Anyone remember Louie’s on Nostrand Avenue,near Glenwood Road, close to the Junction? The library was nearby and a fur place … what the hell was it’s name — Mitchell’s??? Louie and his wife, Bea, worked their butts off in a hard business, literally working for pennies and putting up with bratty kids like us. Thanks to Milky Ways,Three Musketeers and too many egg creams, I put on mucho weight. Best wishes to the crowd from Vanderveer Estates.
I grew up in the projects on Staten Island, South Beach Houses to be exact and we had games for every season especially spring when the weather was warming up. First it would be kite flying time and we’d go to the corner store known as Ma’s or Pa’s or Boff’s for the “second store” and buy our 10-25 cent kite, put it together with rags for a tail and go fly it at the “big park’s” field. Every kid did this, the sky was filled with all different color and shapes of kites! It was awesome. Then came yo-yo season right on the heels of kite flying. We got our Duncan’s out and could do all the tricks; cats cradle, around the world, you name it; we could do it with a little practice. Next came summer and bee catching, yes, bee catching. We would get a glass jar or a coffee can, put some holes in the top for air and go out to the bushes and catch as many bees as we could, there was a hierarchy to the bees too; workers (lowest), queenies (bumble bees) and Shiny hineys (largest bumble bees and the highest) we all kept clear of wasps, those suckers hurt if you got strung…I never got strung, not until I was an adult camping in California by a yellow jacket (damn wasps!). This was followed by the long days and as soon as dusk came we were playing “ringalerio” or “caw, caw”…this can be looked up on this site so you get the rules and the fun! During the day we played skully (also on this site), assball, softball, rode our bikes for 100’s of miles (without helmets and all day with no adults); skated (remember skate keys) played with our spaldeens…one, two, three aleary…”three feet over Germany” (whomever knows about this game please answer, I want to know the history)…Fall arrived and we gathered all the fallen leaves and jumped into the biggest piles of leaves you’ve ever seen, we got cardboard boxes and jumped on the bushes and fell off in heaps…Winter brought sleigh riding near the park and at the cemeteries (we were bordered on 2 sides)…ice skating at Cameron’s pond (watch the thin ice…someone always fell thru)…snow ball fights…oops I forgot about Halloween and egging, shaving cream, and flour socks…little did we know that our hair styles after this would eventually become stylish in the 90’s and 2000’s!!!! Who knew! sorry to go on and on but growing up in the 70’s in New York City projects was the BEST! What about you? Mary
As a kid my big thing was horror. I drew horror comics, hung horror posters in my room, and collected an impressive assortment of horror related toys. I made my own super-8 movies about axe murderers, the dead coming back to life and aliens in miniature spaceships who could render you horribly deformed with a blast of their ray guns. My notebooks were filled with drawings of freaks, multi-limbed oddities and all sorts of straight-jacketed loonies. I wasn’t just a ghoulish kid, mind you – as this was juxtoposed against my other interests of a more joyful nature such as The Beatles, The Marx Bros, super heros and the like. But if I spotted anything creepy or strange in my neighborhood candy and magazine store, my eyes would instantly light up and I would start digging in my pockets to see if I could afford it. An old after school haunt of mine was a small candy shop in Queens Village known only as “Helen’s”. I used to go there to get my “Wacky Packages” bubble gum cards. It was run by a cantankerous old woman who was suspicious of just about any kid she didn’t know who would wander in for an egg cream or a comic book. Even though I had been there hundreds of times I was usually rushed to make my purchase and get out, along with the rest of them – but she always had these dusty old model kits in the back of her store which I’d always gravitate to. The old Universal Monsters of yesteryear were Gods in my eyes… and I eagerly assembled and painted my horror model kits with the care and detail of a fine surgeon. I had ’em all… Frankenstein, The Werewolf, The Phantom of the Opera, Dracula, Godzilla and King Kong. These kits came with alternate glow in the dark heads and hands… which I always thought was pretty damn cool. I also collected the lesser known, but even more intriguing Aurora Monster Scenes kits which included Doctor Deadly, The Hanging Cage, The Pendulum and the beautiful Vampirella, also with interchangable arms and legs. Also available was “the victim”, a plastic model kit of a scantly clad woman in hot pants and a torn blouse, that I’d assumed, was intended for the hanging cage. Today, of course, in our politically correct environment – you’d NEVER see toys like this again! One of Queens Village’s best kept secrets was the basement of Stevens department store on Hillside Avenue (now long gone) where, similiar to Helen’s, also seemed to have it’s share of creepy, long forgotten toys. Sort of the land of Misfit toys, I’d say! It was there my older brother bought me one of the creepiest toys I still own today – a ventriloquist doll made by the old Juro company, famous for it’s Jerry Mahoney knock-offs. With his unblinking stare and wearing his dapper little red suit – he was the sort of toy you couldn’t tear your eyes from – yet he was petrifying. It was the same sort of ventriloquist dummy you’d see coming to life in those old, black n’ white Twilight Zone episodes. He must’ve felt right at home sitting up there on my shelf, alongside my other toys of horror. Alas, the great monsters of yesterday have all but dissappeared. Even a trip to Universal Studios last summer left me gravely dissapointed (excuse the pun!) as the store where I had previously bought my wolfman head drinking cup, my animated battery-operated Frankenstein and my Dracula doll – was sadly monster deprived. The nearest thing to a ghoul were their plush mummy figures from the recent Brendan Fraser movies – almost as cute and cuddly as their Shrek dolls. Not the same thing, I’m afraid. Today, these horror model kits sell for big bucks on eBay, and those old ventriloquist dummies can fetch anything up to $300-500 bucks a piece. During my earliest introduction to the internet auction scene I ended up being reunited with many of my childhood “friends” once again – and more recently I was thrilled to meet and talk to some other ghoulish icons from my past at the Big Apple Comic Con this April, the alluring Elvira – Mistress of the Dark, and George Romero, the legendary director of “Night Of The Living Dead”. I was in monster heaven. Once a ghoul enthusiast, always a ghoul enthusiast.
Boxball was played with 2 to as many a 6 players (usually 4). Each player got a square on the sidwalk. The object was to bounce the ball with an open hand, into the box of an opponant. The other player do the same till a player misses or fails to put the ball in an opponants box. A miss meant a point and the first to 11 or 21 lost or was eliminated… last one standing wins! That was a great game… hours of fun on a sunny Saturday afternoon around the cornerer from Liona’s Cand Shop (at the time in early 80’s, this was still a fountain shop, unrenovated from the 40’s!!!) they made egg creams there still. this was on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg Brooklyn. Ahhh those were the days!
She had the brightest eyes and smile that lit up like a Christmas tree when she was happy (which was most of the time). She’d come home from work, crack open a can of veggies to go with some hastily thrown together meat and grain (Thank God my grandparents lived downstairs and did the “real” cooking), while singing Dionne Warwick songs (You’ll never get to heaven, and Alfie, etc). She was tougher on me than a drill sergeant, but after a good interactive whipping, she’d kiss me, give me my favorite strawberry icecream, then let me (her oldest girl) hang out in her bed and watch a comedy past my usual bed time. She had an infectious laugh that made the doctors and orderlies in the hospital (where she was a nurse) fall in love with her. She loved to dance and sing. Over 300 hospital staff showed up at her funeral at age 29. We didn’t have many years together, but no one can replace my beautiful mom in my heart.
Didn’t see anyone here from my Brooklyn… I think that is cause most of the people are still there saying, “Yeah I live in Brooklyn, so F***ing What???” Since I was born (Brighton Beach 1968) till I left (Williamsburg 1999) I lived in Brooklyn all my life. Most of my childhood I lived in the Sheepshead Bay area, From Kings Highway to Graves End to the Bay. Man, it was hard, fun, wild, sad and wonderful. So much to say about it, for the things everyone remembers Wed. fireworks (think it was wed. or maybe Thurs.) at Coney, to the things people would like to forget, like seeing a black guy get his ass kicked, just because he was black or for that matter, me getting my ass kicked cause my friend had a big mouth. Learned a lot growing up there about people and life. I can’t see myself having grown up anywhere else. Miss being young there, skelly and Peas and butter, asses up, off the wall, Also, off the wall in mellet park, kick the can, ringaleavio, War, red rover, all the different tag games, the local drug store that sold the best eggcreams, Wonderful Mr. Iseman (hope I’m spelling it right) who used to run a few movies theaters in Brooklyn like the Kingsway and fortway, who used to let me in for nothing cause my brothers used to work there, to getting my first job that Joe’s Pizza on ave. U (that was a good slice), BLOCK PARTIES!!! Remember those?????? Wow… man… Halloween in Bklyn was always a blast, there was the house on AVE X and 15th or something and they alwasy put on a show, then you have 4th of July, where some blocks you couldn’t even get through because if the big fire in the middle of the street with the mats and block busters going off (got a few wax loads in my gut, from time to time). Anyone remember Sheepshead Bay Roller disco? How about Romeo and Juliet’s Disco? All the bars in Bay Ridge? Calm houses at the Bay? Spumoni Gardens? Man, I can go on and on. I’ll tell you, from 1974 when I was only 6 to about 1988 when I was 18, was some of the best times and the worst I have ever had and I miss it all.
I remember these huge acorn trees that circled my old elementry school, (p.s. 105, Bronx), my sister and I would collect all the acorns on the floor, we had bags and bags full. Than we would go to war with the boys who lived on our block. That’ll teach them not to put hair removal cream on the eggs that they would throw at us on Halloween. Anybody ever play asses up? Well, if you dropped the ball, you better run to the wall because if someone threw it faster than you could run you get a letter, and if you got all 3 letters, everyone got a chance to throw the ball at your ass. OOUUCCHH!!!! …
I came to this site, hoping to find the first line to a verse — someone typed it here, but the first line is still missing. ?? something-something-something-something ?? I met my boyfriend at the candy store. He bought me ice-cream, he bought me cake, he brought me home with a belly-ache. Mamma, Mamma, I’m so sick. Call the doctor – quick, quick, quick. Doctor, Doctor, will I die? Count to five and you’ll be alive. 1-2-3-4-5. I’m alive. 6-7-8-9-10. I’m dead again. But the missing first line is driving me crazy. Here’s a game we’d play where you would do these things actions to another person (on the back, or head, or whatever) and try to almost hypnotize them. Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate on what I’m saying. People are dying, little boys are crying, concentrate. Concentrate on what I’m saying. Crack an egg on your head and let the yolk spill down, let the yolk spill down, let the yolk spill down. Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate on what I’m saying. People are dying…. Stick a knife in your back and let the blood run down, let the blood run down, let the blood run down. Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate on what I’m saying. People are dying…. There were other versus too — but at the end you would sing: Put a rope around your neck and pull it, pull it. And, if the person was truly concentrating through the whole thing, they would subconsciously lean back when you were pretending to pull the rope. Now that I think about it — it’s a really morbid game. …
Wow… I just stumbled across this page! What a trip- back in time.. Yep.. I, too, grew up in Fresh Meadows… right near the old Food Fair… there sure were 3 ice cream trucks… Vito drove the Bungalow Bar truck… (tastes like tar, the more you eat it, the sicker you are!).. We liked Vito, he gave out ice cream sticks, the Good Humor guy didn’t! But, he had the ‘premium’ ice cream bars with the chocololate ‘bar’ in the middle! There was also the Chow Chow Cup, Mister Softee, later on Hoodie (late comer ice-cream!)… and, the knife sharpener… the rides… (whip!) and.. Thursdays,Ciro the Fish man… who, I found ten years later, repainted his truck to sell hot dogs by Francis Lewis HS! (ice got to his hands!!!)…. What else- egg creams.. well, you can’t really make ’em right unless you have Fox’s U-bet!Ahhhhhhh.. the school yard at PS26! Anyone here got a Pensy Pinky?