Monday, March 28, 2005

NYC Hero #607: The Mom and Pop Hardware Store

One of the unsung heroes of Manhattan is the mom and pop hardware stores. Yes, we’ve got two new Home Depots in the city and they are good for the occasional nut and screw (dirty)but nothing beats the local hardware store for your apartment’s needs. Since we’ve moved to our neighborhood, we’ve had to replace many a cabinet knobs, bathroom fixtures and closet brackets. Since we live in a pre-war building, many of these parts are quite old and are not stocked at a mega-chain like Home Depot.

Mom and pop hardware stores still have these items. They stock the items they know the neighborhood needs. In my neighborhood they do everything. They can take deliveries from UPS for you. They make keys. They sell kitchen utensils. They offer decorating tips. (Thanks again for suggesting a black toilet seat in our blue bathroom. It looks great.) Sure, when you first look at these places, you can see layers of dust and dirt all over the stock. It creeps me out too. But build a relationship with the owner and forget trying to find the t bracket you need and just show him the piece or describe it and I guarantee he will duck his head in the back for a quick second and come out with the exact parts needed.

Why do I bring this up? Because my husband and I have spent three days walking around the city with burnt out specialty bulbs looking for replacements. I stopped off at our local hardware store this morning and left with plenty of bulbs to keep our home lit for the next year. So, thank you Geo and the crew for always having what we’re looking for. I should have never doubted you. So what if I’ve actually witnessed two cave-ins because your stock is piled haphazardly on top of each other. It’s all good. You seem to know where everything is and that’s organized enough for pantrygirl.