WHO WE ARE
hopeless music nerds… DJs… vinyl addicts… black crack pushers… basically some obsessive over-involved people with nothing better to do than listen to, talk and write about music all day long… so you don’t have to.
WHAT WE DO
Against all better judgement, we run an independent music store in brooklyn, nyc. To make matters worse, the shop specializes in a variety of marginally popular music styles… mostly on vinyl. It’s a hustle, but someone has to do it.
WHY WE DO IT
We aren’t qualified to do anything else.
HOW WE CAME TO BE….
Well it all started out innocently enough. I just wanted to chill out and play records with my friends in my Brooklyn apartment. Admittedly, our 12 hour sessions before a crowd of 30 or so, got to be a bit much for the neighbors so in 1999 my cousin Stephen, our friend Ben and I opened the original halcyon in a storefront one block from where I live, at 227 Smith St. The idea was to recreate the vibe of my Saturday afternoon record salons and invite the neighbors in for a coffee… all of them. The space had a coffee bar/café that served beer and wine too, rotating art shows adorned the walls and there was a comfy lounge outfitted with eclectic mid-century modern furnishings that were for sale, so the décor constantly changed. Towards the back was the record shop and a little patio. The DJ booth occupied center stage with a sound system that was by all reasonable measures complete overkill, as was the oversized disco ball that presided… We honestly had no idea how people would react, we just opened the doors, turned up the music and let them in to hang out and make the place their own. The rest, as they say, is history. One year later Time Out New York’s annual Clubs edition featured halcyon on the cover, declaring it “The Beating Heart of NYC’s Underground”
Funny… turns out when you take DJs and electronic dance music heads out of the foreboding nightclub and throw them in a day lit space with the general public, the two get on just fine. Straight folk even enjoy reading the Sunday Times to deep house music, which they will gladly purchase too, so long as they aren’t made to feel ashamed for not knowing what it is called. Who knew unless you try, right?
So therein lies the mission; halcyon is about sharing a passion for music and instilling a respect for DJ Culture in a wider community. We’ve gotten into just about every aspect of the scene over the years but those themes have been constants.
In 2004, when the original halcyon succumbed to the socio-economic changes that were sweeping NYC, we opened halcyon the shop, an expanded music retail operation with a gallery and design boutique in Dumbo, Brooklyn’s chic gallery district. In 2008 halcyon became one of the first independent retailers to launch it’s own online download shop with halcyondigi.com, and since we’ve steadily developed halcyonlline.com into a digital publishing platform from which we serve music, media, information and commentary to what is now the widest audience the brand has ever reached.
by halcyon founder, Shawn Schwartz
halcyon the shop
“real brooklyn djs serving real music to real people since 1999″
call 718 260-9299
open daily at 10 am on weekdays and noon on weekends
most nights open until 9pm… or later
By subway F to York Street or A/C to High Street