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Archive for July, 2008

As art galleries, clubs, boutiques, and cafes seep into every storefront on Linden Street, Joe’s Auto Upholstery somehow endures. Since 1945.

A few months ago, I took some cracking vinyl cushions there to be recovered. The guy who does the work figures out your estimate using chalk on his workbench. You can talk time lines, special instructions, and so on. But let’s face it, he knows more about this than you, and you’ll get what you get when you get it.

“Are you Joe?” I asked the first time I went.

“No. Joe’s my Dad,” he says. “He started this shop 45 years ago.” He pointed to a gray-haired man rocking in a lounger at the back of the shop. I hadn’t noticed him before.

 I waited for months. But it was worth it. I loved “checking in” and seeing the other projects– generally bitchen 1950s Chevy’s or Covairs.  And they always remembered my name and my project. And Joe was always there, in the back. Often with a friend. Just passing time.

So, it was with mixed feelings that I finally picked up my cushions. I mean, they looked great and the price was very fair. But now I don’t have any good reasons to go back.

Looking north on Linden

Looking north on Linden

Joe's since 1945

Joe's since 1945

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This building at Riverside and Mulberry, right as you drive into downtown, used to be the Western Food Products Co. pickle factory. “Destroyed in an arson-caused fire May 29th, 1990,” says the Triangle Review, our previous alt-weekly.

I recall that until recently there was more left of it, but I can’t find a recent picture. I always thought it would make a great locale for the local community radio station, KRFC.

Picke Factory remains

Pickle factory remains

Update: Through the amazing technology of Google Maps, I did find a photo that’s just a little dated. And in fact, there was much more to the pickle factory not so long ago:

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