“Lowest prices in New York!” Since this image was snapped, Economy Foam & Futon Center in the Lower East Side has undergone an exterior makeover, deleting this giant advertisement from the city landscape. The ad for Foam & Futon is classic billboard-style marketing, but it’s on the side of a tenement building instead of an actual billboard. The store, located below the sign at the corner of Houston and Allen streets, sells all kinds, shapes and sizes of foam and American-style wood frame futons. As the low-cost bedding option of choice for so many young, apartment-dwelling New Yorkers, the futon business is a swift trade. The futon’s popularity is that it allows the living room to be turned into a bedroom (and vice versa), which is a necessity for many tenants living in space-starved studio apartments. Soundproofing foam is also popular. NYC is one of the noisiest cities on Earth, so the need for some New Yorkers to pad their walls with foam is a requirement for getting a good night’s sleep and maintaining sanity.

Ivan Corsa Photo