Things I Miss About Ye Olde Oneonta, New York
I've been watching the discussion unfold concerning the Ford Sales building knockdown, and it's got my nostalgic wheels turning. We all have our special times here across various decades, and sometimes they intersect. My primetime Oneonta experiences took place in the late 90s and early 2000s, and yeah, we had a real good time. Before you trounce me with the "ZOMG YOU FORGOT _____ " comments, dear reader, bear in mind that this is just an overview of what seemed like a simpler time, not just in Oneonta, but the world itself.
When Grand and Glorious Meant a Garage Sale
One of my favorite discoveries when arriving in Oneonta in 1998 was the Grand and Glorious Garage Sale. I was young, and didn't pay attention to the world like I do now, and I stumbled upon the sales on Main Street and fell in love. My apartment at the Oneonta Hotel was completely decorated with sale items. I had a collection of mirror signs advertising booze that was quite impressive. I bought them year after year from the same seller in front of Key Bank. Along with tchotchkes, my day was made, and I had a cool looking place on the cheap.
Early Morning Breakfasts on No Sleep
When working a Water Street bar, I lived within the 100 block of Chestnut Street, up on the "Wall". When coming home hungry at 5am after a long night, aside from Denny's on Southside, there was nowhere to eat. Nick's Diner was a welcome beacon of light at that hour. This is the OLD Nick's, before they made it all presentable. We bellied up at the counter next to older regulars, and ate greasy spoon food served by a grumpy server who didn't want a couple of young rabble rousers darkening their doorstep. Good times.
Take What You Want, Leave the Rest
Ok, ok, I know my mind and belly are connected, but hear me out. I so miss Christopher's and their salad bar. I was living in Charleston, SC when I heard it burned and I almost wept. If you were anyone in Oneonta, you knew at least 3-4 people when you walked in the door. Then there was the salad bar. It might not have been the greatest the world has ever seen, but for the place and time, it might as well have been. Remember the bread?!?!
Before it was cute and cliché to say "Stoneonta" Main Street had a glut of headshops. Maxwell's was in the same spot, and there were 2-3 more down the way. Their names escape me all these years on. There was one right around where Nag's is now, and another upstairs on Dietz Street. They all had their own personalities, and variances in quality. Remember when you could only say "I'd like to see that vase that I'm just going to use for pipe tobacco"? Oh the dark ages!
Remember the Oneonta Tigers? Every year like clockwork, at the business I worked at, we'd get a call soliciting donations from a gent who identified himself as "Tony the Tiger". When he called, I'd cheesily ask him if he was grrrrrrrreat! He always played along, and I think we threw him a couple of bucks for his efforts.