Friday, March 14, 2008

Stuyvesant Curiosity Shop

The facade teardown of the former Galaxy bodega on the northwest corner of 10th St. and 3rd Ave. has revealed a lovely cast-iron column and other architectural details.



It's also revealed bits of signage from the Stuyvesant Curiosity Shop which long ago occupied the space. That word at the bottom is definitely GUNS:






Here's a detail from an old Con Edison photo that probably dates to the 1940s or 50s. Here you can see, as in the above photo, the address number 48 and the word TOOLS painted down the side:



Here is Berenice Abbott's 1937 photo of the place. You can see that the corner column was buried even back then:


Photo: Berenice Abbott via NYPL

I don't know much about the Stuyvesant Curiosity Shop other than that it was a pawnshop and one of those oddball places that lived quite well in the shadow of the Third Avenue El. Next to it was another pawn shop and Sig. Klein's Fat Men's Shop. And next to that was Sipmeier's Restaurant for ladies and gents.

The city planners had high hopes for Third Avenue when they tore down the El, imagining a pleasure promenade. What they got were a lot of nail salons--and here, at #48, is coming one more.

4 comments:

Mark said...

The's a nail spa two stores down. How insane is that?

When I first arrived in the neighborhood, the Curiosity Shop was long gone, and this location was a liquor shop.

Anonymous said...

Very nice catch. Good eye.

Anonymous said...

Remember that other pawn shop on the SW corner of 3rd and 11th that was still there in the 80s? It was like a time machine in there.

I got some nice stuff from those guys before they closed.

la depressionada said...

there were lots of parking lots and pawn shops on 3rd avenue when i moved to saint marks place in 1977.

also a lot of hookers, a hardware store named kaminers where rock around the clock is, a hot tub store where that laundry with the gothic arches that is out now was, and hudson's -- an army navy store.

what has ALWAYS been there is gothic cabinet craft. check out taxi driver they walk up and down 3rd from 14 to 11 or so - it's in there.