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NYC’s midtown gets a cool indie makeover with hip new shops and restaurants

f you’re dreading the holiday trudge through touristy midtown this season, you’re in for a surprise: Rockefeller Center is rockin’!


Tucked behind the Art Deco façade of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, in a space stuffed with some 10,000 vinyl records, there now lives a rock lover’s paradise. Rough Trade, an independent record store from London, opened at 30 Rock in June after closing its Williamsburg location in March.


It’s helping usher in an edgy vibe to the long-stodgy area, bringing live performances to the outdoor Plaza and inside the famed 65th-floor Rainbow Room alike. Last month, the rarified venue played host to British post-punk band Dry Cleaning and Brooklyn’s The Muckers.


“I feel like it brings a lot of indie and alternative artists to [those who wouldn’t] necessarily hear or see them,” said 24-year-old shopper and East Harlem resident Christian Salhany, of the store’s presence in the district. “It just shows the resurgence that the city can have, and it’s ever-changing — and it’s great.”

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