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In the '60's a favorite hang out after school which was St. Martin of Tours on Weifield and Knickerbocker was Miss Annie's where we could get "chocolate waters" for 7 cents. This was simply seltzer water with chocolate syrup. St. Martin of Tours school is now St. Elizabeth Seton but the church remains the same. I remember riding my bike down Irving Avenue near Jefferson where the old Italian guys would hang out in front of the import store. That store still exists after all these years. When not riding bikes we would play skelly and stickball on the streets. I still play skelly (skelzy). Living in an apartment house, 6 family, there was always someone to play with. We also always got sick together such as mumps, measles, chicken pox, whatever was going around. Halsey Park was off-limits. This was a bad place as far as our parents were concerned. We later moved into Ridgewood which remains a very nice neighborhood. Shopping on Myrtle Avenue is safe and affordable. Favorite movie theater back then was the Madison. Great atmosphere for the many vampire movies they use to present with its burgundy velvet draperies, grand staircase going up to the balcony from the lobby and its gold-leaf paint. Now it's a discount store. Bushwick is my part of Brooklyn and I'm proud of it.
I just came upon this website by chance and couldn't believe finding your posting about Bushwick back then. I attended Halsey JHS (PS 85) but knew St. Martins well because I went there for religious instruction and was confirmed there. Hard to believe the Italian importer is still on Irving Ave. I too lived in a 6 family, on Madison St., and remember those games and sodas, especially the egg cream. I remember the Madison theatre. I think you had to look old enough to get up to the balcony, where they allowed smoking. Couples liked it up there too. There were also the Ridgewood and Parthenon theatres. The Parthenon was my favorite. I remember 21 cent admission for a Saturday double and sometimes triple feature. You couldn't beat that! I haven't been back to the old neighborhood in 20 years, so as you can see your posting brought back many fond memories.
PS 56 on Madison and Bushwick. Halsey JHS on Covert and Evergreen. RKO Bushwick & Loewes Gates on Broadway. Stickball, punchball, stoopball and triangle; skelly, marbles and flipping cards; ringaleevio, I-declare-war, zig-zag-tag and johnny-on-the-pony. Snake Hill in the winter for sledding, Highland Park for baseball in the summer. Then puberty ended it all.
Candy stores and egg creams. Two things only a New Yorker understands.
And the great issues of the day: Mantle or Mays? Rizzuto or Reese? Campanella or Berra? Erskine or Ford? Coke or Pepsi? Some things never change.
Italians, Germans and Irish together. Then came blacks and Puerto Ricans. Still together. Catholics, Protestants and Jews together. We were a neighborhood. We were kids. We didn't know enough to let stupidity get in the way of friendship.
Maybe becasue we were all poor and our families struggled to move upward we came away with the views we did. Maybe it was the sights and smells and sounds of Bushwick. whatever, it was a long time ago on a world that is long gone and too late lamented.
I was just surfing the net looking for some info I needed, and I just cam across this page. I was quite suprised, because I am from Bushwick-Ridgewood area. I know what it is to go shopping at Myrtle Avenue. I am from Madison St., used to live right after the Bodega, and I also went to Bushwick HS. A lot of memories just came across my mind, I miss my neighborhood, I am not longer there in NY. But I know that area will never be the same as it was a few years ago.
I just got into this website and thought I'd see if there was any mention of my old neighborhood. Sure enough, there was. I grew up in Bushwick. I lived on Himrod Street between Central and Wilson Avenues. Have fond memories of Knickerbocker Ave.
In '68, we moved to Covert St. between Irving and Knickerbocker. We did a Folk Mass at St. Martin of Tours from '68 to '70.
Before that, I was an alter boy at St. Barbara's.
I graduated Bushwick High School in 1968. Last year we had a 35th Anniversary Reunion in Queens. Loads of fun.
Remember stickball, skelly, "malteds" and a grocery store on Knickerbocker Ave. called Dilberts(No relation to the comic strip!!!)
Fond memories. I'm at the other end of Myrtle Ave. now. In Woodhaven.
Nice to see all the memories folks have about Bushwick. I attended P.S. 86, then P.S. 74, and Bushwick High School.
We lived in a six family house on Himrod Street. It had fancy brickwork and brass handrails going up the front steps. I thought it was very elegant.
I recall shopping at Rainbow's, National Shoes and Woolworth's on Knickerbocker Avenue. I spent many afternoons at the Parthenon, RKO Madison, RKO Bushwick, Loew's Gates or the Rivoli. Anybody remember the Rivoli? It was on Myrtle Avenue near Wilson.
We were poor, but I didn't know it. There was a lot of love and fun growing up in that neighborhood.
Blast From the Past - what was your favorite candy? We had a candy store next door from us when we lived at 258 Irving Ave. Remember those crazy adding machine tape ones with the hard candy dots ? How about those miniature plastic edible coke bottles filled with sweet liquid? Did we eat that outside stuff?? Bazooka bubble gum...yum yum. Mom said we were not allowed to drink soda back then..only milk. Actually, that's how I got the money to buy candy...from the milk bottle refunds.
Just thought I'd pass on that there's a new forum dedicated to Bushwickians at:
Check in and say hello!
I was raised on Bleeker and Wilson. Attended PS 116, and Halsey Junior High. Hung out on the corner of Hancock and Central. And in Halsey park with a group of guys called the Halsey Bops. We were pretty tough back in our day. But believe it or not most of us grew up pretty decent. They were good days back then and I would not trade them for anything. As far as Bushwick goes Im proud to have come from there. At least our mothers and sisters could walk the streets any time day or night and be safe. And as tough as we were nobodys mom had to carry her groceries when one of us were around. And if a neighbor needed help we would always lend a hand. The only ones that called us hoods and gangsters were the parents of the guys we kicked the crap out of for coming into our neighborhood and trying to start trouble. Bushwick was a great place to come from and we should all keep a spot for it our heart. Alan LIRR67@WEBTV.NET
The Halsey Bops were the talk of Bushwick High School back in 65 - 68.
Ah, such fond memories.
I went back there last Friday with a friend from Bushwick High School. We got together after The Class of '68 had their 35th Anniversary Reunion last year.
I lived on Himrod between Central and Wilson from 1950-1968 and then moved to Covert Street between Knickerbocker and Irving until 1972 when the family just had to get out.
Real great memories of a real great time.
Anyone remember an Italian bakery on Knickerbocker Avenue near Dekalb Avenue named Circo's?
Just to let you know, the store is still there selling cake and cookies. The place has been in business for over 50 years; owned by the same family.
Went down with an old friend from Bushwick High School's Class of 1968 a little over a week ago. Just to buy cake.
I recently have been in touch with my childhood friends from the old neighborhood but I have been wondering what happened to my best friend and neighbor, Joey Pappalardo, of 163 Himrod Street, between Wilson and Central. I believe that Joe68 is who I had hoped one day to find to remember those years - 1951 to 1969, in Ridgewood. Joe, if this is you, please let me know. I left Himrod Street to move to Onderdonk Avenue with my parents also when you could not stay there any more. So many changes yet such perfectly unchanged memories of the greatest neighborhood and growing up anyone can have. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
this bakery was on my corner, I got at least 1 pastry everyday. but mom would get a whole box full every weekend just in case company came . someone always came by on the weekends. mostly cousins.. I live in NC now I can get a decent canolli every so often but not as good.Mary Manderine
Wow! I just came across this website and what a nice surprise to find some of us from the old neighborhood. I worked at Circo's during the summer while in HS. The old man (owner) was a real character. I had a lot of fun there. The pastries were out of this world and so was their Italian ices- especially the spumoni. I lived on Wilson, across from Giangrasso’s bakery, near St. Josephs Church and went to Bushwick High- class of 62.
I was just talking to a good friend of mine who also graduated from Bushwick about the old neighborhood. We would like to go back to take a look, but I don’t know if we are going to be disappointed with what we would see.
Let's keep this page going!
It's now 2006. Is Circo's still in business? Last time I was there was 1998. The owner told me she was hoping to retire in 5 years. Can anyone tell me if it's there. I grew up in Brooklyn went to PS 123, 162, and Bushwick High. I remember walking down Knickerbocker Ave a couple times a day to get Italian Ice in the summer.
What a coincidence. I too went to PS 123, 162 and Bushwick High.When did you graduate from Bushwick?
I Haven't been back for a very long time and I wonder how the place is now?
WOW..THIS IS GREAT..I GREW UP ON WOODBINE STREET..BUSHWICK HIGH SCHOOL WAS ON IRVING AVE..I WENT TO PS 106..MY GRANDMOTHER AND AUNT HAD A CANDY STORE ON THE CORNER OF GATES AVE AND IRVING AVE..I WENT TO ST PAUL'S CHURCH ON KNICKERBOCKER AVE..LOVED TO PLAY STICK BALL ..STOOP BALL...RINGALEEVIO.SARDINES...RED LIGHT GREEN LIGHT...SELLING GIRL SCOUTS COOKIES DOOR TO DOOR...HALLOWEEN'S THAT NEVER SEEM TO END...THE RKO..MYRTLE AVE..COMIC BOOKS..SKELZIES...OPEN HYDRANTS...THE PARK BETWEEN WOODBINE AND PUTNAM STREETS...HIGHLAND PARK..RIDING OUR BIKES THERE...WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS MEMORIES...SITTING ON THE STOOPS...ROLLER SKATING...AND SO MUCH MORE...IT WAS WONDERFUL...NEED TO GO BACK AND TAKE A LOOK...THIS REALLY STIRRED THE MEMORIES..THANK
I travel through that neighborhood often.
P.S.106 is still there. If you tell me what block you lived on, I'll check it out the next time I go to that aria, and let you know what it looks like now.
THAT WOULD BE GREAT...IT IS 392 WOODBINE ST..BETWEEN RIDGEWOOD PLACE AND IRVING AVE...IT IS A 2 FAMILY HOUSE ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE STREET..PS106 STILL STANDING...WOW...I THINK I MAY HAVE TO TAKE A RIDE ONE DAY...JUST HARD WHEN YOU HAVE A ZILLION GOOD MEMORIES...AND SOMETIMES WHEN YOU GO BACK...AND YOU SEE A BIG CHANGE..YOU LOSE SOMETHING...BUT THANK YOU..I WOULD APPRECIATE IT..AND MAYBE GET THE COURAGE TO VISIT ONE DAY SOON..
392, fifth house on the left, going from Bushwick High towards Ridgewood place?
I'm going to the corner of Schenck Ave and Fulton Monday morning.
If I get the chance, I'll swing by Woodbine and see what stands at 392 these days.
that is very generous of you...I appreciate that...glad I found this website..please do not go out of your way...and it is right...the fifth house on the left..from bushwich high..thanks cityboy..it is really appreciated..maybe if I like what I hear...I might take a ride one day...thanks again
I got to Woodbine today. I would guess, from the outside, it looks just as you remember it.
392 is 2 stories, listed as a 3 unit dwelling (basement must be legal), built approx. 1910. The address on the right (looking from the street) is also 2 stories. Across the street, 393 and it's match are also 2 stories. The rest of the block seemed to be 3 stories, from the same era. Everything looked original.
I visually confirmed PS 106 is still there also. WOW! is that a big building! Kinda white on the outside. I'm guessing it's around 100 years old. I didn't have an excuse, nor the time, to go inside to find the year of construction today. But now I'm curious, and will find out someday.
I'll let you know when I get the chance.
If you're going to take a ride to look, may I suggest you go after about 9AM when most of the school traffic and kids are off the streets, and before Noon, 1PM or so, when the streets seem to change a little in that area.
Sorry to tell you that part, but the neighborhood is picking up compared to 15 years ago.
Thank you so much...that is it...I can not believe you did this for me..a stranger..I so appreciate it...I have decided to go and visit...maybe this saturday..my kids would like to go to...This is so great..you have no idea..I have several places I am going to visit...including ps 106, gates ave where my grandmother had a store..my church..st pauls on knickerbocker ave...I am bringing my digital camera too...I will send you a photo or two...you have given me the strength to visit a place I loved and have so many great memories of...Cityboy..thank you so much...
ps..I just got off the phone with my daughter and son..we are going to try to get our schedules together and go early saturday morning....by the way...I live on the Island...25 minutes away and I have not been able to go back for 30 years...thank you again...and please lets keep in touch...
I am so touched by your generosity
You're welcome. It wasn't really more than 15 minutes of my time as I was traveling from Brooklyn to Queens anyway. Besides, I'm interested in NYC history. A lot of those buildings around there are a blast from the past! If you get closer to 106 than I did, (I only passed it from the Wilson side), see if you can find a Cornerstone date on the Putnum side, as Putnam is listed as the main entrance. As I said before, I think that building is quite old.
The idea of going early on a Saturday morning is a good idea, but as I said, I don't know how comfortable it will feel after lunchtime. I could be wrong, but go and see.
I hope you and your children enjoy!
Do you remember Sumner Armory on Sumner ave, (now Marcus Garvey Blvd) between Jefferson and Putnam in Bed. Sty.?
I think I do...I believe when I was a girl scout...we went there to put on little shows and some kind of award ceremony....I will ck out the year the school was built...but I am remembering something..about the year...and it might be 1900..but I am curious too...the buildings are beautiful...and inside too..the old crown molding..the tin ceiling..the banisters were a work of art..pride...the front door...just a work of art...and many houses still have to original doors..yes...we decided to go early saturday morning....and I will go to my families cemetary also...in maspeth..the Lutheran cemetary...now there is alot of history in those place...It will be sad to see Neidersteins gone...but life goes on...I think I may even show them Houdini's tomb..in Cypress....I will keep in touch