Hideo's violins, 2015

“There’s something magical about instruments,” says Diane Mellon, manager of David Segal Violins Ltd., a quaint violin repair store that has been loyally “serving music and musicians” since 1975, at the corner of West 68th and Columbus Avenue. And it really is quite magical to visit this place. Beyond its small, dusty windows is a Cabinet of Curiosities: an enchanting assortment of instruments of all shapes and sizes that is both disorderly and beautiful, the cozy atmosphere only enhanced by walls decked in artwork and the subtle scent of varnish in the air. After thirty years, Diane still remembers the exact date when she started working here: on January 2nd, 1982. For her, picking up a violin meant the beginning of a new life, one that allows her to enjoy what she does every day and nurture her love for music. That same love has led Hideo Nagai all the way across the globe from Tokyo to New York, where he has been an assistant violin repairer here since 2012. With a dream to someday open his own music store, he is truly a modern apprentice at whose hands a three-hundred-year-old tradition lives on. Like the musicians they serve, the friendly faces at the store come from different corners of the world and different places in life, each with their own unique sounds. To any skeptics out there, the story of David Segal Violins is a testament to how music really does bring people together.