A new boutique and exhibition space called 2 Bridges has opened at 75 East Broadway Suite 205 in Manhattan.
Founded by New York native Simon Gabriel Greenberg, the shop offers new and used vinyl as well as cassettes tapes, books and art. Musically it skews towards leftfield electronic and dance records, with a broad inventory that includes house and techno 12-inches as well as free jazz, ambient music and rap. Greenberg opened 2 Bridges with the idea of "putting music, art and books into conversation with each other, the way they are at someone's house," he told RA over email. "There are a ton of musicians who make visual work along with their music practice, and visual artists who are acutely aware of and into music... so I thought a public space where those things were interacting made sense."
2 Bridges opened this past weekend in the New York Mart Mall, a multi-level commercial space that sits under the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown. In addition to the store it will also act as an exhibition space for art and performances.
Greenberg answered a few of RA's questions about the shop.
What is your background leading up to this?
I'm a Manhattan native and worked in a bunch of different things growing up, though I've always hung around music and book shops. I went to art school here in NYC and ended up working in a contemporary art gallery in Chelsea for ten-plus years. Meanwhile I helped start Good Records, a mostly-used shop on East 3rd St. with my friend Jonny in 2005, while still working in the art world as a day job.
What can we expect from the shop's inventory? How are you picking the featured music and literature?
I've had the idea to do a shop with new leftfield and electronic music for a while now. Especially after Other Music closed, I felt like there was a huge hole in Downtown New York for a place to discover and interact with forward-thinking new music. To think there wasn't a place to easily go cop the new Diagonal or Mego record in Manhattan, I don't know, it just felt weird to me as someone who has always counted on that.
So I decided to do this shop as a way of providing that, while also contextualizing it a bit in terms of other creative things that are happening in art, theory or science. There's a really natural crossover between something on The Trilogy Tapes with a François Bayle record or a book on Islamic ornamental design. A cassette on Orange Milk or NNA has something to do with books about the philosophy of time, or post-capitalist ideas about digital utopias. Mark Fell's music has a lot in common with Thea Djordjadze sculptures and coral reefs. It's all part of the same sort of experimental polymathic umbrella, where these things are syncretic and aware and reacting to each other.
What does 2 Bridges hope to offer that other shops don't?
Besides having an exhibition space and books in addition to records, the Chinatown Mall is kind of a foreign place, and you have to be a little bit intrepid to negotiate it. But I think getting to the place and the mindset is important—it has a disorienting air that makes unfamiliar things seem more normal, so it invites you to take a chance on something you didn't know about before. In that sense, it's a total continuation of the Downtown New York record store model. All the places I used to go, whether it was Kim's or Other Music or Rocks In Your Head or the Sound Library, it was about this whole experience of finding something I didn't know about before to get turned on to.
So at 2 Bridges you can come get a record on a Slovakian techno label with no name on it, but you can also come by and cop a Young Thug record or Anohni or Brian Eno or whatever you would consider more familiar, and know that we're riding for all that stuff together. We have a lot of house and techno and experimental records that are pretty obscure in Europe, but even more so in the States. I always really like going to record stores in countries where I don't recognize most of the stock. It has this wide open "this is a whole world to explore" quality, and hopefully this shop has a bit of that vibe.