1954-65 Bellerose/glen oaks,queens. Garden apartments are nice,we where spoiled,we had large grass courtyards,sidewalks,garages behind the apartments,apple trees everywhere.We kids sat on the stoops,some buildings had stoops some didnt.But all the adults sat on beach chairs in the courtyards,in the shade or the sun,with large silver tanning reflectors.The women played a game,mahjon,and always yelled at anyones kids if they where bad.I still have my moms old beach chairs.Everyone had a beach chair,they sold replacement weaving for them,so they all lasted for years.Seems like adults had more spare time for family and relaxing in those years.Now im lucky to see a beach chair at all even on the beach,i really miss those days,im getting that beach chair out,now!
Original author: Juan A. Vargas (pooktc5) [e-mail]
Pook, from 1154 Stratford Ave (bet Watson/Westchester) here. Born and raised in the Bronx, lived in the same apt until I was 21 and we moved to Puerto Rico (’65-’87). Son of Sam used to live on my block as a kid. The summers were the best…lots of good memories as a kid, playing all the street games there were. The old Ward Theatre was where we’d go watch all the Bruce Lee flicks (it later became Roller World skating rink then a furniture outlet of some type). Carvel and Hebrew National deli was down the block on Westchester across from the original Yankees Pizza. Man, a slice with extra cheese and a Carvel shake???!!! That was heaven. Went to JHS 123 (or as we called it, “The Rikers Island Annex” heh heh). We’d all go check out Bambaataa at the Zulu Nation jams in Bronx River projects. Hanging out in front of the stoop with all my friends, rapping to all the girls or snapping on each other. I’d bring my box and we’d chill out listening to 98.7 Kiss/92 KTU/BLS. Red Alert/Chuck Chillout/Mr Magic. Then we’d get 25 cents and get a “piragua” down the block (or a “coquito”). It was cool ’til the mid 80’s when crack took over and messed EVERYTHING up. Before that, it was a cool place to live and grow up. After I left, i lost a few friends who were killed in front of my old building. I went back in ’98 and ’04 but everyone I knew (except for a few old ladies like my boy Pedro’s grandmother) was gone. Although a mural of one of my boys that was killed is still there (on Stratford, near Westchester). Very sad going back to the block. Sandra, you said it right, those were the days…peace.
Sandra from 1068 Gerard Ave. (165th) (1973-1978) Building is gone now, but not the memories. Hanging out at Mullaly Park. Playing on the swings, handball. The bodega on the corner. Had my first crush there. Dr. Chan was my pediatrician. Playing in the alleys. Chelo, my best friend, the super’s daughter. Hanging out with Junie and Nancy on 166th. Had my first kiss with Francisco on the roof of the building on the corner of 166th and Gerard. Shopping on 167th. Went to school at PS 114 til 4th grade. Used to get a pizza, grape soda and a Snickers for $1.00. Then went to Christ the King on Marcy Place; Father Laracy, Father Rodrigo, Father O’Keefe, Sister Consilio. Going to the Kent Movie Theatre to watch Bruce Lee Movies. Later going to the RKO and Loews Paradise. Block parties! Those were the days…
I lived in the Fort Green Projects when it was a family place. One day the housing put tar in the playground area’s which were in a couple of spots. We would all put on our skates and everyone would be skating, their had to be at least 30 of us, all ages. The bigger boys would start the whip game. Almost like a conga line the big boys would be in front and and back of the line and the younger would be in the middle. We would start slow but man it got real fast. I remember I went flying one day I think i was near the end. And we would skate till dinner time and then return all over again. I also found a pair of roller skate with the big clamps in a fleamarket and i have the skate too. I also remember at leat in Fort Greene if a guy gave you a skate key to hold oh man he liked you it was also like having been pined. I love my childhood, my sisters and i are always going back to our childhood, there are four older two years apart and were still hanging out with each other.
i grew up on 1250 leland ave in the bronx, then on castle hill ave near the bingo hall. it was during the late 70’s- 93. i am now 30yrs old. i live now on long island. i always say i am so so happy i grew up in the bronx. no other place or time could replicate the good times i had with my 4 other siblings and friends. people just dont get that. all the street games, breakdancing, fourth of july, hanging out on the stoop from sun up to sun down, going to the corner store playing ms. pacman. teasing the old ladies sitting on the sidewalk in their lawn chairs as we rode our bikes passed them…..what a great group of kids from all nationalities…black, white, spanish,chinese and everything in between…we were one…we stuck up for eachother and looked out for one another…we were a real neighborhood. you dont see that anymore. i miss that. i just hope my son will have that experience,but somehow i doubt it…only in the bronx, kids!!!!
Original author: Pat Harris (westsidegirl) [e-mail]
My girlfriends and I would bring a pail of water (we’d load it up with table salt), a blanket, soda, and tan ourselves on tar beach. At night we’d bring pizza and sodas to the roof and hang out under the stars. The roof was a part of every city kid’s life. What great fun we had there.
God i love this forum……brings back so many memories of growing up in the 70’s……i’m from jersey city, nj…..loved stickball to death……still got a stick in my closet…..i miss hanging out on my friend tyrone’s stoop…..just watching all the neighbors…talking about them behind their backs etc….i remember one night i was hanging out on the stoop way past curfew and my mom came over and cracked me on the head in front of the guys…..boy did i hear about that one for a long time
I’m back again. I can’t seem to stay away from this site. The one place that comes to mind when I think of the Lower East Side is Mott Street. Little Italy to most of you. We had a large group of kids that hung around together. At most we were around 15 boys and girls who ‘stayed together’. In the summer months we could be found at the corner of Mott and Broome Streets. Just hanging out on the front stoop.That’s what we called it. Just hanging around. We sat around and talked and there was always singing and dancing to someone’s radio. This was way before hand held recorders for tapes. CD’s weren’t even invented yet. (Gee, how old am I?) On Sunday we attended church and then later on took in a movie. Always a group of us went. Maybe a local movie house (Delancy or Canal Theaters) or if there was something good happening uptown – either at Radio City Music Hall or any of the other big theaters. Does anyone remember ‘The Dumps’. Also known as the Universal Theater. It was a little movie house at the corner of the Bowery and Hester Street. In the later years, it always smelled like the inside of a liquor bottle. That’s where the homeless (to be politically correct) hung out and kept warm. But I remember it when we could spend an entire Saturday there for 15 cents. We would get 20 cartoons and two full length features. Plus the Newsreel. My father would drop me off in the morning with a friend or two and then pick us up in the late afternoon. Can you imagine we were entertained for several hours for 15 cents! Try and get this now. Well, I think I’ve rambled on and on for long enough. It would be soo nice to see some replies on my posting. If you remember some of these places, maybe you were one of those kids. Take care…Jeanne from Forsythe Street
I am from germany and i think it sounds great what you are talking about like a lot of fun you had have! i know it from some american tv movies! here in my hometown we don’t hanging out! its a pitty i think would like it! i would also love playing streetplay! so enjoy it!