I've said it before, I'll say it again. Hardware stores are some the sturdiest businesses in New York. In nearly every neighborhood in New York, you'll find at least one longstanding, family-owned hardware store. They give a guy hope.
Vercesi Hardware on E. 23rd Street was one of the oldest in town—and increasingly incongruous on a major thoroughfare that had virtually nothing old about it. Sadly, it finally gave up the ghost last November. Now, it look like the building, and two others next to it, will be torn down and replaces with a 20-story condo tower.
Vercesi Hardware actually wasn't a hardware store for all of its 100-year existence. It began in 1912 as a sheet music store. (Tin Pan Alley was nearby.) Then, it was a radio and television store during the 1930s. It only began to sell hardware and housewares beginning in 1960. There's adaptability for you.