Posts Tagged ‘old store signs NYC’

This Second Avenue sign is a visual time capsule

September 7, 2020

Unfortunately the sign doesn’t date to 1885. But that’s okay.

The gorgeous double-decker Block Drug Stores (is there more than one?) sign, at Second Avenue and Sixth Street, has been hanging for decades on this East Village/Little Ukraine corner—a magnificent visual time capsule from an earlier New York.

New York’s vintage drugstore signs are disappearing on us. I know the first one in this post is gone; the other two I hope still exist.

 

What remains of 3 old-school corner drugstores

January 14, 2019

Neon signs, decorative mortar and pestles, brass chandeliers, wood shelves with sliding ladders…there’s a lot to love about New York’s longtime independent pharmacies.

Many of these corner stores have been in business for over a century, yet have somehow resisted getting steamrolled by Duane Reade.

I don’t know how long M&M Pharmacy has been on Avenue M and East 19th Street in Midwood. But the signage, at least, dates to the 1940s.

The corner neon sign with the Rx is a wonderful relic—and when was the last time you saw the word “toiletries” on a store sign?

The English lettering on M&M’s weathered neon sign looks very 1940s (the Cyrillic script, clearly, is not quite as old).

But inside the store, past the wood shelves, are Art Deco–inspired signs at the prescription counter that look like they’re from the 1920s or 1930s. (Thanks to D.S. for getting the inside and outside views.)

Another old-school corner drugstore that caught my eye is Health Wise, on York Avenue and 79th Street.

The website says this pharmacy has been run by the same family since 1992. But based on the gorgeous neon sign that casts a lovely glow at York Avenue and 79th Street, I wonder if the store has been there a lot longer.

Also in Yorkville on First Avenue and East 65th Street is Goldberger’s, in business since the Spanish American War. It’s the signage on the sides of the store, however, that make me feel like I’ve stepped into a noir.

Cosmetics, drugs, prescriptions…and then the fanciful Goldberger’s lettering, in script. New York drugstores had everything. Now if only this sign still lit up in neon!

[Top 3 photos: D.S.]

The old-school store signs of Washington Heights

May 18, 2015

Fans of store signage dating back generations should take a stroll along upper Broadway between 168th and 181st Streets.

Washhtsstoresignreynolds

Here remain some vintage signs—like this classic Cafe/Bar sign for Reynold’s, an Irish workingman’s bar that opened 50 years ago and closed its doors for good in March.

DNAinfo has a terrific story about the backstory of Reynold’s and the bar’s closing.

Washhtsstoresignbicyles

The colorful sign for Victor’s Bicycle makes the place look like a party store. If only it wasn’t partly obscured by scaffolding.

Washhtsstoresignsliquor

Discount Wines and Liquors says it all: cheap booze in a gritty New York shop with display windows that haven’t been cleaned off in years.

Check out more vintage store signs, this time in Brooklyn.

Cool old-school store signs found all over the city

May 4, 2013

You don’t see too many delis with a Te-Amo Imported Cigars sign anymore. This one was spotted above a bodega on Graham Avenue in East Williamsburg.

Teamocigarsignbrooklyn

Did neighborhood delis used to offer shoeshines, as the other end of the sign implies?

Manhattanflowershopsign

I don’t know what was covering up this Manhattan Flower Shop sign, on Manhattan Avenue in Morningside Heights. But I’m glad it’s visible again. The hand-drawn lettering is so charming.

Joejuniorsignthirdave

Is this Joe Junior diner, on Third Avenue in the teens, owned by the same people who ran the late, great Joe Junior on Sixth Avenue and 11th Street? I love a restaurant that spells seafood with two words.

Johnsshoerepairsign

“Factory Methods Used” may have been great advertising in the 1970s. But in today’s artisanal, DIY world, John’s Shoe Repair, on Irving Place, would have to instead boast that they rebuilt shoes by hand.

Salernosurgicalsuppliessign

Salerno Surgical Supplies is also on Graham Avenue in East Williamsburg. Its presence here might shed some light on the average age of neighborhood residents.