Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Then & Now…Lismore Hosiery Co., New York


A few years ago I just happened to walk by Lismore Hosiery Co. on the day the shop was moving out. Lismore had been a hosiery wholesaler for decades on the Lower East Side and before that a pizzeria.
I’m not going to romanticize the place and say it was a treasure or anything but you just don’t see this type of interior in New York much anymore.

Is Now This


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  1. burgundy lips

    April 13, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Lovely places!

  2. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 6:51 am

    What a shame to see how globalised the world has become. The photography of the shelves in the interior is a lot more romantic than the plastic chairs and tables that Subway boasts.


  3. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 6:51 am

    It's good to see artisans moving in.

  4. Emily

    April 13, 2010 at 6:54 am

    so so sad that stores with such character are being turned into crappy little chain sandwich places..


  5. Aych

    April 13, 2010 at 6:58 am

    I just died a little…

  6. kim.saboe

    April 13, 2010 at 7:00 am


  7. Déborah

    April 13, 2010 at 7:03 am

    kind of sad…

  8. Alex

    April 13, 2010 at 7:16 am

    You're killing me here…ick.

  9. Fernanda

    April 13, 2010 at 7:22 am

    what a depressing way to start my day!!!

  10. Balthasar

    April 13, 2010 at 7:22 am

    what a shame that is! makes me feel very weird!

  11. Matheus

    April 13, 2010 at 7:26 am

    they should at leat have kept the leg checking…

  12. The Red Velvet Shoe

    April 13, 2010 at 7:31 am

    You did romanticize it . . . it's a beautiful little shoppe, perfect for "TRVS" . . . I guess I'll have to boycott Subway just because of this . . .

  13. Isobel Saoirse

    April 13, 2010 at 7:36 am

    That's so sad!

  14. Florence

    April 13, 2010 at 7:39 am

    all i can say is that's really depressing.

  15. greybreaks

    April 13, 2010 at 7:40 am

    i walked by that store everyday when i lived in the neighborhood.

    what a pity that it's gone.

    subway?!?!?! talk about adding insult to injury.

    one of my favorite storefronts is the cup&saucer, a couple of blocks over on eldridge. wonder when that will become a popeyes.

  16. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Yes, I just died a little too. I spent my childhood waiting for my mum in places like this. I can't help but think that there must be a place in the contemporary world for places like that. Full service for a start, funded maybe by a web presence as well?

  17. Nana

    April 13, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Its very sad to compare then and now…

  18. Troutie

    April 13, 2010 at 7:47 am

    That's just terrible!

    We now have 'Subway' here in England too, eating up all our little romantic shops along with Starbucks and shitty English chain stores.

    The charm of individual streets is dead!

    Now even when you go abroad you see the same shops….

  19. Catherine

    April 13, 2010 at 7:47 am



  20. Yoshi

    April 13, 2010 at 7:48 am

    People need food more than they need hosiery.

    But it was a beautiful shop.

  21. Sabīne

    April 13, 2010 at 7:50 am

    That hosiery shop was so full of femininity ! Beautiful pictures…

    best regards,


  22. Swede

    April 13, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Everything commercialised is bad.
    I saw an american show where they actually said that "Subway was a healthier choice" I couldnt believe what I heard, I thought it was a joke.

  23. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 7:56 am

    I live in London and it's exactly the same. They're like a smelly unsightly rash spreading over the entire city!

  24. San

    April 13, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Leg check. LMAO

    Even though I like Subway, I'd prefer the hosiery shop, provided they new what they sold. I don't like wearing nylons, but to have someone who can tell you what would be right for your needs is special.

  25. Melissa

    April 13, 2010 at 7:57 am

    This happens so much today everywhere. It's so sad. I feel like we're deleting the historic culture of each generation every time a "romantic" store such as this is replaced with a Subway of sorts. If society keeps on doing this, before we know it, there won't be any stores like this anymore and everything will just be one big eye sore :(

  26. natalie

    April 13, 2010 at 8:01 am

    capitalism :(

  27. Susan

    April 13, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Oh how sad…

  28. Modou Fox

    April 13, 2010 at 8:17 am

    How many of us, however, make a sustained and deliberate choice to support independent retailers over chains? In an economic climate like this, have we become more discerning about independent business? Or does cheap choice trump all?

  29. V

    April 13, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Yeah that's heart-breaking.

  30. Felicity

    April 13, 2010 at 8:32 am

    What a sad ending.

  31. Hazel

    April 13, 2010 at 8:40 am

    eeh, what a pity

  32. Lisette

    April 13, 2010 at 8:42 am

    In Barcelona we still have many old, wood-lined shops full of their original character…

    But one has to wonder: for how long?

  33. Victoria Whiteland

    April 13, 2010 at 8:50 am

    The past hold a special magic for us, like the passing of an old friend or the intoxicating glamour of a great aunt's couture collection…

    Victoria Whiteland Couture

  34. CW

    April 13, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I want that sign!

  35. aya

    April 13, 2010 at 9:00 am

    What drives such a transition?

  36. sharon

    April 13, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Sometimes progress is a terrible shame.

  37. andrea.at.the.blue.door

    April 13, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Wouldn't it have been lovely if an independent high quality sandwich shop could have gone into this space and kept the name? Just saying "I'm going over to Lismore Hosiery for a reuben, want anything?" is fun. Not to mention the possibility of naming a sandwich "the skirt lifter."

  38. Les Garcons de Glasgow

    April 13, 2010 at 9:08 am

    The photography here is great, and I love your honesty – not trying to romanticise things.

    It is very sad though – what happened to Mrs Lismore who wanted to open a shop of her own? Make quality produce. Sell at a fair price. Humanity is being stamped out.

    Le Garcon x

  39. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 9:08 am

    OH NOOOOO!!!!! they ruin everything. ugh. this is annoying, but thank you Sart for recognizing it <3

  40. nyc/caribbean ragazza

    April 13, 2010 at 9:08 am

    A Subway?


  41. christina defalco

    April 13, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Well, as more of that food demands people's attention more than a lovely pair of stockings….the visual is not only ugly street aesthetics but also fat bare legs in flip flops.

    Like the days of old Hollywood, it is not nostalgia but the fast and convenient lifestyle that robs a city of icons and style.

  42. The Sartorialist

    April 13, 2010 at 9:25 am

    remember though that Lismore was a wholesaler and not a retailer so you could not have supported that business with walk in traffic.

    Fashion killed that company. Remember that shop was around when women didn't wear pants and not so many women wear hosiery now.

    Capitalism works but it isn't always pretty.

  43. Yamila

    April 13, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Oh No!! That's really depressing :(((

  44. Melinda

    April 13, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Ugh! I like the comment from andrea.at.the.blue.door

  45. Lola

    April 13, 2010 at 9:44 am

    I used to buy my ex- boyfriend's socks at Lismore. He only liked a special cashmere blend..(oiy-vay) and Lismore was the only place that carried them.
    The place was dark and musty but what a treasure of a store… it always made my sock shopping more enjoyable than it otherwise might have been.

  46. Stylester

    April 13, 2010 at 9:45 am

    That's a shame. I need to step up my support for mom & pop shops to help in keeping them around longer.

  47. louise or valentine

    April 13, 2010 at 9:50 am

    that's right around the corner from my house. i feel like that is the nature of the beast in new york city. everything changes in manhattan in any neighborhood. it's an incredibly populated city with almost no stabilized rent and with that, you have exoduses of people attempting to find affordable places to live with little to no commute time. first the artists move, then everyone else follows, thus leading to culturally rich neighborhoods becoming gentrified. brooklyn is a little less like that.

  48. Misanthropic Pulp

    April 13, 2010 at 9:52 am

    They did the same thing, with watch it…a gallery!!!
    what are they thinking of…well that is kinda obvious, money of course, but please…
    they turned and incredible private modern gallery into a McDonalds…
    devastating…and the hosiery looks just beautiful there, so sad.


  49. Gio Goi Jacket

    April 13, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I do agree that the interior is lovely however times move on. I do love my subways so i welcome the change

  50. neha

    April 13, 2010 at 10:21 am

    those are fantastic shots! it's truly sad…

  51. lumikha

    April 13, 2010 at 10:26 am

    this is exactly why the suburbs are boring. walmart takes over, and all local business die. it makes me so sad. just makes everything so sterile and uninteresting.


    April 13, 2010 at 10:27 am

    I love seeing old buildings and inside old buildings like these. They sure don't make 'em like they used to. I like that sign too! x


  53. Maria

    April 13, 2010 at 10:27 am

    'No logo' of Naomi Klein all over!
    It's such a shame that these giant brands sell themselves in everywhere. Like one Starbucks at a street isn't enough. By the way, the quality of Subway isn't to die for either…

    We have the right to romanticize this beautiful pictures. I live in Amsterdam and by the canals you have some lovely shops, for example a really tiny manufacturer of buttons, yarns and drape ropes (the correct word?) You know when the owner dies this will disappear, that really makes me sad sometimes.

  54. shaunjoy

    April 13, 2010 at 10:30 am

    That's a bit depressing…

  55. Red

    April 13, 2010 at 10:33 am

    This is such a pity. However, we have to remember that this didn't happen because evil corporations are trying to take over the world, it is happening because we are supporting these corporations, instead of supporting our privately owned neighborhood stores. Most people reason that corporate stores are cheaper (which is true), but the extra cost to support the other store is to insure that our neighborhood isn't overrun by subways and starbucks. I hope to see more photos like these to raise attention to how big of a problem this has become.

  56. Julia B

    April 13, 2010 at 10:34 am

    How saad, subway is taking over the world along with mc donalds, where is this going to stop?? hopefully there will open new stores like this one, oldfashion at it's best!

  57. Krohne

    April 13, 2010 at 10:39 am

    I hate to break the news:

    Yes, it is sad with a brand new 'Subway' taking over an old store and yes, I love those interiors too, but in a way isn't a bit hypocritical to mourn about globalization? After all, we, the people in the western world, are those catalyzing it.

    The same folks on this blog are always commenting: 'Wow, so chic, wow, I want those shoes and wow, what brand is that bag coming from?' And now everybody is mourning about an old shop?
    You all, my friends, are through desire of material stuff like clothes financing globalization.

    That's change – like it or not, but these are the premisses!

    Therefore: Yes, we are all a part of it – sadly enough?

  58. cociolph

    April 13, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Shop at chains, you get more chains.

  59. Hel

    April 13, 2010 at 10:43 am

    WOW…so sad!

  60. theblackshucks

    April 13, 2010 at 10:50 am

    oh man.. my heart dropped when i saw the subway picture. such a waste.

  61. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Someone commented here, "people need food more than they need hosiery." However, does it have to be a chain store that not only ruins the neighborhood's charm and character but also gives us crappy food? Why don't the cities give more chances to independent businesses? It's always the big corporations and the chains that get all the breaks and the power. And they spread like cancer, no matter what country they are in. It's really a shame, but it could be solved with some laws that would help the independent businesses and control the spread of these social tumors.

  62. Tess

    April 13, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Ouch, Sart. That seriously hurt!

  63. simon

    April 13, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Well, while that old stocking store obviously didn't make any money, the Subway store makes money which in result open workspots for people. So, I can't see any problem with this.

  64. Meg

    April 13, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Trying to see a positive take on this evolution so to speak of economic "development" (to put it nicely, in reality it is a terrible thing indeed) … so the positive take away for me, the photos you secured when moving out are a fantastic homage to history. Bless.

  65. Karl

    April 13, 2010 at 11:19 am

    It's so sad to see the place you've known for so long and suddenly it had transformed into something else. I have a lot of favourite shops growing up, and living in Macau (China) changes happens every second and it's so upsetting that something you loved have vanished forever…

  66. Bell

    April 13, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Good shots


    April 13, 2010 at 11:26 am

    pity. i was hoping to see it at least converted into a condo-like or loft living space, not a sammy space!

  68. Astrid Irene Natalie

    April 13, 2010 at 11:30 am

    isn't it somehow depressing to see how unique little places turn into a fast food chain…

  69. Poivre Monkey

    April 13, 2010 at 11:38 am

    audrey hepburn 's shop in "funny face" ?


  70. Devonia - Italy

    April 13, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Two very different lifestyle purposes:

    cult of femminity and great tradition
    today junk food -obesity- and soulless globalization

    What a shame a future like this

  71. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Very Atget (the photographer)- nice.

  72. Elizabeth Jaime

    April 13, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Wow, I'm AMAZED at this post!!!

    You don't understand…this Subway is visible from my fire escape and we're always complaining about how ugly the subway looks there! It really makes Ludlow ugly!

  73. costume jewellery uk

    April 13, 2010 at 11:59 am

    What a shame…it had so much character!

  74. James Taylor

    April 13, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    This is a rare sort of post for this blog. Nice to see the Sartorialist pausing to recognize that New York City is just as fleeting as fashion. Sadly, unlike fashion, what goes around does not very often come around.

  75. AndreaV

    April 13, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    What goes around comes around… I think that the more corporate stores place their "chains" around the necks of our independent areas, the more people will make a point to save the beautiful little shops. The boutique spirit is rising!!

  76. Stephanie Zacharek

    April 13, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    The unavoidable tragedy is that some of these little businesses have to die. But in my neighborhood, Fort Greene, an independent retailer, Stuart & Wright, took over an old dry-cleaning establishment and chose to retain the beautiful (nonworking) neon French Cleaners sign above the store. There are ways to move into the future while preserving the past — obviously not in evidence here, and that's sad.

  77. Alisa

    April 13, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I will repeat what cociolph said…
    Shop at chains, you get more chains.

    I am guilty.

    Makes me sad like the rest!

  78. Endless Caverns

    April 13, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Eat Fresh.

  79. Emily Rose

    April 13, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    oh man… when i scrolled to that last photo my heart dropped. Noooo! Perhaps the worst sandwich place ever. Just go to olive's instead.

  80. Punctuation Mark

    April 13, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I love modernization but like everything in life it has it's downside and this is one of those… i wish we would be able to preserve jewels like this one…

  81. MyStyleAdvice.wordpress.com

    April 13, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    the subway restaurant looks so ugly. :/

  82. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 1:25 pm


  83. Cory

    April 13, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Wow, that makes me so sad.

  84. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    oh, how currently fitting! would've been more funny had the last photo been a starbucks

  85. Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl

    April 13, 2010 at 1:47 pm


    Kind of sad.

  86. princess glee

    April 13, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Life changes doesn't it? Perhaps we are a culture in transition and this is the step we have to take to get to something better?

  87. Simple Diva

    April 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    my heart just broke a bit.

  88. Lauren

    April 13, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    That is one of the saddest before and afters that I have ever seen.

  89. becca b

    April 13, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    If there was a "don't like" button on my google reader I would have clicked that–how sad. Thanks for the post, though.

  90. jessika

    April 13, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    There is a Subway even in Beijing China!

    I do love the black & white shots of the empty shop with the "naughty" sign. Romantic or not it has an air about it that suggests a change towards a world where it is harder to differentiate your self from others, even cities are not immune. It is like clone cities… It is hard to see the positive.

  91. Elizabeth

    April 13, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    That awesome sexy leg illustration brought a smile to my face, thanks.

  92. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    when I was a child a lived in a small town and our main shop had a very similar interior to the one you photographed. pleased to say that here in north London such a store was 'preserved' by a becoming a listed building and is now a real funky real estate agency. Somehow America always devours it's own past and as this shot attests that whilst change is inevitable 'progress' is not always a good thing.
    By the way when I first visited NYC Tribeca was full of abandoned stores.

  93. Miriam Parkman

    April 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Aww it really breakes my heart to see this!! I would travel the world to see a real hosierystore…and now it'snot there anymore. So sad! I know I'm a little bit mad about old times, but how can anyone honestly tear that kind of interiorstyle out and replace it with a nasty, greasy sandwichplace? It's unbelievable!
    Ohh.. I can just imagine to go there in the early 40s, choose my exact favourite colour, heel and seem and get he right size taken down for me, from one of the many shelves. Amazing that would be!
    So sad it will continue being a dream.

  94. anne

    April 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    That's just sad, but that's how it goes.

  95. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    How depressing…93 online comments so far but not one entrepreneur ready to do something imaginitive with a great space.

    Get out from behind the computer, peoploe, and change the world, don't just watch it slip though your fingers.


  96. Szuhuei

    April 13, 2010 at 5:46 pm


  97. Mr Brown

    April 13, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    The new bunting brightens things up well.

  98. esme and the lane way

    April 13, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    I remember seeing these back then. They are such beautiful photos!
    Shame there is a new Subway there…

  99. Matheus

    April 13, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    I think we shouldn't be so melancholic about the changes…
    we are talking about new york city guys!

    please read "here is new york" by E. B. White

  100. Fashionista

    April 13, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    It reminds me of when Kathleen Kelly's book shop went out of business in the film "You've Got Mail" and she said "People are always saying that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all… has happened. My store is closing this week. . . It's a lovely store, and in a week it'll be something really depressing, like a Baby Gap. Soon, it'll be just a memory. In fact, someone, some foolish person, will probably think it's a tribute to this city, the way it keeps changing on you, the way you can never count on it, or something. I know because that's the sort of thing I'm always saying. But the truth is… I'm heartbroken. I feel as if a part of me has died, and my mother has died all over again, and no one can ever make it right."

  101. Prudence

    April 13, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    I love that you have posted this and brought attention to something that is unfortunately happening in so many places. It is such a shame that charming, classic buildings are being changed into commmon, dull food chains like subway. Honestly, I'd be so much more interested to walk into a subway that has even retained minor details of that previous shop.

  102. Maya

    April 13, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    that is really just so sad…

  103. thebelljarbird

    April 13, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    no :(
    That is my favorite shop in all of New York. It is my first stop for every visit. I'm beyond heartbroken. The most wonderfully strange deadstock socks I own are from here…
    utter heartbreak.

  104. msd

    April 13, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    I'm not opposed to progress, I know that everything that's old isn't automatically more beautiful or worthy and I accept that the world changes but there *are* sympathetic ways to incorporate the old and the new. I've seen, for example, big old factories that have been turned into (admittedly rather swanky and expensive) apartments. The facades and old signage have been kept, which has given the new building a lot of character. Unfortunately, it's usually cheaper for developers to tear the building down and/or gut it.

  105. Svenska Flicka

    April 13, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    This just makes me want to cry.

  106. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    madrid is a treasure trove for this era of retail. they also have great fonts advertising who they are. when i went i snapped so many different fonts and so many unusual stores. i notice you had a post of a barcelona store (as well as le lourve in my hometown melbourne), i had the same experience in granada in a shop window that 'sold' instruments for hospitals of all things, but their arrangement was so sophisticated, it was like an invitation into their front palour. also the tiles at that barcelona store tell me that it was in the modernistme part of town, a pattern taken from gaudi i think…something along those lines.

    anyways, i love love love the font on the new york store

  107. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    I teared. Actually. It's just too sad, really too sad. I didn't read the title and was so engrossed in pictures, scrolling down to see the next beautiful picture that it was jarring to see the Subway. It's scary at the pace that North America (not the rest of the world… I'd argue quite the opposite) is moving towards homogeneity. This is great Scott, I'm sure your heart tore just a bit when you saw that!

  108. Beck

    April 13, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    We must support these stores. I'm trying to buy locally made to reduce air miles, support local businesses and not support globalisation, which seems to benefit no one but CEOs and landfill facility owners (can you imagine where all these cheap, current season, unwearably high heels are going to end up in a couple of years?) One of my preferred suppliers states that it costs her $4 to make what a Chinese factory can make for 40c. Well, her product will last me years, improve its looks with age, keep someone in skilled work and maintain knowledge that would otherwise be lost. I had to save for it. The thrill of finally getting it was wonderful. And I hope to pass it on to my daughter.

  109. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    so sad, but that is the truth of things now.

  110. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Screw Subway and shame on them.
    Shame on our commercial world for buying into it.

  111. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    wow-that last shot prompted a "gag"…seriously. Your photos of the old interior are haunting and dreamy. I want to go THERE.

  112. The Red Velvet Shoe

    April 13, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Anon @ 5:34: "93 online comments so far but not one entrepreneur ready to do something imaginitive with a great space."
    Unfortunately my entrepreneurship doesn't come with the countless thousands of dollars it would take to run a small boutique shop in NYC. . . we're not all sitting here doing nothing, some of us just don't have the means to DO something, but that doesn't mean it doesn't break our hearts to see this sort of demise.

  113. Siseur

    April 13, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Oh Urban Developments… How Sad!!

  114. Jacqueline Barrantes

    April 13, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    So depressing..

  115. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    That juxtaposition hurt my heart as I scrolled down. :( Just more of the 'homogenization' of the planet, where Wal-mart rules the world. Sad. And disgusting.

  116. Anna

    April 13, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    What an example of "Capitalism" expanding it's ugly hand…the old charm is completely lost

  117. Rebecca Kiger

    April 13, 2010 at 11:32 pm


    We sure could use more leg in the good ole U.S. and a lot less of things like this from Subway –

    The Feast
    Send hunger running with the ultimate sandwich. Heaping piles of roast beef, salami, pepperoni, turkey and black forest ham, all wrapped up in American cheese on freshly baked bread. It's the kind of concrete slippers that hunger fears the most.

  118. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Let's hope that someone at Subway sees this blog and gets the message about sensitive reuse of old buildings. Most of our anger is because it refuses to acknowledge the past. Subway, and all the other chains, live in a bubble of timeless sanitariness that exudes plastic emptiness.

  119. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 11:54 pm


  120. Marla

    April 14, 2010 at 12:19 am

    This is really sad. Pretty jarring to go to the last picture. Well, at least there isn't a cutout of Jared waving out the front window.

  121. MlleV

    April 14, 2010 at 3:51 am

    This made me sad.

  122. Mr Brown

    April 14, 2010 at 4:36 am

    If a tiny fraction of those pouring out their hearts on here had actually spent MONEY in there it may just have survived.

    It's happening all over the world, independents are going out of business because we the consumer aren't using them.

    Some of them are also going as the owners are retiring and they commercial premises are their pensions – it's a natural death so we shouldn't feel too bad about those.

  123. Anonymous

    April 14, 2010 at 5:52 am

    re: commenters
    i'm not sure what point you are trying to make. subway probably feeds a lot more mouths than a former hosiery store. you lament the appearance of a global franchise without also considering the merits of the system that resulted in its appearance on that street corner. moreover, this particular series reflects an unfair comparison. the photography is stylistically and compositionally too different to compare. perhaps if the author had posted angular b&w's of subway, you would be remarking on the beauty of the everyday globalized franchise.

    on the whole, comments like these reflect the declining caliber of the global standard for art.

  124. Anonymous

    April 14, 2010 at 6:44 am

    ugh whatever….you guys are so predictable. In 40 years time you'll be saying, "oh look how cool that old Subway store was -what a shame that "blah blah" has moved there instead."

  125. Lisa

    April 14, 2010 at 6:46 am

    the only thing sadder would have been McDonalds!

  126. Anonymous

    April 14, 2010 at 6:46 am

    oh yeah and I bet you lot NEVER went to shop at
    Lismore Hosiery, but have all probably stuffed a subway sandwich in your faces.

  127. sandy

    April 14, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Every apartment and hotel building needs a concierge. It is a vital role, because the
    building services new york. makes sure that all guests and residents are comfortable and supplied with everything they need.

  128. Matthew

    April 14, 2010 at 8:17 am

    How tragic. That said, I guess nothing is permanent and nothing can last, good or bad. Touching pics.

  129. Closet full of hopes and dreams

    April 14, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Is it just me, or is the world becoming a little less magic and a little less of a mystery every day? Let's make the world magic again!

  130. Adam

    April 14, 2010 at 11:17 am

    NYC is dead. Thanks…

    I'm born and raised here, actually right on that same street (Grand) its sad.

  131. Anonymous

    April 14, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    It was heartbreaking, scrolling down that page. All that character lost, swallowed up in crass commercialisation.

  132. miss kelly

    April 14, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    for some reason i got a little angry…the place that feeds the souls leaves to be replaced by…subway….

  133. Erika

    April 14, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    There used to be a drug store near where I grew up. So cool looking. Everything intact, the old shelves, counters. Really beautiful It was all near an old rail station. None of it was well kept but I imagined that if it was it would be gorgeous. 20 years later, all gone. There are now condos there. It is a shame becasue building materials are not even the same quality as they used to be. I absolutely don't see why a new business cannot retain the same beauty and integrity of the former structures.

  134. CW

    April 14, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    I agree. Capitalism works but it isn't always pretty. I am struck by those who think that a boarded up storefront is superior to an operating business that provides a product satisfactory to its clientele and thereby provides employment and a return on capital put at risk. Remember, fashionistehlehs, that you are in a high-risk, low-capital, low barrier biz. You really are not that much different than Subway if you consider that their concept is a fashion line which succeeded.

  135. Anonymous

    April 14, 2010 at 4:31 pm


  136. Anonymous

    April 14, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    absolut tragic…..because it happens all over the world. in all those internaional major cities from the us to europe you see very often the same problem. nice good old classical old school shops get closed and this banal stupid starbucks, mobilphone-shops or those fucked up dirty subways-chains moves into the empty space. man stop this kind of shit and let us save the old traditional shops worldwide.

  137. Izzen

    April 14, 2010 at 7:27 pm

  138. Anonymous

    April 14, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    errrr. makes me so mad. Subway is trying to kick out a local taco shop and buy the lease here on the Berkeley campus. To make things worse, they already have a subway 30 steps away.

  139. Anonymous

    April 14, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Woah…I know you weren't trying to make this romantic but the old photos taken with such simplistic beauty were the ones that did just that.

    Seeing those old dusty shelves, the witty window sign and then…a plain old modern Subway? You have no clue how much my mood just changed…

  140. Anonymous

    April 14, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Subway. Safe to say we get what we demand. Sad but true.

  141. C.

    April 14, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    oh. my goodness. hahahah the final photo oh subway just made my jaw drop 10 feet underground.

  142. Anonymous

    April 15, 2010 at 12:55 am

    You all think it's "sad" – but I am sure NONE of you visited the store for the many years it was open. I live the on the same street and I sure as hell never ventured inside there – there is a reason it went out of business – it sucked!

  143. Charlotte

    April 15, 2010 at 9:47 am

    I think I just died inside.

    This is the state of what things have become. High streets are dying and the corporates are coming in. My whole town looks like this now.

    I was in Goa a few years ago and down the road to Baga Beach, in amongst all of the local shops was a Subway shop. This globalisation is heartbreaking.

  144. Thibaut

    April 15, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Subway…That's so sad. I will mention in on my blog

  145. men's t-shirts

    April 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    A pictoral account of capitalism

  146. Anonymous

    April 15, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    globalisation is consuming us…

  147. Cee

    April 15, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    This is my neighborhood, I remember walking up grand street to Lismore as a girl to buy stockings and bras and slips and whatnot. I used to hate wearing a slip, thought it so prudish. But there is something so lovely about the preparation in a stocking or a slip. It denotes a certain amount of time and attention to the detail of avoiding a static-ky skirt or a too-shear blouse. I was at once afraid of this place and in love with it for its musty smell, boxes upon boxes of slinky things, and seemingly endless backroom abyss. I walked by just last night and felt sadness.

  148. Anonymous

    April 15, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    this makes me want to cry.

  149. Anonymous

    April 15, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Buying is voting. We have incredible power as consumers but we have to use it wisely. When we choose to shop at a big chain store for small prices everyone pays the hidden costs, workers, small businesses, our neighbourhood, our local economy… We have a choice to stay informed and make responsible consumer choices instead of immediate blind gratification. Yes it can be heavy and tedious making the right choice all the time but seriously would you rather see a Subway everyday or a vibrant local store? It's our choice.

  150. Sunna

    April 17, 2010 at 7:31 am

    That is so sad.

  151. AnastasiaC

    April 17, 2010 at 8:49 am

    its so sad non?? the sad change in urban city life. It just looks so ugly but then the upside is 'Subway' is offering people jobs, food on the table for families, and affordable food for locals thats a little healthier than other chains (whom I wont mention…)…still, its very sad!

  152. Banushka

    April 17, 2010 at 9:31 am

    I love old shops and their interiors where nothing is just for show off but has a function. And the retro ads and signs are also lovely ofcourse, showing the kind of statements of old decades. It is a pity to loose these kind of sights no matter what brand they are. I wish we could live a bit of everything through ages and go timeless.

  153. matt

    April 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Oh, I know that place. They make really delicious sandwiches. Meatballs, turkey, just vegetables. Whatever. Its up to you. A great place for anyone looking to propose to that special someone in your life.

  154. Afrika

    April 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    It's sad to see how big corporations have put an end to the small, unique, and family-oriented businesses.

  155. uniqueboutiquesblog

    April 22, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    I agree: the reality of capitalism ain't pretty, sometimes. But it's also true that smaller, lower-budget independent shops need a little help, these days… I love that you've been celebrating the grace, mystery and stories of independently-owned shops lately, Sartorialist. I've recently started a blog which intends to do just that.

  156. tovah

    April 29, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    But they call this progress

  157. Blue Suede Parasol

    May 15, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Wow. That is amazing/sad…

  158. blassfamous

    June 4, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    a few months ago I saw a film at the quad in ny called "the last new yorker" set in the world of vanishing new york. one of the scenes was shot in there. a locations section of film's website has more photos of this, and other remnants of another time…

  159. leatherpress

    January 27, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    As Paul Kelly lamented '..every fucking city looks the same…'
    homogenise the landscape with chain store chic..yay ! and we let it happen. If you want to cut down a choko vine don't trim the leaves, dig out the roots…

    ps. what happened to the shop fittings? get sold off to salvage yards for a song?

  160. Anonymous

    May 20, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    The store was owned by an uncle of mine, then a cousin. I visited it many times over six decades.

    Time did indeed pass it by, but it is odd indeed to think of it now being a Subway.

    However, it was a picture of the exterior that you posted many years ago that got me interested in The Sartorialist, and i've enjoyed your photographs ever since, even though I am far from obsessed with fashion.

  161. Shellabee

    February 20, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    My father knew the owner, he was a friend of my grandfather and we used to shop there regularly when I was a child in the 50′s

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