Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Vacation! Faber's Bike Shop

Faber's, originally uploaded by Petie_in_Cbus.
So Saturday we headed to Faber's Bike Shop (article link via BradQ) -a going-out-of business bike shop on 1st and Margaret in downtown San Jose, California. Not just any old shop- it's been a bike shop since 1921 and could be the oldest, continuously running bike shop in the United States, formerly a blacksmith shop and something prior to that, and in one article I read it the land was valued at $530k and he needed at least 600 to bring it up to code, plus there was 'unknown soil contamination' in the back. So we headed over there, and it was a real gem. The wooden building barely stood with painted signs in the front, bikes outside, bikes in trees, tree house connected to the house, live bikes and dead bikes.

Talking to the eccentric owner Alex, his forward plans include getting a degree in metallurgy, finishing his over 100 projects, starting a rental/teaching business for tall wheel bike. Bikes were pilled in the yard decaying, pieces thrown all over the 2 rooms inside the building. He kept saying "excuse the mess, I'm trying to pack everything up. But I totally understood his organization method, and I figured he was a bit out there and would understand my need to dig through his things. So I dug. Treasures included: the Beav, a virgin, probably not a vigrin, definitely not virginal, lunch, Tags. There were full, clean packed boxes of foam and glitter grips, but most everything was covered in a layer of dust. I found amazing chainrings next to the NOS set of "Science and Invention" books, next to a poster for a San Jose community fair under which was a sex pose poster. There were boxes of Playboys from about 65-96 and great classic B&W photos of the shop. Feet upon feet of faded pink break cable housing. The was even a guinea pig!

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  1. Someone from Ashland10:41 AM

    What a great looking place! I love the rambling old wooden building and the hand painted signs. These are the types of businesses that make life fun and interesting, add character to our increasingly bland suburbanized towns, and connect us to the past. It's a shame that the land speculators and other real estate crimes have bid property values too high for anything worthwhile to exist. How many more luxury day spas, expensive home decor boutiques, BMW dealerships, and overpriced shoddily constructed condos does the world really need?

  2. Yeah, it was in pretty bad shape, although I snuck upstairs to the "living quarters" and they too were eccentric to day the least.

  3. Interesting to know.


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