All this nostalgia thing, BTW, started when I posted Holding a book in one's hand before buying and Anne and I bemoaned the long ago demise of independent bookstores in Stamford, and we went on a roll talking stores in general. Although we are a generation apart, there are a number of places we both miss. Such as the Cheese Shop in the High Ridge Shopping Center…today, you'll have to drive to Darien to get the same kind of personal service, and it's closer for Anne than for me.
Back to independent bookstores: The Barrett Bookstore, now in Noroton, started out in Stamford, on Summer Street, in the free-standing building just below what was then the Stamford YWCA (of which I also have a memory, for another day). I was a steady customer there. The advent of the Mall drove the store to the High Ridge Shopping Center, to a cozy little place which David Rose took over from a little old lady who was ready to retire. And then came Bassett Books (now Borders), and that was soon the end it, and Barrett's moved to Darien.
Similarly, the Phonograph Shop on 66 Broad Street, around the corner from Summer Street, was an early casualty of the Mall. The owners were James Perez and Richard Sorenson, though I don't remember anymore who was who. But whoever it was, he was a friend in need! I'd see a music review in the Times and would walk over to order the record, and James (or Richard?) would say, "Oh, I got that for you already!"
Another friendly couple were the Rubinsteins, mother and son, who ran Sherry, Wine & Spirits on Bedford Street, about where the Capriccio Café is now. The son dispensed sage advise on wine; and over a cup of coffee or two, Mrs. Rubinstein and I would talk classical music, endlessly …
So, what are your memories?
Photos courtesy The Stamford Historical Society.