07 April 2011

Columbia Street Shop Has Always Been a Stinky Killing Floor

Residents of Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Columbia Waterfront District like their history, but only when it's convenient. For instance, the latter neighborhood, which is west of the BQE and north of Hamilton Avenue, doesn't have much in the way of historic businesses. Most went under long ago, the victim either of Robert Moses' construction of the Expressway, or the City's long excavation of Columbia Street in the 1970s. The former killed most of the businesses on Hicks Street. The latter caused many of the storefronts on Columbia to literally fall to the ground in a heap.

But some shops did survive. It's just that they're not always the ones Yuppie nostalgists would have wished to keep around. Take the slaughterhouse above, located on Columbia north of DeGraw. On any given day, you can walk by and hear tightly caged fowl, clucking out their last few minutes until they're chopped, plucked and sold. Geese, ducks and rabbits also meet their maker here. The smell that emanates from the open store is appalling.

Many locals have long campaigned for the butcher's ouster. But if it ever does get the heave-ho, it will mean the exit of one of the last historic businesses in the area. For this address has always been a place to purchase newly killed birds, as the picture below, from 1935, attests. In fact, it is only one of two operations on Columbia Street that date from before World War II. (The other is a hardware store.) For this reason, I'd hate to see the slaughterhouse, as atrocious as it is, go.


Harold Square said...

Oh dear heavens, we wouldn't want to offend the delicate sensibilities of upscale locals with the unpleasant odors of real work being done. Maybe they could construct an underground delivery system to the fancy new restaurants so the refined diners don't have to see where their Coq au Vin comes from.

Tinderbox said...

That's what all that countryside "out there" *gesturing vaguely west* is for: to supply New Yorkers with all of the things that they don't want to think about how they're originated. Isn't the rest of the country just a subservient support system for NYC?