If more than one of us went “major” shopping, we walked down to Mercer, originally from Third North at the foot of the stairs, and after February 1952, from the house at 1207 Sixth Avenue North. From that location we still walked down to Mercer, but via Sixth to Ward Place, from there to Fifth Avenue North, then down by the Auditorium Apartments and west along Mercer to the Safeway (where the Chase Bank is today).If we had time, we walked around the corner, crossed over to the west side of Queen Anne Avenue, and went to the record shop in the middle of the block.
G. O. Guy’s Drug Store, which I believe became a Rexall before it finally closed, was on the QA-Mercer corner. There were brand new records for purchase, and they cost $1 each plus luxury tax. Nine tax tokens were the equivalent of the three cents tax.
We would cross back over to Van De Kamp’s, where the Pagliacci Pizzeria is today. The windmill with its moving vanes was something to see back then, and one of my aunts worked there over a period of years. Their “plum torte,” a special spice cake which my mom loved, could only be purchased at that store. Walking back along Mercer Street, we might go into Warren’s Ice Creamery, part of the site which is now T. S. McHugh’s.
At Warren’s, we could purchase cones, malts, shakes, sodas or take home hand- packed ice cream–much better than the “bricks” which came along later. Some of the best ice creams and sherbets were available to the consumer!
Walking along Mercer, from either direction, the aroma of freshly baked bread would catch you as you walked by the Hansen’s Baking Company, which covered the south half of the block between First North and Warren and Mercer and Roy Streets. At the corner of Third North and Mercer, the endless carousel movement of the bottles being capped at the Parti-Pak Bottling Company was a fascinating sight to see, or it was, for a pre-teen!