Photo of the Week: Ruby’s Bar

[Pasqualle at Ruby's Bar watching the 1985 World Series], 1985, v1992.48.9; Anders Goldfarb photographs of Coney Island, v1992.48; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Pasqualle at Ruby’s Bar watching the 1985 World Series], 1985, v1992.48.9; Anders Goldfarb photographs of Coney Island, v1992.48; Brooklyn Historical Society.

A number of things in this photograph are compelling.  As a photographer, it’s the blinding light streaming in over Pasqualle’s head and the way it makes the shadows a contrasting comfort.  For the sports fans it must be the exciting play going on in the most important game of the season.  For mermaids, it’s a sober peek into the long-standing bar in Coney Island.

Rubin Jacobs opened Ruby’s in 1975 and it has since become a mainstay as the headquarters for both the Mermaid Parade and the Polar Bear Club.  The legacy goes on through Jacob’s children and grandchildren who now run the bar. This photograph is relevant also as we hear about beach communities bouncing back from the Hurricane.  Ruby’s not only weathered the last two hurricanes, but a near eviction by their landlord in 2010.  Thankfully, Ruby’s will be open again after March 22 according to their Facebook page.

Coney Island’s many shades have been well-documented by a host of great photographers throughout its history.  This comes from another great series by Anders Goldfarb, often seen bespectacled and bicycling throughout Williamsburg and Greenpoint with a 35mm SLR slung across his chest.  He shoots film and film only.  His prints are lovingly developed in bins of aromatic chemicals and have a hearty silvery sheen to them.  Anders entire series of Coney Island photographs may be viewed on our image catalog where his grainy style aptly represents his subjects.

Finally, in case you can’t remember or weren’t yet born in 1985, the Kansas City Royals spanked the St. Louis Cardinals 11 runs to nil in Game 7 to win the Series.

Interested in seeing more photographs from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery which includes a selection of our images.  To search our entire collection of images, visit BHS Othmer Library Wed-Fri 1:00-5:00 p.m.

About Julie May

I am the Head of Collection Management at Brooklyn Historical Society.
This entry was posted in Brooklyn Past & Present, Library & Archives and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Photo of the Week: Ruby’s Bar

  1. Great news about Ruby’s bar and it’s opening.

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