Alex Carozza, 88, NYC’s last accordian repairer and his assistant (93) have just retired taking with them the art of accordian repair. They are not the only ones who have gone.
Once there was a strip of 48th St, near Times Square, so full up with shops selling and repairing musical instruments that it was called ‘Music Row’. And when they were there musicians and rock gods from around the world beat a path to their doors and eagerly paid top dollar for the best of the best.
But technology has changed everything about how music is produced, played, recorded and listened to and so accordians and other instruments have become less popular and so expensive to produce that the number of dedicated craftsmen dedicated to making and servicing them has shrunk to a very small number.
So NYC no longer has any accordian repairers, not even very many dedicated guitar repairmen and even it’s piano showrooms have all but vanished. It’s sad but also a testament to the way in which NYC continually re-invents itself.
It doesn’t always do this because of rising property prices and gentrification but primarily in reponse to the changing tastes of New Yorkers. So at any one time what can truly be said about this great city is that it truly expresses the sum of it’s resident’s choices in one way or another.