Thursday, March 12, 2009

Faerman's Cash Registers

Back when the International Bar reopened, I learned about Faerman's Cash Registers on the Bowery. There's one of their vintage "tombstones" at the bar, shiny and spiffed. I put Faerman's on my list of places to visit. Last summer, I poked my head in, chatted a bit with Brian, snapped a few pictures, and promised to go back for an interview. Never did.

This week the New York Times beat me to it.

In James Barron's interview, he talks with Bernard Faerman, age 86, and his son, Brian, about life on the Bowery and years spent repairing the analog cash register, "the kind of machine that is slow. It is thoughtful. It is onomatopoeic. Ka-ching."

"Once the Bowery was cash register heaven," writes Barron. "Beneath the old Third Avenue el, among the restaurant supply stores and the flophouses and the down-and-outers who lived in them, stores trafficked in cash registers."

In a time when the Bowery (and the city) is being bulldozed by a tsunami of development, it's always heartening to hear these words: "They own their building, and the son says it is not for sale."

Photos from my flickr


Anonymous said...

Seems like a fair number of bars in the neighborhood still use the old cash registers....Aside from the International, Mona's, Sophie's and the Grassroots come to mind... I hope enough that keeps Faerman's in business...

Anonymous said...

My favorite was ex-Marine Paul Ruggiero, the self-proclaimed "king of cash registers" at 200-1/2 Bowery. He used to tell stories that were truly incredible—like his being a championship swimmer, his paying for restoration of churches in Queens, etc. These colorful guys really lived life—unlike the nouveau-riche who are taking over the Bowery.

Anonymous said...

Dream on, peeps. Their days are numbered.

Anonymous said...

Keep the machines going....shows what America was...My family was the last owners of the Ponyhouse bar...this is the building NCR started....Thank You