I was staggering around Fort Greene on a mild February Saturday. The rain had not arrived but it was coming up fast. In my estimation, I had about an hour to get in the daily FNY foraging, because I melt in the rain. I don’t talk about the weather in here, but I despise rain. You will find very few rainy FNY photos, and I despise when I have to do a tour in the rain. Snow is another matter: I’ve done entire shoots in snow; in the Blizzard of 2010, the day after Christmas, I went about 6-7 miles in Morrisania in the Bronx, figuring whatever miscreants there were in that tough part of town would be indoors.
As I passed a joint called The Hungry Ghost on Fulton at South Oxford, I spotted an old friend: this 1940s-era Pepsi-Cola awning ad, which has survived through any number of regimes here. The last time I spotted this sign it was in 2004 and I was taking a walk down Fulton between downtown and East New York with Mike Epstein, who was then running a site called Satanslaundromat, so named because he lived at 666 Fulton.
Back then the sign was hanging outside J&S Tire Shop in an era when Fulton Street was, we shall say, a bit more rough and ready than it is now. Since then, the craft beer and designer coffee crowd has taken over, and Fulton has become a bit more homogenized.
But nevertheless, the Pepsi sign has persisted, as Mitch McConnell might say, probably because it would be a pain in the ass to take it down.
That’s probably why FNY is still around after all these years, too.