Billy Leroy, Owner, Billy’s Antiques

Photo: Spencer Heyfron

You’ve sure been in the news a lot lately, with the NYPD returning the subway signs it confiscated from your store last year. Are you enjoying the spotlight?
This is run-of-the-mill for me. I’m really into the press because my store is kind of important.

The biggest story ever was when I put a sign up in 2008 that said EUROS ONLY. I had CNN and Fox fighting for it—then it made it overseas, the Italians, French, Al-Jazeera.

Well, is it nice to have your signs back?
I totally forgot, but they really are beautiful lined up. And I’ve already got one guy who’s interested in buying 70 percent of them.

So are you jacking up the prices?
Well, they’re definitely more expensive than they were a year ago. The rarest I’ve ever sold is the Canal Street sign with Chinese writing.

How much was that?
I sold it to a Swiss guy for 3,500.

He paid in dollars.

Interview by Rachel Baker.

Billy Leroy, Owner, Billy’s Antiques