A ghostly store sign returns to view on Avenue B

Humble, homemade-looking store signs used to be more prevalent in Manhattan. Now, one of these unadorned signs—for an unbranded cosmetics and gift shop—is back in view at the tenement storefront at 205 Avenue B.

Nothing about this former store seems to exist in archives or old neighborhood photos, making the sign a ghostly remnant of a very modest-looking local business.

How far back in East Village history does this sign go? I’m not sure, but the store may have been selling makeup and gifts up until about 40 years ago. The sign reappeared sometime after Raul Candy Store closed in 2019, 38 years after setting up shop at 205 Avenue B in 1981, per EV Grieve.

h/t: Ghost Signs NYC

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11 Responses to “A ghostly store sign returns to view on Avenue B”

  1. countrypaul Says:

    “Down home,” even in Manhattan….

  2. Mykola Mick Dementiuk Says:

    Here’s another Ave B glimpse, many years ago I saw Beauty & the Beast there, in French 🙂

  3. Mykola Mick Dementiuk Says:

    Oops here it is https://paolo-streito-1264.tumblr.com/post/676087454848139264/jonas-mekas-the-new-york-1960s

    • countrypaul Says:

      Boy oh boy, that scene looks bleak!

      • Mykola Mick Dementiuk Says:

        On a rainy day of course, it looks bleak, but I grew up there and lived there for over fifty years and it didn’t look that bleak to me. But I suppose I’m biased to it, of well…

    • Kelly Says:

      Ohhhh, how wrong @countrypaul is. Your photo does not look “bleak” at all. Magnificent NY in her glory days. I must say my favorite are the late 70’s and 80’s. Truly the most dynamic city on earth at the time.
      Now….not so much. Sadly, today she feels very much like a manufactured Disney tourist town.

      • countrypaul Says:

        Agreed re: the Disneyfication of NY. It’s coming too close to being “Anywhere.”

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      This photo hits me deep, specifically the movie theater. Watching a movie used to be a shared experience, and often that led to a sense of community with your fellow theater goers. Now we stream from our couches.

  4. velovixen Says:

    When I first moved back to New York, in the fall of 1983, I lived on 14th Street (the south side) between Avenues B and C. Many people thought that block, and the city, were crime-ridden hell-holes. What I found, in contrast, was a neighborhood with stores like Raul’s Candy and stores like that cosmetics shop (or, at least, what I imagine it to have been). And the bricks of those buildings, it seemed, glowed with the sunrises and sunsets, not only because of their russet hues, but because of the essences of the lives lived and work done within the homes and shops those bricks comprised.

    Today they’re being replaced by glass and chrome boxes that do nothing but reflect back at each other in much the same way that chain stores and restaurants mimic each other from one city or town, one state, to another.

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      I was just talking to a 1980s East Villager about the bar that’s long since been called Mona’s but used to be a tough place called Ritchie’s. I’d love to do a post on it if you have any recollections.

      • velovixen Says:

        I visited Mona’s a couple of times but probably can’t tell you more about it than the person you were talking to. And I don’t recall Ritchie’s, though I’ve heard about it.

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