Posts Tagged ‘old New York store signs’

A 1940s handbag store sign comes back into view

February 18, 2019

There’s a handsome building on Lexington Avenue at 73rd Street built in the late 1890s with a ground floor now hidden behind scaffolding.

That’s bad news for the retailers trying to attract street traffic along this slender retail stretch of Lenox Hill.

But it’s good news to fans of old New York store signs, which often reemerge from behind newer signage during construction.

That’s the case with the shop on this corner, which sold handbags—or as the sign painted on the window says, “ladies hand made bags.”

“Custom made,” another painted window sign tells us, hard to see behind the building’s decorative storefront.

How far back does this long-gone bag store date to? Here it is in a 1940 tax photo from the online gallery of the New York City Municipal Archives.

It’s not the best image, but you can make out the same signage that’s at this corner store today, spotted by Ephemeral reader Robert C. Thanks for sending it in!

Italian food stores have New York’s best signs

July 23, 2018

Most of them are in the city’s faded Little Italy neighborhoods—white, green, and red store signs with 1970s-style letters spelling out an Italian surname and the choice delicacies they sell.

Mozzarella, ricotta, tortellini, gnocchi: Whatever the vintage sign says, you know you’re in good hands. So many of these old-school Italian food stores have closed up shop, it’s good to celebrate the ones that remain.

Like Piemonte Ravioli on Grand Street. Established in 1920. Reading the “Made Here Daily” sign in the window makes my mouth water.

Same with Russo’s, making mozzarella and fresh pasta since 1908 on East 11th Street—once the center of a mostly defunct Little Italy in today’s East Village.

Italian cakes and pastries are baked on the premises at Caffe Roma on Mulberry Street, going strong since 1891. I like this painted ad better than their actual store sign.

Park Italian Gourmet was unfortunately closed when I walked by on a weekend. Hopefully because it’s on 45th Street in Midtown and the office lunch crowds weren’t there, not because this Italian hero joint has shuttered permanently.

It’s too late for this Italian bakery with a different kind of sign in the Bronx’s Little Italy centered on Arthur Avenue. RIP.

1970s city store signs that burst with color

March 24, 2014

Treat yourself to a Monday morning explosion of old-school color—courtesy of these New York store signs that give off a very 1970s vibe.

Acepumpsign

Ace Pump got its start in 1936, and still deals in engineering supplies on superluxe 21st Street in Chelsea.

20thcenturygaragesign

I’ve always loved the 20th Century Garage sign, as well as its name, which must have sounded very modern at one time. It’s near Tudor City on East 48th Street. It looks like it was made before the 1970s, no?

Jeromefloristsign

Jerome Florist, on 96th Street and Madison Avenue, has been selling arrangements to Upper East Siders (and the area’s abundance of hospitals) since 1929.

Capitalelectronicssign

Once known as Capital Audio & Electronics, this Duane Street shop took the electronics out of its name, perhaps to sound less 1970s-ish.

Vernonavepharmacysign

Pharmacy signs like this one in Queens—no-frills, no brand names, with a neighborhood vibe—have mostly disappeared from city streets.

Manhattan store signs that explode with color

September 12, 2013

Blue, green, red, yellow, pink—a walk down an old-school city street bathes you in bursting color and light. It makes New York feel magical.

Venierossign

Just looking at the Veniero’s Pasticceria sign (119 years on East 11th Street!) kicks in a cannoli craving.

Pasticceria is a beautiful, lyrical word, no?

Russanddaughterssign

Russ & Daughters Appetizers, on East Houston, is a feast for the eyes inside as well.

This slightly derelict clothing-store sign on Orchard Street doesn’t pop with color, but the light blue and red on the left are the kinds of 1960s kitschy hues you rarely see anymore.

Highstyleshirtsign

The High Style Shirt Company is long-gone; an art gallery moved into the space and uncovered the vintage signage. Luckily they kept it up!

Cloverdelicatessensign

The Clover Delicatessen glows in emerald and pink on Second Avenue at 34th Street. It’s been around since the 1940s.

New York’s kitschy and colorful store signs

March 9, 2011

Dating from roughly the 1960s to the 1980s, these eye-catching relics of another New York don’t take themselves too seriously.

I’ve never been to the Bridgeview Diner, near the foot of the Verrazano Bridge in Bay Ridge, but I like the image of the tipped-forward cocktail glass so much, I wouldn’t mind having a drink there.

A Hello Kitty and a Smurf on one sign? It’s a 1980s kid’s dream place to shop. I didn’t even know they still made Smurfs, but I guess this Chinatown store stocks them.

Ephemeral reader Sheena snapped this one on Schenectady Avenue. I imagine rows of bee-hive hair dryers inside.

Love the crown image with the building number inside.