BARELY THERE. Signs hanging on by a pixel

by Kevin Walsh

December 2009: The end of another Forgotten year.I am hoping for a bigger year in 2010, more ForgottenTours and at least a couple of out of town trips. For the last couple weeks of 2009 I will be posting lightly; this is one of the weeks in which Forgotten NY correspondent Gary Fonville’s contributions come in handy, as he sent in a batch of signs and ads that have been all but obscured or painted over.

[nggallery id=286]

LEFT: FNY has found many Fletcher’s Castoria ads throughout the city. Due to the high quality of paints that were used, many are still visible even after many decades of exposure. However, this one on the east side of Third Avenue near 37th Street in Manhattan is very easy to miss. Undoubtedly it was meant for passengers on the Third Avenue elevated line to see from the trains. RIGHT: This company needs no explanation about its identity. Can be found on the SE corner of Ocean Avenue and Parkside Avenue in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

[nggallery id=287]

LEFT: Many people actually missed this Dutch Boy Paints sign on Franklin Avenue just south of St. John’s Place in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. It was uncovered during the summer and is well preserved. It was removed shortly after it was revealed in all its glory. RIGHT: Wonder what this sign said? Archer Avenue near 168th Street, Jamaica, Queens.

[nggallery id=288]

LEFT: What sign was this letter “R” part of? It can be found at the NE corner of 147th Street & Amsterdam Avenue in Hamilton Heights, Manhattan. RIGHT: A business at 115-125 Walker Street (probably in Manhattan) advertised here at Manhattan Avenue and Eagle Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

[nggallery id=289]

Pedestrians walking on the east side of 8th Avenue near West 16th Street in Manhattan could easily miss this vintage 7 UP sign. Due to a roll down gate blocking the view from the east side of the street, it can be best seen standing on the west side of 8th Avenue.

[nggallery id=290]

A Burger King restaurant sits on the former site of Fairyland Kiddie Park at Utica Avenue & Fillmore Avenue in Flatlands, Brooklyn. The sign cannot be seen from the street but can only be seen when driving to the drive-thru window near the back of the hamburger emporium.

[nggallery id=291]

LEFT: Was this advertiser called Tribeca Lighting at 94 Reade Street, Manhattan? RIGHT: An electronic store’s ad has been overshadowed by McDonald’s on the west side of Jerome Avenue & Burnside Avenue. Morris Heights, The Bronx. Can be best seen from the rear of the downtown platform on the 4 train at Burnside Avenue.

Your webmaster: painted McDonalds’ ads are remarkably consistent — they use a variety of Helvetica with a large x-height that resembles, but is not quite the same, as the font used in the logo itself.

[nggallery id=292]

LEFT: Maybe some history buff can tell FNY what business advertised here at the north side of the Brooklyn Bridge on Robert F. Wagner, Sr. Place in Manhattan. RIGHT: Vines have nearly obscured this sign on 4th Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

[nggallery id=294]

Does Gulshan Pharmacy at Ralph Avenue & Park Place in Crown Heights, Brooklyn think they can avoid FNY’s inquisitive camera? This modern sign attempts to hide an old baked enamel sign for the former Krasner’s Pharmacy.

Photos and text by Gary Fonville