Shopping the Rare Gems in Connecticut
Malls and outlet stores are the norm all over the country, but most states have a hand full of unique shops that turn browsing into a spectator sport, including Connecticut.
Since 1986, Brian Gerosa has been at the same location at 246 Federal Road (C-16) in Brookfield, CT. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, vinyl sales were up 52% from the middle of 2014 to the middle of 2015, and Gerosa Records sells a ton! His inventory includes thousands of LPs and 45s, CDs, posters and memorabilia. Walking into the store is like walking back into 1974. Ask any audiophile or radio station engineer, and they will adamantly tell you the sound quality of a vinyl record far surpasses a digital recording. Guaranteed, you will spend a minimum of 30 minutes, and, sometimes, up to a couple of hours just going through albums and 45s. If you're any kind of a music nut like myself, go there. You're welcome!
Believe it or not, United House Wrecking started out as a demolition company in 1954. At the time, Interstate 95 construction was beginning, and many homes had to be torn down to make way for the new highway. What UHW has for sale goes beyond eclectic. From mantels to stained glass, plumbing and hardware to artwork and bedroom furniture, along with hundreds of more items. This is no Walmart. It's a high-end used furniture store and way out of my price range, but certainly worth a couple of walk-throughs.
The Music Guild is one of those music stores that's a throwback from a bygone era. When you walk through the doors onto the old wood floor, owner Russ Mumma will greet you in his legendary, laid back style asking how he can help you. You can't help but notice the mountain of paper on the store's front counter. The first thing you want to do is ask, "How do you find anything in this Mount Everest of paper?" But you hold back because you know that the many who visit the store have already asked hundreds of times.
Once you overcome the clutter, and begin to look around, you'll see dozens of vintage guitars just about everywhere, on the floor, hanging on the walls, and sitting behind the front counter. Everything's for sale, amps, electric and acoustic guitars, and maybe even a trombone or clarinet. Mumma also offers music lessons and instrument repair. Walking into the Music Guild is an adventure. My advice? Give yourself at least an hour to explore, and play a guitar or two.