Sidewalk Shoeshiner Sets Up Shop on Houston Street
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Sidewalk shoeshiners are a sight more befitting of the midtown office district and its army of suits, not so much the downtown environment. Mr. B doesn’t care, though. He’ll shine your shoes for the wallet-friendly price of a buck.
Armed with an umbrella and crates of brushes and polishes, Byron, as he’s called, plopped himself outside the Bleecker Street subway station on East Houston. For three weeks he’s been barking at passersby to net a sale. The peddler tells us business is doing fairly well so far, and that he moved to this spot from Astor Place “hood” (the IRT station). Apparently the crowd up there was too young (i.e. students) to appreciate his services. The eventual goal, as we understand it, is to circulate through the monied section of Little Italy for a cut of some cheddar.
When asked if he’s ever chased out for peddling polish, Byron responds that the authorities pretty much leave him alone.
Anyway, he’s a pretty friendly guy, so grab those blue suede shoes and head over for a shine and free conversation.