Here's a closer look. The window-breaking ballplayer reminded me of an old painted ad I saw on a wall in Bushwick back in 2012. The company name is no longer legible on that ad, but the phone number is — and it matches this one!
Given the age of these two ads, I figured the business had probably gone under some time ago, but it turns out Sam is still glazing away, just down the block from the aforementioned ad in Bushwick.
Looking at Sam's store in Street View, you'll find, on an adjacent wall, another painted ad for the business, this one with a catchy slogan: "Don't hold your new windows up with sticks".
(The Street View image linked to above also reveals an impressive collection of pigeon coops on the roof of the building where the ad is painted.)
Homer and Langley Collyer were NYC's most famous hoarders. The reclusive brothers, rumored to be quite wealthy, lived out their lives in a jam-packed Harlem row house "honeycombed with tunnel-like passageways through the piles of newspapers and debris."
One day in 1947, while bringing food to Homer, who had been blind and paralyzed for several years at that point, Langley accidentally triggered one of the many booby traps he had set inside the house, causing a mountain of rubble to collapse and suffocate him. Left alone with nothing to eat, Homer died some days later. Responding to a call, the police discovered Homer's body on March 21. Because the house was so crammed full of junk, they were unaware that Langley lay just ten feet away from his brother. His body wasn't found until April 8.
The Fire Department still uses the term "Collyers' Mansion" to refer to a dangerously overstuffed dwelling. The owners of this home goods shop adopted the name for their original Ditmas Park location, "a tiny store . . . filled with stuff" arranged "like Tetris".
(In the window at left, you can see a reflection of what once was a painted sign for John Curtin Inc., Sail Makers & Canvas Goods — and what now is essentially decor for an Urban Outfitters store, helping to convince its customers that they're enjoying an authentically vintage shopping experience.)
A year after his death, this park was renamed for the late, great member of the Beastie Boys, who grew up playing here. The park's seemingly mundane former name, Palmetto Playground, was actually one of Henry Stern's strangest appellative concoctions. As told by the Parks Department:
Palmetto Playground’s nomenclature was inspired by the names of the surrounding streets: Atlantic Avenue, Columbia Place, and State Street. Columbia is the capitol of South Carolina, an Atlantic state, and the state tree is the Cabbage Palmetto, hence, Palmetto Playground.(There is at least one trace of Mr. Stern's personality still remaining in the park, however: those dancing bear statues in the background.)
This World War I memorial was dedicated in 1921 in nearby Coffey Park. It was moved here, outside VFW Post 5195, around 1972 after having been vandalized in the park on multiple occasions. One such incident occurred in 1948, when the doughboy "was torn down by a gang of about 40 young toughs . . . [who] shoved at the statue until it broke off just above the ankles and toppled face down to the ground".
The doughboy was sculpted by Augustus Lukeman, who was later hired to carve what would become the country's largest Confederate monument on the side of Stone Mountain, the Georgia landmark where the modern Ku Klux Klan was born. (Lukeman took over at Stone Mountain after the departure of Gutzon Borglum, who would go on to carve Mount Rushmore.)