Sunday, July 29, 2007

Twilight Zone Time

Submitted for your approval: Four funeral parlors, all with broken clocks.

A. Provenza Lanza
43 Second Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets

Alexander Blasius & Son, Inc.
207 Avenue A

Maybe more than just the clock has stopped at this establishment.

Lynch Funeral Home
43-07 Queens Boulevard
(Queens!! Don't shoot me!)

The location of this broken clock always struck me as being wonderfully perfect. Adjacent to the entrance of 59th Street Bridge, it seemed to symbolize the moribund state of the county of Queens for me, and I always enjoyed watching it disappear in the rear view mirror as took the bridge into the definitely-not-daying city.

I recently took that route back into Manhattan and noticed, with mixed feelings, the funeral home's relatively new clock-less facade.. Maybe time doesn't stand still in Queens after all.

Hart-Davis Funeral Home Inc.
1879 Amsterdam Avenue

Years after Ed took this picture, I found myself teaching in this neighborhood in Harlem. Clocks aren't the only thing broken up there.

And On . . .

FAO Schwarz Toy Store
767 Fifth Avenue

This two-faced sidewalk clock isn't the only emporium's timepiece. As you enter on Fifth Avenue you are greeted by a 3-story clock tower and his continuous refrain of "Welcome to our World of Toys." If you've outgrown building blocks, perhaps you'd like to read about the history of the site in this interesting article in The City Review.

And On . . .

The Saratoga
(Apartment Building
First Avenue at 75th Street

The smart, classy version of the street clock 100 years later. Kudos to the architects, Schuman Lichtenstein, Claman & Efron.

Time Marches On . . .

Madison Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets
Housing created by Kenneth Lynch & Company
Clockworks by Rolex
Erected by Tishman Speyer Properties

With the introduction of cheap pocket watches and even cheaper wrist watches, the sidewalk clocks became an outdated and expensive way to tell time.

Now New York's few sidewalk clocks are merely decoration. Or advertisement.

Don't Forget

Fifth Avenue at 44th Street
Seth Thomas Clock Company

The Sherry-Netherland Hotel
E. Howard Clock Company

The last of the remaining sidewalk clocks. Hard to imagine in this digital age a time when these magnificent 15 feet structures -- and the hundreds like them -- were the main source of timekeeping for the city's population.