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Coney schlock stores (Read 2630 times)
West 32nd
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Coney schlock stores
Apr 4th, 2017 at 3:55am
 
Does Coney have any good schlock stores these days?

There was a very good one -- "Fred's" -- on the northwest corner of Mermaid and Stillwell.  Old-timers will remember it.  This was before the day of the "dollar stores."

Fred's was extremely schlocky, in the best tradition of mid-20th Century NYC schlock stores.  You never knew what you'd find there, plus the inventory changed almost daily. 

I understand that that property has an interesting history. 

Once a library, if I recall properly.
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Capt_Nemo
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Re: Coney schlock stores
Reply #1 - Apr 4th, 2017 at 7:44pm
 
not sure which came first, the schlock store or the library, but the same building housed both.

The building is gone.  it is now a standalone McDonalds.

Bruce
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Its all about the land between the Aquarium to Keyspan, south of Surf Ave.
 
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Lunaparker
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Re: Coney schlock stores
Reply #2 - Apr 4th, 2017 at 7:55pm
 
Are you thinking of Jacks? It was located at Mermaid and Stillwell Avenues. I recall another schlock store on the south side of Mermaid Avenue in the West 20's. DII is considered a schlock store by some although some local residents hold it with higher esteem. Not that a schlock can't have esteem.

...
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West 32nd
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Re: Coney schlock stores
Reply #3 - Apr 5th, 2017 at 9:55am
 
Yeah..."Jack's."  Thanks, Lunaparker.

Lousy memory ability here, but at least I had the number of letters correct.   Wink
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Lunaparker
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Reply #4 - Apr 5th, 2017 at 7:02pm
 
Yes West 32nd, you remembered the correct number of letters. Concerning the library, it has been located on Mermaid Avenue and West 19th Street since at least the early 1960's. This New York Daily News Article discussing the branch's reopening in 2013 makes reference to the fifty year-old electrical system being one of the many structural damages caused by Sandy one year prior:  http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/coney-island-library-back-article-1...
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West 32nd
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Re: Coney schlock stores
Reply #5 - Apr 5th, 2017 at 9:33pm
 
Lunaparker wrote on Apr 5th, 2017 at 7:02pm:
Yes West 32nd, you remembered the correct number of letters. Concerning the library, it has been located on Mermaid Avenue and West 19th Street since at least the early 1960's.

Very familiar with that library branch, Lunaparker.    I wouldn't swear by it but I want to say it's been there since sometime in the 1950s.  As a kid growing up in the West End, it was my local library. 

I remember they had an area in the library designed for young readers.  Little kids.  Little tables, little chairs.

Anyone who knows -- What's the story with the Brighton Beach library branch?  I assume they also had Sandy damage.

When I became a teenager and my mother allowed me to wander off on my own, the Brighton Beach library became my default library.
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Capt_Nemo
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Re: Coney schlock stores
Reply #6 - Apr 5th, 2017 at 10:15pm
 
At the main Public Library, there was a photo of the corner store when it was a library.  Took a photo of it some years ago.

As far as BBA branch, it just recently reopened after being rehabbed.  Not sure if damage from Sandy was the main reason or not.

Bruce
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Its all about the land between the Aquarium to Keyspan, south of Surf Ave.
 
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Lunaparker
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Reply #7 - Apr 9th, 2017 at 10:28am
 
Captain is correct West 32nd. The building that housed Jacks was the location of the Coney Island branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. Scroll through the slideshow you will find the photo. http://www.bklynlibrary.org/locations/coney-island/photos

Based on the cars I would place the photo c1940. The current building is definitely mid-century modern.

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West 32nd
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Re: Coney schlock stores
Reply #8 - Apr 9th, 2017 at 11:42am
 
Thanks, Lunaparker.  I have no personal recollection of the building at Mermaid and Stillwell being a library, but I definitely remember when it was Jack's.

Maybe someone reading here will know, but I'm thinking that the Brighton Beach library opened sometime during the 60s.

A long time ago, but I have a vague recollection of that branch being new back then.
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Lunaparker
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Reply #9 - Apr 9th, 2017 at 12:52pm
 
This enlarged section of a photograph taken by Stephen Matzat dates the Mermaid Avenue location of the library to 1955. That date is consistent with the architectural style of the building. Placing the library further into the core of Coney Island would increase the need for a Brighton Beach branch, I suppose. However, that doesn't make that much sense since many parts of Brooklyn are of greater distance to a library. Is possible that the local population was literate--or wanted their children to be--so there was a great need for the Brighton Beach branch?

...

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Lunaparker
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Reply #10 - Apr 9th, 2017 at 1:01pm
 
A photograph of the Coney Island branch of the Brooklyn Public Library before Jacks took over the space.  As I stated previously, based on  cars, I'd date this photo to c1940. Given the 1955 build date of the Mermaid Avenue branch, unless Coney Island did without a library for a period of time or unless it was temporarily housed elsewhere, Jacks must have opened no earlier than 1955, at least in its Stillwell and Mermaid Avenues location. 

...

Can't make it out but looks like Carolina's Italian restaurant is in the photo.
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West 32nd
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Re: Coney schlock stores
Reply #11 - Apr 9th, 2017 at 5:33pm
 
Oh please, Lunaparker... don't even reference Carolina's.  Causes extreme farklemptness here.

My parents told me that when they were dating as teenagers, they went to Carolina's when it was still just a pizza joint.

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Lunaparker
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Re: Coney schlock stores
Reply #12 - Apr 9th, 2017 at 6:20pm
 
For better or worse W32, I never went to Carolina's. To my parents, Italian restaurant meant pizzeria. L&B was our favorite but even there, my parents would never eat in the restaurant section. I think my dad may have once purchased a sausage and pepper hero but he ate it at the tables outside.
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West 32nd
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Re: Coney schlock stores
Reply #13 - Apr 9th, 2017 at 6:27pm
 
Understood, Lunaparker.

I'm a bit older than you, but we're of the same basic religio-cultural Coney Island background.

Jews love Chinese and Italian food.

Fact of life.
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Lunaparker
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Re: Coney schlock stores
Reply #14 - Apr 14th, 2017 at 6:36pm
 
The Brighton Beach branch was not closed due to Sandy. This article places the closure in January 2016, a few months passed three years after the storm:  http://www.bklynlibrary.org/locations/brighton-beach/photos     "The Brighton Beach Library will close in January [2016]— and reopen in the fall — while the branch gets a $1.5 million overhaul of its heating and cooling system, according to a spokesperson for the Brooklyn Public Library."

This, from the Brooklyn Public Library: http://www.bklynlibrary.org/locations/brighton-beach/photos   I'm not surprised that the branch offers  Russian language documents. A popular misconception though is that all former Soviets speak Russian. Ask a Ukrainian National. He or she will be glad to explain.  I am reminded that the branch went through renovations during the 90s.

Scroll through the photos and you will find one of the branch's ORIGINAL location. Can anyone identify the location?
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