Urban archaeology: Surprise under Murray Hill awning
Demolition and business shutterings often bring interesting old signs to light. But sometimes, you can find vintage signs on existing businesses, simply awaiting discovery through a little sidewalk sleuthing.
Case in point: Royal Convenience, which is next to the great Frontier Diner at East 39th Street and Third Avenue. Beneath the bland vinyl awning that we've passed countless times lies this: A hand-painted, amateurish sign for a business called "Town *and* Country." The sign is incredibly faded, and perhaps marked a deli or fruit stand in its day. There's something so homemade and innocent about this sign that we just love -- and it prompts us to imagine it during its glory days. Was the Third Avenue El still around? Were the corporate towers up the street even built yet? One thing is certain: We're happy we know it's there.
-- Rolando Pujol