FOR 8 years or so, from 1982-1990, I lived in a railroad-flat type apartment at #654 73rd Street, which until 1960 or so was smack in the middle of the block between 7th and 8th Avenues but when the Verrazzano Bridge approach was constructed, took its place at the corner of 73rd and the western 7th Avenue, which became two 7th Avenues, both one-way, on either side of the expressway between 66th and 83rd Streets. Though the insulation was horrible and the apartment temperature dropped into the 60s during the winter, it was my favorite of all the places I have lived mainly because it was my first apartment I lived in on my own. The initial rent was $300 a month and rose only to about $450 when I moved in 1990 only because the landlord told me he wanted it for his daughter. (A few months later, after the place had been renovated, the landlady invited me back for a $300 raise in rent; I turned it down.) I even had parties in the place—given my solitary temperament, some will find that surprising. I had people smoke their pot outside though.
While I was there, this was my dry cleaners, at #7717 5th Avenue, a few blocks away. In the Everlasting Eighties, I didn’t think too much about its venerable blue vinyl sign. But there we are, 40 years later, and it’s still there. Why remove it? It does the job.
Was it there at #7717 5th in 1940, when this tax photo was taken? Nah. I’d date the blue sign to the 1950s or so. I was recently in Bay Ridge for a dentist visit so more scenes from that day will crop up here soon enough.
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