It was a cold, January night in London. I was walking through a narrow street, barely looking up over the scarf I wrapped over my nose. My friends and I were headed to another pub and I was still thinking about how cool Regent Street was, when a warmly-lit shop caught my eye: a music store. I had to take a picture. (And I’ll stop right there for a second to apologize for not sharing anything about my vacation in London yet, but patience.)
My first job was working in my grandparents’ music store. I was a skinny, 14-year-old alphabetizing CDs and cleaning plastic dividers like mad. Every time I smell Windex I’m immediately taken to those days I spent hours listening to music, taking inventory and eavesdropping on the 20-year-olds. Empire Records and High Fidelity both came out during this time period – so to put it into perspective how magical it was to grow up in a record store – the culture was pretty much a combination of those two movies.
When I saw the antiquated, familiar sight of a music store – I stopped in my tracks and took that photo you see here. I got a little twinge in my stomach because it’s sad we don’t go to record stores anymore. I mean, I know what happened … first discount retailers like Target started selling music, then Amazon started selling more than books, next was the infamous iPod/iTunes story, and today we have streaming services like Spotify. We stopped needing the music store to buy new music a while ago.
I immediately felt connected to the city. I pulled my cute beanie down over my ears and thought about how we’re all weathering this storm together. I know it’s harsh, but I didn’t want to go in – I didn’t need to.