In just the past five years, Carroll Gardens has undergone the same super-gentrification that almost every other New York City neighborhood has. Court Street is filled with loud people on cell phones and stores selling baby things that look like space-age torture devices.
But much still remains of the older Brooklyn. Saints stand under arbors in pizzeria courtyards. Men in black suits polish the door handles of hearses outside funeral parlors. Bakers tie boxes of cookies in string pulled down from egg-shaped dispensers.
One of the places that fascinates me most is this dilapidated little storefront:
Decorations from long-past holidays grace the foggy windows. Peering inside, you see family photographs, magazines, and piles of junk. In the midst of the junk, a pair of wooden shoe-shine chairs, complete with brass footrests.
This is one of those vanishing places that makes you wonder. What's its story? Does anyone get their shoes shined here? And if not, then what?
P.S. Does anyone recall the funeral home for dogs and cats that used to be on Court? "All Pets Go to Heaven," said the big sign out front. I'd love to find a picture of that. If you have one, please let me know.