J&R is one of (or the?) last big music retailers in the city. Despite the Lady Gaga thrills, the scene is a bit dingy, in a comfortable way, & there's no frantic sales scene. On the second floor, the shopping was sedate, and an elderly salesman in the gospel section had plenty of time for chuckled memories of Southern country stores. Another clerk looked up an item for me (John Waters Christmas!) on the oldest computer monitor I've seen in years, & the ladies of the checkout worked slowly, with a tart, weary efficiency. How civilized the whole experience felt.
When I'm at J&R, I like to head over to the corner department & stop at the cafe. There's free internet access, a decent cup of coffee, & a strangely satisfying view of the floor below. Not much happening in accessories on an early Friday evening.