Urban archaeology: 'Checks Cashed' on the Upper West Side

(Credit: Urbanite)

Photos by Rolando Pujol

Checks Cashed is an old-school Amsterdam Avenue standby. Its name and purpose couldn't be clearer, and its signage bares a treasure trove of defunct or now quaint corporate names that were once in common parlance.

For instance, at Checks Cashed, you can pay your New York Telephone bill, the sign tells you. (In the years since, New York Telephone has become Nynex, Bell Atlantic, and now, for almost a decade, Verizon.)

What's more, you can pay your Paragon Cable bill. (Time Warner anyone?) And even pay your AT&T bill, back when AT&T really was Ma Bell, not the big cell-phone company it essentially is today.

Check Cashed also offers a "Fax Service," and you can play Keno, the "numbers," and New York Lotto. Indeed, its facade and windows are adorned with stickers that offer a lesson on the evolution of the New York Lottery logo.

Exterior wood paneling completes the retro look. Find Checks Cashed on Amsterdam Avenue between West 82nd and 83rd streets.

-- Rolando Pujol

Tags: urban archaeology , signs , manhattan

advertisement | advertise on newsday

advertisement | advertise on newsday