I was driving down State Street in Binghamton last week and as I approached the Binghamton Plaza I decided to pull into the parking lot and look around at the vacant building spaces that use to hold some of my favorite businesses.

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I grew up in Binghamton, and in 1973 we moved from the East Side to the North Side, although not much of stretch it put me closer to the Binghamton Plaza on West State Street.

There were departments stores, groceries, movie theaters, music stores, a pool hall, a diner and much more.

I wanted to flashback and pay homage to some of those great stores along that barren strip

Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Bob Joseph/WNBF News

Over to the right of the Binghamton Plaza was the Grand Way Department store, it had much of the same items that you would find in most stores of that time.

Its funny how each business is associated with certain memories.

I remember the Grand Way’s record department, where I spent much of my time, when I entered the store, they always had music playing, one memory was the first time I heard the complete eight minute album version of Foghat’s “Slow Ride”  I bought the album.

I remember another time when I was wearing these plaid pants, and apparently many of the employees were dressed the same way, so as I walked through the store, customers kept asking me where certain items were located, I knew the store so well, I actually pointed them in the right location.

There was also a food shop although don’t remember too much about it.

There were a few other locations, one in Endicott and another in Vestal but by the mid 1970’s the Binghamton Plaza location was gone.

There were many others located in that plaza and I’ll revisit another one in a future article.


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