Almac Hardware, 2 Newkirk Plaza, at Newkirk Ave., Flatbush; 718-434-1736
Home-improvement Luddites who meander around Almac Hardware’s aisles puzzling over paint enamel or drywall screws will inevitably trigger Paul Goldman’s radar for customers in distress. Within moments the 60-year-old shop owner will launch into a detailed explanation of, say, the merits of compression stems versus the washerless kind. A personable, avuncular man who’s more likely to ask after his customers’ families than to up-sell them power drills, Goldman has an encyclopedic knowledge of hardware minutiae. He’s been a source of local pride in Flatbush for over 23 years—and a handy commodity for a neighborhood comprising a lot of high-maintenance Victorian homes. Like a true patriarch of old mom-and-pop fix-it shops, Paul will kindly refer you to a local handyman if the job’s too big for a lone DIYer.