Retail signage in Hasidic neighborhoods tends to be of a certain vintage, unchanged for decades. (See Crown Heights Signage.) Walking through these neighborhoods can feel, in more ways than one, like walking back in time. In Hasidic Williamsburg, Brooklyn, walking from Roebling and down the main thoroughfare of Lee Avenue, you'll pass many preserved signs.
There's Gottlieb's delicatessen, apparently a favorite of hipsters. Noted Christopher Glazek in N+1: "In a Wall Street Journal article examining hipster/Hasid commercial exchange, a 25-year-old motorcycle-racing trust funder explained that Gottlieb’s has 'everything — good food, good prices, irony.'"
The hand-painted signs of clothing shops like Sylvia Strasser's and Circle Children's Wear & Dry Goods bring to mind the vanishing Lower East Side, like Orchard Street, rapidly being wiped out by pricey cafes and galleries. Here they remain untouched.
The Times once published a story about the man who sells hats to Jewish hat shops:
"For Wolf Greenbaum of Feltly Hats in Williamsburg, Mr. Lacorazza pulled
out a homburg, which is favored by many Hasidim — 'pious ones,' in
Hebrew. At first glance it looked like every other homburg, black and
round. But Mr. Lacorazza had a surprise. 'You see this finish?' he
asked, running his hands over the fuzzy rabbit fur. It was, he
announced, his new, more textured finish — 'peach.'”
Feltly Hats is above a fish market.
And then there's this guy, the old Bilt-Rite man, a rare sight in the city these days as cobbler shops are shuttered left and right to make room for vegan ice-cream shops and cupcake bakeries. But Lee Avenue feels removed from all that, like a virgin neighborhood. Walking there gives you the feeling that you've taken trip, into another city, far away from the new New York.