My Brooklyn was going to Coney Island with my family. My mother would spend Saturday making stuffed eggplants so we could have them for lunch on Sunday. We would take on old blanket and a thermos of lemonade (and of course our pails and shovels) . We would get on the train (the Sea Beach) from our stop (Prospect Avenue) and arrive in a magical place (Coney Island). We would always sit in front of Steeplechase Park so if we got lost we knew where to find one another. When the day was over we would walk back to the subway not really wanting to leave. But we couldn't leave without getting hot roasted peanuts or flavored popcorn at the concession at the entrance to the subway. Oh! I almost forgot the bestNathan's.
17 September 1998
Erasmus High School, P.S. 217, and great memories; looking for old friends such as: Howie/Neal Horowitz, Jeffrey Saddock, Donna Saddock, Harriet Kravitz, Sherrie Lieber, Howie Hess, Don Block, Michael Katz, Andy Molinaro, "Mugsy," Michael Cohen, Terry Kornblatt, Linda Curtis, Marcia Bellziki, Roland Devereaux, my friend David Steinberg, Vinnie DiPaolo, Lorraine Polver, Gerfia Franklin, Barbara Clem, Irene Annarow. Also another list is posted with other names. I am 55, and moved to New Jersey in late junior year, then went to college in New Jersey and met wife, and married for 35 years. Best wishes to all.
20 September 1998
I looked up your Brooklyn neighborhood page and found nothing about Ocean Hill. I was not surprised. Ocean Hill was a little known but very distinct neighborhood to the north of Brownsville, East of Bed-Sty, south of Bushwick and West of E. New York. Broadway Junction was a train stop for many converging lines . . . A Train, Canarsie Line and Broadway Jamaica line and from the platforms of the elevated stations, you could see Callahan-Kelly Park which was the playground for the Ocean Hill young people. Don't let the name Callahan-Kelly get you confused . . . Ocean Hill was a predominately Italian-American neighborhood with street fests, horse-drawn vegetable vendors and the distinct sounds and feelings of an Italian neighborhood. I can remember that the "other people" living beyond the neighborhood borders were Jewish people to the south in Brownsville. . . . We used to go to the "Jew Market" on Sundays which was an outdoor bazaar on Prospect Place. Bushwick was Irish and German. Bed-Sty was black and E. New York was a mix of ethnic including a Greek community. I grew up in this neighborhood and have always told each of my children that they were "culturally deprived" from not having such a great place to grow up. Trying to protect our kids by raising them in the suburbs has had some benefits but the one big downside is the neighborhood . . . boy did they miss a lot.
22 September 1998
Canarsie in the 1950s. A great place to grow up. Hangin out on the "L," softball games in the P.S. 115 school yard, and egg creams in the Sugar Bowl candy store.
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area now but still miss the friends and the good food of Brooklyn.
23 September 1998