Mysteries of Brooklyn: The Russo Storefronts

On a busy corner in Brooklyn, across from the Smith & 9th Street subway station, stands a row of ramshackle houses. Two of the buildings are covered with signs and artifacts promoting Vincent Russo Realty and Vincent Russo Notary.

The question is: why? Why the crucifixes, wreaths, wooden soldiers and eagles? Why the sagging roofs, the peeling paint, the crooked signs and faded flags?

Is it an advertising tactic, an artistic statement or a convoluted combination of laziness and craziness? Just another mystery of Brooklyn.

Russo Realty & Russo Notary

Russo Realty

Russo Notary

Brownstoner: Russo Realty
423 Smith: Brooklyn’s Notary District
Forgotten New York: The Gowanus Canal

13 Responses to Mysteries of Brooklyn: The Russo Storefronts

  1. That is really odd, indeed. Who would go there if the “store front” looks like that.

    There is a small law office in Queens that has all sorts of crazy personal quotes written on paper pasted on the windows. I think the guy has psychological problems and owns the store so he simply just comes in every day and hang out. I never see any clients in his office.


  2. Faye Pekas says:

    This is very strange indeed, but its wonderful too. I love all the weirdness and shabbiness of it. A great find and you captured it very well.


  3. Ruth says:

    Wowie wow! What a wonderful blog you have! And I see you’ve been doing it a while (maybe before I knew what a blog was).

    I find these storefronts picturesque, although maybe from a business perspective I might not want to get something notarized there. But I know people who probably would rather step in there than a more “respectable” looking establishment.

    Go figure!

    Thanks for stopping by Flying! 🙂


  4. Ruth says:

    I just want to come back and say I’m feeling chastised for my snobbery. I would definitely get something notarized there.


  5. Great blog! I love the pictures and the oddness of it all. Thanks for visiting!


  6. Ex-Shammy says:

    A very strange store front indeed, I don’t think I should like to enter inside for fear of what i might find…. but a wonderful photo op! It makes you wonder what goes through people’s minds, when they insist on decorating their premises like that… all sorts of odds and ends and pieces of junk. Perhaps the inside is just as bad!


  7. photowannabe says:

    The brownstones really have a lot of character. It seems that the Russos are multitasking. Very interesting blog Annula.


  8. Mandi says:

    I have no idea why they do it. But the article and photos are very interesting.


  9. Olivier says:

    tres etrange, merci de nous faire connaitre les mysteres de Brooklyn. Je note tout cela sur mon petit carnet à spirale pour mes vacances à NYC en octobre (Vivement Octobre)

    very strange, thanks for making known to us the mysteries of Brooklyn. I note all that on my small notebook with spiral for my holidays with NYC in October. Highly October


  10. Lori says:

    I have no idea why either (strange taste perhaps) but it certainly does make for an interesting and colorful photo!


  11. moi says:

    they give storefronts some character, dont they!!!


  12. Ted says:

    Yeah, this place is really really strange. I actually had the privilege of going inside to have something notarized. I tell you the weirdness doesn’t stop at the front. I don’t want to go into detail, but rest assured, it’s been one of the strangest, and memorable experiences I’ve ever had in BK or otherwise!


  13. KitKat says:

    Vinnie Russo was a Brooklyn icon for many years and his buildings were considered a work of art. His friends tried to make a museum. Read about hip at the 718 Brooklyn Blog here
    Kit Kaplan – 718 Brooklyn


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