Posts Tagged ‘OR telephone exchange’

Faded signs on the Lower East Side

March 21, 2009

T & J Auto Repairs is on Delancey Street in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge.


 I love that they use the old OR phone exchange (for Orchard). OR remains in a handful of other old signs and faded ads up to East 14th Street.

The battered and weathered ad below is for two separate businesses. P. Zaccaro Real Estate was founded by Geraldine Ferraro’s father-in-law. J. Eis & Son sells (sold?) air conditioners.

And at the very bottom, there’s the Orchard exchange again.


Vintage signs in the East Village

October 13, 2008

You don’t see many references to “permanent waving” these days. This old-school beauty parlor is on East 14th near Avenue A. “OR” stood for Oregon, but why that word became an East Side telephone exchange is a mystery.

Russo’s on East 11th Street turned 100 years old this year, a tasty remnant of the Sicilian immigrant neighborhood that thrived in the early decades of the 20th century between Eighth and 14th Streets and Second Avenue and Avenue A.

The neighborhood even had its own protector, the Black Madonna of Tindari. A five-foot statue of the Black Madonna sat in the window of a storefront shrine at 447 13th Street (now the Phoenix), and once a year on her feast day, September 8th, she was paraded through the streets.

The Black Madonna’s heyday began in 1905 and ended in 1987. Check out more info about her and the Italians of the East Village here.