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Blogger Blocked From Photographing Block Drug Store

ashesCourtesy of Frontstoop Films.

I Love Old New York recently visited the Block Drug Store, snapped a few pictures from the sidewalk, and chatted up the owner, Carmine Palermo. The blog’s shutterbug wasn’t allowed to shoot inside, however: “[Mr. Palermo] told us that such permission would cost a lot of money.” The Local called up the pharmacy to inquire about Mr. Palmero’s asking price, and he said that in general he only charges top dollar to filmmakers.

“We’re local,” he explained. “People depend on us. There are very few times when we can close — they want to take over the store for 12, 15 hours.”

So, just how much would he charge? “Whatever it takes to discourage them,” Mr. Palermo said.

Of course, nothing is stopping filmmakers from shooting the store’s neon sign. That’s exactly what local auteur Ajay Naidu did for the above shot in his film “Ashes,” which recently became available online.