You could explore Grand Central Terminal for years and not discover all of its many exit/entrances and passageways, the odd places to which they lead you. Recently, I exited from the train via a nondescript set of turnstiles that led me into a shopping arcade I can't remember ever encountering before.
Located under the Chanin Building, it's one of those little corridors
lined with useful, independent businesses, the sort you used to see in
the city all the time. One utterly entranced me.
The cobbler's shop's exterior is perfectly preserved, covered in advertising from more than half a century ago. SHOE SERVICE, it reads, and HATS CLEANED.
O'Sullivan's is not the name of the shop, but a brand of rubber heel. As is Neolite.
In one window, a pair of colorful neon cowboy boots (with spurs) advertise REPAIR and SHINE. An odd choice for a city shop, and therefore a rare sight.
Inside, heavy antique machines do the work.
They do shines while you sit in comfortable chairs, and repairs while you wait in those little modesty booths.
This is the second time I've seen these booths--the first time was at Jim's Shoe Repair, where they are arranged not side-by-side, but train-car style.
I don't know the name of the shop. It might be called Ideal Shoe Repair. I was told it dates back to the 1940s.
Protected deep beneath the gorgeous Art Deco lobby of the Chanin Building, it has survived relatively untouched. Like a rare and endangered orchid found hidden in the wild.