Thursday, March 19, 2009

Court Street Shine

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.


Ken Mac said...

we have a place like this on Downing Street. Used to be plumber's storefront, now empty, walls covered in old photos, a giant shark (really), and metal model planes hanging from the ceiling. Empty for a couple years...

JakeGould said...

Oh that place! I've seen the guy. I think he owns the building and the shop and is just happy to have it as is. I have seen him sell one thing: Green tennis balls for neighborhood dogs.

And I also have a picture that has "All Pets Go to Heaven" in the background right here:

This shot was in May 2001 when they had a neighborhood street fair with a small wrestling ring. Pretty amazing event! They announced they would have it the next year but the cops shut them down and now just a regular street fair.

Jeremiah Moss said...

jack, that photo is fantastic in many ways. the wrestlers on court st! all pets go to heaven! i love it. thanks so much for digging this up.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, great photo!