‘Cash for gold’ is too brash for some Slopers

The Brooklyn Paper
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Park Slope residents worry a flashy new “cash for gold” shop will bring a Las Vegas look and feel to Ninth Street — but its owner promises the business is good as, well, gold.

The shop — which is hard to miss with its bright “We Buy Gold” sign — opened last week near Sixth Avenue, irking some neighbors, who say the gaudy biz is a soon-to-be hub for slingers of stolen jewelry.

“It reeks of desperate people,” said Josh Levy, a member of the Park Slope Civic Council who was not speaking on the group’s behalf. “I’m outraged.”

Critics have been complaining to Community Board 6 about the shop’s eye-catching signage, which features golden arches, a money symbol, and a scrolling ticker urging would-be customers to part with their gold.

“What are they thinking?” said longtime resident John Casson. “If they don’t care about the way the neighborhood looks, why should we care about them?”

But owner Danny Chanukah contends his shop “caters to everyone” and that the store has a policy against buying stolen items.

“A lot of high-end customers are interested in gold,” said Chanukah, who buys gold for $1,700 per ounce from behind a sheet of bulletproof glass.

“Plenty of people have stuff lying around they want to sell — we’re not trying to attract bad people.”

Chanukah said he hung the huge sign to convey “what we do.”

But Chanukah has not yet acquired a city permit for the sign, according to the Department of Buildings. The violation could yield hundreds of dollars in city fines.

Oversized blinking signs are rare in Park Slope — even on busy avenues and truck routes, such as Ninth Street.

Chanukah isn’t the only bling buyer in the neighborhood, either. A similar store, aptly titled Cash for Gold, popped up on Flatbush and St. Marks avenues last spring.

The new joint is fine by Irene LoRe, who runs the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District.

“The business will be successful if it’s the right market,” LoRe said. “If not, it will be gone soon anyway.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story reported that Chanukah buys gold at $17 per ounce. He purchases it at $1,700 per ounce.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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Reader Feedback

pseudonym from incrediville says:
Danny ... Chanukah ? Did you check his driver's license?
Feb. 3, 2012, 1:20 am
Eric McClure from Park Slope says:
I think the original store was in Pottersville.
Feb. 3, 2012, 7:24 am
sslope from south slope says:
Don't think there'll be too many customers selling their gold at $17/oz.
Feb. 3, 2012, 8:38 am
frank from windsor terrace says:
I walked by there and said to some friends that I bet there are some angry community board meetings about that sign. Park Slope, you don't disappoint.
Feb. 3, 2012, 8:54 am
Bob Marvin from Prospect Lefferts Gardens says:
Don't worry.One of these places opened in my neighborhood a couple of years ago. It almost never had any customers and closed after about six months.
Feb. 3, 2012, 9:13 am
VLM from Park Slope says:
What a typically myopic view from Irene LoRe. I was hoping we had heard the last from her when her bad restaurant closed, but I guess she has to give passes to every egregious sign with no regards from folks trying to live and sleep across the street from this abomination. Thanks, Irene!
Feb. 3, 2012, 10:10 am
S from PPW says:
I walked by there and said to some friends that I bet there are some conflict-driven reporters looking to write about that sign. Natalie O'Neill, you don't disappoint.
Feb. 3, 2012, 10:14 am
Ashley from Park Slope says:
I live up the block and noticed the sign so I actually went in the other day to see what they had in there and I ended up coming back the other day and sold some old things I got over the years that I dont wear anymore, the young guy behind the glass was really nice, I first asked how this works because I've never done this before, he explained everything to me did some sort of test infront of me so I knew what the value of everything would be, long story short I walked out happy. Its really clean inside and the people coming in after me were also people who live by us, I dont see the big deal we are in a tough economy and something like this can help a lot of people, and even the people who are not suffering can walk out with a few extra bucks. Everyone is really being a little to uptight about this, people need to make money its not a big deal.
Feb. 3, 2012, 12:04 pm
UmadBro from wat says:
This thing belongs in bed stuy or sunset park. It's trashy.
Feb. 3, 2012, 1:44 pm
ty from pps says:
Wait a second... "a member of the Park Slope Civic Council who was not speaking on the group’s behalf."

Natalie -- what is that? Is that a little twinge of journalistic ethics creeping in? AAACK! Say it ain't so. You do know if you just stopped at "a member of the Park Slop Civic Council" it would have been much more sensationalistic. Why did you pull your punches?
Feb. 3, 2012, 3:51 pm
Joe from Park Slope says:
I don't see a problem with this, it brings small business to the area, i personally feel it's better than all the oil trucks and tour buses that blast through that area 24/7.
Feb. 3, 2012, 3:52 pm
Hhhaaaorrible from Park Slope says:
There goes 200k from our property value, thanks Danny!
Feb. 3, 2012, 8:28 pm
Josh from Park Slope says:
I have gold coins that I bought back in 2004, I've been selling them occasionally when i need extra cash. The best place to sell gold is we buy gold stores. I would never let my coins leave my site nor send my gold coins in the mail you never know who your dealing with or what they can tell you once your merchandise is in their possession. I always get paid in cash and get the most when i deal face to face in the stores. As fas as this we buy gold store in our Neighborhood, I would rather walk the streets in Park Slope to sell my valuables than walk in bed stuy or sunset park to sell gold. Just saying
Feb. 3, 2012, 8:44 pm
Mark from Park slope says:
I think the sign looks beautifull I sold my gold and I was very happy thay are very nice and I got good price
Feb. 4, 2012, 7:04 am
King Midas from Park Slope says:
All that glitters is gold, not that sign. Does any other business in this area have such a eye popping sign. Cleary and outsider comming in to pray on people during tough times. Keep your gold, the price is only going up.
Feb. 4, 2012, 8:56 am
Anthony from Park Slope says:
The business is bad enough in our neighborhood, but the sign is WAY worse. Who do these guys think they are? Danny Chanukah? More like Danny Chutzpah..

Natalie O Neill, congrats ou have cemented your position as the absolute worst reporter in Kings county.

Why did you not ask the dude if he thought about his neighbors before erecting the illegal sign? If he cares that he will be keeping them awake all night with its flashing lights? That it doesn't fit in? Why didnt you ask him if he cares what his neighbors think?
Feb. 4, 2012, 10:04 am
alan from park slope says:
peolpe its a sign!!! this business will actually keep park slope customers in park slope instead of going into othe bad neighborhoods. by the way its not a pawn shop! they just buy gold good luck guys
Feb. 4, 2012, 11:46 am
Skellatosis from FG says:
Tightasses getting their panties in a bunch. Get over it. People are broke and if this can help someone then it's a positive thing. $200k off your property value? Prove it.
Feb. 4, 2012, 12:42 pm
Staypositive from Slope says:
I bet half of you would feel different if you actually took a minute to go in and see what it is.... Better yet if you were the people who needed money. Get over it theres much worse things in life, these people also have families to provide for they are just trying to work. Does anyone commenting here even live so close that the sign botheres them at home? Dont think so. Move on people find a new subject to —— about.
Feb. 4, 2012, 5:11 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
Gold, baby ... gold! Who doesn't like gold?

Bottom line, and maybe fortunately, this is not paradise on earth. This is Brooklyn. (For those who remember). This type of low-class business is common, such as cell phone stores, check cashing places and buying lunch meat from a bodega. Even Dunkin Donuts sells a hundred different pastries that all taste the same cheap. In fact, there use-to-be a porn theater where the McDonalds now resides. And think of the quality of the stuff they claim is food at that place!

As for not buying stolen merchandise, please sir, spare us the bull. Due to uniform quality and mass quantity of gold items and jewelry, ownership is easily masked and forgotten. People didn't find themselves living in Park Slope by being fools.

As for the illegal sign, I would like to say thanks for the nostalgic journey back to 1982. By not going through the proper process, the owner shows no respect for rules designed to protect the interests of all. DOB should make him conform and uphold the fines.
Feb. 4, 2012, 9:50 pm
Chantelle from East New York says:
Yo, Black honies be wantin' CASH for GOLD! Check it!
Feb. 5, 2012, 10:51 am
Fatimah from Cobble Hill says:
Me so horny!
Feb. 5, 2012, 12:02 pm
Susan from Park Slope says:
I just recently saw this infamous sign in-person.

It is by far, the most offensive, garish, disgusting, arrogant, insulting, repulsive sign i've ever seen in all of Brooklyn ever in my life. I'm not joking (let me tell you how I really feel). To see it at night, blinking, flashing, flickering, screaming at you, begging desperately for your attention is nothing short of pathetic.

...never mind the bullet-proof glass in the place itself...

The sign doesn't say "WE BUY GOLD!!!!!!!!!" as much as it says "TELL HELL WITH YOU NEIGHBORS OF PARK SLOPE - WE DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU... WE ONLY CARE ABOUT OURSELVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Feb. 5, 2012, 2:24 pm
Common sense from Bay Ridge says:
The whining from the 1%ers that have infested Park Slope is more obnoxious than any sign. Welcome to Brooklyn Yuppie scum.
Feb. 5, 2012, 9:38 pm
Julia from Sunset Park says:
FYI, Josh and UMadBro, there is more street crime in Park Slope than in Sunset Park.
Feb. 6, 2012, 8:27 am
Commen Sense from Bay Ridge says:
You yuppie people with your money are ruining my brooklyn. I miss my wannabe tough guy streets, generic stores with mediocre services and general crime. stupid yuppies.
Feb. 6, 2012, 3:34 pm
me from bay ridge says:
all the news exposure the owner must be thrilled any advertising is good adverting..ITS ONLY A SIGN. by the way the sign looks alot better then the bodaga on the corner that looks like it belongs in the hood...its park slope not rodeo drive!!! get over it .
Feb. 6, 2012, 9:43 pm
BigAnt52 from Park Slope says:
All of you stupid yuppie late comers to the slope scene should go back to Mayberry if you can't deal with the realities of city living. I can't wait until the street rats jack you for your bling and sell it to Dave the gold man.
Feb. 7, 2012, 1:06 pm
Homey from Crooklyn says:
Lots of precious douchebags here today.
Feb. 7, 2012, 4:32 pm
joe says:
come on guys . its 9th st not 7th ave in the slope ... i own a business here for 13 years ,, the place will make money and you will forget about this in a week ...
Feb. 10, 2012, 10:32 pm
IKnow from Brooklyn says:
$100 bucks says that almost all the comments here in support of this unwelcome new business and its arrogantly oversized inappropriate sign are either from the business owner himself, or his family.

Feb. 13, 2012, 9:50 pm
Real Park Slope from Park Slope says:
GET OVER IT!!!! Only yuppies in Park Slope would worry about something so stupid such as a sign!.
Feb. 26, 2012, 9:24 am
Brooklyn Breeder from Park Slope says:
I'm coming down on the side of who gives a —— mixed liberally with Park Slope is the most embarrassing neighborhood in NYC. Add a smidge of this sign is so bad it's kind of good. In fact, the more I contemplate the incandescent outrage on the part of recent emigres, the more I love this ugly ass sign.
June 24, 2012, 8:15 pm
goldi from locks says:
Nov. 2, 2013, 9:46 am
Jordan Johnson says:
I suppose I can sympathize with them a little bit. But as a libertarian I don't see a reason why people should be able to stop the business owner from doing what he/she thinks is best. If the locals don't like it, then they can just abstain from his shop and maybe that will get the owner to change things.
Feb. 6, 2015, 11:07 pm
i knew brooklyn from canarsie says:
I KNOW BROOKLYN is right, but if you want to sell gold, then you should sell your gold in the diamond district for top dollar.
June 29, 2015, 1:25 pm

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