The "arenafication" of the North Slope has officially begun.
David's Laundry, the 41-year old dry cleaners on Fifth Avenue between Bergen and St. Marks, will be closing for good today. The shop, which closed for several months last year due a landlord dispute but re-opened with a new lease on life in January, will shutter for good this afternoon, and all clothes not picked up by then will be donated to charity.
Susan, the shop's friendly proprietor for all 41 years of its existence, was in the process of cleaning the space out when I dropped in yesterday to discuss the closure.
"The landlord sold the building," she told me, her accented voice heavy with disbelief and resignation. "They're forcing me out. We're closing forever tomorrow."
I always got a kick out of the old hand-lettered sign above the doorway, along with the painted lettering on the front windows (complete with backwards "N"s). The interior clearly hadn't ever been modernized, and the neatly stacked piles of freshly laundered clothes packaged in brown paper waiting to be picked up were decidedly quaint.
It's these small, fairly anonymous businesses, run by hard working folks, that give life to neighborhoods. Once they're gone, what will replace them? In this case, it will most likely be a chain that can afford the rents rising in anticipation of the arena going up across the street. I have a feeling that in this part of the neighborhood, there's plenty more where this came from.
Susan (via Gary Sloman)