22 December 2008

That's Mr. Louis to You

It's always seemed appropriate and correct to me that there was a shoe shine and repair shop in one of the street-level storefronts of the Empire State Building. It's a classic New York skyscraper and shoe repair is a classic Gotham line of work.

Louis Shoe Rebuilders is, by my estimation, the oldest surviving business among the ground-floor stores in the Empire State. It's outlived lunch counters and various other holdouts over the years. But there's a funny thing about Louis' that I didn't notice until a recent visit. It was established in 1921. That's ten years before the Empire State was completed. So the old structure can call Louis Daddy.

Makes me wonder, however, where Louis was before it took up space in the Empire State.

No comments: