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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 local shopping and fashion gurus to provide their hidden retail gems—those unique stores around our fantastic city that we might not all know about. Cue the Beatles: We're about to get a little help from our friends.
Image via Yelp
Noah Johnson is a senior editor at Complex Media and the founding editor of Four-Pins.com, a new—and extremely witty—menswear site. Here, he fills us in on where he likes to channel his inner high school band personality.
Full disclosure: I'm hardly a musician. As a kid I played the saxophone for the school band, I can play guitar well enough to impress people who have never picked up a guitar before, and, thanks to the Lanikai I picked up at Pentatonic Guitars, I can strum a ukulele with a modicum of competence. Pentatonic on Franklin Street is a musty, poorly lit music shop that's more like some aging rock 'n' roll zealot's basement than a retail space. The instruments—mostly stringed—are hung side by side on wall racks, on the ceiling and in clusters on the hardwood floor.
There's so much beauty in the strangeness and obscurity of these noisemakers—the toyish banjolele, the cartoony sitar, the aggressive-looking electric guitars. I drop in regularly, even if my purchases are few and far between. In addition to the uke, I've bought an electric tuner, a new set of strings, a book of chords meant for children. Most of all I like to wander around the cramped space and pluck at the strings, sample the different sounds, imagine for a moment that I might be the next world's greatest mandolin player.
· Pentatonic Guitars [Official Site]
· Four Pins [Official Site]
· All Shopping Confidential Posts [Racked NY]