Mar 5, 2014

Alex' Musical Instruments

Alex Carozza has one of the best repair shops for musical instruments in the world. He is a master repairman and technician and his specialty is the customization and restoration of accordions. He works out of his store which is on the old music row on 48th street. The Accordion Showroom is on the second floor where you can find an antique collection and Bell Accordions  which is Alex’s company. On the third floor is the workshop. Originally from Italy, he moved to Argentina as a young man and eventually found his way to New York. He speaks four languages which helps with the musicians that visit from all over the world. One of his customers is legendary PelĂ©!!  He stops by occasionally to buy guitar strings..... Alex is joined in the workshop by master guitar luthier Pasquale Ficocecco. The two men met in Argentina and have worked together for six decades. Another legend related to the store is Carlo Greco  who made custom handmade guitars. These guys made Eric Clapton a custom double neck guitar,  Frank Sinatra used to rent Alex' office once in a while.  Alex has a million stories, too many for this site. Maybe just visit his store..... http://www.alexmusical.com/    165 West 48th Street.

















Feb 13, 2014

Surma the Ukrainian Shop















Have you ever ventured into the Ukrainian Shop on East 7th Street next to the famous McSorley's Bar? I did so last week. What a treasure trove !!!
The shop was founded in 1918 and has been  run by the Surmach family for 3 generations. The current owner Markian Surmach took over the shop in 2003 after his father passed away.
The store is stocked full with Ukrainian and Eastern European decorative items, religious paraphernalia, books and of course the famous embroidered blouses and fabrics.
Another mainstay is the high quality and raw honey from the Finger Lakes in upstate New York.
As Markian told me, honey is to the Ukrainians as tomato sauce is to Italians.
In former times the honey was furnished by Markian's  grandfather Myron, who founded the shop in 1918 and kept bees himself.
Another interview and photo can be seen on EV Grieve's blog here .
Check out the store's website here

Dec 10, 2013

San Diego: Dulcerias Aztecas






Today's New York winter weather makes me think of sunny San Diego that I visited only a few short months ago. Of course I could not resist this incredible store that I found by accident.
If you find yourself in San Diego in need of some sweets......
Dulcerias Aztecas, 2445 Imperial Ave.  T. (619) 696-8713