...Continued from page 1

They had new CDs, old CDs, lots of vinyls, but they were fresh out of sides by Slim Harpo. Slim is my test artist. If they've heard of him they get a point. If they have one by him, I'll buy it and that's worth three points. "Yeah," the record chickie said, "Slim Harpo, we might have him." But no. They will be getting some next week and I should check back. At least they think they'll be in business next week.

Then my guide – the Very Good Friend of Mine – my VGFoM – led me to St. Marks Place. I don't how I missed this ratty block on earlier visits, but it is an urban winner for gritty funk, although it may be somewhat overly styled to appeal to weekend pretender hipsters from Jersey. In the middle I found Mondo Kim's – motto – The Sight and Sound of the Underground.

photo, yonah shimmel knish bakery, houston streetGet your knish of dreams here.

You slope in and down a ramp, to endless bins of CDs with vinyls hanging on the walls – don't touch! – and in passing I noted that there was an underground, but skipped that for a cool dude type. "Slim Harpo, yeah, I think we have some of him." But nada in the bin labeled rock'n'blues for prehistorics. Assured that I should check back frequently I also got tips for other likely sources, the best being Other Music on 4th.

After being lost a bit we found another store over on the Bowery, now called Top DJ Gear. This turned out to have only modest miles of bins because it was full of DJ gear, just right for turning that old rec room in the cellar into a mindboggling disco club. More to the point, lots of new gear for spinning snazzy vinyls at 33 rpm. Off subject a bit I know, but that's what is new since it was Satellite Records.

By then it was hungry time and a general move towards food was frustrated by the distance separating the East Village from the West version. A pitstop at a famous knish joint tided us over. Eventually, there was a peep into Bleeker Street Records – with whole yards of bins of CDs, more hundreds of vinyls on the walls. But nobody seemed to care for questions about Slim Harpo.

photo, urban trash, st marks place Urban trash like you like it.

Almost next door Rocco's Pastries offers soul food for sweet teeth and we had some of that before crossing Bleeker to the pork store. Try Faicco's there, right beside Murray's cheese. Despite the woman customer who asked if anyone could speak English there, I can personally recommend the spicy Italian sausages. After the long haul back to Queens they saved my life.

This excursion began in Paris when Uncle Den–Den claimed that the world's best video shop is in San Francisco. He said it has everything that is banned in America. My guess is that New York City is second to none. The search for Slim Harpo was merely the warmup exercise before the real test begins.

BlogWeek in New York Before, After

See Three Spoons In Queens for the exciting beginning of this tale of holiday delirium in the City. Now playing in November and throughout December, almost exclusively, right here in Metropole Paris. For the latest update, here's the link.

Goodblognight from New York City
signature, regards, ric

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