Friday, August 25, 2006
Before Check Cashing Joints in Strip Malls. . .
. . .there was Barney's for the short-of-cash in the Pioneer Square area. I love this old sign with its peeling paint and bygone days feel. Barney's Jewelry and Loans is still a busy full service pawn shop in the heart of this historic neighborhood. It's just a short block from Seattle's original "Skid Row," Yesler Way, the road down to the water on which the logging skids of the 1880s were located. There were many Skid Roads on the Pacific coast back in the heyday of logging, but it was Seattle's that gave rise to the term which, during the Great Depression, came to stand for a rundown urban area populated by derelicts, vagabonds, and alcoholics. This area of town is no longer called Skid Row, but was redubbed Pioneer Square and made a national historic area. It's gone upscale a bit, but still bears witness to hard times in many lives. At Barney's one can browse the window for instruments, engagement rings, and other treasures hocked for a short loan. Each piece seems to have a sad story to tell.
Posted by Kim at 12:08 AM