Saturday, March 28, 2015

Party No More on 10th

More new windows & shutters on 10th Street, but by late yesterday morning the winds of change had not yet drifted up as far as the (former) VFW Post 9485.

A couple of hours later though, it looked like it was time for action..

Will party room rentals be part of the MTA retail plan?  I have my doubts.

Friday, March 27, 2015


I finally got round to seeing A Most Violent Year, at a noontime showing in an almost empty theater.  In the restroom, after the show, there I was discussing the film with a movie-goer who'd been sitting a few rows ahead.  Moral ambiguity & liquid soap made interesting partners.
It's a great film, and for city dwellers, a location-spotting dream.  My favorite spot?  Hard to choose, but maybe the New Utrecht subway station, which appears in the movie at a moment of high dramatic tension.  This one's definitely up there in my subway station pantheon - an above-ground vision of romantic dereliction!

In the trailer, the station appears at around the 2:09 mark,

and here it is three years back. Does the 2012 station actually look more decrepit than the screen version of '81?  I think it just might ...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

At the Station

The new-look Fourth Avenue storefronts.  According to the MTA, the stores will be ready for occupancy by 2016.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Closed at 10th

About this time last year the longtime Estevez grocery store, at 10th & Sixth, closed down, and to my surprise, several months later, the Sunset Park Deli appeared in its place.  The name of the store itself was either quite out of touch for its location, or absurdly ahead of the curve trend-wise (the latter unlikely). It didn't bode well. The deli started out as a 24 hour business, though I think it curtailed its hours after a while.  I often passed the store in the late evening, and there was barely ever a customer inside.   Quite often you'd see a worker sitting outside, killing time. I felt bad for the business.   Corner stores don't have the custom base they used to, unless they're on a busier avenue, like Fifth or Seventh.
Sunset Park Deli closed quietly, within the last day or two.

And the replacement?


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Leaving Soon

197 22nd Street

Sold in January for $1,200,000. No approval as yet for proposed four-family.
As if to cause confusion here, there are also plans afoot for a demo & new four family at 197 23rd Street, which sold in December for $850,000.

Autoshops, Queensbridge

Monday, March 23, 2015

From This

to this

Fifth ar 40th. There are four shuttered stores on this side of the block.

Saturday Evening: BQE

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Into the Forties

Turn the corner of Fort Hamilton at 49th, past the 3 in One Kitchen.  Under the Maimonides pedestrian walkway to 10th, stopping for a hot dog at John's House of Weenies,

past the brick semis housing hospital offices, past the inevitable building site,

past the grandiose junior high, funereal in black,

beyond 9th, down past Post 1357, the Lt. Stanley W. Erickson American Legion, where the sun catches the Mustang out front, & one photograph will never be enough,

down to 8th, and Fashion I Am, across from the empty lot tagged DCEIVE SNOMAN, past the home help leading the tottering couple into a cab, across from the bleak apartment slab, breaking a rowhouse run,

past a line of barreled brick, past St. Agatha's, at Seventh,

down to 6th, & the Flushing Meats truck, idling at the curb by Gonzalez grocery store, and down, down, best of all, the steep dip down to Fifth on Sunset Terrace, harbor in sight.  And home along the avenue.

Saturday, March 21, 2015


50th Street - Fifth/Sixth.  A look at a Sanborn Insurance Map shows how sparsely developed this part of Sunset Park was in 1888, with lots in the street grids largely empty, and not completely subdivided.


I think this is one of the houses on the map, though I might be wrong. It's on a double lot today, with another small house set farther back, and some kind of building behind it.  Worn down by time, but still a thing of beauty.

Above picture, Google Maps

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Prize

I took altogether too many pictures of this Pontiac Grand Prix, parked on 15th by Santini's and the fire-damaged 243.  With this car, and this block, every angle's a winner.