I was walking around exploring City Island in the Bronx a couple weekends ago, and noticed this garage and took this photograph. At first I just liked it visually because of the weathered and flaking paint and the rust on the garage doors, as it seems like a nice abstract expressionist painting to me. But as I looked closer at the picture on my computer, I saw some other interesting details … scroll down for more.
If you look closely, there are two horseshoes attached to the front, one over each garage door. As most people know, hanging a horseshoe over a doorway with the ends pointing up, it is believed that this will “catch” good luck. There’s also the idea that horseshoes were originally made with iron, a material that was believed to ward off evil spirits, and traditionally were held in place with seven nails, seven being the luckiest number.
But then there’s also an anchor image attached in the top center of the garage. Is this nautical decoration just because City Island has a history of being a home to shipyards, sailmakers and oystermen? Just for curiosity’s sake, I did a little research to see if anchors are ever a symbol of good luck, and it turns out that they are! I learned that an anchor always symbolizes good luck, safety and security to those of a sea-going lifestyle and is generally associated with hope, steadfastness, salvation, stability, and tranquility. The anchor was chosen as it holds a ship in place, representing strength and security.
This makes me like this garage even more: we’ve got all these symbols of good luck contrasting with a beat-up, weathered, rusty appearance … perhaps the fact that this garage is still standing reflects its good luck!