Monday, January 16, 2012

NYC Vintage Images: Christopher Street's Village Cigars

While New York's oldest gay neighborhood along Christopher Street in the West Village is ever-evolving, the tiny Village Cigars store has been an unaltering presence at 110 Seventh Avenue South at the corner of Christopher since 1922. That would be 90 years. It's astonishing that NYC Mayor Nanny Bloomberg hasn't targeted the joint, given that it will obviously lead to infants smoking stogies for life.

The iconic triangular one-story building has been in numerous films and is a persistent fave of photogs and painters, in summer and the dead of winter, in color and B&W, printed on greeting cards, ads and photos sold to tourists.

Just above the store is quite likely what keeps it in business: a giant billboard facing motorists and pedestrians as they sail down Seventh Avenue. That is what marks the passing of time... as ads for so many various products have come and gone... from H&M to Gap to liquor ads and so much more.

Passing by the cherished location Sunday, I was pleased to see an ad targeting the demographic that still favors the walk down Christopher: gays. The giant billboard for manhunt.com made me grin. I'll take these young gays in the throes of passion any day over a jigger of Johnny Walker.And many ads from past years...Of course, this remains among my favorites... I have no idea who paid for it, but obviously there are some staunch fans of The Smoking Nun. Wow, bless you, cool cats.