Monday, March 06, 2017

Say Good-Bye To Wonderful Old 'Marietta' Sign on Court Street! This New Carroll Gardens Is Infinitely Less Charming

New sign for "UBreak IFix" at 392 Court Street.
It replaces the wonderful old sign of beloved Marietta
Marietta at 392 Court Street a while back, when it was still open.
This photo was taken by my friend and Carroll Gardener Mary, who kindly allowed me to post it here. It shows Mary's neighbor Marie "hashing it out" with Joe a while back.

Matty and Joe Chirico
image above courtesy of Carroll Gardens Patch

Like so many Carroll Gardeners, I had hoped that the day would never come, but sadly, it finally arrived.  The wonderful old blue and beige metal "Marietta Ladies-Mens & Children's Wear" sign at 392 Court Street between Carroll Street and First Place, has been taken down and replaced.
How incredibly sad and what a comment on how this Italian enclave has changed in the past few years.

Of course, change is inevitable, but the closure of Marietta's, the family-owned shop that had been operating at this location since 1940s, hit everyone hard when its last surviving owner, Joe Chirico, passed away in 2016.

For the past few months, the storefront has been for rent.  A new tenant obviously has taken over the space and recently gutted the interior. Today, a new sign has been installed where the iconic old one used to hang.
It would appear that 'U Break I Fix', a phone, tablet and computer repair store, is moving in.
It is quite a reflection of how times change. This new Carroll Gardens, though, seems so much more devoid of neighborhood charm.

Marietta's was originally founded by Marietta Chirico, a gutsy Italian immigrant who saved up her money and bought the Court Street building, so that she could open her dry goods store on the ground floor. Later, her two sons Joe and Matty stepped in to help run the business.

Though there never seemed to be any visible order in the store, Joe always knew exactly in which brown cardboard box to look to find what their customers are looking for.
Besides white cotton underwear, Joe and Matty, when he was still alive, served up their infectious laughs and hilarious banter. Walking into their store was a real experience and one can only imagine what Mother Marietta was like.

Matty passed away a few years ago, but his older brother Joe who was well into his 90s continued on. Every work day at about 11 am, he would slowly make his way from his home on Clinton Street to take his place behind the counter of his store. Joe's grandson started helping him run it for the past few years, but since the beginning of the year, Joseph's health was failing and he did not want to leave the house anymore.  he passed away this past June.

Below are some memories of the store when it was still open.It was such a wonderful time capsule. Please take some time to watch the wonderful video of the Brothers Chirico made a few years back by Abbey Adkinson and you will understand why they were so special and such a big part of the community.

 Interview with the Chirico Brothers by Abbey Adkinson.


Jennifer said...

I watched them preparing to put up the sign. Very sad. It looked to me like they were going to put the new sign over the old sign. I think it is underneath.

Jimmy from Brooklyn said...

I was errands when they were putting it up and watched. I was gonna grab it if they took it down. Jennifer's right, they did put it up over the old sign. Put in two large anchors on the top edges of the sign and hung it.

Katia said...

Jim, that is great news. I tried to see if that was the case, but could not see the old sign behind the new one. If it is still there, i would be very happy.

Anonymous said...

This is very depressing news...

Anonymous said...

What a Shame. Why didn't the family take the sign?! It will be revelaed again once this place moves on. Like the old Ratners sign on Delancey. That sign emerged after many years for about a week. Well. I'm glad it's stil there albeit buried. This makes me sad and rather sick. Wonder if this place is related to Food U Desire. Not only is this neighborhood loosing its character it has lost its ability to spell full words. I sad. R u?

Anonymous said...