Sunday, September 4, 2022

Church Ave. Poultry Co.

My mom once told me in passing that as a girl she would walk with her grandmother to Thirteenth Avenue (“the Avenue,” the shopping street) to buy a chicken. In other words, to pick out a chicken while it was still in possession of its life. I think I’ve found the spot.

[Church Ave. Poultry Co., 3823 13th Avenue, Boro Park, Brooklyn, c. 1939–1941. From the NYC Municipal Archives Collections. Click for a much larger view.]

Aside from this photograph, the most substantial evidence I can find of the Church Ave. Poultry Co. is the record of a case heard by the Supreme Court of the State of New York. The members of the family connected to this property seem to have been, at least sometimes, at one another’s throats.

I think of the Live Poultry sign as a low-key relation of the stark, oxymoronic Live Poultry Fresh Killed sign known to residents of Boston and Cambridge and to readers of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest everywhere. The sign was sold when the Mayflower Poultry Company decamped from East Cambridge to Boston last year.

Back to Boro Park: The 3823 address is today Mike’s Dinettes. (“Since 1963.”) The wide sidewalk next to 3823 was, I’m pretty sure, the spot for Whitey, the banana man, who sold bananas from a pushcart, even in the early years of Mike’s Dinettes.

Related reading
All OCA Boro Park posts (Pinboard) : More OCA posts with photographs from the NYC Municipal Archives

comments: 2

Anonymous said...

another view

Michael Leddy said...

That photographer gets bonus points for the extra signage and the pushcart. Thanks, Anon.