SODA, CANDY and a SLICE. Signs and places that are gone

by Kevin Walsh

Your webmaster never runs out of ForgottenMaterial. That’s how vast New York City is. Unfortunately, lately the bulldozers seem to be knocking down things faster than Forgotten New York can chronicle any of their historic or unusual aspects. Ideally, I’d have unlimited time to gad about town with a camera, but I am at a desk in Port Washington, NY just about every day with 10 days vacation and six personal days. When you compare it to my periodic stretches of unemployment, I’m glad to be chained to that desk. So, Forgottening has to be done on weekends, which, as you may imagine, are packed.

So, I play MegaMillions once a week and wish I had a staff and some dough-re-mi, like gothamist or curbed.

That’s where ForgottenFans come in. Each day, I get between a trickle on slow days and a torrent on busy days of material to investigate and pictures to post. Some gets done right away and some, for whatever reason, goes into the I’ll Get To It Eventually file. Well today is one of the days I’m getting to it…

For example, ForgottenFan Bruce Fedow writes…

…I thought I could help you out with some interesting photos as I have been a resident [in Sunset Park] on and off since 1969. On the corner of 61 Street and 8th Avenue is a new HSBC Bank with a lot of history-more than I ever realized. When I was a teen it was Harper’s Pub, my second home where I encountered both my first tap beer and stripper. Unfortunately I have no photos of what it looked like on the outside then or any photos of the strippers but here are 2 shots taken inside the bar around 1977. When the neighborhood switched to a mostly Asian populace the bar fell out of favor and closed, becoming a furniture store (Nelly’s Mini Market) until its recent closing. Right after Nelly removed her signs I learned even more about the building. There,eimbedded in the wall over the entranceway was a concrete sign that said “SUBWAY GARAGE” and a date (1923? I’m not sure). I learned from you “what’s there today may not be there tomorrow” so I ran home, grabbed my camera and came back and shot a bunch of photos which I’ve included here as well.

ABOVE: HSBC, 8th Avenue and 61st Street; right, “Subway Garage”

LEFT: inside the long-lost Harper’s, 1977 or 1978. Are there any ForgottenFans in the picture? Who’s that in the photos on the wall? RIGHT: “Subway Garage 1924”

ForgottenFan Hubert VanCalenbergh: The photo on the right (in the 1970s shot) is actually a record sleeve. The record is Jan Akkerman’s Tabernakel and the guy on the sleeve is–you’ve guessed it–Jan Akkerman himself. He played guitar in the Dutch band Focus, who were huge in America back in the early 70s. [hitting with “Hocus Pocus” –your webmaster]

ForgottenFan Jeffrey Morris: Regarding Jan Akkerman, I don’t think that’s a record sleeve; I think it’s a promotional poster for the album, of the kind that record companies used to send out to record stores (and possibly still do) — and the other photos on the wall appear to be more of the same.

The picture to the right of Akkerman
looks like it says Emerson, Lake & Palmer at the bottom — possibly a poster for Brain Salad Surgery (1973) which it resembles, though ELP did release their incredibly pretentious Works Vol. 1 and Works Vol. 2 in 1977.

The picture below that is, if memory serves (somebody), Bob Dylan urinating. I thought it might be the back cover of Street Legal, but that didn’t come out until 1978.

The second picture from the left looks to me like David Bowie. The pictures on either side of it look vaguely familiar, and appear to be a group — I’m thinking possibly Blue Oyster Cult, particularly the one on the left, but that’s a wild guess.

ForgottenFan Brendan Ingram: The poster second to left is not one of David Bowie. It is a poster of Jobriath and I think it’s amazing his poster once hung in public places. 

Bruce: Sure enough about two days later the ancient sign was obscured and within two months the HSBC Bank you see in the final photo is the end result. It’s the same building with a facelift. Going to the smartest subway guy I know I sent Dave [Pirmann] at the photos and asked his opinion. He said it was probably not a facilty used by the BRT but rather a garage that opened after the subway was built in 1914 and used the word SUBWAY in its title. As of yet I have not located any photos of what it looked like in 1923 but maybe you or someone who visits your site can.

Thanks Bruce, Harper’s looked like a blast.















ForgottenFan Benson Fong recently discovered this temporarily uncovered sign for Lonnie’s Coffee Shoppe on Mott Street.

Doug Douglass sent me the Soda Candy Luncheonette on Lexington Avenue and E. 83rd a few years ago. Is it still there?

This was sent awhile ago by whom I forget now. The sign has the old Civil Defense logo, and dates to the Robert F. Wagner administration (1952-1965).

Mike Epstein passed these along a while ago. Bone appetite.


ForgottenFan Bob Mulero, who ascended to the title of King of NYC Lamppost Pics when Jeff Saltzman decamped to North Carolina, passed along these shots of ancient NYC signage…

Fort Hamilton Parkway platform, West End (D) line;  As we’ve mentioned in Lamps, Forgotten streetlighting and signage can often be found lurking under elevated train lines, such as the 1920s-1940s era One-Way sign on Myrtle Avenue, or its 1950s-1970s successor, found on Shell Road (right)