As I attempted to enter the doors of this great historical landmark, I stepped around a large tripod and camera, obviously set up to grasp a few final pics of the great icon, Colony Music. The man at the camera looked sheepishly toward me and said, "It's sad to see it go," to which I replied, "I feel your pain... this is where I've gone for music for the past couple of decades and now it's closing?" "Do you know why?" I asked. "I heard the landlords are shutting it down... tripled the rent," he lamented. To this I had no reply, only a mutually tearful eye contact with this stranger,
one who shared my intense feelings of loss.
So I entered Colony Music for the last time. It closed it's doors on the 15th of this September, 2012. I was there the first of September. As I walked through these heavy doors, my heart felt it heavy, too. I carefully took in every sight and sound, trying to memorize it's place in the music world for all time.
Colony Music was located on Broadway. It was just a couple of blocks from Times Square. It has been there for over half a century, delivering sheet music to the masses. I have gone there EVERY time I've been in NYC - it's one of those places I cherished as an experience... not to be missed. Now it will be forever gone. It was not unusual to see some of the major broadway stars at Colony. The staff was been employed for a long, long time. They recounted countless visits to Colony Music from the great producers, musicians, and musical theatre people.
So I strolled through the sheet music and purchased way too much that day a few weeks ago. I talked with the salesmen on the floor. Some were sale folks I've visited with via phone for years and years... it's always been a cheerful interchange, working diligently to help me find the score no matter how difficult the task.
This personal touch will be sorely missed. This is a pic of one of my favorites... he's been there for 15 years. He recounted his grief over the closing of Colony Music... indicating that the rent had gotten too high for them to carry on. He was looking for jobs in the city doing what he loves best... helping people find sheet music... what a career! His smile speaks volumes for the cheerfulness of this place.
Here is one of the shelves of classical voice music. There were thousands, probably hundreds of thousands of selections at Colony Music. Stores like this are being replaced by internet music stores.
There are soon going to be no stores where we can go and browse on a Saturday afternoon.
Colony's shelves were filled with paraphernalia and musical do-dads, too... a.k.a. junk stuff... items which caught the attention of the shopper. The entire store looked like it belonged back in the 50's... nothing much changed from visit to visit. I love the authentic retro look!
Who knows how long this sign has been
hanging outside the entrance to Colony Music!
Right there on Broadway!
Alas, a final look at the store. I feel a sense of sadness just writing this post. It was important for me to mark this passage in my blog. Times Square and Midtown has reshaped itself in the last decade. Disney moved into the center of the Big Apple, replacing many sites and institutions that needed replacing. Times Square is a family friendly place now, and that is a good thing. Most of the dismal, dark, crime infested institutions are now gone. But, too bad the real estate market has forced the closing of some of the positive places... such as Colony Music!
Goodbye to one of the classiest places on Broadway.
Goodbye to a store dedicated to sheet music of all kinds.
Goodbye to a New York City landmark.
Goodbye to you, Colony Music... and thanks for the memories!!
La ~ Ti ~ Do...