The mystery building on Second Avenue and 5th Street has acquired an unfortunate new decoration.
A flowered curtain has been hung halfway up the second-story window. It covers from view the dusty, plastic-shrouded dinner jacket that has been displayed there for decades, capturing the imaginations of curious passersby who bother to look up.
today, my flickr
Goggla alerted us to the change, saying in a panic, "I walked by the 'haunted' 84 2nd Ave this morning only to find a floral bedsheet covering the window! I just knew something was going on with this place... A couple of months ago, I saw a work crew taking wood and junk out of the ground floor from the door that has the padlock on it. What do you think is going on?"
"I was just thinking this morning that it could very well be that the suit has been in the window since the day I was born and that thought thrilled and fascinated me...and then I rounded the corner and saw that sheet. I hope I've not cursed the place, but something about it has been making me nervous lately."
today, my flickr
We're all a little nervous about #84. There are those of us who watch it and wait, anxiously, for the day when it will be sold, when a multi-millionaire will turn it into a grand mansion, or the ground floor will be converted into a trendy farm-to-table restaurant, and all the mystery will be sucked away.
A few years ago, Jill did some deep investigative work on the place and its grisly history, discovering this news item from the January 18, 1974 New York Times: "From the Police Blotter: The nude body of a 40-year-old woman propietor of a tailor shop that rents tuxedos on the Lower East Side was found bludgeoned to death..."
As a neighbor told Jill, "The top floor is exactly the way it was when the daughter was murdered and you can still see the powder where the cops dusted for fingerprints."
June 26, my flickr
It seems the shop has stayed virtually frozen in time since that terrible moment. The dinner jacket, never hired out to a party, is white beneath its dusty plastic, and the shirt and tie are the orange sherbet color of baby aspirin. Above hangs a crooked neon sign announcing DRESS SUITS TO HIRE. The ITS in SUITS is broken and dangling.
Those of us who watch and wait dread the day when this melancholy tableau will disappear. Now, for reasons evermore mysterious, it has just halfway vanished.