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The real 'High Fidelity': The little record store that could

The Audiophiliac enthuses about his favorite local record shop, Future Legend.

Michael Emerson is a Future regular. Steve Guttenberg

UPDATE: I just heard the sad news that Future Legend will be closing its doors later this month. I have personally bought more than 200 CDs over the years from that little shop, but now I'll have to go elsewhere for my weekly fix. If you're in NYC drop by and pick up bargains, starting today, 2/6/08, Future Legend will begin selling all merchandise at 50% off the sticker price.

I want to tell you about my favorite record store, Future Legend. I drop in every week to see what's new, and talk about music with the New York shop's owners, Paul Ruggiero and Greta Perr, both seasoned veterans of the record biz.

Future reminds me of the neighborhood record shops of my youth, and it's a great place to hang and meet music lovers. When I dropped by Friday I ran into actor Michael Emerson, (Ben), from the TV show "Lost." He was doing some last-minute shopping before going off to Hawaii to start shooting new episodes.

We Future Legend regulars appreciate it, and probably all share a secret dread--this is the end of the line. We know that what we get here is irreplaceable. Every week or two I see one of us thank Paul or Greta just for being there. When was the last time you thanked a store for being there?

Checking out the latest vinyl sides at Future. Steve Guttenberg

Future offers a surprisingly deep selection of rock, and a broad range of jazz, blues, R&B, reggae, soundtracks, country and folk--and Future mixes each artist or band's new and used CDs together, so it's easy to find bargains (which are cheaper and way better sounding than iTunes). Paul and Greta are always on hand to answer even your most obscure music question, which sure beats the hell out of staring into the cold glare of a computer screen. Oh, and there's a healthy selection of new and used vinyl treasures. If you don't see a CD you want, Future will special order it and have your music in just a couple of days.

Yeah, the music business is in shambles and they say the only hope, if there is any at all, is downloads. We'll see, but the little shop just celebrated its fourth anniversary, outlasting Tower Records, which closed last year.

So if you're lucky enough to still have a local record store, support it. For midtown New Yorkers, this is it. Future's on 9th Avenue, between 52nd and 53rd streets. Give the store a call at (212) 707-8180. And no, it's not on the Web--Future Legend is for real.