I was walking up Avenue A about a month ago when I notice a lot of scaffolded over the building that houses the Gracefully deli—apparently the future home of the New York Sports Club. I peered more closely behind the wood and metal and mesh and noticed that, in their refurbishment of the building, the vandals had taken down the distinctive, vertical, block sign that had for decades announced the address as the former home of Burger Klein.
Burger-Klein was a large furniture store owned by Morris Klein and a person named Burger whose first name I can not discover. My guess is they founded their shop well before the Burger King fast food chain came to prominence. Otherwise, they might have paused before naming their business.
I loved that sign. It had been left there so long it was almost a local landmark, and a nice reminder of the Jewish past of the East Village (then called the Lower East Side). But, of course, they had to rip it down. Because it was old. And you rip down things that are old. Because they're of no use.