Friday, August 21, 2020

A corner in Marty


I’ve long wanted to track down this corner hardware store. Why? Because it’s there, in the Bronx, in Marty (dir. Delbert Mann, 1955). Marty and Clara (Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair) stand in front of Babbin’s as as Marty’s pal Ralph (Frank Sutton) calls out from a car: “Hey Marty!”

Babbin’s Hardware & Supply stood at 3530–3536 White Plains Road, at the intersection with E. 211th Street. The business closed in 2001. I was surprised to find a reference to it in a book about the Beach Boys:

We bounded down a flight of stairs and headed up White Plains Road, under the shadow of the Third Avenue El, an elevated subway, in search of this mysterious record. We walked past Babbin[’]s Hardware, Regina’s Pizzeria, Pappantonio’s Laundromat, and the A&P.

James B. Murphy, Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961–1963 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2015).
The mysterious record? “Good Vibrations.”

In August 2018 (Google Maps’ most recent shot), 3530–3534 are occupied by Metro PCS, a tax-preparation service moonlighting as a clothing store (?), and Kennedy Fried Chicken. A Caribbean bakery and grill take up 3536-3538. What kills me (as Holden Caulfield might say) is that you can still see those same little squares to the sides of the second-floor windows.

And now to discover that this corner is just a couple of miles from Gaelic Park, where I went to my first concert — Pete Seeger and company.


[Click either image for a larger view.]

Related reading
All OCA Bronx posts (Pinboard)

comments: 5

Fresca said...

A friend once tracked down the corner bakery--the Cammareri Bros. Bakery--in Brooklyn where Moonstruck was filmed in 1987.
I just looked it up---the bakery closed around 2010 after 80 years.

Michael Leddy said...

That makes me want to watch Moonstruck (haven’t seen it in many years). There’s some version of the business now operating in New Jersey.

Anonymous said...

Directly across the street , where Fran Sutton was in the car is 3350 White Plains Road.
The site of Louie’s Italian Restaurant, where Al Pacino shot two people in The Godfather.

Michael Leddy said...

Wow — a two-for-one movie location. The restaurant was at 3531 — a real restaurant, now gone.

Michael Leddy said...

But it was already there waiting in a 1939–1941 tax photo.