You are reading

Sunnyside Pet Store Owner Creates 1950s Exhibit

Photo: QueensPost

Sept. 2, 2013 By Christian Murray

Abdel Rios, the owner of Skillman Pets, is an avid historian—particularly when it comes to 20th Century Americana.

Rios has created an elaborate 1950s exhibit in the front window of his 49-16 Skillman Avenue store. “People love nostalgia,” Rios said. “It gives them something to talk about and it puts a smile on their face.”

Inside his front window, Rios has items such as a 1950s television, a record player, a camera, clock, coffee pot, cigarette liter, one-speed blender and more. He has spent a great deal of time on eBay in pursuit of items such as a 1950s school sweater and jacket.

Rios (Photo: QueensPost)

“I’m like a tour guide,” Rios said, adding that he enjoys showcasing all of his items. He has a Mr. Potato Head (which came on the scene in the ‘50s), an early edition of Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, and 1950s roller skates.

The front window is also covered with posters of the Honeymooners, Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball and other icons.

“It took me 6 ½ hours to set it all up,” Rios said. “Some people get confused when the realize we are a pet store but I just enjoy people taking a look.”

His exhibit is likely to stay up for another month.

Last year, Rios had an elaborate WWII exhibit in his front war in honor of Memorial Day. At the time, he had items such as combat helmets, US Army jackets, radio sets and a 48-star US Flag to reflect the age.

He said he has one more exhibit left.  “I will do the ‘60s,” he said. “I have a news paper with the headline ‘Man Lands on the Moon’ and I will base it around that.”

He doesn’t have an opening date.

Photo: QueensPost

email the author: news@queenspost.com

23 Comments

Click for Comments 
SuperWittySmitty

That makes sense, because it’s almost a line of broken glass in the road. Thanks, I keep wondering about this. Those recycling trucks must be showing up at their depot half-empty!

Reply
Dorothy Morehead

I noticed a lot of glass too then saw that it didn’t correlate with shattered car windows and consisted of different colors of glass. I realized then that it came from the recycling trucks. That’s not to say that we haven’t had vandalism to and theft from cars–my drivers side rear view window was stolen a few weeks ago. Just that there was another reason for the glass on the street.

Reply
SuperWittySmitty

No, not talking about those specific intersections, but neighborhoods in general. I’m also not judging eveyone by appearance. The people at the park on 43rd & Greenpoint are just as nice as the people at the park on Skillmann, unless you are a better judge of people than I am. and the people inside the library are REALLY great!

Reply
David

@ super

So you’re suggesting the amount of “unsavory people” on Greenpoint and 46th is equivalent to Skillman and 46th? Political correctness gone mad…

Reply
SuperWittySmitty

I ride my bike over the the north side a lot when I go to the park or to Northern Bld to shop. There always seems to be broken glass on 43rd street- almost looks like auto glass. I notice it a lot. There’s no doubt that riding up and down some of those streets is nice, with all of the trees and homes. But I see “unsavory people out and about” on both sides of the boulevard, to be honest. But it’s mostly nice people.

Reply
David

@mets

I was was saying the north side is so much nicer than the south… What the hell are you talking about?

Reply
Woody Woodpecker

Don’t have an opinion never been in there I go to Wespaw P
ets on Queens Blvd. you now the one next to our new neighborhood hot spot Venturo. (:

Reply
86Mets

@David

Even a story about a pet store display can be used as an excuse for a gratuitous swipe at the other side of Queens Blvd by some insecure, stuck-up snob.

Reply
David

It’s really pretty up there on the north side… I’m unfortunately on the south side, lots of unsavory people out and about.

Reply
86Mets

Somewhere a commenter named Woody Woodpecker is having an apoplectic fit and ranting about “old farts” and people “living in the past” unlike the “forward thinking” individual he thinks he is.

Reply
patti magda

I can’t wait to see this window..we should all contribute stuff from the 50’s if we have it..I’m gonna look around

Reply
Celtic Bark

What a great display. Can’t wait to check it out in person. The WWII display was excellent as well.

Reply
Long time Sunnyside resident

Fabulous idea. Thank you to the owner for bringing smiles to people’s faces.

Reply
Anonymous

What a great idea. Great to see someone with a love for the past and to bring smiles to people’s faces. Def got to stop by and thank the owner in person for doing this. Good luck with your store.

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Crunching the Queens crime numbers: grand larcenies down across borough, rapes halved in the north, robberies decrease in the south

Apr. 17, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The number of grand larcenies across Queens was down during the 28-day period from March 18 to April 14, compared to the same period of time last year, according to the latest crime stats released by the NYPD Monday. At the same time, rapes and robberies decreased significantly in northern and southern Queens, respectively.