Matchbook Monday #01

I’m starting something new. I’m calling it Matchbook Monday which sums it up: Every Monday I post photos of a matchbook from my [unofficial] collection, along with a quick story. A journal of “matchbook memories,” if you will.

I don’t consider myself a collector of matches, I just end up with them. I think they appeal to my appreciation of art and commerce coming together into a tiny handheld message. They are like highly-flammable business cards for bars and restaurants and have remained an effective form of passive advertising for over a century. And let’s not forget the importance of their practicality– it’s fire, in your pocket, whenever you need it.

MATCH, Mercer St., SoHo, NYC
Matchbook from Match Bar in New York. © Gary Allard

Match was the home of the best cheeseburger I’ve had in New York. It’s also one of the first restaurants I’d visited during my maiden trip to the City in the 90s. Back in my Art Director days I made regular visits to NYC but this was my first. I was in my mid-twenties and purely a west coaster. It was early Spring, still cold and wet, and I remember wandering through SoHo with my Minotla XG-M loaded with T-Max and feeling thoroughly inspired. New York was the most exciting city I’d ever been to. Match was a casual and warm bar in the northern corridor of SoHo, still a relatively quiet stretch of the neighborhood at the time. Over the years I’d go back (still always opting for the cheeseburger) and witness the gentrification of the area.  Match is closed now and, in the spirit of modern downtown New York, has been replaced by a Versace boutique. I wonder if you can still smell those cheeseburgers in there?


Your turn to share – If you’ve been to any of my matchbook locations, please drop a comment, find me on Facebook, or follow my Instagram #matchbookmonday posts.

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