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New York City has more stores than anyone could physically tackle, but somehow we always keep returning to the usual suspects. To break out of the rut, we've asked some of the city's shopping and fashion gurus to provide their hidden retail gems—those unique stores around our fantastic island (and beyond) that we might not all know about. Cue The Beatles: We're about to get a little help from our friends.
Photo via Cobra Guitars
Today's subject is Wade Oats, lead guitarist of NY-based band The Virgins, who just so happens to know a thing or two about what makes a guitar sound good. His store of choice: Cobra Guitars in the East Village, which he frequents weekly to get his Peter Tosh fix as well as a chance to watch a true artist in action—the store's owner Jimmy Cobra.
"Cobra Guitars! I go to this place about once a week to service my ailing guitars and to listen to Peter Tosh, which is constantly playing. At this point, I don't own a guitar that hasn't been either built or rebuilt by Jimmy Cobra (with the help of Brian Monty). Cobra has a particular neck profile that he carves all my necks into. The guitar playing/owning industry is so flooded with bad taste that it is almost shocking to find a guy who makes guitars you actually crave. His own brand guitars are so pretty and independent from one another that I often come in just to see the work, much like a visit to an painter's studio. And Mas Hino, who also works out of the shop, makes the best sounding basses I have ever heard."—Yale Breslin
· Cobra Guitars [Official Site]
· The Virgins [Official Site]