My Brooklyn was the Bushwick section, 1363 Dekalb Ave. to be exact, which was between Central & Wilson Aves. I went to St. Joseph Patron two blocks away and spent lots of time on Knickerbocker Ave. Who remembers Circo's Bakery (still there by the way), Scaturos, Pioneer, Boys & Men, John's Bargain Store, Jacobson's Hardware (where I worked for a few years), Star Theatre, and of course Knickerbocker Park. There was a candy store on almost every block, and I went to most of them to buy candy, gum cards, spaldeens, wooden airplanes (the ones you wound up and flew with a rubber band) and, always, comic books. Angelo's was under the M train on Central Avenue and my brother bought most of his comic books there. Spider-Man, Thor, Fantastic Four all for 12 cents!
I remember the Ridgewood and Madison theaters on Myrtle Avenue, where I saw movies like Planet of the Apes and The Odd Couple. Ruth & Sam's bookstore across the street from the Hamburg Savings bank, with its ornate ceiling. All this under the ever present shadow of the M train. Johnny Pumps in the summer and snow ball fights in the winter. It was the Bushwick of the late 1960s and early 1970s and though I've been gone for many years (not too far away, I live in Queens), I still go back occasionally. The streets are different now, some unrecognizable, but, if you look closely, and the sun hits in a certain direction, maybe, just maybe, you'll be transported back for a few precious moments.
Thanks for the web site, and all the wonderful memories.
15 July 1999
I was born 64 years ago in Brooklyn, and never left. We went to P.S. 139 on Cortelyou Rd. and I can still hear Mr. Dickler ask "How much would 4+4 be if you lived on the moon?" I still do certain arithmetic problems by the Unitary Analysis method. And Mrs. Fisher (art & sewing) "As ye sew, so shall ye rip". On Friday nights I went skating at Park Circle Rink with Paulette Jaffe. Afternoons after school I played touch football with Judy Sommer and the boys. I lived on Rugby Rd. between Newkirk & Foster (early 40s) then 407 Westminster Rd. till 1956. I now reside in Sheepshead Bay for the past 37 years. I have read every entry to this website, and can identify with almost every remembrance. As a child we lived in a 4-story walkup apartment on a street that had 1 tree and no flowers. So I rode my bike to the "private house" areas and knocked on doors, asking for flowers. I was never turned away, and brought home beautiful bouquets for my mother. I belonged to a Jewish girl scout troop that met in the Reformed Temple. Our troop leaders (Capt. Jay and Capt. Eddy) arranged trips to the local churches (Catholic and Protestant) so that we would know about other religions. We said prayers in public school, celebrated religious holidays, respected all teachers and got good educations. On Saturday mornings my mother gave me a dollar. With this dollar I took my sister Sheila to Ludy's delicatessen (2 franks, mustard & sauerkraut, 1 order french fries, 1 can cream soda). With the change we went to the Leader Theater, paid admission for 2 kids, bought 2 boxes of candy (Good 'n Plenty) and brought home the change. On Rugby Rd. we lived on the top floor of a 4-story walkup. My father had a 16 mm sound movie projector. On hot summer nights he would invite the neighbors to come up on the roof (bring a chair) and he would run an extension cord from our apartment to the roof and he'd show full length movies. As I write this other memories of growing up in Brooklyn keep flooding my mind. Hmmmm, I think I'll write a book. To all who have moved away and never returned, yes, Brooklyn has changed, however I raised two wonderful sons here. It's still a great place to live. I'd love to hear from my old friends. Iris Abrams, wanna play Monopoly or trade stamps?
16 July 1999