19 November 2007

Lost Grocery

Abandoned signs spellbind me.

I'm talking about the store signs that remain in place even though the business in question has gone the way of the Dodo and a new shop has taken its place. (And I don't mean the ultra-hip, Lower East Side concerns that leave the old signage up for irony's sake; I mean the placards that stay put due to laziness, apathy and inertia.) How much can it possibly cost to remove a sign? Doesn't the new owner grow annoyed by the daily, constant reminder of an outfit than no longer exists?

Walking down Fifth Avenue in Sunset Park (a wonderfully ungentrified strip, by the way), I noticed this lonely little yellow-glass banner sticking out over the sidewalk. But no grocery there was. To the right was a 30-minute photo place. To the left something called H&K Cartoon World. It was hard to tell which space the grocery had occupied. The ghostly beacon offered not hints except that it once advertised a business that was open 24 hours.

I bet you it stays up there another 20 years.

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