Friday, January 16, 2009

Where will I hang out now?

I know this was announced months ago, but now that the date is getting closer, let me just say how sad I am that the Virgin Megastore in Times Square is closing in April. It'll be replaced by the clothing store chain Forever 21.

When I'm by myself in New York, the Virgin Megastore is one of my favorite places to hang out in Times Square before or after a show. And at the end of my trip, I'd stock up on some $10 CDs and DVDs. Although I have to admit, the ear-splittingly loud music they played did cut down on my browsing time considerably.

I'm not sure what I'll do the next time I get to Broadway. I love The Drama Bookshop and I always stop there, but it's not as centrally located. I can only spend so much time looking at tchotchkes in the souvenir stores. (Although I always pick up a few Broadway show magnets.)

This reminds me that during my last trip to the city, after seeing Road Show, I looked all over the place for a copy of Stephen Sondheim's Bounce and struck out everywhere. Well, the three places I tried: Virgin, the Barnes & Noble across from Lincoln Center and the Borders at Columbus Circle. And it wasn't a quixotic quest. I know I've seen it in a store somewhere over the past couple of years.

Why did I even bother? Why didn't I just wait until I got home and order it online? Well, I do buy online sometimes, or from iTunes. Call me old fashioned but I like browsing in actual brick-and-mortar stores. I like flipping through bins of CDs and DVDs, the thrill of finding some unexpected, long-sought treasure and the instant gratification of buying it on the spot.

Yeah, I know, sometimes I'm so 20th century.


Vance said...

I actually thought Century 21 was going in until someone re-corrected that. Too bad cause that would have been about the only thing I could think of that would fill that space nicely.

I really have no idea what store will REALLY work in that space for 14 times the rent, especially in this economy.

Sarah B. Roberts said...

Hang in the Broadway Lounge on the 8th floor of the Marriott.

Kevin Daly said...

I second Sarah. The Marriot lounge is a fantastic place to go when you need to kill some time. It doesn't afford the browsing like the Megastore.

I love shopping here and am sad to see it go, just like I was three years ago when they shut down Tower Records. Unexpected treasures + instant gratification = good times.

Stay away from Colony, they wants arms, legs and I think a kidney for their merchandise.

Dale said...

I didn't know it was closing! That's too bad. I remember having the soundtrack to Spring Awakening in my hands mere minutes after seeing the show and of course, I've done that with other shows too - I must have the music! Oh! There's the Virgin Megastore! Damn!

Esther said...

I'm with you, Dale. I bought the "Billy Elliot" cast recording right away, even though I couldn't listen to it until I got home!

Thanks Sarah and Kevin. I've stayed in the Marriott Marquis a couple of times but I don't think I've ever been to the Broadway Lounge, unless that's the same floor where you check in or same floor as the theatre. But I will check it out. And in nice weather, I can sit on the steps at the TKTS booth and people-watch!

Yeah, Vance, it's hard to see how a giant clothing store that's in every mall would do a great deal of business. I wish it had been something more oriented toward entertainment.

Dorian said...

As far as Bounce, I saw a copy in the HMV (music/DVD chain. Possibly only Canadian) on the corner of Toronto's Yonge & Bloor streets (which is not unlike a poor man's Times Square), but I sadly did not have the money to purchase it!

Esther said...

Thanks, Dorian. I'm glad it wasn't just a figment of my imagination! Yeah, it is kind of expensive. I probably will end up ordering it from Amazon. I was waiting, thinking maybe there would be a recording of "Road Show" but I haven't heard anything.