10th Avenue: Brimming with character
Our camera draws attention in the window, which is atop a collection of signs, including a brilliant hand-painted affair. (Photos by Rolando Pujol)
To find reasonably undisturbed pockets of retail character left in Manhattan, the edges make a productive place to hunt. A walk down a swath of 10th Avenue last week yielded some pleasant finds in this old Westies stomping ground. Highlights include a mini-empire of shops run by "Sonny," a 1950s-style hotel sign, a Latin record shop, and some ghost signs for player pianos right on a townhouse's facade. Photographic evidence of our excursion, which went from the high 50s to 42nd Street, continues after the jump:
-- Rolando Pujol
Finally, a place to pay our New York Telephone bill. This sign has happily not been updated with the names NYNEX, Bell Atlantic or Verizon. Perfect.
Looking for wine and spirits? On 10th Avenue, a stop at Adriatic is in order.
Le Soleil sells Haitian food, and was doing a brisk business.
What a useful store. Shoes, sneakers, watch batteries replaced, hair cut and on and on, all packed into a small space. This is a perfect example of the kind of shops neighborhoods rely on, and that are never replaced by "high-end retail."
Here's Sonny's Meat Market. And across the street ...
is Sonny's Grocery store. And on the facade above survives ...
ancient ghost signs for a player piano factory!
Lily's is jampacked with balloons and other fun stuff.
Stop One, one of two bodegas by this name along this stretch.
Cash R Plus: It's a pharmacy, and so much more.
Fat Sal's: Love the light bulbs around the sign.
Somewhat bland, computer-generated lettering is saved by the ring of colorful light bulbs a la Fat Sal's.
We know lawyers put out their shingles, but wow, we didn't know that included Pizza Hut-style wood-shingled canopies. Pretty wild. We dig it.
New York's "wurst" restaurant is right here on 10th.
Recent renovations produced a canopy that doesn't quite fit with the sleek mid-century vibe of the sign and the hotel behind. But it's still interesting. New York Songlines says the back of this hotel was once dug up in search of Westies victims back in the day.
An intact Latin record shop in central Manhattan. Music to our ears.