I still rue the day that Good Humor discontinued my favorite bar: It was called “Chocolate Cake” — it had chocolate ice cream inside, and the outside was…well, it was sort of like dark chocolate cake! This was also in the “old days”, before they had that “candy in the middle.” Good Humor also made a seasonal special: A red white & blue icecream bar for the 4th of July — it had raspberry, vanilla and blueberry, and it was good! I never heard of Mr. Frostee, but of course we had Mister Softee… and we STILL have Mister Softee: In my current neighborhood, Chelsea/Flatiron, they’re all over, as well as on every other corner in midtown. Hmm… think I’ll run downstairs and get a chocolate shake. Wasn’t there also an icecream truck called “Pied Piper”? This would have been in Long Island, circa 1957-1963. For WEBDIVA: You mentioned the selter bottles, in blue. They also came in green. There was a company a few years ago called “GIMME SELTZER,” and yes, as in days gone by, they delivered seltzer by the case, in those wonderful original blue or green syphon bottles. I just looked in the Manhattan phone book and there is NO listing… uh-oh, did they go out of business?? I will investigate further and see if I can find them.
The girls in my neighborhood…the lower East Side of Manhattan played a game where we put down a penny on the sidewalk. They stood apart from each other, usually using two square cement blocks of sidewalk. One girl would stand on the right of the penny and the other on the left. And you bounced the ball hoping to hit the penny with the ball to get a score. If the penny flipped over, you got a higher score. Don’t remember anymore of the particulars. Does anyone else remember this game.
Candy Dots on a long white piece of paper. Wax lips. Candy cigarettes. Little bottles of wax that contained some sweet liquid that now would probably decay the enamel off of a bathtub. My telephone number started with Canal 6 – I still remember the entire number. How about black telephones. The big clunky kind. I sprayed mine gold and got into big trouble with the telephone company after it stopped working. And in my neighborhood…Kerosene stoves to keep you warm in the winter, before my building when to steam heat. And making wine in the basement – grosses me out now when I think of all the rodents that probably crawled over that barrel. And you forgot the best…YooHoo Chocolate Drink. You had to shake it to get the chocolate at the bottom to mix with the soda on top. One day I forgot I had opened it up and sprayed the grocery store with all this soda. I was thrown out of that store and told never to come back. It was on Mott Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Oh my goodness…I remember that market too. Essex Street Market. There were two or three of them. All in a row. We went to that market every week. My mom took me along so I could help her carry her bags. There was a chicken market under the Manhattan Bridge. She dragged me there too. She would select a chicken and some one who worked there would run after it and take it in the back room. Next time we saw it, it was wrapped in newspaper. Remember coming home and plucking the rest of the feathers from it. Gross! No wonder I don’t like chicken now. Where did you live Webdiva? I lived two blocks from the Manhattan Bridge…P.S.65. I never did see a shrimp with it’s head attached. And from your description I probably can miss it and not miss a thing.
Good Ole New York. Had the privilege of returning to NY last month and all these memories came back. I even ate a Charlotte Russe. Yummy! But it had a little bit of cake at the bottom. Not as much as I remember it had years ago. I never did get a chance to eat a knish…they don’t have such an animal in this part of the USA…most people here don’t even know what a knish is. I remember that The Enterman Bakery Truck used to come around selling those cupcakes that were listed above. Who remembers the penny pickles on the lower east side…and the lemonade man that came around each summer? You could get a Italian Lemon Ice for 5 cents. Gee, I’m dating myself.
WOW, I came from the Lower East Side, Forsythe Street and this was my favorite game. We called it Skell-zee. I thought it was a game that we kids had invented. No one has ever know what I was talking about when I’ve talked about this game. We used bottle tops and mostly used orange peels to weigh them down. It was a great clean game, of course, unless you laid flat down on the dirty sidewalk. We also had the park across the street where we would chalk the game down on the playing field. We also played iron tag.
In the late 30s and early 40s in Washington Hights (the upper end of Manhattan) we played a game called Baseball Off the Wall. The game was played from one side of the street to the other side of the street. The brick tenament houses had rows of inlaid bricks which was used to bounce the rubber ball off the edge of the brick. If the ball bounced onto the first sidewalk it was a strike. If it bounced on the fly to the first half of the gutter; this side of the manhole cover, it was a single. If it bounced past the manhole cover, but still in the gutter, it was a double. If it bounced on the sidewalk accoss the street it was a triple and if it hit the building it was a home run. If the ball was caught on the fly before it hit the ground, of course, it was an out. The teams were made up of one kid each. We even had leagues going. What fun!
I remember getting up at 5 or 6 in the morning and going down to Fulton Fish Market with my mother to buy fish and crabs. I remember my mother never let me stand near her when she bought shrimp because she said if I ever saw the head of a shrimp, I’d never eat them again. I finally saw a shrimp with its head intact when I was in my 20s — my mother was right! Well, I do eat shrimp now, but I wouldn’t have if I’d seen those ugly heads as a child! I have vague memories of pushcarts on Avenue B — I vaguely remember men with beards and big coats pushing enormous pushcarts full of I-don’t-remember what. I remember seeing live chickens in small cages at the Essex Street Market and swearing I’d never eat anything that I’d seen alive. 🙂
I grew up on the Lower East side of Manhattan — or at least that was what WE called it. Now the section I grew up in is called “the East Village”. Sigh. Anyway, I remember three different ice cream trucks (Mr. Frostee; some other company I can’t remember; and then eventually, Good Humor) in the summer. I remember the “knish man” in the winter. He was a large, grungy-looking individual wrapped in about ten layers of clothing to withstand the cold he had to endure eight hours a day. When I saw the movie, “Fiddler On the Roof” years later, I remember thinking that Tevye looked just like the knish man! Funny how, as an adult, you think about things like where street vendors go to the bathroom and/or wash their hands. As a child, you couldn’t have cared less.