#339, Lower East Side, NYC
A favorite among fading ad enthusiasts, ghost sign collectors, and hunters of the New York ephemeral (do not be fooled by our intrepid nature: we are legion), this decaying 339 on Grand Street on the Lower East Side is the gold standard.
"Ideal" was the big advertising promise back in the day -- you can see another example of it in my #20, Samuel Cohen's Son Ideal Class on 2nd Street -- and here both ladies & men could rest assured that they could fetch their ideal hosiery wholesale from this corner shop. (It begs the question, what exactly is men's hosiery, anyway?) My heart went pitter-patter when I discovered this gorgeous specimen of urban decay earlier this year on an otherwise uneventful number-hunting expedition on the LES, and if I wasn't already bought, sold, and sent down the river at first glance, when I glimpsed that tiny fading ampersand I sure as heck was.