by Kevin Walsh

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.

As always, “comment…as you see fit.” I earn a small payment when you click on any ad on the site.



Joe+Fliel September 3, 2021 - 1:56 am

M & F Seafood Market (BEachview 8-2124) went belly up like a dead mackerel sometime in 1941. That was its last listing in the R.H. Donnelley Brooklyn Classified
Directory. Reliance Cleaners & Dyers (SHore Road 5-0933) made its first appearance in the 1946 Brooklyn Telephone Directory. They’ve had the same phone
number for 76 years. The sign dates back to at least the 1970s. Its in the 1980s tax photo for the address.

Duane September 6, 2021 - 12:54 pm

Hey Joe,
I saw on that the “R.H. Donnelley Brooklyn Classified” (predecessor of the Yellow Pages) only goes up to 1943 there. Where on the internet do you view those classifieds from later years?

John September 3, 2021 - 5:20 am

Some things never change!

christopher thomas brady September 3, 2021 - 4:10 pm

Clam Bar in a Fish market?You mean there was an area in the store where you sat at a bar
and ordered and ate clams?

Joe+Fliel September 3, 2021 - 7:22 pm

Correction: the date is 1945, not 1946.

Peter September 4, 2021 - 9:35 pm

Reliance is lucky to still be around. According to some estimates one out of six dry cleaners has failed as a result of This Disease Thing and many others are on very shaky ground.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.