Sunday, December 19, 2010

Old Tough New York

I first visited New York City in March 1983, towards the end of the tough old days when bale fires burned in the Bronx, subway cars were armoured in spraycan psychedelia, Times Square was packed with porn stores, teams of rats the size of cats, gentlemen, carried off babies, and in up-and-coming SoHo, Jon Jolcin had opened Protective Fashion, a store selling bulletproof garments to intrepid pioneers.  I had to take a picture (somewhat hastily - maybe I thought I was in a free-fire-zone).

 From the Vegetarian Times, 1984:

The merchandising comes with a $25 million insurance policy - just in case the garments fail to protect as advertised.
The most popular is the ski vest, which sells for $350.
Store owner Jon Jolcin formerly sold bulletproof clothing to the Israeli army before opening his store. Now, he's making more money than ever. "Unfortunately," he says wryly, "business is very good."

The building, at the corner of West Broadway and Watts Street, survives, although Protective Fashion is long gone.  It's an Oliver Peoples' now. selling designer eyeware.  So it goes.


Blogger PeteY said...

"Fleas the size of rats sucked on rats the size of cats
And ten thousand peoploids split into small tribes
Coveting the highest of the sterile skyscrapers
Like packs of dogs assaulting the glass fronts of Love-Me Avenue"
- Bowie, Diamond Dogs

December 22, 2010 2:02 am  

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