06 June 2007

Faded Funeral

This sign hangs off a building on the stump of a block that is W. 40th Street between Ninth Avenue and the Lincoln Tunnel. At first I thought the lettering had been faded by years in the sun, and that was the reason I couldn't make it out. On closer inspection, I realized the letters were running backwards. And on further eyeballing, I realized the sign was also upsidedown. I took a few minutes before I doped out the words: Centennial Funeral Home Inc.

The home is right next to a church—good place for a funeral home to be. But as far as I could tell, no embalming was going on inside. It seemed to be a private residence with a couple apartments. My guess is the funeral home went out of business, and the new tenants got tired of being approached for funeral services, due to the remaining sign. So they slipped out the plastic sign from its metal frame and reinserted it backwards and upsidedown, so people wouldn't ask anymore. Of course, now they might stop to ask, "What's that sign say?"

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