Yorkville Streets - 74th Street - Ed Roberts - 1

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Ed Robert's parents in Central Park in 1943.

   

Hi Marty: Good evening. I'm not sure if you want a few more old photos, but here are a few: (from left to right) my mom and her friend on the roof at 75th street with PS 70 in the background. This would have been around 1923. The next two were taken that same year in Rockaway Playland. On the bottom is me in my dad's Army jacket in our backyard at 228 E. 74th street in 1943. The last one is of my parents taken that same year in Central Park. Ed

Rockaway Playland Edward Robert's mother and her friend on the roof at 75th street with PS 70 in the background in 1923.
Rockaway Playland 228 E. 74th street in 1943
Rockaway Playland

We lived at 228 East 74th Street from the early 1930s through 1956, when our tenement was renovated and my parents were moved to 71st Street near York Avenue. Basically, the "street" was our playground, although we often went to Central Park, John Jay Pool and other places such as 86th Street, which were all in walking distance.

Our family, like most I believe, had no car, so walking, buses and trains were our mode of transportation. But the "street," that is 74th between Second and Third Avenues, was where all the action was. We played stickball, hockey, football (with a rolled-up newspaper), kiing (where you bounce a rubber ball against a wall by hitting the ground first), tag, fox and chicken, to mention a few.

It seemed that each month of the year had its own special activity, which could be bike-riding, skating, making scooters out of wooden crates, pea-shooters, wooden guns firing paper clips, sledding, ice skating, church dances, the Boys' Club, and so many others that I've forgotten. Going to movies was big, and we often brought our own lunch, especially to the Annex on 74th Street. But I would say that more that 80% of the time we played on the street.

Going to Rockaway and Coney Island was strictly a summer thing and involved a long bus and subway trip. Of course, as teenagers, going to 42nd Street was special with its arcades where you could buy trick playing cards etc. Around the 4th of July, we always managed an "El" trip to Gun Hill Road in the Bronx to buy firecrackers. (I never did understand why we had to go there to get them.) 

Candy stores and ice cream parlors were big hangouts for us with Lou's (Third Avenue between 73 and 74 Streets), Perry's (Third Avenue between 76th and 77th Streets) and Fischel's (Third Avenue between 79th and 80th Streets) being the main ones.

A fun trip was on the Third Avenue El to Canal Street and back. Around Christmas, we often went to Macy's and Gimble's on 34th Street, just to look at the toys and the decorations. 

There was one night a week when we went to St. Iggy's on Madison Avenue and played in their gym, after which donuts and apple juice were available. It was a beautiful gym where we felt very welcomed. 

I guess  I forgot to mention playing on the roof. It may sound strange, but we did often play on our and other roofs. Very often we would go from roof to roof just for the fun of it. And, we played in cellars, too.

We had a "club" that met in a cellar with a broken table and chairs. It all sounds so stupid now, but that's how it was then. 

We worked, too, in various grocery stores either pushing a wagon or riding a bike with a huge basket, the latter was the most fun. Tips for a delivery were either a nickel or dime, if you were lucky. From candy stores, we graduated to diners, such as Riker's on 76th Street, when we started to drink more coffee than soda. Selling newspapers in the various bars in the evening was another way to earn some pocket money. The Daily News sold for 2 cents and usually you would get a nickel from the customer.  Now that's a profit margin!  We shined shoes, but that never really paid off, at least for us. Finding discarded bottles with deposit could be profitable at times, but in those days most folks returned their own bottles for deposit. One time, we found a whole cache of beer bottles and took them to the A&P for deposit. That was a major find!  

I often wonder why we felt so safe in those days, no matter if we went to Central Park, the Bowery, Gun Hill Road, 42nd Street or any other popular locale. I'm sure bad things happened in those days, but we were oblivious to it, I guess.

Ed

Hi Marty:

Good evening. I'm not sure if you want a few more old photos, but here are a few: (from left to right) my mom and her friend on the roof at 75th street with PS 70 in the background. This would have been around 1923. The next two were taken that same year in Rockaway Playland. On the bottom is me in my dad's Army jacket in our backyard at 228 E. 74th street in 1943. The last one is of my parents taken that same year in Central ParkEd Roberts

 
 

If you have a picture that you would like to share, send it as an attachment to email to Marty.

 

Yorkville Video Index
Old Friends from 87th Street and York Avenue in Yorkville, New York City.
Memories from a community called Yorkville, on the eastside of Manhattan in New York City
The Crowd from Kronk's from 87th and York Avenue in Yorkville, New York City
Schools Attended by Yorkville Students
Yorkville Memories No 2
Yorkville Melodies, a doo wop singing group from the streets of Yorkville, New York City

 

 

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