A recent Sunday outing offered this reminder: When possible, look at old familiar things in a new light. The first of these photos, which I took several years ago, from a distance, shows a pair of surviving signs that are easy to spot, although their patterns of deterioration are unaccountably different. The sign closer to the corner grocery (now under different ownership) insists that "all cars transfer to Bloomingdale's"; subway or elevated-rail cars, that is. Another, slightly less-weathered example with the same motto can be found a short ways uptown. Little remains of the second sign shown here, but even by itself the name Chas. H. Fletcher heralds one of the most readily identifiable old ad campaigns in the city.
Only recently, after I got up close on a bright day, did I realize that the Bloomingdale's and Fletcher's signs had company. The grayish rectangular patch in line with the second-storey windows turns out to be a scavenged metal sign, which today covers a hole originally cut, perhaps, for a through-the-wall air conditioner. The sign faces inward, but since the lettering is embossed, digitally flipping the sign reveals the text: "Ice cold Coca-Cola sold here". Thanks to the current corner grocrery, that's still true.
Bloomingdale's, Fletcher's, Coca-Cola
Surviving signage, 2122 Second Ave. (at 109th St.), Manhattan