Can somebody recommend sheet music and/or records stores in NY, please?

February 11, 2008 at 06:20 AM · I don't know anybody in New York to ask about this, so I'm hoping you can help me.

I'm looking for a store where I can buy sheet music without having to order it. On my last visit, I searched The Strand, but didn't find much.

Moreover, I'm looking for a record store with a good collection of classical music. On my last visit, I checked out the Virgin Megastore on Times Square, which is OK, but maybe there's even more?!

Thank you


Replies (28)

February 11, 2008 at 07:25 AM · Be sure to visit Patelson's. It's on 56th Street near 7th Avenue, across from the backstage entrance to Carnegie Hall. Besides a good stock of sheet music, they have a good amount of used sheet music in which you may find rare out of print items. They also have books and recordings. Afterwards, treat yourself to some NY style delicatessen at the Carnegie deli. Take in a concert at Carnegie Hall. See the Dave Letterman show and visit virtualy all the NYC Violin shops in one building, which is beside the Ed Sullivan Theater. All of the above are in a short walking distance. If you feel like walking a little more, you can walk uptown to Lincoln Center. Amongst other attractions there is the Juilliard Bookstore.

February 11, 2008 at 10:46 AM · Frank Music Company!

February 11, 2008 at 06:04 PM · Patelson's also has very knowledgeable staff. Go to Carnegie Hall and ask someone "where is the backstage entrance?" When you get there look across the street and you'll find Patelsons. Don't be surprised if you run into lots of famous musicians there.

February 11, 2008 at 06:08 PM · Patelson's is great...if you go to the Carnegie Deli, be prepared to spend like $25 for the biggest sandwich you'll ever eat

February 11, 2008 at 06:50 PM · That deli is the most disgusting food I've ever had in NY. I ordered a grilled cheese and got 20 slices of american processed cheese in between 5 slices of bread. I long to forget that day eeewww and that slimy bowl of pickles ick!

February 11, 2008 at 07:08 PM · Carnegie is one of those tourist trap delis where people think they're getting like this authentic "new york" experience. I'd stay away from there.

February 11, 2008 at 07:17 PM · Marina Fragoulis wrote: "That deli is the most disgusting food I've ever had in NY. I ordered a grilled cheese."

I'll respond to your comment in my native language, NewYawkese:

Who gozinta a New Yawk deli and awdiz a **grilled cheese** sandwich??!! Where are yoo frumm, Idaho?! Fuhgetaboutit! Ya gotta get cawnbeef, chief!

February 13, 2008 at 05:03 AM · Actually, the delicatessen that I frequent when back in my native land is Fine & Schapiro Kosher delicatessen. I go there because I follow the Jewish dietary laws, and the Carnegie Deli does not....but there is another reason to go there that is compelling, and will be of interest to all.......(are you ready? I am about to reveal the secret of the fabled Elman tone!!).........Mischa Elman regularly ate at Fine & Schapiro. It is documented in his biography. There are some who will be skeptical as to the scientific validity of concluding that a violinist's tone quality may be linked to the consumption of Hot Pastrami sandwiches, but I am convinced of this from personal experience. I can even offer a rationale: If you eat Hot Pastrami sandwiches often enough, it will add weight to your bow arm and additional padding to your finger pads. If you look at the photo on my Brahms d minor Sonata CD, you will see that I practice what I preach. I admit that the CD inside does not sound as good as an Elman CD, but my intention is to consume more Hot Pastrami sandwiches, and see what I'm able to achieve!

Fine & Schapiro is located on 72nd Street, so you would need to walk a little further uptown after reaching Lincoln Center. Long walks in New York are fun, and they partially mitigate the effects of following my dining recommendations!

February 12, 2008 at 07:01 PM · I've never had bad food in NY. Not sure it's possible. The Letterman show, about showtime find somebody outside who works for the show and pull them aside and ask them for a ticket. Worked for me :) I just wanted see inside the Ed Sullivan Theatre. Once I got inside they almost weren't going to let me in the audience because I didn't look energetic enough, or so they said. So bounce on your toes and swing your arms.

February 13, 2008 at 08:21 AM · This is a really brilliant thread - more suggestions please - I'm going to print this out for my next trip to NYC! I just LOVE that city.

Oliver - so if I want a hot pastrami sandwich, is that what I ask for? Or is there some kind of special New York terminology for it?! Any other recommendations for good places to eat? What's the best place for desserts/ice cream?

Wish I could book a plane ticket right now.

February 13, 2008 at 02:18 PM · Maybe someone could verify this, but I heard that Patelson's is no longer restocking their inventory. Once they've sold everything they're going to close.

Perhaps I've been fortunate, but it's tough to find bad food in Manhattan. (I have never eaten at Carnegie deli.) I had the opposite experience in northern NJ eateries (diners, restaurants, etc.).

February 13, 2008 at 02:58 PM · Rosalind Porter wrote: "so if I want a hot pastrami sandwich, is that what I ask for? Or is there some kind of special New York terminology for it?!"

In NewYawkese, a hot pastrami sandwich is called "a hot pastrami sandwich", as it is in English.....However, your concern about using the proper teminology is well placed, as making fun of out of town visitors, and insult wise-cracking in general, is a popular sport and a tradition amongst *some* NYC waiters. To avoid being the target of this, there are two things to avoid saying in a New York City Deli: one is "mayonnaise" and the other is "white bread", whole wheat, or any kind of bread other than rye or seeded rye! If some poor soul asks for a "hot pastrami with mayonnaise, on whitebread", he instantly hangs an "I'm from out of town" sign on himself, and *might* be the recipient of some Don Rickles type of comment. Then there are people, like myself, who welcome and enjoy this sort of banter as a valued tradition. This is the sort of exchange that might be considered rude by one person, and welcomed by another: (From a NY Times article about NYC delis):

''I was in Katz's on the Lower East Side, and I asked what soup they had. The man behind the counter said, 'Barley and bean.' I asked what other kind of soup they had, and he said, 'Bean and barley.'"

February 13, 2008 at 05:22 PM · If you're in the mood to splurge go to Gordon Ramsey's "Maze" at the London hotel on 55th between 7th and 8th. It is worth it and way more my type of cuisine than delis.

February 13, 2008 at 08:44 PM · For sheet music, try Patelson's on 160 W. 56th St, just above Carnegie Hall. Also, go to the Juilliard Bookstore. As far as record shops in NYC go, most of them have disappeared. About the only one left that I know of is Virgin. Virgin has a wonderful selection of classical music cds - at their megastore in Times Square and also at the one down at Union Square.

February 13, 2008 at 08:52 PM · Virgin is also open till midnight.

February 13, 2008 at 08:56 PM · Oliver, you forgot pumpernickel.

February 13, 2008 at 09:46 PM · There are actually many many record shops downtown Manhattan. Try 12th street and 5th avenue, lots there, and also all along Bleeker Street. If you want more info please post again and I will get my husband to list them all (he's a record/audiophile and knows all the places)

February 15, 2008 at 02:47 AM · Marina:

I'd be interested in those shops you mention. If you can, please post some of the names.



February 15, 2008 at 08:18 AM · Oliver, if one orders the Roumanian pastrami will that help with getting a deeper tone in Bartok's eponymous folk dances?

I know the answer in Newyawkese is probably " it couldn't hoyt"

February 15, 2008 at 12:29 PM · I'm sure there are some others, but I've been to these myself and they have a pretty good selection of sheet music.

Patelson's Music (Not far from Carnegie Hall)

160 W 56th (between 6th & 7th Aves.)

New York, NY

(212) 582-5840

Juilliard School Bookstore

Lincoln Center (65th/Broadway, upper level)

New York, NY

(212) 799-5000 x237

February 15, 2008 at 01:20 PM · I'm on it KG!

February 15, 2008 at 02:58 PM · Ronald Mutchnik wrote: "if one orders the Roumanian pastrami will that help with getting a deeper tone in Bartok's eponymous folk dances?"

Makes sense to me that it would have a beneficial effect on the tone! New York deli cognoscenti fondly remember Schmulka Bernstein's, on the Lower East Side, where one could order either regular or Roumanian pastrami. I don't know if this choice is any longer available in any New York deli. However, Rubin's Kosher Delicatessen in Brookline, Mass. has both varieties. Last time I was in Boston, dinner at Rubin's was the highlight of my visit.

I'll bet that some people might think that a discussion of the fine points of Pastrami is off topic for this forum. However, consider that the pleasure afforded by delightful foods becomes part of the artist's sensory library, from which he may draw inspiration during performance! From that point of view, it may be more relevant than talking about which brand of E string is best!

I can remember Miss DeLay describing Elman's tone as "delicious".

February 15, 2008 at 04:10 PM · It is definitely not off-topic! How can you play the violin well if you aren't properly nourished?

February 15, 2008 at 04:31 PM · I'm sure all musicians appreciate great art and none can dispute that cooking and eating is probably the greatest form of art!

February 15, 2008 at 07:25 PM · The best classical CD selection I came across in is at J&R, opposite city hall. A good second hand shop is Academy records, 18th st between 5th and 6th avenue. Good luck!!

February 15, 2008 at 09:22 PM · Look up Academy Records in NY, they're downtown.

There's also lots of little record stores along 8th street east of Cooper Union. Once you go to one place they'll lead you to the next. Good luck!

February 18, 2008 at 03:35 AM · Thank you so much for your recommendations. Today, I checked out Patelson, it's a wonderful place indeed.

Soon after I arrived in New York, my A string broke. They don't sell strings at Patelson, but the gentleman in the store forwarded me to Sam Ash (163 west 48th street). That's another wonderful place (on both sides of the street), in particular if you should need instruments or spare parts.

Now I've got the scores that I wanted and the strings that I needed so badly. I'll check out your other recommendations soon.

Thank you again


February 18, 2008 at 11:47 PM · Hi everyone! I am back in NYC again until Sunday the 23rd. This afternoon, I went to Patelson's and spent quite a bit of time there browsing and picking out music. And when I got to the clerk at the cash register, I asked him whether the store has any plans to close. And I am happy to report that they are staying open!! Thank goodness! Internet is a nice thing, and it's very convenient, but it's awful when it kills the music business. I still prefer the good-old fashioned way of being able to walk into a store, take my time with browsing and selecting music, and I always enjoy being with nice people and other musicians.

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