My Brooklyn Memories

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX AT BARNEGAT BAY-

  1. The subway, bus and the trolley were only a thin dime to ride, and if you are really old, you'll remember a nickel a ride.

2. Schools were the showcase for the whole country.

3. Tuesday night was fireworks night in Coney Island put on by Schaefer Brewing.

4. There was very little pornography.

5. There were the bath houses: Stauches, Bushman Baths, Steeplechase Baths, Washington Baths, Ravenhall, and Brighton Beach Baths.
6. There was respect for teachers and older people in general.

7. There was almost no violence.

8. The theme of the music of the times, even when it became rock and roll, was love not anger
9. A great day was going to the beach at Coney Island,

or Brighton. People made a living and, rich or poor, people all knew how to have a good time no matter of status.

11. There was no better hot dog than the original at Nathan's in Coney Island And no better French fries than the Nathan's thick ripple cuts.

12. There were few divorces and few "one parent" families.

13. There were no drugs or drug problems in the lives of most people.

14. The rides and shows of Coney Island were fantastic: Steeplechase Park:

the horses, the big slide, the barrels, the zoo (maze), the human pool table, the Cyclone Roller Coaster,

the Tornado Roller Coaster, the Thunderbolt Roller Coaster, the Bob sled, the Virginia Reel, the Wonder Wheel, the Bumper cars, the Tunnel of love, Battaway, the loop the loop, the bubble bounce, miniature golf, the whip, the many merry-go-rounds,
the penny arcades. Luna Park, the Thompson Roller Coaster, the Parachute jump,

Fabers Sportsland and Fascination, toffee and cotton candy stores, custard stands, Pokerama, Skeeball,

prize games, fortune tellers guess games, hammer games, the Harlem revue, the freak shows, the house of wax, the animal nursery, restaurants, rifle ranges, push cart rides and parades.

15. The fruit man, the tool sharpener, the junk man and the watermelon man all with the horse and wagon

16. Sheepshead Bay was Lundy's Restaurant and fishing.

17. Only place for pizza and only whole pizzas was Joe's Bar and Grill on Ave U. Then in the mid-50's, a pizza explosion: you could buy it by the slice for a dime at many places. By the late 50's it was a whole 15 cents a slice! A tuna fish sandwich or a BLT were 45 cents. A small Coke was 7 cents, a large Coke was 12 cents. Remember Vanilla Cokes when th ey pumped real vanilla syrup into the glass before adding the Coke?

18. There were many theaters where every
Saturday afternoon you could see 5 cartoons and two feature films. The Highway, the Avalon, the Kingsway, the Mayfair, the Claridge, the Tuxedo, the Oceana, the Oriental, the Avenue U, the Kent, the Paramount, the RKO Tilyou, the Mermaid, the Surf, the Walker, the Albemarle, the Alpine, the Rugby, the Ambassador, the People's Cinema, the Canarsie, the Marlboro, the Avon and the Globe.

19 Everybody knew all the high schools in Brooklyn.

20. Big eating and coffee hangouts: Dubrow's on Kings Highway, also on Eastern Parkway/Utica Avenue, Famous on 86th Street, and Garfield's on Flatbush Avenue.

21. Ebinger's was the great bakery. loved the chocolate butter cream with the almonds on the side, Boston Cream pie, and the Blackout cakes!

Bierman's was terrific also.

22. Kings Highway stores had their own ornate glitz as far as style goes.

23. There were many delicatessens in the 50's -- very few today. The best? Adelman's on 13th Avenue and Hymie's on Sutter Avenue. The food was from heaven!

24. Big night clubs in Brooklyn were the Ben Maksiks' "Town and Country" on Flatbush Avenue and "The Elegante' " on Ocean Parkway.

25. There were no fast food restaurants in the 50's and a hamburger tasted like a hamburger.

26. There was Murray the K, rock and roll concerts at the Brooklyn Fox and the Brooklyn Paramount. You had to go the night before to get good seats.

27. Quick bites at Brennan and Carr , Horn and Hardart Automat,

Nedick's, Big Daddy's, Chock Full o' Nuts, Junior's, Grabsteins or Joe's Delicatessen. Junior's, you'll be glad to know, is still in the same place, and the cheesecake is still fabulous.

28. Knishes were great at Mrs. Stahl's in Brighton or at Shatzkin's Knishes. Remember the knish guy on the beach with the shopping bags?

Mrs. Stahl's Knishes is Now a Subway
29. People in Brooklyn took pride in owning a Chevy in the 50's; there was nothing better than General Motors then. The cars would run and run and run, no problems.

30. You bought sour pickles right out of the barrel -- for a nickel -- and they were delicious. By the 60's, they cost a whole quarter.

Anyone remember Miller's Appetizing, on the corner of 13th Avenueand 50th Street?

31. The Brooklyn Dodgers were part of your family.

The Duke, the Scoonge, Pee Wee, Jackie, the Preacher, Campy, Junior, Clem, Big Don, Gil. They were always in a lot of our conversations. Remember Ebbet's Field and Happy Felton's Knothole club? For a nickel, you got into Ebbet's Field and saw the Dodgers play. For Brooklynites it was -- and will always be -- a shrine.

32. You come from Brooklyn but you don't think you have an accent. To you Long Island is one word which sounds like "Longuyland."

33. You played a lot of games as kids. Depending on whether you were a boy or a girl, you could play: ringaleaveo, Johnny on t he Pony, Hide and Seek, three feet off to Germany, red light-green light, chase the white horse, kick the can, Buck, Buck, how many horns are up?, war, hit the penny, pussy-in-the-corner, jump rope, double-dutch, Stories, A, My Name Is, box ball, stick ball, box baseball, catch a fly, dodge ball, stoop ball, you're up, running bases, iron tag, skelly, tops, punch ball, handball, slap ball, whiffle ball, stick ball, poison ball, relay races, softball, baseball, basketball, horse, 5-3-1, around the world, foul shooting, knockout, arm wrestling, Indianwrestling. And then there were card games like canasta, casino, hearts, pinochle, war and th e unhappy game of 52-card pickup.

34. You hung out on people's stoops or in the Courtyard.

35. You learned how to dance at some girl's backyard or house

36. You roller skated at Park Circle or Empire Blvd. skating rinks in skates with wooden wheels. You had roller skates at home with metal wheels for using on the sidewalks, and you needed a skate key to tighten them around your shoes. Those metal wheels on concrete were deafening!

37. The big sneaker was Converse. Also Keds and P-F Flyers.

38. The guys wore Chino pants with a little buckle on the back, peg pants, and the girls wore long wide dresses. Remember gray wool skirts with pink felt poodles on them? The poodles had rhinestone eyes.

39. In the 50's rock and roll started big teen styles for the first time.

40. Everyone went to a Bar Mitzvah even if you weren't Jewish.

41. Everyone took their date to Plum Beach for the submarine races.

42. There were 3 main nationalities in Brooklyn in the 50's: Italians, Irish and Jewish. Then there was a sprinkling of everyone else. The Scandinavians and Greeks in Bay Ridge, the African Americans in Bedford Stuyvesant and the Polish of Green Point
43. The only way to get to Staten Island was by ferry from the 67th Street pier in Brooklyn. It was a great ride in the summer time for a dime.

44. In Brooklyn, a fire hydrant is a "Johnny pump."

45. Rides on a truck came to your neighborhood to give little kids a ride for a dime. The best one was the "whip," which spun you around a track.

You got a little prize when you got off, sometimes a folding paper fan, sometimes a straw tube that you inserted two fingers into, that tightened as you tried to pull your fingers out again.

46. As a kid you hit people with water balloons from atop a building, you shot linoleum projectiles from a carpet gun, you shot dried peas from pea shooters, and you shot paperclips at people with a rubber band.

47. You shopped at EJ Korvettes, Robert Hall, Woolworth's, Mays, McCrory's, Packers, A&P, Bohack, A&S. Barney's was Barney's Boys Town back then, and not a luxury store. You bought your shoes at National and Miles, A S Beck. When you got married you bought your dishes at Fortunoff's under the "el."

48. NBC main production studio was on Avenue M.and E.16 St. The Cosby show was made there.

49. Everybody lived near a candy store and a grocery store.

50. The first mall comes to Brooklyn at Kings Plaza.

51. Bagel stores start popping up everywhere in the 60's.

52. Went to Jahn's Ice Cream Parlor with a big group and had the "Kitchen Sink." If it was your birthday (you had to bring your birth certificate), you could ge t a sundae free.

53. Everybody knew somebody who was a connected guy.

54. We used the word "swell"; that's past today.

55. In the summer we all waited for the Good Humor, Bungalow Bar, Mister Softee or Freezer Fresh man to come into our neighborhood to buy ice cream. In the early to mid 50's, the Good Humor man pushed a cart

instead of driving a truck. Remember the bells? A pop was 15 cents. A large cup was 15 cents, a small cup was a dime And a sundae -- remember licking the chocolate off the back of the cardboard top? -- was a quarter. (Movie stars pictures on bottom of the Dixie cup lids).

As a kid growing up in the 1950s we would spend our money on bubble gum baseball cards, candy and ice cream. A pack of baseball cards (complete with a stick of bubble gum) and full-size candy bars were 5 cents each or six for a quarter. In the summer the In those days there were lots of interesting coins still in circulation. Dimes and quarters we still made of silver. The oldest Roosevelt dimes were not yet 15 years old. It was not uncommon to find Mercury dimes or worn out Standing Liberty quarters; and Buffalo or Indian Head nickels were common too. Most pennies were wheat-backs; they didn't get the familiar Lincoln Memor ial on the reverse until 1959. With luck it was even possible to find an occasional Indian Head penny in your change. But the most coveted find (for us kids, anyway) was the unusual 1943 steel penny.

56. Many of us would sneak cigarettes and hide them when we got home.

57. When we talked about "the city" everyone knew we meant, Manhattan.

58. The Mets in the 60's became our substitute for the Dodgers. But they never did, and never will, make up for the Dodgers leaving.

59. In the 60's we were ready to drive and hit the night life scene. With the car came the girls.

60. We are all in a select club because we have roots in BROOKLYN.

Most of These Places are still with us in Brooklyn, and Will always be in my heart

Patricia " PATTIE" Romano
REALTOR® Associate
At Barnegat Bay
31 North Main Street ( RT 9 )
Manahawkin,NJ 08050
Direct cell-609-312-9043
eve: 609-978-5985 - till midnight
Toll free-(888) 860-9177
Click to Talk to Patricia


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Ella Glover
Lubbock Homes - Lubbock, TX

What a town, Would love to havve been there! Good blog,I liked the music, but what happen to your pictures? 

Dec 17, 2008 02:11 PM #1
Patricia "Pattie " Romano
Your HomeTown Realtor 609 312-9043

activerain was playing tricks on me tonight- Pictures are up, enjoy

Dec 17, 2008 02:38 PM #2
Barbara Delaney
Park Place REALTORS, Inc. - Roanoke, VA

Dear Patti,

What a wonderful tour and expose on life in Brooklyn in the 50's and early 60's.

I was born in Brooklyn and lived on Autumn Avenue, wherever that is! Just remember the connected brownstones with wraught iron fences and cellar doors you could slide down.

We moved to Virginia in 1955, when I was 5. I have limited memories, other than later ones of brief trips back. I do remember "All I Want for Christmas..".

I wish my Father were still alive to enjoy this!

Merry Christmas,


Dec 17, 2008 05:18 PM #3
Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Your Realtor Down the Shore!

Never knew much about Brooklyn, thanks Pattie.  My favorite memories of the City are the Auto-mat, where you would put in a quarter and pull out your sandwich!  (Now you're making me feel old!)

Laura G

Dec 17, 2008 10:09 PM #4
Timothy Becker
Real Estate - Fountain, CO
GRI-Sell Homes in the Fountain/ Ft Carson Area

This is really a lot of work!


Nov 04, 2015 05:36 PM #5
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Patricia "Pattie " Romano

Your HomeTown Realtor 609 312-9043
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