03 September 2009

The Awning Police Claim Another Victim


Some people consider a brand, spanking new awning on an old business a 100%, super-duper improvement, hiding all sorts of backwardness and dirty, unsightly evils.

Then there's the other camp that thinks the gentrifying cloth awnings homogenize everything and rob each shop and store of the idiosyncratic character that it's built up over the years.

Submitted for your approval: Jam's Stationary, an age-old business in the heart of downtown Greenpoint. Above we see it, not too long ago, in all its old-school glory, sans awning. Now, see it below, as it stands today. Red traded for green. All those little side signs ("Paperbacks" "Hobbies") now hidden.

I'll say no more. What do you think? Duller? Snappier? An improvement? A desecration? Or just no big deal, not even worth thinking about? Weigh in.

4 comments:

ironrailsironweights said...

The old sign's picturesque, but it also might be obsolete because it refers to things the store probably doesn't sell any longer: sporting goods, hobbies (which I assume are things like model airplanes), paperbacks, maybe party goods. I don't know how practical it would have been to have modified the sign to remove these items.

Peter

MartinD28 said...

Of course no awning is better....except when it's raining. What's really "Lost City" are those roll-up awnings, you know, the kind that The Three Stooges would fall through when leaping out a window. Those awnings were rolled down on an as-needed basis by the store proprietor. You'd have the best of both world's with those: signage and protection from the elements.

Mr. Lee said...

I am with you 100%... The changing face of NYC is a sad one as this is yet another step in the wrong direction.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me they have baskets outside
of the store with merchandise perhaps
that and the new awning are linked to
rain protection of the sidewalk goods?
Ironrailsandironweights has brought
memories of store ownwers in the 1940's letting me crank the store
awnings up or down when I was a little boy,what ever became of those
great shade and rain shelters?