BRONX ADS

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FORGOTTEN NEW YORK hasn’t been to the Bronx nearly as much as it should have been, and we’ll see if time can correct the error. Meanwhile, we’ll depend this week on two of FNY’s more voluminous contributors, Gary of the MTA and Christina, the Queen of Queens who is touring the Bronx on this occasion, for some images of forgotten businesses, of which the Bronx is rife.

In the early 20th Century, going a few blocks without seeing a Fletcher’s Castoria ad was impossible. This unusual one, with its twin scripts, is on East 134th Street between Alexander and Lincoln Avenues.
Photo: Gary Fonville

In the early 20th Century, going a few blocks without seeing a Fletcher’s Castoria ad was impossible. This unusual one, with its twin scripts, is on East 134th Street between Alexander and Lincoln Avenues.
Photo: Gary Fonville

An “adductor” is a muscle; Foot Adductor Shoes is remembered only by an ad on the lobby floor of a bike shop on the Grand Concourse near Burnside Avenue.
Photo: Gary Fonville

Former Park Theater Building, on Louis Nine (that’s NEE-nay) Boulevard, formerly Wilkins Avenue, near Boston Road, now a laundry.

Royal Cleaners, Featherbed Lane near Macombs Road (two roads with stories to tell that will be on a future Forgotten NY page)

Tremont Garage/Scanlon Furniture, Bathgate Avenue near Tremont Avenue.
Photos: Gary Fonville

Before the howls begin suggesting I’m in Yonkers here…we’re just Borderline Crazy™. This ad is actually on Nereid Avenue, safely inside the Bronx line. According to ancient ad maven Walter Grutchfield, The Bowl-O-Drome opened in 1942, modernized its name to the McLean Bowling Center in 1986, but gave up the ghost in the early 1990s. Your webmaster misspent his 1970s Saturday afternoons watching Brooklyn keglers Johnny Petraglia andMark Roth battle the Dave Davises, Dave Soutars and Marshall Holmans on ABC’s bowling coverage hosted by Chris Schenkel* and Nelson Burton Jr. (when he wasn’t in the top five finishers himself). Bowling shows up now mostly when ESPN can’t find a rerun in the early morning hours. Your webmaster would average no better than 150 in league play, finally giving up the sport for good in 1979. Not before earning a letter from St. Francis College though!

*In 2004, Chris, 81, was in an Indiana hospital, suffering from emphysema; he covered NY Giants football for 13 seasons, 10 Olympic Games, hundreds of college football games and of course, 33 winter PBA tours for ABC. He retired in 1997.

I’m glad the iconic big Z in the Zenith logo has held up all these years. Honig’s isn’t at Webster and East 205th anymore.

Looks like normal modern storefronts along Broadway near West 230th Street eh? Stroll around to the back of the stores, which face the Major Deegan Expressway and used to face the old NY Central Putnam Railroad…

…and you will see what used to be here! Including Benson’s discount children’s clothing at 5548…

I’ve never seen the Bronx referred to as “Upper New York” before. And that’s quite an ad to live up to. I suppose I won’t be able to test the claim anyway.

You won’t stay in business too long if you can’t spell carpet. In names like Krispy Kreme™ it’s an understandable gimmick (even if the do-nuts aren’t krispy and usually have no kreme).

This one doesn’t seem dated.

Probably got Barnes & Noble’d out of existence. Your webmaster still has his typewriter, just in case this computer/web thing is just a fad, which it probably is.

Who knew Plato was such a swinger. According to Jim Naureckas, the real Plato’s in its heyday reportedly attracted such celebrities as Richard Dreyfuss, Madonna, Sammy Davis Jr., Jesse Ventura, Paul Newman, Rodney Dangerfield, Ron Jeremy (naturally) and John Wayne (John Wayne?). It was shut down on New Year’s Eve, 1985, a victim of the AIDS epidemic.

Well?

Scientific fitting, eh. Maybe they mean the Brannock Device.

Your webmaster didn’t take any of the photos on this page. The Broadway shots were by Christina Wilkinson; all others by Gary Fonville. Page composited September 18, 2004

 





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  1. Pingback: A Walk from Brooklyn to Garden City, Part One

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