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 Picasa

7 comments:

edwin s said...

wonderful post kim! I still prefer Skid Row to Pioneer Sq though ;) More character.

anne said...

Hi Kim! You know I don't like pawnshops very much...like you said they usually bear witness to sad stories of people who don't have enough at certain times...

Ryan of OC Photos said...

I like this photo. Pioneer square and all of 1st street on the way to the stadium has definitely changed a lot in the past ten years.

Rodney said...

Very nice! I like the feel of the shot. The colors and light are great.

Robert said...

Ilove these old signs. They have so much more character than the new one dimensional signs. This is a great shot.

Marie McC said...

Great post! I like the sign, too.

Ame said...

Or you could title this, "In Malls, Check Before Cashing Strip Joints!"

Sorry, still a little punchy from spending waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many hours with an Excel spreadsheet...anyway, I agree with Birdwalker....LOVE the old personality-filled signs...they're a dying breed...I'm thinking of doing a study on that very thing as a matter of fact!

Great shot Kim!
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