It’s nearly the day the music died in Park Slope.
The Record and Tape Center, a dusty, cramped record store that has occupied the same spot on Fifth Avenue, near Ninth Street, for the past 38 years, will be shuttered by May 31, the result of an eviction notice that store owner Tony Mignone said came out of the blue.
“I’ve never even been late on my rent!” said Mignone, who opened his store on Fifth Avenue and Sixth Street in 1965, and moved to his present location in 1971.
According to the letter, the landlords, a family that owns several grocery stores in the neighborhood, including the Deli and Smoke Shop next door, wants to use the space for itself.
Mignone, who spends his days amid rows of records and cassettes, doesn’t know what to do.
“I don’t even have a Plan A,” said Mignone, 73, who has been on a month-to-month lease since last fall. “If you move someplace else, you gotta start all over again. I can’t do that. That’s crazy!”
Crazier still, perhaps, is Mignone’s store itself. Looks like a graveyard of musical and video formats, boxes and shelves are filled to the brim with vinyl records while walls are covered with shelves of cassette and VHS tapes. By the front door, there is a glass case full of 8-track tapes. Most of his stock is second- or third-hand, and most dates from the 1980s or earlier, giving the entire store the feel of a time capsule.
Mignone’s friends are trying to convince him to face the music.
“[The landlords] have sent him threats in the past, but it looks like they’re serious this time,” said Neal Goldstein, who is also Mignone’s lawyer.
One customer suggested that Mignone move to Williamsburg — but others dismissed the idea outright.
“Williamsburg doesn’t need another f–ing record store!” said another, older customer. “We need you here!”
And he’ll stay — for two more weeks.
©2009 Community News Group
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