store in New York.
And this place promised you everything from A to Z, while it's perfectly clear to anyone that it was missing a D.

Vintage New York is only trying to help.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New in New York: This "Chaplin" is Worth Trying on For Size

The New in New York musical celebrating the life of Charlie Chaplin

By Mitch Broder

Charlie Chaplin would surely approve of a musical called "Chaplin the Musical," if only on the grounds that it's a musical called "Chaplin the Musical."

Not just approve of it, but also believe it to be the world's greatest musical, since he would believe it to be a musical about the world's greatest movie star.

Chaplin was the Little Tramp who got the Big Head. But it was forgivable, because he actually was the world's greatest movie star. And happily, by the end of his life he had reduced his head enough to publicly act as if he wasn't, even if he still thought he was.

Chaplin The Musical is playing at the Old New York theater the Barrymore

It took a long time to get a musical based on Chaplin's life to Broadway. It took a long time to get a musical based on Shaw's "Pygmalion" to Broadway. That musical was "My Fair Lady," and it became the longest-running musical. "Chaplin" isn't "My Fair Lady," and it probably won't.

Still, it's not a bad way to spend a couple of hours. It's a pleasant show with pleasant music about a recurrently unpleasant life. It follows Charlie from his bleak boyhood, which, early on, he sums up with the line: "Dad died drunk, Mom went crazy, so maybe I should go into the movies!"

"Pygmalion" was so tough to convert that even Rodgers and Hammerstein gave up. Others have made Chaplin musicals, but none made it to New York. This one must be the best yet, considering that it's here, but it enjoyed no help from Rodgers and Hammerstein, let alone from Lerner and Loewe.

The cast of Chaplin The Musical sings and dance in this New in New York show.

It does enjoy a lovely cast, led by Rob McClure, who has Chaplin nailed both as the Little Tramp and as Chaplin. It also enjoys a lovely design, suffused with black and white, which is, of course, the way most of us have come to picture Chaplin.

And it does enjoy nice songs. But you won't go out humming them. They work well in the show. Then they stay there.

The lack of memorable music is frustrating, since this is, after all, a musical. The lack of Tramp scenes is also frustrating, since this is, after all, "Chaplin." McClure is enchanting when he does the enormously popular character, but he doesn't do much of him. This is not "Little Tramp the Musical."

In the end, that could be the biggest drawback. Chaplin's wasn't a musical-comedy life. Parental alcoholism and mental illness were just the overture. His later years were afflicted with — besides the Big Head — bad marriages, governmental harassment, and exile. Everybody sing!

The show's best number is itself sinister. It's "All Falls Down," sung by Jenn Colella as the sinister gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. Hedda sings gaily of destroying Chaplin because he didn't grant her an interview.

This is insulting to a former newspaperman like me.

Maybe that's the best reason to see the show.

Patrons picture themselves as Chaplin before heading into the Old New York theater, The Barrymore

Hats off to "Chaplin," at the Barrymore Theatre, 243 West 47th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, in New York City.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Old New York: Stars Dim on the Yiddish Theater Walk of Fame

A faded star for Daniel Libeskind on the old new york landmark the Yiddish Theater Walk of Fame
By Mitch Broder

In a sense, it won’t matter when you finally can’t read the names, because most people already don’t recognize the names. Or at least they wouldn’t recognize the names if they tried to, which, at least for the most part, they don’t.

The names are of stars of New York City’s Yiddish theater. They’re engraved in granite slabs, which are on Second Avenue at 10th Street. Unfortunately, the granite slabs are embedded in the sidewalk, and the sidewalk is often used by people heading for Ninth or 11th Street.

So the people walk on the slabs, which is forgivable, and the names get gradually scuffed away, which is regrettable. But the man who got them embedded has been dead for sixteen years, and now the slabs, apparently, are the domain of nobody in the world.

Foot traffic has eroded the names along the Yiddish Theater Walk of Fame an old new york landmark

Yiddish theater flourished here from the 1890s through the 1930s. Theaters for its shows clustered on Second Avenue below 14th Street. The stretch, which was then regarded as part of the Lower East Side, came to be something of a second Broadway, at least if you understood Yiddish.

Many of its stars moved on to the first Broadway, as well as to movies and television. Probably the most famous of them was Paul Muni. He starred in classic films like “I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang.” But even his is no longer a household name, which doesn’t bode well for Maurice Schwartz.

Moved by the stars’ fate, Abe Lebewohl came to their rescue, perhaps because he was in a unique position to do so. In 1954, he had opened the 2nd Ave Deli. In 1985, he installed the Yiddish Theater Walk of Fame in front of it.

The founder of the Old New York landmark the Yiddish Theater Walk of Fame Abraham Goldfaden's star

It consists of about thirty markers, mostly in two rows, mostly with two names to a marker. Most of the names are inside of stars — not Jewish stars but Hollywood-Walk-of-Fame stars, signifying that the tribute was as much to talent as it was to heritage.

There is David Kessler with Zvi Scooler. There is Leon Liebgold with Lilly Lilyana. There is Boris Thomashevsky with Bessie Thomashevsky. Boris, at 13, helped to bring Yiddish theater to New York. His grandson is the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.

In 1996, Abe Lebewohl was murdered. His brother, Jack, took over the deli, but ten years later he closed it. The year after that, his sons Josh and Jeremy reopened the 2nd Ave Deli — but on 33rd Street, between Lexington and Third.

Last year they opened a second branch, on First Avenue at 75th Street. There they installed an Automat section that had been on display at the original store. I’m sure that they’d like to have the walk of fame  at the new store, too. It’s kind of hard to fault them for not dislodging and moving a city sidewalk.

An old new york staple Automat returns

On the site of the original store there now stands a Chase bank. Neither the bank nor its building manager seems to want much to do with the walk. Nor does the city, which has reportedly said that it never actually approved it. David and Zvi and Leon and Lilly and Boris are on their own.

I’ve never quite gotten the concept of being honored on a sidewalk. I’m too conscious of the substances that are bound to find their way there. Jazz greats were honored with a walk of fame on 52nd Street. The last time I looked, Thelonious Monk had turned into Niou Mon.

Still, many people have embraced the Yiddish Walk. Some years ago, Jack Lebewohl told me of one. “One Rosh Hashana,” he said, “I actually saw a woman stand out there, drop a rose on the sidewalk and say a Hebrew prayer.”

And just maybe, all those names were meant to fade away, before the day when not a single one is known to pedestrians.

So if you want to go look at the names, don’t put the trip off too long.

This walk isn’t going to be preserved. You can bank on that.

The Yiddish Theater Walk of Fame, an old New York staple is being taken over by a Chase Bank branch.

See the stars on the Yiddish Theater Walk of Fame, on Second Avenue at 10th Street, in New York City.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New in New York: Allow Yourself a Taste of Forbidden Fruit

Forbidden Fruit is a yummy treat that is New In New York

By Mitch Broder

Forbidden Fruit was founded on two sound principles: Fruit belongs in chocolate, and chocolate belongs on fruit.

Except maybe in the cases of melons and grapes. But every principle gets resistance.

The small interior gives way to big flavor at the New in New York Forbidden Fruit
Forbidden Fruit is an all-chocolate-covered-fruit place, which makes it a good fit for the all-peculiar-place food court that is MacDougal Street. It’s a simple store with a simple selection that harbors the simple hope of conquering all the other food courts of the world, peculiar or not.

When you’re ready to help it succeed, prepare to “dip it!!!” or “drip it!!!” (With either choice, you get three exclamation points.) The dip-its are the individual fruits, which are coated with chocolate. The drip-its are the medleys of fruits, which are drizzled with chocolate.

Dip it or Drip It with your favorite Forbidden Fruit at this spot that is  New in New York.
The dip-its include strawberries, pineapples, bananas, and apples (in wedges). The drip-its include fruit sticks, fruit cups, berry boats, and clementines (in wedges). The chocolate comes in the customary white, milk, and dark. You can add coconut or walnuts. Or sprinkles, but just on bananas.

A manager gave me chocolate fruit. This was especially generous, since a clerk had already given me chocolate fruit. The manager gave me all dark chocolate, which is the correct kind. Everything was delicious. The bananas tasted like chocolate-covered banana ice cream.

So Forbidden Fruit has the product. Then again, so does Edible Arrangements. But Forbidden Fruit is different from that global fruit-bouquet chain. It has no Grand Confetti Fruit Cupcake or SpongeBob Bikini Bottom Bouquet. It has no fruit growing out of footballs. It’s not about arrangements. It’s about a snack.

Forbidden Fruit includes chocolate covered pineapple, of course it does.

The idea for the snack reportedly came from a fountain — specifically, the chocolate fountain at Dylan’s Candy Bar. Abbas Devji saw lots of people there waiting in line to dip things. He was uneasy with the public dipping. He envisioned fruit predipped.

Other New York treats can't shake a stick at Forbidden Fruit's chocolate dipped bananas that are certainly New in New York

He enlisted a creative director, Matthew Higginson, to create a store. Matthew led a six-month quest to develop the look and the menu. He dipped many fruits. He found that some of them didn’t agree with chocolate. Those included watermelon, cantaloupe, and grapes. They are the forbidden fruit.

The classic chocolate covered strawberry gets the Forbidden Fruit treatment.

Matthew wants to see Forbidden Fruits from Boston to L.A. Meanwhile, he’s planning  a Chocolate of the Month for New York City. And he’s just added a Fruit of the Season. The first one is the cherry, which, of course, has had a long and successful relationship with chocolate.

The new in New York spot, Forbidden Fruit, is already a popular destination for locals.

For now, though, the star fruit is the banana, which is convenient, since the banana is the symbol of Forbidden Fruit. You might not think it would work with a chocolate peel, but it does. As Matthew puts it: “You could cover a rock with chocolate and it would taste good.”

Cartoon fruit welcome those looking for a special Forbidden Fruit treat at this New in New York space.

Take a dip at Forbidden Fruit, 106 MacDougal Street, between Third and Bleecker streets, in New York City.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Old New York: Colony Records Packs Up the Beatles and Elvis

By Mitch Broder

The “Yellow Submarine” lunchbox will cost $650 till the end.

The Colony never changed anything, so it’s not about to change that.

You won't find nostalgia like that which is on display at Colony Records anywhere else in New York City
The Colony is Colony Records, a Theater District treasure-hunt of sheet music, recorded music, and musical relics. It’s been around since 1948, but now it appears to be closing, possibly in just two weeks, though at the Colony you never know.

Michael Grossbardt, the CEO, told me that on September 15th he will shut down the store that his father, “Nappy” Grossbardt, opened sixty-four years ago. He also assured me that he will conduct no going-out-of-business sale, which is appropriate for a store whose legend has rarely involved bargains.

Years ago, I experienced Colony as a frustrating place, because it had things that nearly took my breath away at prices that finished the job. But the problem was me. As soon as I started thinking of the place as a museum, I could go in knowing that the things I wanted were there only to look at.

This Old New York classic record store is great to look at but not touch some of the incredible memorabilia

Colony will end its storied life as a museum indeed, a shop that gave in to CDs in the nineties but to nothing much since then. It’s worth a last visit, since the lack of a sale is keeping the place intact, and since you will never, at least in this city, see its likes again.

Colony Records celebrates classic Old New York performers like Sinatra and Elvis

Stroll past the tourist trinkets, and find new CDs and DVDs selling for $25 and up. Then find old LPs selling for $35, $40, $75, $125 and up. Then find some LPs selling for $15. They are the same ones you have in your closet that you couldn’t pay your local record store to take.

Colony Records is a great place for a musician to stop by and thumb through the sheet music and songbooks that adorn the walls

Much of the rest of the space displays sheet music and songbooks, recalling the days when songs were born in the Brill Building, which has long housed the store. But look deeper and find the display cases hoarding remnants of music history that you won’t find in real museums because they can’t handle the Colony’s markup.

Treasure hunters will find a trove of Old New York classics at Colony Records including this Elvis doll
Top prizes include that Beatles lunchbox at $650, and an Elvis-in-uniform prototype doll, at $1,800. Among other treasures are a Fabian pillow ($150), a Dick Clark “American Bandstand” Secret Diary ($200), and a Supremes Special Formula White Bread wrapper, priced no doubt for its irony, at $600.

As fascinating as the artifacts are the display cases themselves. They are not, to be gentle, meticulously maintained. The case labeled “Elvis” holds the Beatles stuff. The case labeled “Beatles” holds no Beatles stuff. The case that holds Elvis stuff has no label and, besides the Elvis stuff, holds the Michael Jackson Cordless Electric Microphone.

The “Streisand” case has a Streisand bag, but it also has TV Guides with cover photos of Chad Everett and Louise Lasser. But the “Frank Sinatra” label is accurate. Its case offers unused Sinatra tickets and unused Sinatra eight-tracks, which are about equally useful.

If Chad Everett and Louise Lasser don’t ring a bell, just know that they are hot stars compared with some others for sale. On high glass shelves, which incidentally display the dust of the decades, are the Burns & Allen Coffee Server and a poster for the Popsicle “Parade of Stars,” whose stars included Dick Haymes, Arthur Godfrey, and Fanny Brice.

It doesn't get much more classic then a Supremes Special Formula White Bread wrapper that you'll find for sale at Colony Records.

Keep looking up and see 8-by-10s of the likes of Leonard Nimoy, Daryl Hannah, Phil Donahue, Demi Moore, and Paul Hogan. They run around $100, though Demi is $200. They may all have been autographed once, but the evidence has often faded.

The doors to this Old New York establishment are now closed, but Colony Records served the city well.

The Colony, of course, wasn’t always like this. It was a rockin’ place, as most places that sold records once were. It opened at Broadway and 52nd Street and soon became a musical landmark. It had a famous DJ named Symphony Sid spinning platters in the window.

The music that played in the store also played out on the street. Getting heard on the street speakers could make a record a hit. The store continued to rock even after it moved in the seventies. Sinatra and Lennon shopped at the Colony on their way to becoming display cases.

Patrons were left with a great feel of nostalgia when Colony Records closed it's door left with only the simple saying With the seismic changes in the music business, the Colony courted tourists. But apparently, what got it in the end was rent. The owners, Michael said, could once have bought their building for $250,000. It was last sold five years ago for about $150 million.

Michael told me that what doesn’t sell in the store will just get boxed up and eventually put back on sale online.

So go now to look or to buy — but not to save. And if you’re really well off, and you really like this blog, keep in mind that I really want the Dick Clark Secret Diary.

Old New York will always remember Dick Clark's Rockin' New Years Eve and as the founder of American Bandstand, he just so happened to keep a secret diary that could have been purchased at Colony Records.

Take a last spin at Colony Records, 1619 Broadway, at 49th Street, in New York City.