By Bruce Friedman The doorbell rang and I ran down the stairs skipping two steps at a time, then jumped to the landing, yelling: “It’s for me!” My father waited for me at the bottom of the stairs: “How many times do I have to tell you. You don’t have to come down like a herd a herd of elephants. Now go back and come down one step at a… Read More »Summer of 1961 at East 42nd Street between Church and Snyder – Flatbush
By Victoria Gold
I was born in nineteen fifty one in Brighton Beach Brooklyn, NYC. Brighton was a magical and mystical place to grow up. What more could a kid want than to be surrounded by the ocean, Coney Island and New York City?
The Gold family lived surrounded by the bracing smell of fresh ocean salt-water air. The overhead deafening sound of the elevated subway could not deter the pleasures of growing up by the ocean. Living by the beach opened my childhood eyes to all the wonderful beauties and diversities that growing up in the Big Apple in the fifties and early sixties offered.
Until I was eight we lived on Brighton Fourth Street in one of the multitudes of six-floor brick apartment buildings that encircled the boardwalk and Brighton Beach Ave. The assortment of buildings spanned lengthwise from Ocean Parkway through to Manhattan Beach and widthwise from the Boardwalk to Brighton Beach Avenue where you met the elevated train. During Brighton’s heyday, some of these buildings were mighty and grand. When my family moved to Brighton, most of the six floor apartment buildings were erected between the turn of the twenty century and the nineteen thirties. The architecture of a few of the buildings were extraordinary. Even today in 2015, a few buildings stand out as art deco icons. Having intricate art deco engraving on the lobby doors and windows with fancy brickwork under the windows that simulated elaborate window shades.
Read More »Pieces of Pictures
By Martin H. Levinson
When I was ten I had a batting slump. No matter how hard I tried I was not able to hit a rubber Spalding ball with a wooden stickball bat. I became an easy out for the pitcher and as a result I was the last person chosen to be on a team in the street pick-up games that I looked forward to after school each day.
Stickball was the most important part of my life at that time, and my poor performance made me miserable. I couldn’t concentrate on my schoolwork, I couldn’t enjoy TV, I couldn’t eat. I thought myself a total nebbish.
One day, as I lay sobbing on my bed thinking about my failed athletic prowess, my mother walked through the door and asked, “What’s up?” I could barely get the words out through my tears. “I can’t hit. I’m washed up. I wish I was dead.”
Submitted by Bill Morgenstern It was 1933 in the middle of the depression. Sam, my father had found out in October, 1929 that his entire fortune was wiped out. He would need to liquidate his successful curtain rod factory with 600 employees to pay for the margin call. Although Sam was a moderately religious Jew he did not fit the stereotype of that period and although he was born in… Read More »My Friend Louie
By Sarina Roffé Neighborhoods in Brooklyn are a direct reflection of the changing ethnicities and religions of the people who live in them. During the last 100 or so years, Brooklyn has embraced Jews from all over the world, and holds first place for having the largest Jewish population on the planet. Brighton Beach, once the home of Eastern Europeans and Holocaust survivors, saw a drastic change as it embraced… Read More »Brooklyn’s Changing Neighborhoods a Reflection of Jewish Diversity and Immigration
by Sonny Crane Hi, As a young boy growing up on Kings Highway in the 50’s, the apartment building we lived in was an eclectic mix of families and quite special. One of the joys I had from my father was his stories of growing up in Brownsville with his father and him running CRANES POTAO CHIP STAND. You could get a hot dog and French fries for 5 cents.… Read More »CRANES POTATO CHIP STAND