Julio: 86th & Lexington Station

The harsh reality is, shops like Julio's are vanishing. He stated how it's become difficult to even consider training a young person, preferably a family member to take over.

The interest level that he rightfully demands from a person is simply not there largely because the business in itself is not as lucrative and it requires a lot of manual labor; all aspects of job that not many would be willing to easily become involved with. There is no such thing as a trade school for shoe repair as there is for welding or air conditioning. One learns by apprenticeship.

"Eventually I'll get too old and I'll close up the shop" he admitted. He worries about the future of his shop but more so in how the trade he's dedicate so many years of his life will have ended with him in view that there's no one to past it down to.

Just like Boris, Julio's real world dilemma continues to be that people now tend to buy cheaply made shoes over and over again which leaves a small window of possibility of them having them repaired. The easiest solution is to buy another cheap pair.

Julio is originally from Dominican Republic where he learned his craft. As for the location of his repair shop, one would never know of it's existence unless you were told how good he is and how you could find him or the other possibility would be stumbling upon it as you exit the 86th & Lexington subway station in Manhattan. The latter is what happened to me.

I promised him I would visit again and gift him an 8x10 framed print of this portrait.