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The Independent Edge

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Downloading music. Ordering books from Amazon. Seeing a big Broadway show. They have their appeal, but do they compare to the old-school immediacy of rifling through piles of vinyl at a record store? Or getting a recommendation from a bookstore clerk that isn’t generated by a computer algorithm? Or happening upon an unknown artist at a hole-in-the-wall gallery in Chinatown? Or dropping into a new, vital culture enclave (see “Neighborhood”)? It’s the thrill of discovery, the excitement of being with like-minded people, the anachronistic but still vital pleasures of experience. This is our guide to the very best in indie culture.


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