I always liked the Star Shoe repair shop on Bleecker at Crosby. In business since at least 1985, and probably much longer (some say 60 years, some say 70), it had good signage and a nice, jumbly interior that only comes with advanced age. It also looked good next to a corner grocer with an old Optimo cigars sign.
Lost City liked it too. Last year, he wrote, "The world inside is very old Village. Vagrants, drifters, grifters and
neighborhood eccentrics seem to recognize that they will not be given
the bum's rush."
When its landlord (it's in the Empire State Bank building) covered the side with plywood, I was concerned. But Star Shoe endured in its old spot.
No more. The building has renovated and upscaled the side, wiping out Star Shoe, the corner grocery, a locksmith, and something else--a Chinese take-out joint maybe. It had been an odd little corner of the old New York that had yet to be sanitized away. Whenever I walked by, I wondered how long it would be before this happened.
Now it's all gone.
Star Shoe does survive, however, moved into the building's basement under Two Boots Pizza. Just before it moved, EV Grieve featured the amazing, must-see interior photos of the place taken by Gudrun Georges.
The shop is much harder to find now, almost completely out of sight. It will be a challenge for them to get foot traffic. I hope their regular customers know where to go.