September 19, 2008

Shoeshine, Mister?

When you are rushing through Times Square on the way to an important meeting, there is always time to stop and get a quick shoeshine at a portable cart set up right on the sidewalk.

It seems to me that we often take these types of sidewalk conveniences for granted in the middle of the city, but they don't have these in Phoenix or Cleveland. Also it's a great place to multitask and make a phone call while you get your shoes super shiny. Getting a shoeshine in the city costs anywhere from $3 to $5 (depending on the tip). In 1936, a shoeshine was only a nickle!

Notice the newsstand in the background? It probably won't be there for long. This is a relatively new one, but all of the rickety green metal newsstands scattered throughout the city are slowly being replaced with new sparkly silver ultramodern stands. You might also see some large colorful round signs across the street if you look closely.

1 comment:

Wayne said...

I wish there were more of this. If someone can make decent day's pay shining shoes or selling newspapers, magazines and gum you end up with a more vibrant city.
At one time here we had news guys on the street but at some point they were gone and we had vending boxes.
I didn't notice the shoehsine stands on the street in NYC but did see them in places like Grand Central.
In Vancouver I'm not sure where I'd go if I wanted to get a shoe shine. One of the fancy hotels perhaps.
It used to be that most barber shops had a shoe shine fellow. That's gone.