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November 18, 2011

I was looking at an old picture today in my apartment of a store that used to be on 14th Street called, Funny Cry Happy Gift. It was one of those kooky stores that sold everything from bags to batteries, to knock-off fake designer perfume, to wacky-ass plastic toys that fell apart five minutes after you bought them. I loved the name of the store and often wondered who thought of it and was there any meaning attached, or was it just something random. I remember one day about six years ago walking down 14th Street and—BOOM—it was gone. It was replaced by a cell phone store, I think. It was one of those heartbreaking New York moments when you wish you’d have taken the time to research and document the place. I’m glad I’ve got the one photo and tonight I thought I’d walk down there and take a photo of it today. It’s changed hands quite a few times since the Funny Cry Happy Gift days and I don’t even know what’s there today. I guess we’ll find out.

Goddamn, it's cold out here tonight, I dread old man winter coming.

The Empire State Building is purple tonight. Somewhere, Prince is happy.

"Talk To The Hand, Part I: She Knows I'm Taking This Picture."

"Talk To The Hand Part II: Lights, Camera...Arms?"

This makes me think of this headline.

What the fuck does this even mean? I've been standing here for over five minutes staring at this goddamned ad. Why does turkey luncheon meat need protecting? It's already dead for fuck's sake, what else are you going to do to it? Plus, what the fuck kind of sandwich is this? It's too tall to pick up, unless you have the hands of Herman Munster. I could probably spend my whole life standing here staring at this, but it's too cold, so let's move on. Who the fuck protects turkey luncheon meat? Okay, I'm out of here.

And here's the fork in the road.

Okay, we're almost there, it's up ahead, just beyond the golden arches.

There it is, let's go take a closer look.

Jason & Co, what the fuck kind of name is that for a store? And they buy gold and diamonds. Really? In this economy? Who's got gold and diamonds laying around waiting to sell? What kind of weirdness is this? And they also pawn. I wish they had a window so I could see what's going on in here, I need to stop back during working hours, this is a far cry from what it used to be. And speaking of that, let's take a trip back in time and look at my photo of what this store front used to look like.

Looking at this photo brings me right back to the day I looked at it and it was gone. Vanished, poof, wiped off the block and replaced with a fucking phone store and now it’s a gold trading store, whatever the fuck that is. When friends of mine came to town I used to always take them to the Stoned Crow bar and on the way I’d point out the Funny Cry Happy Gift store. More often than not we’d go in and buy some goofy trinket from the Chinese couple that owned the place. Funny Cry Happy Gift closed and then the Stoned Crow followed suit last year. Nothing lasts forever, we live in a world where where everything has an expiration date. I guess the lesson to be learned is to enjoy and savor things and people while they’re still here. Funny Cry Happy Gift, magical words.

Goodnight everybody and see you tomorrow after dark.

Further reading: Flickr, Did You Just See What I Saw? and flickriver.

The powers that be,
That force us to live like we do,
Bring me to my knees,
When I see what they've done to you.

(Surprise link...click on it...I dare you!)


Bonus Cartoon From Jaws!

MAD commenter and author, Jaws sent in this cartoon from the Axe Man Gift Shop. Thanks, Jaws!

Reader Comments (25)

Awww, this makes ME Funny Cry Happy... I hate when you discover things have disappeared, happens much too often in this city. It makes you fall in love and then it breaks your heart. I saw the purple ESB last night and it really creeped me out for some reason.

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

Little did Marty know that when he espied "Funny, Cry, Happy", he had the opportunity to become a musician, move to Brooklyn, and have P.J. Harvey produce his albums. Dang. Besides the obvious perks, stints of unemployment sound so much better when referred to as between gigs.

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercsp

My favorite cheap toy / impulse item / weird gadget place to shop is Axe Man Surplus...don't know if youve got them in New York, but I spent alot of time in the Fridley Minnesota shop...a magical place and sometimes inspiring the occasional cartoon...check your e-mail!

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Dang. I forgot Gift.

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercsp

Yogi Berra:

" When you come to a fork in the road....Take it "

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

I think the name came from an attempt to cobble together words that are significant to the owners. For really funny examples of Chinese (asian) wordplay, check out engrish.com, one of my favorite timewasters. Next to this site, of course!

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatrink

all I know is that I'd bet the cat that asians ran that store - those are Asian words!!! I should know - husband number 3ish was Asian.

you're always entertaining but this was extra hilarious (and I'm sober).

the turkey sandwich sent me into a uncontrolled chuckle - it would have been a loud roar had I not been at the library. and it didn't go over well. thats what I get for reading you in daylight. I typically, wait til dark to read Marty after Dark. It's seems almost sinful to read you without a drink in my hand.

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGreen Monkey

@Lindsay: It is one of the downfalls of the city, but at least living here we get to see them before they're gone. I find it funny that the purple Empire creeped you out. But come to think of it, it is a little creepy looking.

@csp: Ha! Great linkage, did PJ Harvey really produce that?

@GENE: I thought about taking it, but it was dirty. Sorry, Yogi!

@Jaws: I'll check the email soon an post it, thanks!

@Katrink: I love engrish.com! I've wasted a lot of the company's money I work for reading that instead of working!

@Green Monkey: Thanks, glad you enjoyed it! And I love that you refer to your third husband as "3ish." Ha ha ha!

November 18, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

At least I see a Pizza place next door now, and a NYC candy store (not sure), so all is well.

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@MAD ..... reminds me of that Seinfeld where Jerry wouldn't kiss the chick who brushed her teeth with the toothbrush he knocked into the toilet - then took back out - and didn't tell her .....

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@Al: That pizza place has good slices, I had one last night after I took the picture! The candy/magazine/cigarette store is a little sketchy.

@GENE: That's a great Seinfeld, I love that she tells him she put something in his toilet and it turned out to be the toilet brush after he threw everything else out. (Cue up the bass line for now!)

November 18, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

In SF we had a few places like that..loved the cheap knock off tacky gifts..
then of course i have my archie mchphees in seattle..
but somehting about the Chinese run knock stores that are just awesome... tacky awesome.

I prefer gadgets that cost alot of money lately.. but damn stick a hopping wind up leiderhosen on my desk and i am a happy cmaper

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGidgie

@Gidget: I love the cheap tacky stuff too, I could spend hours in 99 Cent stores!

November 18, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

MAD's post has generated comments that have in each a lot to go off on...but the jamesons has conquered the "rutgut 45" to keep a "civil" muscular hydrostat...so i'll just say GENE grab the first quote i thought when i read this eariler...

“"But I don't want to go among mad people," said Alice. "Oh, you can't help that," said the cat. "We're all mad here."”
~ Lewis Carroll


November 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

Wow ! ... I beat raginrr to a quote ! Party !

Party like it's 1999 !

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@rr: Best quote yet! I may have to use that somewhere on the blog!

@GENE: Party on! I'll be uncorking a few in about an hour or so. Cheers!

November 18, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

meant to CAPITALIZE the MADs but i was so dishearten that GENE beat i...i went to the bottle and started to cry...was only left w/a beat dead horse..."rutgut 45"...not sure how mr. carroll would take it...let's hope Charles Lutwidge Dodgson would say 'PARTY" like it's 1897...


November 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

Great post, Marty. Love that name & I agree about all the names & stores that have disappeared, that I never made a note of, or photographed, & buildings that have had a dizzying succession of tenants. Things vanish in a second, but there are all sorts of buried layers of signs & memories & voices on every block. Sort of sad but beautiful to have all those ghosts floating about out just out of reach. It's when the buildings themselves are torn down, for ugly fucking condos & the like, & the chain is broken, that the heartbreak really starts.
One of my local favorites is Queen in Bazaar , which I find both absurd & romantic.
Yes, I have been drinking plenty of wine & champagne this evening ...

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteronemorefoldedsunset

@rr: Don't sweat the lower case, I forgot about that line and appreciate you sticking it back in my brain.

@onemorefoldedsunset: "Yes, I have been drinking plenty of wine & champagne this evening ..." Ha ha ha! Good for you, I've just opened up my third beer and think I'll get shitfaced! Glad you liked the post!

November 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

was that line a " HEAD" line?...


November 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

@rr: Ha ha ha! It appears so!

November 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

I know gentrification is when you sweep out the old to make room for the new, but what's the word for sweeping out the old to make room for the stupid?

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@Biff: That word would be: "stupid."

November 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

@Biff: That's called "Here comes the naborhood."

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercsp


November 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

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