My Brooklyn is P.S.189, Winthrop J.H.S. and Wingate H.S. from 1952-1965. I lived on E. 93rd St. and Rutland Rd. Does anyone remember the lime rickeys from the store under the Sutter Ave. station?
13 August 1999
Though I lived in Brooklyn till I was 22, the richest memories are of the years I lived at 1749 Dahill Roadfrom 1947 (when I was born) until 1957. My best friends were Starlet Zaner and Maria GrisanzioI wish I knew where they were now! We went to P.S. 177 together, played endless games of stoop ball, "A my name is Alice," jacks, jumprope, iron tag, statues; at the same time, my brothers and the other "big boys" were playing stickball in the gutter. (It was "the gutter," not "the street.") Sometimes we played in the empty lot next to Mr. Gagliano's house, near Quentin Road.
We bought our spaldeens, jacks, comic books, and books of "cutouts" at Miltie's candy store; our parents sent us across the street to Miltie's to get their papers (my father read "Der Tog") and cigarettessmoking was sophisticated thenwe didn't know yet how unhealthy it was: on summer nights Starlet, Maria, and I paraded up and down the street "smoking" punks, which Miltie sold for 2 cents apiece.
There were other stores at the Kings Highway end of the blockthere was Philip the Fish Man, and Irving's grocery store, which smelled mouthwateringly of pickles in the barrel and fresh cheese (American, cream, farmer, and pot). Fresh produce came on wheels"Mike the vegetable man" came around every dayfirst in a horse-drawn wagon, later in a converted school bus painted greensinging out "freshlettuce-tomatoes-o-nee-ones-cu-cum-be-er . . . " When I was very little, we sometimes bought fresh scallions and cucumbers from little farms that still existed a block over, on McDonald Avenueright in the shadow of the el. Our block was a perfect blend of Jews and Italians. Most homes were at least partly bilingualI grew up with Yiddish-speaking parents, and Maria spoke Italian at home and English in the street. It was indeed a "kleyne veltele" within the "groyse velt" of Brooklyna trip to the Claridge movie theater on Avenue P, or the Avenue P Park (on East 4th Street), or to the library on West 6th Street and Kings Highway (my paradise from the time I was 5 until we moved away), seemed to be a real journey.
When I was 10 we moved to East 12th Street between Avenues T&U, and later, after I had graduated from Brooklyn College and had been working in "the City" for a couple of years, I moved into Manhattan. I now live a very long way from Brooklynin a small suburban village outside Nottingham, Englandbut my heart is still there, and my 12-year-old son has been raised on stories of his mum's Brooklyn childhoodjust as I was raised on stories of the Polish shtetl my parents came from. I think they probably have the same mythic quality to him that my parents' stories had for me.
15 August 1999
My Brooklyn is Boro Park46th Street and 10th Ave. It was stoop ball and skelsy. It was walks to the Avenue (13th). It was watching the boys play stickball on 10th Ave. It was egg creams and Carvel. It was bike rides to Prospect Park or the Verrazano Bridge with friends, and watching the Bridge being built. Brooklyn was P.S. 131, Pershing Junior High, and John Jay H.S. I remember Sing from John Jay, and running to crowd into the train. Brooklyn is also Brooklyn College, Hart House, and student teaching.I left Brooklyn in '69, and lived in Connecticut for 11 years. I am now in San Diego- a treasure of a city. I loved Brooklyn, and miss my old friends.
15 August 1999