09 April 2010

Christmas at A & S

I found this picture about of the Christmas tree that, as I understand it, was always placed in the center of the elevator bank at the old A&S department store in downtown Brooklyn. According to old timers, A&S was particularly magical at Christmastime. The elevator bank today is pictured below.


Lori said...

I worked extensively on the exterior of this building and had to travel to all kinds of nooks and crannies of the building to get to the ledges I needed to get out onto. There are some REALLY wonderful places still left untouched in this building that they obviously just don't know what to do with. Way up on the top floor is what looks like an abandoned cafe - for lack of a better word. Its a small, intimate glass enclosed room that is always filled with light. I think they do photo shoots in it every now and then, but you can tell its left over from another time. If you sneak behind the scenes and get yourself lost, there are lots of amazing spaces in this building.

JakeGould said...

Wow! Thanks for posting this.

Born in 1968, grew up in Brooklyn and one of my family’s holiday rituals (or basically, just once a month ritual) was to goto Downtown Brooklyn, check out what was in May’s, Korvette’s, Woolworth’s and A&S. We stopped at all of them. But A&S was something else.

It was a genuine department store. The elevator bank would have that huge tree which blew this Brooklyn Jew-boy's mind, and they would have an express elevator that ran straight to the toy department up on the 5th or 4th floor.

It was really a special experience even if we didn’t buy anything because of those little touches. Heck, they had a genuine soda fountain down in the basement (Nedick's?) that made trudging through the men's department more bearable.

I now live a few blocks away from the Macy’s that was once that A&S and it’s not the same. I know that is cliche, but it kind of blows my mind how much the space and features of the place are squandered nowadays. Especially the elevator bank which is now 1/2 counter-space.

Randy said...

A&S had a bakery in the basement that sold the best spice cake topped with a chocolate ganache icing. My mother would always make a stop there whenever we shopped. My sister and I still long for another slice. Anyone have any ideas how to get the recipe?