“Browse uniforms, gear, equipment, and more at Brooklyn's Coat Arcade, and look and feel like a winner next time your team hits the field.”
The Coat Arcade used to be on the ground floor of the apartment building I lived in in Borough Park, Brooklyn. 1805 49th Street. I was in apartment C3. I never went to the Coat Arcade though. Not sure it was even there in the fall of 1989.
I only lived there about six months, during my ill-fated first semester of art school at Parsons. I’d been trying to track down the address ever since watching a documentary about the murder of Yusef Hawkins. It had happened down the street in Bensonhurst, weeks before I moved in. I wanted to see how close I lived to the scene of the crime and the protests that followed. This was the event that cemented Al Sharpton’s place on the national stage.
I was nineteen and mostly unaware. I had my own very important issues——like avoiding my slightly insane geriatric roommate and the daily commute on the F train to Manhattan. The only thing I knew about Bensonhurst is there was a newsstand there that sold porn magazines.
I look at a Streetview scan of the building and have no memory of the doorway or any of the rest. Doubtless the storefronts have changed, but this is a brick apartment structure from 1923. How much could it have changed? It may as well be any one of a million random places I’d never even set foot in.
There’s very little online about 1805 49th Street. Some generic realtor photos, listings of former residents on for-pay reference sites, and Justo L Roman. There’s a photo of the man smiling in front of a wall of electronic gear. The picture is undated, but the form with his ham radio handle and info says 2016. No way it’s that recent. Unless that part of Brooklyn somehow remained a couple decades back.
The Coat Arcade has moved on to other locations. Not sure it’s still operational. The plague killed off so many small operations.
Somebody else will have to dress Brooklyn’s teams so they can feel like winners now.