162nd Street in east Flushing, almost Auburndale, seems to be making a comeback after a couple of years suffering under a sewer replacement project. Here are three venerable institutions in the shadow of the LIRR Northern Boulevard overpass. Oddly enough I’m told Steve’s Coffee Shop has been on the block longer than any other business on this strip, but in my 14 years in the neighborhood, I think I went in just once!
I lived on 159th Street from 1993-2007; this was my butcher, though the awning sign always had covered this venerable linoleum sign I never suspected was under there. In around 1999 this shop closed and I patronized a different butcher a block further south, another traditional shop with sawdust on the floor. Then they too closed, as did the local supermarket. I don’t know what people around here do for meat any more.
In that butcher shop hung a photograph of what 162nd Street looked like in 1922, when it was known as 22nd Street. Everything on the west side of the street was unrecognizable except for these two attached houses, which are still there.