We all know that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but it’s less well known that the other man is named Nick DiMola and lives in Ridgewood.
Nick runs DiMola Bros., a rubbish removal and interior demolition company based on Summerfield Street just past Wyckoff Avenue. "We’re a garbage company, so we collect garbage," he explains as he invites us into the warehouse and office that he has gradually turned into a museum of New York City’s unwanted relics. His website puts it differently: "My job is to get rid of trash, but sometimes it’s not that easy for me."
The walls of the garage are covered in porcelain signs for Esso, Rheingold, and Borax, along with a neon hotel sign and a cell door from a women’s prison. Space that’s not needed for the business’s trucks is given over to clusters of antique furniture, unnerving medical equipment and vending machines – the oldest a laundry soap dispenser from the 1940s.
Inside his office the wonders compound, walls and ceilings lined with art, advertising and photographs, shelves and cabinets holding much more (see the slide show at right for an idea). Nick jumps from one curiosity to the next with the pride of a collector, yet one protected from obsessive completism by a career in serendipity. "What do you collect?" he asks, and whatever the answer, he’s got something to show you.