Posts Tagged ‘New York street signs’

An old delicatessen sign hidden on First Avenue

April 1, 2013

AsorganiccleanerssignFirst Avenue in the teens is lined with non-franchise, mom-and-pop stores that look like they’ve been there for decades. That makes it a good stretch to scout out vintage signage.

There’s a nice one underneath this awning between 15th and 16th Streets, advertising an organic dry cleaner. That’s the kind of business the neighborhood supports today.

But at some point in the past, a delicatessen-restaurant occupied this spot, probably a casualty of changing tastes and an influx of new residents.


But I bet the place did a nice business for years thanks to the residents of Stuyvesant Town across the street.

City signs that should have been spell-checked

November 12, 2012

New York street signs are a fascination of this website—very old signs and wonderfully ornate ones in particular.

But misspelled signs are fun too, like this one an Ephemeral reader sent over. It comes from Robert Wagner Middle School on East 76th Street. Hopefully it kept all the “loiters” away . . . .

City sign makers have put up some other fails in recent years. My favorite is this street sign from 2008 that was briefly installed in front of the Angelika Film Center on West Houston. Merser Street?

Another gem is this, um, Bleeker Street subway station sign, from May 2007, caught by a blogger at

I’m assuming it’s been fixed since then, but who knows?

Gothamist has a fun compilation of other bastardizations and typos here.

Faded street signage of an older Manhattan

May 24, 2012

On a rundown tenement in Harlem, this street address affixed to the building as kind of a scroll is a bit of random loveliness and a reminder of a more fanciful city.

The other corner should have one that says “Fourth Avenue,” the old name for Park Avenue, where this residence is located.

It’s awfully hard to see this faded cross street carving, found on the Soho-Tribeca border. Look closely and you can make out “Greenwich S.” and “Spring S.”

The most frequently seen sign in New York?

August 10, 2011

Are warnings against loitering the most commonly found (and most likely ignored) signs posted in front of New York City stoops and doorways?

They might be, and they certainly appear to qualify as the most commonly spotted vintage signs, as these examples attest. All over the city, you’re told not to loiter via warn out and antiquated lettering.

The one above is attached to the front of what’s now called Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School at 120 46th Street.

From the 1940s to the 1980s, it was the High School of Performing Arts. The sign looks circa 1955.

Some of the best No Loitering signs further define loitering: parking your butt on the stoop, as this Harlem sign above spells out.

Notice how “menus” has been added to the list of no-nos? That must have happened in the 1980s, when New York was suddenly buried in a blizzard of takeout menus.

The first and last signs really mean business: they hope to keep people moving along by threatening arrest.

I wonder how long this weathered aluminum sign has stood out on an East Village building—and how many people cops arrested for violating the law.