The old Carroll Gardens salumeria Latticini Barese closed up for good in 2002, after 75 years in business. But for those of us who loved the place, there was always the old painted ad on the side of 138 Union Street—the cheese shop's former home—to comfort us and nurse our nostalgia. It is simply, bar none, one of the best faded ads in all of New York City. And I've always been grateful to the real estate office that took over the space that they never painted over it.
Now, it might be in danger. The real estate office has moved out (there never seemed to be anyone in there, anyway) and the building is up for sale, for just under $2 million. The building is not in a landmarked area, and could be torn down. While I think that is unlikely (there are six apartments inside, all occupied and three of them stabilized), there is the chance that a new owner would want that ad gone so as to make the building look "modern," or in order to be able to sell that wall space to another advertiser. Land owners and developers are not sentimental. To destroy that work of old world art would be a crime.