Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Lunchtime, Jamaica

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to spend Friday lunchtimes walking around my work neighborhood, in Jamaica, Queens.  Last week I visited the Sri Chimnoy diner, Smile of the Beyond, a favorite spot for Mahavishnu Orchestra hangers on & other assorted oddballs.  I was going to put something up, but ran out of time that day & it will have to wait.  I'll probably visit some of the other Chimnoy sites in the area, & maybe even get to the late guru's compound, & then I'll report back.  Today I took a stroll along Hillside to 146th Street, then down to Jamaica Avenue, and back along Sutphin Boulevard.  I wanted to go further along Jamaica, but my forty-five minute time deadline stopped me.   This stretch is right around the courthouses, so it's full of lawyers' offices, bail bond stores, and shops buying gold, silver, diamonds, or pretty much the clothes off your back.  There's also a huge number of real estate offices, and some interesting looking Central American restaurants.  Here are a few scenes from my lunchbreak.

Hillside Avenue

Rini's Becomes As-Salam

The superbly bitchy sounding Envy Nails, Jamaica Ave.

Blarney Bar, Jamaica Ave. (that Hot Lunches sign is the interesting touch - sort of an old school phrase on a rather dull, modern sign)

99c Dreams, Sutphin Boulevard.  Is there a more melancholy store name anywhere?  There's a much bigger 99c Dreams in Red Hook, but I don't know if it's a chain, or if some inspired retailers independently hit upon the same title.  The good thing about this place is that it's 99 cents or less. So many of the 99c stores are 99c & up rip-offs, and most of the merchandise is way more expensive.  I'll have to check this place out.

God is Good All the Time?  Oh come on, this is a pawn shop!

Cash in a Flash, Sutphin.  This is also, more prosaically, known as  Kharag's Pawnshop. It has a couple of nice 70's (?) signs  intact.  How about the desperation of handing over that prized guitar for a few bucks?  And stereo - huh - what's that?

This sliver of a liquor store (on Sutphin just off Hillside) has some great signage, and what I guess might be a liquor license number on the window front.  The vertical sign looks a good deal older than the handpainted one, which has some nice curvy lettering, and the kind of bottles that denote some basic alcohol requirements.  None of that fancy crap here                              

1 comment:

Marty Wombacher said...

Great signs and observations. My favorite is the 99 Cent Dreams sign! Talk about keeping the expectation bar low! Nice photos, thanks for the tour!