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The Internet is amazing

This isn’t really a blogpost. Just a tiny anecdote about the power of the information at our fingertips, and how, in less than a minute, it can delight and surprise.

I do try and look at photography other than my own from time to time. I spotted this lovely piece just now: street photos of New York from the middle of the last century.

The photo at the end of that particular link, Zito’s bakery, caught my attention for whatever reason. (I think it was the idea of a “Sanitary Bakery” actually shouting that particular branding at the world.)

As you do, I wondered if Zito was still in business today. (And is he still sanitary?) A quick flick over to Google Maps, popping in the address: 259 Bleecker Street, New York, NY.

And there it is.


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Immediately, perfectly, the streetview is located at the precise spot where that shop stands. The tiling around the cellar hatch is there; it looks like it’s been retiled, but it’s the same shop front, without a doubt. Now an Italian restaurant.

But hang on: scroll a little to the left (try it now on the embedded picture–it works) and you’ll see that 259 is the shop next door. 259 Unique Gifts & Souvenirs. Couldn’t be clearer.

So at some point, did Zito’s stop being 259, and the numbering get changed? Why?

A surprise, a delight, and a little mystery, all in a minute, all far away in Bleecker St, as viewed from this sofa deep beneath the West End of London. I like that.

(And now I have a Simon & Garfunkel earworm, of course.)

Category: Other

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2 Responses

  1. Lee says:

    Pizza Roma is also 259, so I’m assuming the numbering isn’t unique per-storefront (as you’d maybe expect in London).

  2. prclarke says:

    Very good! 259 must be the whole building–comprising two storefronts and the central entrance to apartments above. Still a lovely, momentary thought provoked, and a connection to somewhere I’ll never have the chance to see.

    And yes, I hadn’t even got on to Googling in my brief minute of diversion. Turns out Zito shut up shop only in 2004 :) http://ny.eater.com/archives/2011/01/good_newsbad_news_roma_pizza.php

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