Unexpected Glimpses of Olde New-York

Live in this city long enough and you know the feeling of seeing the past layered in the present. Maybe it is the unexpected revealing of an old painted sign when a neighboring building is turned down. Maybe it is an archeological dig where shards unearthed reveal an old clay pipe or tavern plate.

As I have been confined to a rehab facility (see recent posts for explanation) I did not anticipate such nuggets. But recently I was up early and wheeling my wheelchair through hallways when an elevator opened and a large metal case rolled out to be used as a replenishment for linens on my floor. Here is a picture:

Yep, a repurposed delivery device from a famed department store that shut down more than 3 decades ago. After a century of competition with Macy’s the company that owned Gimbels Department Store shut their doors in 1987. Famed in popular culture (ever see “The Miracle on 34th Street” or watched where Lucy Arnez and Ethel Mertz shopped?) it didn’t survive in the growing discount versus high level retail battle that was raging then.

I don’t know how the cart made it’s way to this rehab center. Probably some clearance sale of fixtures and hardware after the closing, perhaps from Gimbels itself or a company doing business with them. But it is still in useful service and I now see it most mornings. I love the history and continuity of this city.

As always you can find more at http://www.walterthinnes.com and on Twitter @walterthinnes

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