Frozen-in-time stores from 1970s Hell’s Kitchen

Back in August, an Ephemeral reader emailed me some photos he had taken in the early 1970s on Ninth Avenue from the West 30s to the 50s as part of a college sociology class.

Hellskitchen1970sa&pI posted four of these wonderful moments of a vanished time: scenes of unglamorous shoppers and neighborhood folks going about their day.

These photos are from the same reader. They focus less on people and more on the storefronts fading fast or gone forever, a small A&P food market (they used to be all over Manhattan) and a no-name barbershop that could never make it today because it has no gimmick and capitalizes on no trend.

[Wait, update: According to readers, the barber shop is still there. A different facade, but they’re still cutting hair!]


If you look at the stores on either side, you can see that one is a Borden’s Ice Cream shop, the other a meat market.

I love the little kid on skates playing hockey in the street. No helmet!

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15 Responses to “Frozen-in-time stores from 1970s Hell’s Kitchen”

  1. Force Tube Avenue Says:

    Thanks, Wild

    I really like that A&P. It’s hard to imagine that A&P was the “Walmart” of its day; the giant that some feared would devour all commerce. By the way, in the A&P window are the letters “WEO”, which stood for “Where Economy Originates”, an A&P slogan at the time.


  2. your name here Says:

    Great photos. Amazingly enough, the barbershop AND the pole are still there at #664.

  3. Jeffrey Says:

    I believe that Barber Shop is still going strong! Don’t count Mom & Pop out just yet. If you do a Google map search for 664 9th avenue, I think it’s the very same.

  4. wildnewyork Says:

    Wow, thanks for this, you’re right—here it is on google maps. The painted window sign is gone but the pole can be seen behind the truck. And there’s a meat market two doors down. I’ve amended the post:,664+9th+Ave,+New+York,+NY+10036&gl=us&ei=JsPAUO2-E-fO0QGry4GAAw&ved=0CC4Q8gEwAA

  5. On the Market: Decorating with Taxidermy; An Eco-friendly Luxury Rental In Bed-Stuy; Oscar Neimeyer, Architect Who Dreamed Brasilia Dies – Says:

    […] of photog Arne Svenson. [NYT] The unassuming storefronts of Hell’s Kitchen, gone forever. [Ephemeral NY] Brooklyn Heights residents are sick of film shoots. [DNAinfo] Brazilian architect Oscar Neimeyer, […]

  6. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Amazing how small townish the area used to look in the 70s. Did I live through that and prowl those same streets? Boy, oh boy…

  7. William Krause Says:

    What can be seen & inferred from the A&P store building: Judging from the house number, it’s on the south side of the street, about 6 long blocks west of 5th Ave. The building’s façade has been ‘modrenized’ by the removal of its arched, decorative top-of-the window brackets(?) still present on the bld’g to the left. The house on the right sports a thru-the-window room air conditioner. That window has been tastefully shortened & altered to a double-door ‘french’ style. . . a lot of work evident, to hold the cooler. Having one was a big step forward for city dwellers at the time. Street shadows make the scene late morning. And the hockey stick looked like the 25-cent model; 15-centers lacked the broad blade at the bottom. Dad

  8. HKNYC212GIRL Says:

    I grew up in that area and passed the building where the A&P is in the picture thousands and thousands of times. I know exactly where it is….it is actually across the street diagonally from where the barber store is *see pictures* above. The A&P Store is next to the corner fruit store, which is still a store and has been for over 40 years…They are both located on the West side of Ninth Avenue closest to 47th Street. The barber shop is on the other side of Ninth Avenue closer to 46th Street. My brother used to get his hair cut there, so I was in that shop all the time. By the way, it is still there as of December, 2012 when I was last in the Kitchen….I am imagine it will still be there. Don’t underestimate size..the barbers in that shop were the best and they were always busy..always….if anyone is interested in writing a book/documentary on HK…please contact me at….

  9. Michael Says:

    Corner fruit store was Mazella’s. Store next to the “3 aces barber shop” is Harry’s Candy Store and Tony’s Meat Market

  10. John Newsome Says:

    I was born in Hell’s Kitchen (1965) and played roller hockey so I wish I could see that kids face better because I probably know him. (might even be me)

  11. j Garison Says:

    i believe that might have been ganci brothers barber shop I have a picture from 30″s or 40″s but its hard to see.

  12. John Nelson Says:

    I like the comment about “these businesses would never make it today because there’s no trend or gimmick.” I’m starting to notice that society in 2017 is a bunch of followers. One person runs with a trend or idea and people go after that til they’re quickly bored of it. You have to have this, do that, or look like this. Less individual ideas.

  13. J. Richard Villarin Says:

    Extreme right of the picture (Borden’s) was a candy store named Izzy’s, where as kids we could get chocolate egg creams or better still, chocolate ice cream (that had these little silver sugar bb’s) on cones. Also being the source for comics and baseball cards, Izzy’s was an important place to us kids.– by the way, yes, that barber shop is where we used to get out A-1 haircuts, and those guys are actually still there. It was a typical barber shop with pictures of prizefighters and girls in swimsuits, and, as you can see in the window, they sold flexible combs and brushes. The candy store is a cell phone store now.

  14. J. Richard Villarin Says:

    Yes, the candy store was called Harry’s, but the guys who ran it during the 1960s were Izzy and Seymour (noticing comment from Michael from 2013)

  15. George Says:

    The barbershop has just closed, as recently as 2 weeks ago.

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