Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hanscom Bakery, Formerly Of 81 Catherine Street

Hans Com I recently found another pic of a Hanscom Bakery. The store occupied the address at 81 Catherine Street where the pizza shop opened. The second pic in the pdf is of Cliff Gromer's mom circa mid 1950's
from qchron
One of the largest baking empires in Queens was Hanscom bakeries, operated by a man who lived in Whitestone. Hanscom built six bakeries in Manhattan and one in the Bronx, designed by the prolific architect Horace Ginsbern. In 1937 the company starting building and opening bakeries in Queens — including the piece of artistic beauty shown here in the heart of cosmopolitan Jackson Heights. As Jackson Heights was developing, leading architects loved to work and design there. Two other Hanscom Bake Shops opened that year, one each on Greenpoint and Roosevelt avenues. By 1940 there were 14 in Queens, and a high of 21 stores in the borough by 1951. Suddenly in 1958 the entire chain of stores closed upon the death of Mr. Hanscom. Serious bakers were upset for many years as none of the bakeries’ delightful recipes were recorded anywhere and died withHanscom. Conversely, upon the death of Ginsbern several of the architect’s secrets were revealed. He was not American born, but Russian — his real name was Ginsberg — he did not go to Columbia Universityand did not holda degree in architecture. Yet, his great genius of modern design in Chelsea is landmarked today. A footnote: In 1984 another Hanscom Bakery went out of business after 101 years in Philadelphia, but it is not clear how or if the two companies were related to each other.
An excellent blog on life in 1946 had a mention of Hanscom's
Hanscom bakeries throughout the city had egg-shaped cakes filled with chocolate butter cream, iced in chocolate and flower decorated. It served five for 85 cents. Aux Delices on Lexington and 62nd Street had edible sugar crystal panorama eggs; although Paddleford said she would just as soon eat her Easter bonnet as one of them. Breyers had eggnog ice cream but their frozen bunny molds and other prewar Easter frozen goods were absent. The German bakeries and confectionary shops along East 86th Street were stocked for Easter, according to Paddleford. Geiger's Vienna Pastry Shop and restaurant, 66 East 86th Street, had rabbits in all sizes, pushing wheelbarrows, driving pony carts, in automobiles, running and sitting. They were chocolate dipped and cost from 30 cents up. Marzipan eggs, chocolate dipped, started at 30 cents. Paddleford also singled out the bantam-sized eggs filled with nougat, and the chocolate eggs hand-filled with coconut cream, “the first we have seen." A few doors down, Wisconsin Farms, where they sold Milwaukee sausage and Wisconsin cheese and "a scad of small favors for Easter baskets and tables," had rabbits and "rock-a-bye babies" in marzipan egg shells at five cents apiece. Colored marzipan eggs were 10 cents. Unique chocolate bars with a rabbit scene molded into the chocolate were 49 cents. Popp and Kramers at 240 E. 86th Street made its marzipan fresh. The smallest eggs, chocolate covered at 12 to a pound, cost 10 cents apiece; quarter pound eggs were 30 cents, half pound were 60 cents and one pound cost a buck. They were all decorated. Solid chocolate rabbits went for 20 cents to $2 and chocolate eggs foiled wrapped and filled with chocolates were 35 cents to $3. Small marzipan eggs, varicolored, were $1.20 a pound.

Dr. George Bernhardt, part 2

bernhardt-2 from the Radosh and Milton book

Dr.George Bernhardt Of 40 Monroe Street

bernhardt His testimony was a big blow for the defense. Bernhardt's phone number in 1946 He lived in the East Court, but he had his office n Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Life At 10 Monroe, 1940's

Before it was explained as to why there were so many people living at either 10 or 40 Monroe Street in 1946, it was sad to learn of the Ethel's experience with her building neighbors. Many of those names were the parents of friends' families I knew and I wouldn't have thought they would have been un-neighborly, regardless of political convictions. But then again, the witch hunt was in full force. The above excerpt is from Radosh and Milton's  Rosenberg book.

Louis Lefkowitz: Last Of The Street Politicians

lefkowitz from a 1979 New York Magazine article by Fred Ferretti. Louis went to PS 188 on East Houston Street. He also went to the University Settlement House where he belonged to the Solon Club. A Republican Federal Club at 44 Avenue C that Louis belonged to is also mentioned.

Rosh Hashanah On The LES With Louis Lefkowitz 50 Years Ago

lefkowitz-1961 I wonder whether blintzkrieg was the wisest choice of terms?

Dellin Betances: A Lower East Side New York Yankee

Dellin will probably be part of the rotation today. Michael Kay keeps referring to him incorrectly as a Brooklynite. That makes him a native New Yorker for sure, but he only attended school in Brooklyn. He was brought up in the Lillian Wald Projects on the Lower East Side. There's nothing more genuine New York than being from the LES.

from the nytimes in 2006

At times, Dellin Betances still has trouble wresting control over the body he was given. The growth spurts have come one after another during his four years at Grand Street Campus High School in Brooklyn, adding five inches to his frame, topping him out at 6 feet 9 inches, a tangle of long limbs and limitless potential.

"But it's hard," he said, "because I just keep growing."

Betances is a rare specimen: He is an 18-year-old right-handed pitching prospect with a fastball in the mid-90's, a well-developed breaking ball and the intimidating stature of a basketball power forward.

That explains the steady parade of scouts who have made their way to Brooklyn this spring, including the dozen or so who stood behind the backstop and watched him pitch a one-hitter, striking out 16 bewildered New Utrecht hitters over seven innings in a first-round Public Schools Athletic League playoff victory in late May.

It also explains why, a few months ago, Betances seemed destined to become the first high school player from New York City to be chosen in the first round of baseball's amateur draft since Manny Ramírez in 1991.

"Down the road, this kid's going to be throwing 100 miles per hour," said Mel Zitter, who coached Betances and Ramírez in his Youth Service League Inc. baseball program. "People understand with Dellin, that down the road, he's going to be a No. 1 or No. 2 major league starter."

But scouting is a fickle science, and in an era in which seasoned college talent tends to trump pure speculative possibility, scouts are reluctant to overvalue a gangly teenager in the days before the draft. Betances could go anywhere from the first to the fifth round, according to several experts.

Andrew Miller, a 6-7 left-handed pitcher from the University of North Carolina, is widely viewed as the top overall prospect in the draft. Kyle Drabek, a pitcher and shortstop and the son of the former major leaguer Doug Drabek, is also expected to be chosen early.

Other notables include Jeffrey Maier, an outfielder who received attention as a Yankees fan who reached a little too far over the fence in a 1996 playoff game; Danny Almonte, the pitcher from Monroe High School who became famous for starring in the Little League World Series when he was two years too old; and Preston Mattingly, a shortstop and the son of Don Mattingly.

The scouts have fretted over Betances' inconsistent mechanics, his decreased velocity earlier in the season and his inexperience. They have also expressed concern about what Aaron Fitt, an assistant editor at Baseball America, described as the "New York hype machine," a shorthand term for the agents and coaches advising Betances about his future.

That machine includes his high school coach, Melvin Martinez, and Zitter, who prides himself on being Betances' sole pitching coach. It includes the agent Jim Murray, with the Houston-based Hendricks Sports Management, whom Betances chose after meeting with representatives from five agencies. And it includes his older brother Anthony, who works for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority; his father, who drives a livery cab; and his mother, who raised him and three other children in the Lillian Wald Houses on the Lower East Side........

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Oral History From KV Reunion 5, Part 6

stake out (mp3) Mentioned here:
A KV stake out and how a body flying out off of the I building ruined one's appetite. The gray areas of keeping kosher.

Oral History From KV Reunion 5, Part 5

murray-ron (mp3) Mentioned were:
The story of how Lee was out stealing home and how it ruined a game that Murray pitched. LMRC Coach Sklar, the "social club," the story of Paul, Ron and David A.'s snowball fight and Ron's flight to the A building in order to escape from Paul's noogies

Oral History From KV Reunion 5, Part 4

basso 4 (mp3)
Mentioned here:
Judge Sandler, Judge Picariello, the opera singer Judith Raskin, Zero Mostel in the H building, Judge Lupiano, Paddy Chayefsky, Marion's boyfriend Leonard Michaels of the L Building, the Jewish exodus to Warbasse when Moses parted the East River, the difference between Sephardic and Eshkenazi Jews

Oral History From KV Reunion 5, Part 3

basso 3 (mp3)
Mentioned here:
The KV news, movies on a Friday afternoon in the auditorium in the K building, the arrest of the Rosenberg's, the sound of Ethel's voice and the oxford shoes she wore, the mothers waiting for their children after school, Joey Katz, the Bronstein's, the Epsteins of the L building, Dr. Serafin, Dr. Essner, Dr. Bogart, Rich's Pharmacy, the paper hats that Journal American guys made, the loud thud of the rolls of paper from the Journal American, the Luxtons?

Oral History From Reunion 5, Part 2

basso 2 (mp3)
Mentioned Were:
211 Madison St, Gouverneur Hospital, Hamilton Street, Hamilton Madison House and its director Geoffrey Wiener, PS 177 staff: Mrs Perrins, Mrs. Lebergott, Mrs. Lieberman, Mr. Gregor, Mr. Press, Mrs. Lapping, Miss Herzer, Miss Lizzio, Miss Smith, Miss Keeshon Miss Handwerker, Miss Sterling, Miss Mulligan, Miss Peck, Miss Feuer, The Madonna House fire , Jane and Bob's Nursery, the KV Photography Club, the bowling alley, the package room.

Oral History From Reunion 5, Part 1

basso 1 (mp3)
A chance encounter with long time resident Rita Basso starts the reunion group down memory lane. Mentioned were:
Mrs. Teper, Pete's Candy Store, Kremo's, Birnbaum Meats, Dave's Village Grocery, Tillie Aaronson, Joe Bruno and more

Monday, September 19, 2011

KV Phone Numbers 1946, Part 4

Those listed:
George and Julius Gogel, Normandie Pharmacy, "Duke" Viggiano, Kremo's, Dr. Gus Kaplan, Savoia's, Hanscom Bakery, Arthur Dolnansky, Joseph Schneider, Philip Feigelman, Leonard Bronstein, Fannie Kaplan, Harry Kaplan, Harry Kaplan's Pens, Nathan Portnoy, Nathan Steinfeld, Robert Santangelo, Vincent Lupiano, Regina Lustgarten, John and Louis Lamula, Peter Serafin, Nathaniel Kaplan, Lillian Romm, Samuel Romm, Mildred Horn
bonus: J.D. Salinger

KV Phone Numbers 1946, Part 3

Those listed:
Sidney Susswein, L. Sussman,  Jacob Zaretzky, Fiore and Michael Sassi, Dr. Paul Sarubbi, Eva Epstein, Harrell Cleaves, David Alman, George Charen, Abraham Grossman, Walter Miller, the KV garage and various office numbers, Dr. George Bernhardt, Dr. Morris Bogart, Anna Rosenbaum, Martha Leef, Morris Erde, Fannie Sarachek
Bonus: Joel Barr, Alfred Sarant and William Danziger

Thursday, September 15, 2011

KV Phone Numbers 1946 Part 2

Those listed:
Ann Greenfield, Max Reiser, Albert Shue, Dr. A. Moloff, Robert Guma, Hyman Lackow, Julius Lackow, Mary Farber, William Solerwitz, Sid Birnbaum, Sol Hellman, Harry Liebowitz, James Sorrentino, Sam Wiseltier, Samuel Sosinsky, Samuel Persoff (Nehemiah's father), Floramonde Wilson, Nathan Margoilin, 
bonus: Louis Lefkowitz, David Greenglass

KV Phone Numbers 1946

I recently discovered an online 1946 phone book. I searched for KV families. It's a little tricky to navigate and search through. Many phone numbers did not, like mine, show up. It's possible my parents couldn't afford a phone? In any case, they were living at 76 Suffolk Street in 1946. The above shows a sampling. Weird that only 10 Monroe and 40 Monroe showed up. Marion Fox cleared that up for me since at that time she said all phone bills and electric bills were addressed to either 10 (West Court) or 40 (East Court). Maybe then they were distributed through the internal KV post office? 
More of these samplings to follow. Wonder what would happen if you dialed one of these old numbers?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

1891 Coal Yard Locations

On Water Street
On Stanton Street

Stanton Street History: The 1902 Coal Shortage

Coal 1902 Stanton The was a coal yard at 191 Stanton, between Ridge and Attorney and another yard at 377 Water Street (Alfred Barber and Sons), between James Slip and Oliver.

101 Stanton Street History, Abandoned Baby: 1924

Notice, it mentions that Mrs. Rose Goldstein works in the restaurant on the ground floor of the building. Now there is a trendy and expensive hair salon called Pimps and Pinups there!

101 Stanton Street

Just down the block from the meatball shop is 101 Stanton. There was a murder there this summer. There have also been protests about the way the building is maintained A former colleague and friend lives here. Here's his story about the murder's aftermath

84 Stanton Street History

84 Stanton History That's quite a tragic story about Yetta Stein. In the second article a boy named Ignacio Brucato is mentioned, In 1920 I'm pretty certain found him in the census living on the lung block, 21 Hamilton Street.

Meatballs At 84 Stanton Street

I've tried them and they are, indeed, good. I was curious to learn about the history of 84 Stanton. More to come on this. Jacob Javits and a possible KV Schumer relative lived across the street about at 85 Stanton Street about a 100 years ago.

Avenue B Theater In 1967

I isolated a clip from the 1967 film showing the Avenue B theater, which was located between East 5th and East 4th Streets on the west side.
for more on the theater from cinema treasures
Loew’s Avenue B Theatre is part of one of the great rags-to-riches stories of showbiz history. Movie mogul Marcus Loew erected it on the very site of the tenement building where he was born. Needless to say, his birthplace was demolished to make way for the luxurious 1,750-seat theatre, which was designed by Thomas W. Lamb and first opened on January 8, 1913, with vaudeville as its main attraction and movies thrown in just as fillers. The Avenue B Theatre was the top Loew’s house on the Lower East Side until the mid-1920’s, when the circuit took over the Commodore Theatre on Second Avenue, which was a much busier area for entertainment and shopping. The Avenue B Theatre was reduced to playing movies at the end of their Loew’s circuit run, and remained so until its closure around 1957-58. I don’t know if anyone operated the theatre after that. It was eventually demolished and replaced by a nursing facility.

An Excerpt From A 1967 Film, Last Summer Won't Happen

Lower East Side from Django's Ghost on Vimeo.

This is an excerpt from the film "Last Summer Won't Happen" directed by Peter Gessner and Tom Hurwitz. The Velvet Underground's "All Tomorrow's Parties" was not part of the original soundtrack. from the film's description
I visited the East Village in 1967 and when I moved there 10 years later not much had changed. The East Village, Tompkins Square and Alphabet City were in decay, whole areas were virtual urban wastelands. But, out of the ruins great things were rising in the arts and culture. During the mid-70s through the 1980s, the area was vibrant with a bohemian vibe. Then came gentrification and many of us were pushed out, along with the poor and elderly. The area is thriving now with fine restaurants, fashion boutiques and trendy bar after bar after bar. It’s still a wasteland – an expensive, well-maintained, cultural wasteland. Where once were bookstores, rock clubs and shops filled with hip affordable clothing there are now fast food chains, designer brand boutiques and banks popping up like a bad case of corporate herpes. Yes, I know I sound like a disgruntled ex-New Yorker. I am one.

Jack Beers Old Home, 357 10th Street In 1969

357-10-1969 A lot has happened in the neighborhood in the last 40 years. BTW, Geneieve Camlin, who is mentioned in the article, was a friend of the real life Auntie Mame. She died in 1980. from a 1984 article
Marion Tanner, Real Auntie Mame NEW YORK — Marion Tanner, the real-life Greenwich Village eccentric and model for ``Auntie Mame`` in the novel and movie, is dead at 94. Ms. Tanner, who suffered a stroke two months ago, died Wednesday evening at the Village Nursing Home, where she had lived in recent years. Her nephew, Edward Tanner III, who used the pen name Patrick Dennis, wrote a 1954 novel titled Auntie Mame, immortalizing his aunt and her wacky life style. Ms. Tanner worked briefly as a stage actress, ran a Bohemian artists` salon, worked at Macy`s during the Depression and -- annoying her stuffy neighbors -- opened her home to the down-and-out the way Mame did. Her longtime friend, adviser and benefactor, Danny Lettieri, who ran the No Name Bar around the corner from the nursing home, was saddened. ``Marion dead? They are saying she`s 94? I can hardly believe she was that old. Marion and her pal, Genevieve Camlin are still a soft place in my heart,`` he said. Lettieri, 55, was introduced to Ms. Tanner by Camlin, who ran up a $10,462 tab in the No Name and ``showed up every single day of the year, snow or sunshine.`` Ms. Tanner hung out at the No Name, too, but didn`t show up daily, he said. Camlin died four years ago at 97.

Jack Beers On 10th Street

The other day PBS had this wonderful film about Jack Beers on again. It's called Holes In My Shoes We've posted about Jack before. Once we thought he might be related to the Buellers. This time I found him in the census living at 357 East 10th Street in 1920. The building is still there. It was just around the corner from my mother who lived on 9th Street at the same time. For more about Jack, who has since passed away two years ago.
Star of the award-winning feature film documentary, '"Holes In My Shoes"' , Jack Beers (1910–2009) was known as "New York City's Strongest Boy". Jack turned out to be a real Jack of all trades - a strongman, a self-taught structural engineer (working on most of NYC's iconic buildings), built Radio City Music Hall, indirectly shortened WW2 through an invention of his, put the spire on the Empire State Building, trained show boxers, and acted in over 200 films. He grew up in extreme poverty in the Lower East Side of New York City, born in his parents cold water apartment on East 6th Street. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Austria. He sold newspapers on the corner of Avenue B and 10th Street and played in Tompkins Square Park. Jack and his siblings took many jobs as kids to support the starving family. They had potatoes and potato soup every day. The gathered fallen coal from the coal truck to keep the house warm. He had 3 brothers - Manny, Julius and Hy, and one sister, Lilian. Jack's journey was incredible. He was blessed with unique strength and trained from a young boy in Tompkins Square Park on his body. He soon got a job working for a weight training company and met one of its board members, Jack Dempsey. He went to Coney Island as a teenager and studied under Warren Lincoln Travis. At 17, he was performing shows to clubs and theaters, most famously at The Lambs Club near Times Square, performing to film stars of the time. He was on the cover of New York City newspapers and was labelled as New York City's Strongest Boy. After a fight in the pool hall over an antisemitic remark, Jack's hand was broken and he decided to go into the ironwork trade at Fasslers Ironworks in the Lower East Side, near his house. Jack's boss was the Buildings Commissioner of New York City at that time, Sam Fassler. Jack ended up working on NYC's most famous buildings, notably the erection of Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall, where he personally erected the famous marquee and stairs inside. He was at the opening night, viewing it from the projection booth. The show was over 5 hours long. He kept the program his whole life. He taught himself to walk the steel beams at great heights. Then, Jack went on to become a self-taught structural engineer. He became so accomplished that he was asked to be one of the general foreman on the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He worked for Stone & Webster. After the war, in 1950, Jack was responsible for erecting the famous spire on top of The Empire State Building, for General Sarnoff and RCA. It was to be their radio tower. In the 1950s, because he couldn't have children with his wife, he put all his energy into training boxers and showed them at the Westminster Dog Shows throughout the 50s. In the 1960s, Jack continued his structural engineering work and worked on the erection of Lincoln Center. Over his career he worked on NYU, City Hall, The Museum of Modern Art, every Con Edison building, Macy's, Gimbles, George Washington Bridge, The World's Fair, and many more. In the 1960s, Jack decided to audition for a role in George Segal's film "Loving". He got the role, acted on the film for 12 days, and proceeded to have minor roles in over 200 films (including 7 Woody Allen films and 5 Arthur Hiller films). His biggest role was in a NYU film school short called "Rosey & Jonesy", directed by David Wachs (director of "Holes In My Shoes"). That ended up on PBS American Playhouse (1984). As Jack entered his 80s and 90s, he became a little less active, but continued to drive, clean and cook for himself, ride a stationary bike up to 3 miles per day, do his own taxes, wash and iron his clothes, mow his 5 acres (20,000 m2) of lawn with a tractor, cut down trees, you name it. He made the film "Holes In My Shoes" when he was 94. He made a music video of "When You're Smiling" when he was 97. Jack Beers died just before his 99th birthday. Mayor Bloomberg has recognized him and he has had a day named after him in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The LES vs. Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Les Watching ny1 during the storm it was apparent that many residents from the Smith Projects had evacuated to Seward Park High School. Why, I thought, more than the other projects located so close to the river's edge? It was due to leadership of tenant leader Aixa Torres
A dispatch from Marion Fox:
Dear David, Just a note from your intrepid reporter about how K.V. weathered the storm and the earthquake. Someone sitting in Tanahey Park actually saw the buildings move, and in my apartment, the chain on the door was swinging back and forth, back and forth. It took me about 5 seconds to figure out what was happening. My terrace flooded during the hurricane, and since I heeded the mayor's advice and evacuated to my sister's apartment, they had to break into my apartment, because the tenant downstairs was inundated. However,after all that, we're still here. Marion
photos courtesy of Paul Levine, the Bowery Boogie and the the les blog the lodown

Labor Day Parade 50 Years Ago

labor-day-1961 Sad to see how we've regressed in labor's might