Monday, November 12, 2007

The World Of Our Fathers 2: From 2/22/07

An amazing bit of synchronicity occured when researching the 1930 census for information on my old Knickerbocker Village friends' fathers. I had remembered that many of these fathers had grown up together before eventually moving to Knickerbocker Village as adults (built approx 1935). It's striking when you see the data right in front of you. I put together segments of that census above in a comparative collage. They practically lived on the same block, Monroe Street, between Market and Pike! The exception is Murray's mother, who of course wasn't a father except in the "generational" sense. She lived about 4 blocks northeast. She also came from, it seems, a comparatively well off family. Her father owned the building they lived in which was above the family butcher shop on Ludlow and Hester. My parents lived "uptown," meaning north of Delancey. This lower, lower east side was more a mix of Italians, Irish and Jews as well as Spanish as opposed to the more concentrated Jewish section. Max Weintraub, more about him later, wasn't one of my friends' fathers but an interesting gent who I had lunch with today. Below is a google map satellite view of that area. The baseball field shown was the former site of PS 177 where many of these dads, and later their sons, went to school.

Below, a picture recently sent to me by Murray Schefflin (Blance Miller's son), shows PS 177, a CBJ Snyder castle gem, being torn down in 1967. The arrow points to the approximate site of 129 Monroe Street.

Postscript: After this was posted Allan Silverstein told me that the census record is
not that of his dad's, although Sam Silverstein did live near Joe Kuperstein

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