What's the story with the stretch of Lexington Avenue between the 66th and 59th Street stops on the 6 line? For some reason, right here in the middle of a high-rent district, there is a high concentration of old, unglamorous, shopworn stores. Among them are Empire Artists Materials, Lexington Hardware, Donahue's steak house, Gino's Italian eatery, Embassy Wine & Spirits, Lexington Luggage (which also repairs luggage!) and the second-story Sutton Clock Shop. It's almost a living museum of mid-century mercantile custom. All feature appealing, old signage.
Can't find out much about these places. Lexington Hardware was founded in 1929. Donahue's began life in 1950. They're not the kind of egotistical companies that draw a lot of attention to themselves. Walk in and you'll see some worn linoleum floors and sometimes an old tin ceiling. Maybe an old fixture or two. Not much else.
Are Lexington Avenue-area residents particularly loyal to their local businesses? Are Lexington Avenue landlords extremely kind-hearted? Whatever it is, a walk down the street toward Bloomingdale's makes for an especially New York-ish experience.