Greenpoint, October, 2015

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Downward Mobilitiy

There aren't too many busier spots on S.I. than North Gannon St. and Richmond Road, just off the expressway. I wonder why this Mobil station had to close.
A gasjockey's stool keeps a lonely vigil.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Wave Street

The Sanitation Department's garage on Wave St. is an handsome building.
The signage around the door is a bit improvised, though, given that it's the department's sign shop.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Joe Friday?

(Photo: F.A. Someki)
Caught up with this vintage early 80s Camaro on the SI Expressway. The sponsor is Routine Patrol Coffee. The boys in the Research Bureau were tracked down the company on Facebook, begun by Marc Cosentino, a police officer and restaurant owner in search of the "perfect cup of coffee."

He seems to have a good sense of humor. Note the doughnut on the dash.... (And no cupholders.)

Monday, April 3, 2017

Castleton is Autotown

A cluster of auto repair shops on Castleton Avenue on the North Shore. Half Price Mufflers is the big dog.
But don't miss My Repair Shop next door, and George's Auto squeezed in on the left.
A good place to buy a used RV, a vintage early 70s Mustang, an LTD, or a Rolls.

Friday, March 31, 2017

No Revival?

Another garage for sale. The CC&R II garage on Richmond Road near Forest Avenue is on the block.
Looks like the original (I suppose) one-bay brick building is in better shape than the addition.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

New Morning Newark

Off Route 21. Can't quite make out what animal is stuccoed above the bays. A bulldog? Sheep?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Early Sunday Afternoon

This row of housetops glimpsed in passing from the BQE has always reminded me of Edward Hopper's Early Sunday Morning (1930).

Friday, March 17, 2017

Unswerving Stadiums

There's a shop called Yoga and Melody on Richmond Road in Staten Island. Stopped at the light nearby, it took a while to make out the third claims on its awning. "Calm Strength" (check) and "Inner Peace" (check) were easy but ... "Unswerving Stadiums"? "Unserving Studiousness"? Didn't sound quite right. It turns out to be "Unwavering Steadiness." That seems like a good thing to strive for in icy weather.

Monday, March 13, 2017

NJ Exit

Early spring or late winter? Either way, a cold clear sky leaving the NJ Turnpike.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Trophy Santa

Across from our last nameless garage, on Van Duzer, is a weatherbeaten but unbowed Santa. Wired to the fence next to Daisy's Trophy World, he's been there at least since the fall. With snow in the forecast for Friday, he may know something we don't...

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Little Garage That Couldn't

Another one-bay wonder for our series, Garages of Staten Island. This one sits on Van Duzer Street, not far from the excellent Craft House bar. From the spray paint on the overhead door and sign, it looks as if the garage is not only out of business, but someone wants to erase its memory as well. The Research Bureau was able to track down the obliterated name, and the reviewers were not good. Let's give the owners the dignity of anonymity here.
The cutout in the construction site fence suggests that big things may be on the way. Is there any chance our little garage will survive another decade?
Nice view of Tompkinsville

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Raise High the Bridge Beams

Approaching from Jersey side
On Presidents Day, with almost zero fanfare, the first two elevated lanes of the Bayonne Bridge opened to traffic. The new lanes are 64 feet higher than the original roadway, which will eventually be removed, allowing for taller container ships to pass through on their way to the Port of Newark.
The high lanes do mar the beautiful balance of line bisecting parabola of the original design. On the other hand, it is fun to drive.
Photos: F. Someki

Monday, February 20, 2017

Mobile Chloë

The New York Times gets in on the garage and gas station action. In this Style Magazine (February 19) piece, Chloë Sevigny revisits her childhood haunts in and around Darien, Connecticut. Here she is strolling across the Mobil station in New Canaan, "where she and her driver's license-less friends would get dropped off and hang out." 
(Photo: The New York Times)
From the photograph, the location seems to be Kean's Corner Mobil, a 24-hour gas station and convenience store on South Avenue. The Gulf garage just down the street, whose sign you can see peeking through the trees, appears to be closed. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017


Victory Blvd Quick Stop is a full-serve gas station and deli, next to the Payless Auto Repair Center, in Tompkinsville. A bit beat up, it's banner advertises: Beer - Cigarettes - Cigars. The "QS" insignia (and inclusion of "Blvd" in the name?) hint at loftier ambitions.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Flats and Mozz

On the whole, Staten Island is a good place to break down (carwise, that is). A few weeks ago, as I was heading out to work, the tire pressure alert lit up on my dash. It's happened before, usually means the pressure in one tire is down a bit. So I pulled into this Shell station on Forest Avenue, pumped four quarters into the air machine, and went to work. I knew it was a bad sign when air started coming out of a seam in the tire as fast as it went in. A few minutes later, it was up on the lift, and Jeff was showing me just how bald and bad both front tires were--despite a recent check-up at the Honda dealership. ("They do nothing," said Jeff, "except take your money.") A couple hours later, and I had a pair of all-weather Coopers on the front brought in from Jersey. Just in time for the snow storm.
If you find yourself waiting on your car at Jeff's, cross the street to Bella Famiglia for their fresh mozzarella. I was once served a still-warm sample on the edge of a knife. "You gotta grab it in one," the chef said.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday Night Lights

The Wagner College football stadium lit up on a rainy Sunday evening in February.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Norwich Is Garage Town

Is it a a coincidence that the great Facebook group You're Probably from Norwich If and its guru Ken Keeley have been posting a bunch of vintage garage shots recently? Probably, but if you're a garage freak, check it out. Here's a 1950s's pic of an Esso station from Main Street from a recent post. 
On the other hand, I have called St. George, S.I., "the Norwich on the New York harbor" many times... (Norwich, Connecticut, of course.)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Orange Is the New Gray

Progress on the first stage of the Kosciuszko Bridge replacement. Cables are up, and they are two-toned (at least for now). The friendly old bridge seems smaller and smaller.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Reliant Not Resilient

Back in October 2015, I posted this picture of the shuttered Reliance Auto Service on Targee and Dekalb Streets just off the S.I. Expressway. Today it's just a razed lot.
The Goodyear franchise further on on Dekalb on continues to operate.

Friday, January 27, 2017


Continuing our tour of Staten Island garages... When I drove by this beheamouth on narrow little Swan Street in Tompkinsville, I didn't know what is or was. A faded sign beside one bay door reads "Department of Sanitation/Encumbrance Depot/No Trespassing." There were some lights on inside but no sign of activity.
A little digging in the Advance archives reveals that it was created in the early 1900s by the Bureau of Street Cleaning (forerunner to the DOS) as Stable A to house the bureau's workhorses. The DOS currently uses the building to store some equipment, including front-end loaders. How much more fun would it be if it could be reclaimed (or retrofitted) as a stable? We could close Van Duzer Street to traffic on weekends for horse rides and parades.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Rough Seas

Time to check in with my favorite bodyshop on Staten Island, based on name alone, The Ferry Collision on Victory Boulevard (from a 62 bus). The little Mayflower at the top is somehow reassuring.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Hack Job

Wayne Barrett, the Village Voice reporter and columnist died on Thursday at age 71. The Times obituary sent me to my bookshelf for Barrett and Jack Newfield's City for Sale, the seminal and completely engrossing story of New York City politics and corruption in the 70s and 80s. To my horror, it wasn't there! Must have loaned to it to somebody... (Watch your back.)

Would have been a great way to spend Inauguration Day, reading about Ed Koch, Donald Manes, Meade Esposito, Mario Biaggi, Bess Myserson, the whole gang...  A world of back-room deals, conspiracy, OTBs, Ford LTDs, botched suicides, parking ticket scams...

In his review in The Nation, James Ledbetter quotes Brooklyn Democratic Party boss Meade Esposito: "Today's reformer is tomorrow's hack." Trump Bonus: We don't have to wait to find out.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


You might think this is another shuttered Staten Island garage. But no, the seemingly nameless but colorful micro-garage on Van Duzer near Broad Street is in fact very active. Just not when I drove by on Sunday. A Google Map search identifies it as L&M Exclusive Auto. I'll say.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Foreign Auto Service

A faded sign on the side of the building reads Foreign Auto Service, but no clues to the name of this tiny gated one-bay gem on Cebra Avenue, just off Victory Boulevard, in Tompkinsville.
Much brighter neighbor across the street. And just across Victory, check out New Asha for the best, friendliest, cheapest Sri Lankan food on the Island.