Monday, July 8, 2013
I like this stretch of 18th Ave., just off McDonald. I seem to have been collecting quite a few of these clusters of stores recently. Discovering individual older businesses is always interesting, but when you get a group of them together, that haven't much changed in thirty or more years, you can stand across the street, block out the modern vehicles, and feel you've left 2013 entirely. Liquor store, Europa Custom Tailors, Peter's Barber Shop, and the Brooklyn Driving School (founded 1981), with a website that itself looks pretty vintage. The school's specialty is motorbike instruction:
"Always ahead of his time, it was Donato (Pinto) who created the method of Motorcycle Instruction (with the radio's and the speakers in the helmets) that we still use today. We are the first and only school ever to teach using this method! Through the years, it has proven to be THE BEST way to effectively teach people how to safely ride a motorcycle. Accordingly, he taught himself how to use computers and managed to develop the first computerized 5 Hour Class presentation. "
Or on the other side of McDonald, still on 18th, look at this grouping. The fabric store - half its sign gone - with torn aluminum siding that almost matches the only garment in the window. What ruins of romance in the lonely yellow dress and its dark veil. Two stores down, Yussel's Housewares, no stranger to fabric either, with a classic striped awning.
It was tempting to follow 18th all the way to the shore, through Borough Park and into Bensonhurst, but this would have to wait for milder weather. So I walked as far as the shuttered kosher bakery at 51st, and back past Herbst Mehadrin Meats, which had a steady buzz of customers. An old striped awning here too, along with the peeling emblems of the trade: a chicken underneath the butcher's block, and a mosaic of neatly divided cuts of beef.