The Q at Parkside
News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Best Worsted Fabrics In Town
Surely you've seen these fantastic wrap-around signs of the newly opened Elegant fabric shoppe on Flatbush at Winthrop. Perhaps you've peaked inside and imagined what sort of magic resides therein. Fabric, my friends. Reams and reams and yards and yards of beautiful fabric from all over the world. And its tagline? "Fine Worsted Suiting Fabric," bringing both a new word to the Q's vocabulary and a great title for the post.
The old-world shop-keep is Sammy, and he just moved his store here from 174 Orchard, Orchard Street once being the king of kommerce on the lower east side. (perhaps you've been lately? i think it's more about bistros and bars now, though last time I peaked there was still some low hanging luggage to be snagged). Sammy was born in Egypt, his family forced to flee to Israel during the early days of the Nasser regime. He emigrated to the United States in 1975 and after a few years of apprenticeship on Orchard, opened his own shop.
Does it seem strange that he's landed in our neck of the 'Bush? Not at all. Many of his best clients are from the islands, including many tailors who work right here in the neighborhood. Sure he's had to keep his stock fresh to go with his clientele's predilections, but since Orchard Street is no longer what it once was, he's happy to call Flatbush home. Sammy notes "we have fabric from all over the world - England, India, Italy, Africa." The one notable exception? There is no fabric worthy of his store that's made in the U.S.A. Interesting.
When the Q first noticed his sign a couple months back, something about it made me think olde time. And more specifically, it made me think Barnum & Bailey Circus. So I looked up old images from them, and it still seems reminiscent somehow. As I look at the font I'm not sure they're even a little bit related. Can someone with a background in graphic design tell me if I'm completely crazy to see a connection?
Maybe they just both seem "old" and hand painted. And how both them Siamese Sisters playing violin and piano? You just don't see that as much these days...