I don’t like everything about New York, but over the years, when people have asked me what I do appreciate about the city, I’ve often told the story of what happened one afternoon in the early 1970s. I was in New York, visiting my dad, when I decided I wanted to buy a certain record—one copy each for me and a young lady I liked.
There were two problems: it was a Sunday and the record was obscure and out of print. Buy hey, I figured, this is New York. Anything’s possible. So I called a record store in the Times Square area whose phone book ad (remember phone books?) said it specialized in out-of-print records.
“How many copies do you need?” asked the man who answered after one ring, when I told him the title I wanted.
“Two,” I said.
“No problem,” he immediately replied. “I’ll hold them at the cash register.”
“What time do you close?” I asked.
“Five o’clock,” he said.
I glanced at my watch, which read about 4:30. “I guess I’d better hurry,” I said.
“Five a.m., sir,” he answered.
You gotta love a place where you can find two copies of an obscure, out-of-print album until 5 a.m. on a Sunday night.