“Meet the Locals” is a series featuring our local business owners, their ventures, and the places they call home.
In the center of Hastings-on-Hudson, about half way down Spring Street you will find a table with bins full of vinyl records set up outside a storefront. This is Clockwork Records, a record store owned by local Hastings resident, Mike James. A record collector his entire life, Mike has been buying and selling vinyl for about twenty years. He describes himself as a born rock and roller and a child of the 1970’s. Music has always been an influential part of his life ranging from the Irish music his mother exposed him to, to the punk rock and new wave his older cousins were playing for him as a kid. Therefore, opening up Clockwork Records and officially making his avocation into his vocation wasn’t a difficult transition.
When you walk into Clockwork, you enter a sea of vinyl. With album covers and band posters covering the walls, the coolness of the space rubs off on you instantly. If you are interested in records the Clockwork experience is a kin to the cliché of being a kid in a candy store. But if you don’t know anything about vinyl, you are in good hands and will receive open-minded guidance from the experts, Mike and his shop associate, John.
Curious about the types of inquiries Mike receives being such a niche business; I asked what the strangest album request anyone has made. His response was, an Ace of Base record, which he has never seen. However, he is very quick to clarify, “nothing is really strange to me…I didn’t open the shop to be a music snob.” He conveys that music is supposed to be enjoyable, you’re meant to have fun with it and there’s something for everyone. He tries to stock and collect what he and his associate, John, know about, but is always open to giving a new album or genre a try.
Clockwork has been open two-years as of May 1st, 2015. When asked about choosing Hastings-on-Hudson as a location for the store, he responded that the village has an “eclectic feel.” So many artists, musicians and actors have made Hastings their home that he thought the residents would respond well to this specialty business. And while he does have local clientele he also has a broader customer base who come from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, & Rockland County. As Mike says, the location is “so close to he city that people don’t mind taking a trip up here on the train or drive from the outer boroughs.” He describes the metro north ride up as a “pleasant ride” and always likes to send the out-of-towners down to Maud’s Tavern for a beer and a burger.
A big fan of the local “mom and pops,” Mike makes every effort to support the other local businesses within the community. For example, most days he prefers to go out for lunch at one of the local eateries such as Taim’s Falafel shop or French Press Café.
What Mike enjoys most about living in The Rivertowns is the “proximity to the city without being in the city. The advantages of being close to Manhattan without having to pay Manhattan prices.”
Simply put, Mike says, “I’m very happy with the way things are going here.”
Clockwork Records is located at 6 Spring St, Hastings-On-Hudson, NY 10706
By: Jennifer Collins
William Raveis Legends Realty Group