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Bushwick 77: The Casusos of Harman St.

- upfromflames - Friday, June 1st, 2007 : goo

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image 20731
photo by Molinari, courtesy Daily News

Statistics being what they are, it takes a face to make most folks care. In Bushwick, in ’77, the Casusos of Harman Street were the faces that folks cared about.

image 20732
photo by Molinari, courtesy Daily News

They were a third generation family who steadfastly refused to leave their block. Instead they tried to live normal lives amidst the desolation. And they fought, through their block association, to get some vital help into Bushwick. It was not easy in those days

image 20733
photo by Demoni, courtesy Daily News

As Bushwick hit its worst stride, in July of ’77, things changed for the Casusos—and Bushwick. That’s when they met Martin Gottlieb of the Daily News, who led a team of young writers including Arthur Browne, Jon Hammill, and George James. Their editor for the series was Sam Roberts —all names who went on to NYC newspaper greatness. They chose the Casusos to write about.

image 20734
photo by Demony, courtesy Daily News

Together, they created Our Dying Neighborhoods, which, according to Gottlieb, “caught a moment in the city. On this one block, in this one neighborhood, you had a microcosm of the challenges facing our city.”

image 20735
Ms. Kathy Casuso giving Candidate Koch a tour of her hood to Mayoral Candidates
Photo by Ed Peters, courtesy Daily News

The five part series was a classic in the Daily News tradition of crusading journalism. Their goal was to expose the deep seated needs of Bushwick. Yes, the big NYC Blackout and “All Hands Fire” had certainly turned some heads, but how to keep the city’s sights focused on this disaster area?

image 20736
The Living Room Debate
Photo by Ed Peters, courtesy Daily News

It worked pretty well on Mayor Koch, who remarked that “After reading the articles in the Daily News, I realized how many people were suffering out there.” He was drawn there by Marty Gottlieb, who with the success of the series, organized a mayoral debate in the Casusos living room. They really crammed them in, as you can see.

image 20737
##The Casusos at Gracie Mansion with Mayor Koch
Photo by Ed Peters, courtesy Daily News##

The Casusos got what they wanted when each candidate promised not to forget Bushwick. Koch, when elected, kept his promise. Besides having them up to Gracie mansion the day after he was sworn in, he returned to Bushwick again and again over his three terms, checking on the rebuilding of the burned out heart of Bushwick

image 20738
photo by upfromflames, no courtesy needed

The modern face of Bushwick is in small part the work of this poster family from Harman St. And the Casusos are still there, now in their 4th generation. If you see them, say hi. Everyone else does.

Special thanks to Rick and Lisa Casuso for getting me these pics

This article has been viewed 113060 times in the last 8 years

joey: 1st Jun 2007 - 02:27 GMT

wow. that first picture looks more like berlin than it does nyc. you go to love the hairdos of '77.

RickC: 1st Jun 2007 - 22:42 GMT

Great job. On behalf of my family I say Thank You!

upfromflames: 1st Jun 2007 - 23:04 GMT

##photo by molinari, courtesy Daily News
image 20749
Oh yeah, Rick was another part of the success story of Harman Street. He was the one who first met Marty, and later even went on to write a few pieces for the Daily News. All this attention made him quite a hero in the hood at the time. And in the end it was a boost for all of Bushwick.

RickC: 2nd Jun 2007 - 05:44 GMT

Wow, I have not seen that Picture in years. I appreciate the compliment. I was only doing what I needed to do to make a difference back then. These days, my daughter is making a name for herself down here. It is amazing and wonderful to be able to reflect on all this, and to now watch a classier and much wiser young lady make a difference in an area that is nothing like where I grew up. As the saying goes, "Where there is a will, there is a way"! Keep up the great work.

RickC: 2nd Jun 2007 - 05:55 GMT

Is this story in the actual magazine? Or is it strictly online? If there is a magazine, I want you to send me a few copies. Send them C.O.D. You have my home address.

RickC: 3rd Jun 2007 - 04:03 GMT

Great job with all the various topics. I am impressed with your professionalism UPfromflames!

Kathy C: 6th Jun 2007 - 20:27 GMT

Wow! Those photos seem like a lifetime ago. I was about 10 in the 3rd photo - walking with my big brother. Looking at the photos it does appear as if it were a disaster area. But growing up as a child it really didn’t seem that bad. We walked to Catholic school every morning and to the local stores and church. We played in front of the house and in the back yard. I have a lot of good memories of my youth. I’m proud of my Mom & Dad for standing up for their community. They could have just moved out like most of the others did, but they didn’t. They fought to have the neighborhood rebuilt.

Kristine (4th Gen. C): 7th Jun 2007 - 01:19 GMT

Thank you so much for bringing the history of my family and our community back for reflection. It is greatly appreciated not only by me, but obviously by my mother, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Once again, thank you.

K. Rooney: 11th Jun 2007 - 20:13 GMT

I loved the historical info on the neighborhood and the family. You should be very proud.

anon ( 19th Jun 2007 - 00:38 GMT

I was a Bushwick baby, born on Troutman Street in 1963. I'll never forget the neighborhood, the 3-story walkup my parents, 3 siblings and I lived in, the cracked sidewalks, the buildings that were just beginning to crumble. My grandparents lived a few blocks down, on Greene Avenue, and it was all about big family gatherings there. Through hard times, we always had love. Bushwick is where it all began.

Sarah B.: 19th Jun 2007 - 00:39 GMT

I forgot to put my name at that last posting! That's me, the Bushwick baby :)

rosecoleredglasses: 19th Jun 2007 - 12:10 GMT

Hello Sarah remember the candy store on greene and irving, 25 cents bought all kinds of candy, they even sold kojak lollipops, also, mr. abbott and sal next door.

Dee: 9th Jul 2007 - 02:53 GMT

I was born in Bushwick in 1955. I left when I got married in 78. Bushwick was a really nice area until the mad exodus of the 60's everyone ran.Brodway was a great shopping area but then everything went downhill/ I was a minority Italian living amongstPuerto
ricans and Blacks. In the early 60's it was ok we all got along kind of like the movie Crooklyn we all played outside although we knew we were different from each other culturaly. Then it all really went down the shitter Martin Luther was killed the streets were dead then the riots on Broadway. Iremember being in the Bootery on Broadway with my sister when a riot happened i was scared, luckily we got home ok (she had a car) Anyway Broadway bstarted to burn. Cedar st looked like Berlin but my dad stayed afterall it wasnt a 2 fare zone. If I called a car service they called it war zone. I HATED LIVING THERE IN MY TEENS. I'd go on a date and have to hear comments about where I lived. The summer there was alot of noise just like in Do The Right Thing trust me I know how Sal felt when that kid Radipo Rakeem kept playing his box.
As for the fires in 77 during the blackout that served as a chance for people to loot and rob. They were running down my block with televisions, washers, diapers, clothes you name it they took it.
My memories are bitter sweet. My sisters loved the place, they were born in the 40's so it was completly different almost like Happy Days.
One thing though I loved Knickerbocker Ave. Remember the Rose shop?
Ruthies for underwear Betesh, the hat store I forget his name. Like I said bushwick was great until about 64 atleast on my block Cedar Street.
i forgot the Muslims took over assemblyman DiBlasi's house and made a mosque they ruined a gorgeous mansion we had to hear chants 5am every day and ofcourse the new neibors had cock fights this is al in the 70's.
Somebody once told me i live within running distance to the train.
Anyway Bushwick became a hellhole and i really don't know why those
Causo's stayed for so long. I guess they were never robbed or bothered by the men dr9nking and playing cards outside. they are very lucky their kids don't resent them. My parents moved in 87 and thats only cause my dad died my mom sold that house for next to nothing. Now all of you schmucks from Kansas want to go live in the wild west well good luck to you if you don't have little ones its fine, otherwise i would not invest what schools are they going to go to 111? it sucked for me
if I wasn't funny and street wise I would've got my ass kicked every day, had to hide my money in my shoe. The m train men expoing themselves guys trying to grab ure ass in the street. think twice u need a thick skin to be a pioneer in this neighborhood trust me I know.

Marty Gottlieb: 15th Jul 2007 - 21:23 GMT

God bless the Casusos--no finer family could anyone hope to meet! Everything that Adam has written about them so beautifully here is true. From my standpoint, the tremendous impact they had in turning the neighborhood around flowed from some very special family qualities. To a person they possess courage, resourcefulness, commitment, even stubborness. But I think even more of their remarkable good will, their graciousness, optimism, and openness. That was what they greeted me and my Daily News friends with. It's what they showed Mayor Koch, his advisors and his mayoral adversaries. It's what their friends and neighbors are blessed with every day. And people respond-- mayors and planners, even reporters grateful for a dose of unexpected friendliness. In what's supposed to be a hard-boiled city, sometimes faith and kindness win out. My memories and love for Kathy and Octavio will always be there, as will my thanks and love for Ricky, little Kathy, Lisa, Junior and Bobby-- and the next generation. Thanks for the ride, and look at the good you've done!. Marty

JACE: 17th Jul 2007 - 04:43 GMT


Diana Manchur-Henke: 25th Jul 2007 - 19:24 GMT

I lived next door to the Casusos ; went to school with Octavio and Bobby ( St. Barbara's). My building is still up, 170 Harman St. although I doubt it remained well cared for as the Casusos home.Once in awhile I would still come by there and remembered when I last spoke to Mr. Casuso ; Mrs. Casuso (Kitty who was not home at the time). They are a great family and I am glad things have turned around for the neighborhood. 168 Harman St. is their home filled with strong memories.
Octavio (Jr.) and I met at our St. Barbara reunion (2002), I learned then of his parents passing. I will always fondly remember them.

Tonya James-Rance: 3rd Sep 2007 - 19:07 GMT

Born and raised in Brooklyn.. Left in 1985 for the military... Lived on Suydam Street and then moved to Harman Street between Central and Evergreen.. Loved that neighborhood. Remember all the game rooms in the neighborhood.. Coming home from school, I would stop off at the gameroom to play pacman.. Our block was nice... Those were the days..

Janet Calderon: 9th Sep 2007 - 12:44 GMT

Author of Bushwick & Beyond: I never forgot Bushwick. My childhood memories are there. I'll be back to share my experiences via this book. Hopefully, after reading my book;the reader will empower themselves to take massive action that will take them to their next level of excellent. I have interesting Bushwick stories; Keep your eyes and ears out for Bushwick & Beyond. Please support a Bushwick ike, buy the book..Best of Luck to MI GENTE living in Bushwick. See You Soon!

Janet Calderon: 9th Sep 2007 - 12:51 GMT

If you would like to stay posted on when I'll be Launching the Book in Bushwick, feel free to E-mail me at and you'll be placed on the "keep me posted, I'll support you" list. If all goes well, Mid-October to November 2007 should be the Book Signing Launch. Isn't that Cool.....A Bushwick girl is back as an Author. Bushwick has plenty of talent...we have to seek them, nuture them and help them grow. That's my goal!

howie: 17th Sep 2007 - 17:04 GMT

Iwas born in 1948 at 75 Linden Street between Evergreen and Central went to St. Barbaras catholic school anyone fromm thta block or neighborhood?

Susan Monti-Luciano : 23rd Nov 2007 - 02:42 GMT

Hi Lisa and Ricky -WOW this is an awesome page- I was just searching some stuff on Bklyn and up came this website. This is truly amazing and brought back too many memories of us hanging out together, go to St. Barbara's School, Knickerbocker, etc. Lisa, when I last saw you on Myrtle, you only had the two children. WOW - what a wonderful family you have now and so grown up. To scan through these pictures seeing your Mom, Dad and even Suzie Fisher was great. 161 Harmon will always have a special place in my heart. My husband and I recently passed through Harmon to video tape the area so my parents and family can see the changes made. One of these days I'm going to try and ring your bell just to say Hi. My email address is Would love to hear from you. My regards to your brother Junior also. He still sends a Christmas card to my Mom and Dad who still live in Glendale. My husband Walter & I live on 67th Place in Glendale two doors away from Phil & Jeanie Scaturo. Good talking to you and hope to hear from you soon.

Susan Monti-Luciano : 23rd Nov 2007 - 21:16 GMT

Hi again - Just wanted to know who Jace is and Diana Manchur-Henke? Since Jace lived in 166 Harmon and Diana 170 thought I may know them. The only family I remember living in 170 next to you was (Philip or Fee-Fu). I also recall his Grandmother and three girls living there. Now wasn't 166 Nicolina, Tony and Lucy Marchetta's house? If Diana went to school with Jr., then she must have gone to school with my brother also. I'm now curious so please email me at let me know. This would be such a great reunion if we can keep in touch with each other after all these years. Especially that they remember Murrays, St. Barbara's, etc.
Again anyone who wants to reach me please do so at

Frank S: 27th Nov 2007 - 10:17 GMT

Holy cow, I can't believe it. A friend e-mailed me about the story. I did a google search and sh*t I'm back in Brooklyn. 169 Harmon -3rd floor. I hope word gets around to Jack F.- Sal.M -Pia D.- Michael P.- Nick F.- Suzan M. (contacted me) By the way how's bobby C.- Jerry Fisher (I believe from down the street). Yes "Murry's corner store, use to get our .02 or .05 cent popsicles. Large bag of chips .25 cents. There use to be an Italian bakery across from Murrys where we use to buy bread. and the old Pharmacy with the old phone booths. use to hide in there. What about all the street games, handball, stick-ball, slap-ball, tops, skeleses (spelling?)played with bottle tops. Marbles, Darts on the corner garage doors, "Truth Dare or Consquences" ha ha ha. Got my first kiss from that game, what Cherished Memories. Flip( played with baseball cards)If we only new that those baseball cards like the Brooklyn Dodgers would be worth Hundreds of Thousands of dollars today. The little street gang fights with kids from the other areas, The fire hydrants being opened in front of the house in summer. Sue's M. mother who would beat all of us with her broom if we swore. The NY Black outs in Brooklyn. We belonged to average working families, kids forged Friendships that still held today. How do you explain those cherished moments. By the way, didn't Bobby's dad wrestle and that's why he looked built in the pics. If anyone wants to reach me Please do I think the Casusos are hero's. Never gave up on the neighborhood. bravo... Anyone have pictures of the street today? To my dearest friend Sue M. who I've been in touch with for 50 years. Love you always. To all of you thanks for the memories.

Joe D.: 13th Dec 2007 - 04:12 GMT

Buswick late 1960's - early 1970's was the best!!! Born on Harman Street in 1965...The entire family lived within blocks of eachother..Grandparents on Starr Street next to the pretzel factory..Aunt lived on Buswick Avenue and DeKalb...Uncle lived on Troutman..Another aunt lived on Melrose next to the live poultry market...Got my tonsils removed at Bushwick hospital...baptized at St. Joseph...I remember the Good Friday procession , it seemed miles long...Remember Moes' Record Store on Knickerbocker and Dekalb in between Tonys pizza and Scaturro...Remember King Solomon...Morris Toys...Circos Pastry Shop...The cafes...Azzuro Mondello Italian Gift Shop..Saievas...Betesh...Als bargains....Remember Bargain Town on Broadway...The Donut Shop on Knickerbocker between harman and Himrod...Boys and Mens Clothing..Mr Franks fruit store on Harman and Knickerbocker..So many fond memories....We shoulve never left that neighborhood.....

JACE: 15th Dec 2007 - 20:52 GMT


Low Kee Angel 16th Dec 2007 - 20:08 GMT

What a strong family, you guys should be so proud. Bushwick should be so lucky.......God Bless ya

RickC: 18th Dec 2007 - 16:26 GMT

I have not visited this site in a while, and I am amazed with all the names that are posted. Hi Susan, Diane(my first crush thought I was too young), my Good friend Marty whom I havent seen in a while yet i love him as a brother. It is great to read all the other memories that are posted. I hope that you all are doing well, and that you are making an impact where you now live as we did in Bushwick.
Hey Jace, you and I may have played stickball as kids. What year did you live at 166?
Diane had a younger brother named Michael whom was one of my buddies. Please say hi to michael for me. I remember when her dad would bring home Colorform sets for us all to play with.
My dad liked Mr. Manchur because he would no hesitate to keep us kids in line. They live on the second floor apt that touched our bldg.

RickC: 18th Dec 2007 - 16:32 GMT

Hey FrankS, Bobby is doing fine and he lives in Long Island these days.

Mary Aguanno Allocca: 31st Dec 2007 - 06:35 GMT

I think of my old neighborhood quite often. I lived at 101 Harman Street, between Central and Evergreen Avenues. Graduated from 8th grade at St. Barbara's in 1962 (was in the school "Brigade" (played the fife) and went to the high school for almost 2 years, before moving to Amityville in November 1964. My dad, who passed away in 1994 was Joseph Aguanno, owned the "People's Fishmarket on Central Avenue (with my grandmother and grandfather Mary and Anthony Aguanno - on the same block as Stella D'Doro and Sal's Bakery. His store had the eels swimming in a tank in the window.

Lenora: 5th Jan 2008 - 03:45 GMT

This is an interesting site. I lived at 74 Bleecker St. Graduated from St. Barbara's 8th grade in June '61, went there for 9th grade and then we moved and I went to Bishop McDonnell for 10th.
I saw the mention of a St. Barbara's Reunion by an earlier poster, and I am wondering who set that up.

Diana Manchur-Henke: 11th Jan 2008 - 20:05 GMT

Rick, Michael lives upstate now near Albany. I'll let him know you asked for him. My father passed away 2004. My mom lives in Queens and is doing well. I'm glad the neighborhood is on an upswing. If there's another St. barbara reunion, I'll let you guys know,though I would think Octavio would get that info too. During the time I lived in 170 Harman St. 1963-74. , we lived on the second floor, accross from us was Rose and her husband; I believe she is still alive now living in a senior complex near Jamaica. Upstairs above were Francis and Joe Vera, Nicholas and Lucia, their children. Accross from them was Pauline who baked many wonderful Italian treats. Initially downstairs lived a mature german lady and shortly after moved in Dominic and Betty Calvaruso with their children Vitina(?), Maria and Gina. UP The block, Diane Castiglion, a Kid named Luigi, Anthony Cinderelli. Near Murrays that side of the block Rocco lived. i'm sure more will come to mind later. I do remember Nicolina and family. 1964-65 summers playing stoop ball, waiting for the rides to come around and neighbors sitting out front hot summer nights. I went to St. Barbaras by then and also was in the band, played the fife. Sister Dennis Patrick drilled us. She was at the reunion in 2002. Many of the stores mentioned were around on Central ave. and Wilson ave. My mom worked on Knickerbocker Ave. in a childrens store I think was S&D. It was great getting the latest colorforms from my dad, wish we had some unopened.
He worked for them until retirement.

JACE: 13th Jan 2008 - 20:13 GMT


Peggy: 15th Jan 2008 - 01:21 GMT

I also grew up in Bushwick. It brings back such great times. I went to St. Barbara's from 1963 to 1970. Does anyone remember St. Dennis Patrick? I lived on Bleecker St. next to Berg & Berg.( before the fire ) right off Knickerbocker.


Peggy: 15th Jan 2008 - 01:23 GMT

by reading the comments I see that there was a reunion in 02. Is there another one planned. I was in the ban too. fife with St. Dennis Patrick.

Uchie Martinez: 5th Feb 2008 - 19:04 GMT

Hey JoeD:
I too lived on Melrose Street by the live poultry market, around 1965 thru 1988, I'm 43 years old now. Do you remember Maxi's Ice Cream Shop on Knickerbocker between Melrose and Jefferson, Paul the Barber, I also remember Moe's record store and Tony's pizzeria use to go there everyday after school, until the incident there. Anyway, gotta hand it to the Casusos Family for not moving out of the old neighborhood. I loved it back in the days when I was a teen in the 1970's - 80's but I could never bring up my kids there. I have a lot of family on Melrose Street so I still visit. I now live in Ozone Park, Queens for the past 19 years. I would never forget Melrose, Bushwick area. Go Bushwick!

Ed Swenson: 12th Feb 2008 - 05:48 GMT

I was born in Bushwick Hospital in 1937. My parents moved a few years later to Ozone Park and when I was 5 they moved us to New Hyde Park, but whenever we needed to see a doctor we drove to see Dr. Salpeter, whose office was near Bushwick hospital. My sister was born in Bushwick in 1946 and when Dad needed a hernia surgery it was back to Bushwick although New Hyde Park had its share of adeaquate hospitals. I now live in Oregon but visit Manhattan about once a year. Next visit I'd like to get back to see where the hospital is/was, and also the neighborhood in which we lived. Thank you for your posting.

Tom Schneider: 12th Feb 2008 - 20:20 GMT

I lived on 1257 Green Ave beteen Wilson and Central 62-65

Ed Swenson: 12th Feb 2008 - 20:56 GMT

Does anyone know the address or location of the Bushwick Hospital? I recall that it morphed into a care facility many years ago. Thanks. Ed

angela buscemi letzeisen: 16th Feb 2008 - 20:15 GMT

my husband fred and i were married in st.barbaras church in february 1953 and just celebrated our 55th wedding anniversary on valentines day.i went to st barbaras school and church during the 1930 to 1946 period. We lived on Himrod Street . My Uncle Tony owned the fish store on Wilson Avenue. My grandparents lived on Grove Street . My parents Gasper and Caroline Buscemi have passed away a number of years ago after they moved to Pennsylvania. My sister Patricia lives in Maryland and Florida in the winter. We live in Florida also but full time . If anyone remembers me my e-mail is .....wouldlove to hear from possible friends from St. Barbaras.

NewYorkDave: 19th Feb 2008 - 01:40 GMT

Does anyone remember the specific location of the pretzel factory on Starr St.?

This is of interest to me because my Pop, when he was a boy, used to sell their pretzels on the street. Apparently, this was a popular way for the local youth to earn pocket money.

Diana Manchur-Henke: 22nd Feb 2008 - 22:16 GMT

If you go to bushwick buddies, register for free, you can get all the info your interested in about the pretzel factory etc.

NewYorkDave: 24th Feb 2008 - 03:57 GMT

Thanks, but... I was already enrolled there for a short time and left because I didn't care for all the right-wing politics.

I would still like to know the location of the pretzel factory, but it's merely out of curiosity, it's not an urgent thing.

Bobby I: 26th Mar 2008 - 12:46 GMT

The pretzel factory was located on the even side of Starr Street, between Wilson and Knickerbocker, closer to Knickerbocker Avenue. I lived on Starr between Wilson and Central, and my brother and I used to buy pretzels and sell them on Knickerbocker Avenue. We used to pay 2 cents per and sell them one for 3 cents or 2 for a nickel. There used to be a candy store around the corner from St. Joseph's church and after 9:30 mass on Sundays, we would go to the candy store and buy all loose candy for a penny or two.

Barbara Leone: 1st Apr 2008 - 01:03 GMT

I Lived on Ave between and . Think about 's all the time. I lived in from 1953 to 1964. Anyone know me please email. I had lots of friends from a social club on St right near Ave, .

NewYorkDave: 21st Apr 2008 - 12:53 GMT

Bobby I: Thanks! My Dad must've been selling pretzels around the same time because he bought and sold them for the same prices you quoted. His "route" was Onderdonk heading south; he tells me that he always sold out before he reached Myrtle Ave.

NewYorkDave: 21st Apr 2008 - 13:05 GMT

Hmmm, I just realized that that route wouldn't have made any sense considering the number of blocks involved. The pretzels surely would have been cold by the time he reached Onderdonk--unless he were running the whole way! ;). He never TOLD me the factory was on Starr, I just made that assumption because that's the only pretzel factory I've heard of in the area. He remembers that it was located in someone's basement, but doesn't remember the street. Who knows? Maybe he's mistaken about Onderdonk (who has a perfect memory after 50+ years?) or perhaps there was even another pretzel factory further east in Ridgewood. With all the Germans around at the time (1950s), it certainly seems possible. Anyway, thanks for the information!

Eric66: 2nd May 2008 - 00:51 GMT

I loved going down memorey Lane ,growing up on cedar st. between evergreen and myrtle ave. was the best of times 1945 to 1966 just wasn't enough time , had it not been for the block busters who ruined the neighborhood I would have stayed a lot longer. I sure would like to go around the corner to mrs. butters candy store on dekalb and evergreen and get an egg cream some hard pack ice cream and wait for daily news nite-owl that came in about 8:30pm. , i can dream can't I. I will alway be proud that I was born in Brooklyn you just can't explain it to people how Great it was. Eric

Eric66: 2nd May 2008 - 00:51 GMT

I loved going down memorey Lane ,growing up on cedar st. between evergreen and myrtle ave. was the best of times 1945 to 1966 just wasn't enough time , had it not been for the block busters who ruined the neighborhood I would have stayed a lot longer. I sure would like to go around the corner to mrs. butters candy store on dekalb and evergreen and get an egg cream some hard pack ice cream and wait for daily news nite-owl that came in about 8:30pm. , i can dream can't I. I will alway be proud that I was born in Brooklyn you just can't explain it to people how Great it was. Eric Cedar st.#66

cateyezz6: 13th May 2008 - 18:40 GMT

I like this picture because before it looked like a wreck and now Harman does not look like that anymore being the fact that I pass it every morning and afternoon. Bushwick has changed a lot and there are still things being built now to make things better

anon ( 19th Jun 2008 - 08:06 GMT

I have been at 20 Harman Street since we bought it in 1988. Of course everyone thought I was crazy! Among the many comments was this one "Who would buy a house in Bushwick?" smile. I fell in love with the house form the moment I went inside. It still has most of its original detail, the woodwork and moldings are intact. The house was in good condition mostly because I understand that we were only the third family to ever live in it.

Bushwick is rejuvenating nicely, but still has a long way to go. The building boom has helped to renew an appreciation for property owners to invest in the older properties. In another 10 years or so, we wont even believe its the same place.

May God continue to bless Bushwick!

Peter: 19th Jun 2008 - 13:58 GMT

20 Harman... is that the yellow house?

in regards to "who would buy in "... i would! er, if i could afford it. a lot has changed since 1988, for sure...

Eleanor: 19th Jun 2008 - 15:17 GMT

Have read this article many times and I'm pleased to see it is still drawing comments.

NewYorkDave ... you said you were on Bushwick Buddies but left because of the "right-wing" politics ... You're probably right that many of the "buddies" are very conservative in their politics ... but no one has ever stopped the "left" from making the opinions known ... but Bushwick Buddies is not about politics ... it's just because this is an election year for President that politics has even come into the site.

Bushwick Buddies was created to bring together people who were born and raised in Bushwick during the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and beyond. It is meant to share the great memories we all had growing up there ... and to do that we have close to 10,000 photographs contributed by our "buddies" ... and we are always have daily conversations about just about any subject that you can think of. There are at least 100 people signing in every day ... many of whom do not post but love to read about the "old hood" ... we'd love to see you back ... and anyone else who would like to join us ... contact me at for information.

Diane ... thanks for the plug.


Alice: 20th Jun 2008 - 04:33 GMT

My mom was born and grew up on Greene Avenue. We lived there in the 50s, I went to St. Barbara's elementary, (played fife!). Moved away in 1960 after finishing 5th grade. My Dad went to St.B. in the 30s, my mom to PS 75, they both went to Grover Cleveland HS '40-45. Had to post because of Mary Aguanno, above - I remember the fishtank with eels vividly! Passed it every day! Loved the smell of the bread baking at Sal's. What was allowed to happen to this neighborhood makes me angry and sad, but I am happy to see that it is coming back. If the names Toland or O'Donnell ring any bells please let me know!

Mitch Vernace: 1st Jul 2008 - 02:53 GMT

Grew up on the "other side" of Myrtle Avenue, on Knickerbocker between Putnam and Madison Street between 1961 and 1978. Went to St. Martin of Tours and we always felt our competitors were from the surrounding parishes (Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, St. Barbara's, St. Brigid's, St Joseph's... We had a lot of fun "invading" the surrounding areas, mostly by foot, sometimes by bike. The posts above did bring back great memories of Knickerbocker Avenue - Betesh's, Men and Boys (I hated the term "husky"...), John's bargain, Circo's... There was another bakery at Grove and Knickerbocker but for the life of me can not remember! We spent most of our time playing in Bushwick Park around the Bushwick H.S. area. Anyone with similar memories feel free to email:

Richie Fisher: 27th Jul 2008 - 15:36 GMT

Wow. I lived on the corner of Harmon and Wilson till June, 71. Cried wnen I left. I went to St. Barbs, grad. in '71. I lived 2 houses fom the other Fisher's, Georgie, Kenny and Kathleen, and next door to the Delio's. Like everyone else has said. it was the best. Stickball, off the wall, stoopball, ringolivio,iron tag, freeze tag, the johnny pump. My grandfather was a fireman at the old 233 in Easwt N.Y. and he alwas made sure we had a sprinkler cap on it. In front of my grandmother's caraige store. Downstairs was Murry's grocery stoor, his wife Pearl, across the street was Democelli's RX. store where my father kept his Checker cab in his garage. Always had a 35 cent Van. malt at Joe's. on Central Ave.( 45 cents if you wanted it to go) Bought my Baseball cards there, also at Barbara Anns. I still have all of them to this day! What times at St. Barbs! Mrs.Lawlor, Sisters D.P. Maria Michele, Betty, Ann Mathew, Kathlene Thomas, Rose Aquiness (The Boss!) Mr. Russo, Mr. Curtis, Mrs. Mcgovero ,3rd grade , sorry for stinky spelling, She was the best. I was an alter boy for 5 years under Father Patten and then Father Johnson. Trained under the great Walter Manchure. Mons. Steinmuller sometimes bounced back and forth in English and Latin. Glad english started my 1st year! Father Pheifow, Father Reynolds, and the great Father Zimmer. I never knew there was any reunion held, anyone from 71??? Wonder where Rocko, Boppo, Kevin and Keith Collins,Dominick Sercoa, Fat Rose in the window, Mrs. Tortulissi ( The block watchdog) one armed Mrs.O'Conner , Jerry McCarthy, Mark and Deron Condact, Joe Giacalone, Harold Vitting, ( Kathelene Casuso's brother) was always talking to himself, The Cain man from Himrod St., Joe's Ride," Im loosening the nut!" Pia, Bridgit, Wayne and Charlie Baker, Ray McNulty ,and and many I've forgotten.If anyone is out there from class of '71 give me a shout. Cheers! Richie Fisher. E Mail at

Janice A Abrams: 28th Jul 2008 - 10:13 GMT

I lived at 104 Bleeker Street until 1959. I also went to St. Barbara's School until we moved to Long Island. I was born in 1951 but did have an older brother born 1948 and sister born 1949. We were at 104 bleeker, right down the block from St. Barbara's. I was9 when we moved but still have a few crazy memories.

Sonja (Sandra): 29th Jul 2008 - 07:39 GMT

Love the posts. I also grew up in Bushwick. I remember the Starr Pretzel factory, passed it on the way to Junior High School 162. I still love the smell of pretzels. In fact, I remember most places mentioned and it brings a smile to my face reading all the posts.We lived at 152 Stockholm ( off Knickerbocker) for 6 yrs., then 6 yrs. at 161 Troutman and then moved to 172 Himrod St.
Great memories from a great neighborhood!
Thank you,
Sandra (Sonja)G.

Warren S.: 16th Aug 2008 - 21:47 GMT

I think this is a fabulous Web-page; it brings back memories of Bushwick, Brooklyn and Queen, where I grew up. Until I was 14, I lived on RC church property in the "old rectory" building at St. Barbara's RC church, which is now used for some kind of community outreach organization. My father all would have known as John. He worked for the parish as a custodian for 8 years, when Monsignor John E. Steinmuller was the pastor.

Although I have some very found memories of St. Barbara's and the neighborhoods in that Brooklyn/Queens section of the city, I also had some emotional trauma, living as I did, in the shadow of the Catholic Church. And I no longer count myself as a “Catholic” because of it.

Sister Dennis Patrick was one of those childhood demons who haunted my formative years at that time of my life. I had problems going up as I did, with a mother who was in essence absent in my upbringing, Sister Dennis Patrick did not make any of that familial problem any easier. She and my dad never really got along very well (my dad being one to call a spade a spade, and she being a very obsessive and willful about her precious fife, drum, and bugle corps, and so on...).

This so-called "woman of God" made my life a living hell while I was enrolled in the church parochial school. When she was pissed-off at my "old man" who do you think caught much of the flak? Living with my own issues, and a mother who was rather unbalanced, Sister Dennis Patrick made my growing up a vexing experience. Personally, I think the woman was somewhat insane herself and maybe a closeted lesbian. ...Anything but what she was "called" to do -- teach and foster young children in the mores of applied Christian living..

She seemed to be, among other things, a bit of a sadist; I was tormented by this evil witch in a black and white habit, with an never-ending essay assignment "Explain the Color Red to a Blind Man." Each day I suffered pure and profound emotional stress with the experience of showing up for her class and not having the finished essay -- which then would be doubled in word-count requirement, each time I came without the desired result.

In hindsight I know this was more about tormenting me because of her disdain for my father, and it also was about a deep seated need to control others under her tutelage, despite the resulting cause-and-effect of her sadistic tendencies. Others I know had similar opinions of her methods. And others were similarly tortured. In my opinion this woman was both evil and the epitome of Satan's imprint on humanity. If she were still alive today, I would have no problem telling her all that to her face. Hell… I would be hard pressed to keep from spitting in her face, though my ingrained passive nature would never allow me to go that far. It would still be a temptation to, in someway, relish. I honestly hope she died a slow and painful death.

That said… I can now find the room to try to forgive her for her sadistic and evil nature.

Richie Fisher: 16th Aug 2008 - 23:44 GMT

Hey there Warren! I have to be honest, I almost fell off my chair reading
your E Mail and I FLEW off my chair when I read your letter on the
Casusos's Site. You are right on about D.P. We ALL feared her! I was
lucky not to have her as a teacher. I remember she got transfered right
before I went to 7th grade. Listen to this, I was in her glee club and was
sitting RIGHT NEXT to her at Mass when I think Father Zimmer was reading
the weekly anouncements and DP and some other nuns were being sent to other
Parishes. When Father said her name, I was stunned and looked at her with a
look of , I guess naive disbelief.. I will NEVER forget her cold, almost
blank stare straight ahead, refusing to show any emotion. She was tuff, like
Sister Betty, Sister Kathleen Thomas, Sister James Michele, and the big
boss, Sister Rose Aquiness. ( Never did see that spankin' machine I heard
about for 8 years. ) I remember 2 people who lived on Menehan St. in my
class, Alfred Furrs and the ( I wish ) love of my life, Debra DeCeaser.
Remember that dog next to the school, I think his name was Toy Toy. You
must have benn a regular at Barbara Ann's. I remember the bakery on Wilson
Ave, ,I think it was LaRosa's. A classmate of mine, Maria DeFasio's family
owned it.You must be a couple of years before me and I guess DP was Hell
for many who had her, heck she threw me out of the glee club. Listen, If
you go on, go to St.B and there is a picture of the class of
68 reunion from a couple of years ago.( Maybe your class? ) It's hard to
tell, but the woman in the 2nd row, 2nd from the left looks like the DP of
today. Well, great to hear from you and let's share some more war stories.
.Richie Fisher , class of '71- . P.S. I always thought those nuns had
weights in that convent, God they were strong!!

Warren S.: 18th Aug 2008 - 17:25 GMT

"...I think Father Zimmer was reading the weekly anouncements and DP and some other nuns were being sent to other Parishes. When Father said her name, I was stunned and looked at her with a look of , I guess naive disbelief.. I will NEVER forget her cold, almost blank stare straight ahead, refusing to show any emotion. She was tuff..."

Hey Richie,

She was like that, and very stoic, to a fault...

Reading that: I could see her face in her typically hardened, glazed-over, expressionless stare, like it was simply yesterday...

When we were doing our confirmation practices, she was up there center altar, in all her glory, with the black and white stiff habit (they wore the stiff habits back then).

She was slapping the 'bejeeeezuuuuz' out of all the boys -- I mean really hard facial slaps, with red welts on all the boys faces, after the fact -- a few of her 'pets' escaped her blind wrath of course.

Well, it came my turn, knowing I was going to get an extra hard one from this dark-souled demonic creature. I paraded up there with the rest of my aisle full of boys, and WHAM..! I got a really good smack. Then I stayed there a second and turned the other cheek to her...

She went 'ballistic' on me, she attacked me in flurry of slaps, chops, and a punch or two I think, te other nuns had to pull her off of me. I recall later she caught hell from both my father and mother, and possibly from Monsignor Steinmuller, and then the parochial school principal Sister Cherubim Rita. It was worth it!

Needless to say things degraded a lot further from that point onward. That was the final straw though, it's when she refused to let me sit in her classroom any longer. In hindsight, I know now I got the best of her right there and then, despite the physical abuse suffered.

It's true you can hurt someone more without violence, once you learn how to turn them against themselves. It was a great lesson for me. After this incident I eventually got 'transferred' to Jr. HS, and thereafter I did great, under the care of new public school teachers. I wound up in the "smarter" classes, to my own amazement -- always thinking under the nuns like Dennis Patrick that I was pretty stupid. I never realized then, but it was a life affirming experience for me.

I'm certain that this bizarre woman hated men and most likely liked her own gender more than was normal, or healthy. She had no business teaching or caring for young and vulnerable children.

I saw that picture of her and she looks like my ex's mother. Yikes! If I only knew the resemblance was so uncanny...! It would have been a tip-off for sure. Just kidding... Actually, I got along great with her mom and still do even today.

Richie, it was great to hear from you about D.P. I really got a new perspective on her -- smiling -- glad I wasn't the only victim, or the only person who saw her as the evil bell-tower queen of St. Barabara's RC church. She would have gotten on well with Quasimodo's Dominican Spanish Inquisitors, maybe she knew them...

Richie Fisher: 18th Aug 2008 - 23:35 GMT

If anybody goes on, there is a reunion picture from St.Barbs. class of 68. Are those all former nuns in the 2nd row? I believe Sr. D.P. is 2nd from the right. Any help on the rest of them? I think that is Junior Casuso on the left. Don't recognize anyone else. Thanks for any info.

Warren S.: 19th Aug 2008 - 21:56 GMT

image 28896

Hey Richie... The Image you are talking about

Richie Fisher: 20th Aug 2008 - 00:25 GMT

Sister D.P. looks like she wants to slug someone...

Francine Cammarata: 20th Aug 2008 - 05:50 GMT

What a childhood in Bushwick!!! I think my passionate Italian background which was deeply rooted in tradition surely played a major part. What strength and power we had. I was born 1947 in Greenpoint Hospital. Baptised at St Martins of Tours. Went to PS 106 because my parents couldn't afford to send me to Catholic school. I use to get up early in the morning when everyone was asleep and sneak off to St Barbara's to be with the nuns and Italian widows. I wanted to be a nun.
We had friends on Harmon St and Knikerbocker Ave. Bill and Peggy Lindner. Their kids were Carol, Kenny and a change-of-life baby Willy. They lived on the ground floor, rt side of bldg. Across the street was a small grocery store run by two woman. I use to go in there and buy two pepsis. Their kids went to school on the corner, lt side of Harmon if you are walking in the direction where the Germans lived.
What a memory you triggered for me. You have no idea how I'd give up everything to go back to those days. But, you know, knowing what I know now- I'd do it all differently.
Parents moved us up to Elmira, NY after my father was beat pretty badly and left to die in a hallway on Wilson Ave. I went to Syracuse University and retired from HRS Child Support Enforcement. Living in Florida now, but I pine for the days of my life in Brooklyn. I've traveled the continent, but there's no place like Brooklyn, we are a special breed. Thanks for the memory Casuso Family.

Mary A.: 20th Aug 2008 - 14:22 GMT

I graduated from St. Barbs elementary school in 1962. May all the nuns I had experience with at St. Barbara's burn in hell. They knew nothing else but to strip you of any self-confidence you had in yourself and self-esteem. I am 59-1/2 and still suffering from the experience. Sitting students according to their intelligence, etc. And, yes, Dennis Patrick is still alive. I hope she looks at this site. I am tempted to make a copy of the comments about this "animal" and mail it to the Dominican Sister Motherhouse, located on Albany Avenue in Amityville, NY. I am sure she is known there. They might be able the comments about her on their bulletin board. The priests were brought out in the open, what about the bastards, these nuns, who ruined lives as well.

Richie Fisher: 20th Aug 2008 - 14:49 GMT

I always thought DP beat up only on us bad boys, hope she went to confession every week. There is a great movie called " Heaven Help Us" about a Catholic High School in Brooklyn around 1965, with Andrew McCarthy and Donald Sutherland as the head brother. Great, funny, and touching movie for all of us 60's Catholic kids. Plus the last 5 minutes are classic. Now that I think about it, the mean brother does remind me of D.P. Even looks a little like her...

Warren S.: 20th Aug 2008 - 19:49 GMT

To: Mary A...

I wonder you and I know each other... I blotted out so much of “back then” I forgot exactly when I would have graduated St. B's -- if I had graduated -- I was transfer to Jr. HS and glad of it.

I would have been scheduled to graduate parochial elementary school in 1961 had I not transferred to public school. I was one class ahead of you, so when I was being tortured by that evil demonic witch D.P. in 7th grade, you would have been in the 6th. I've already sent a scathing e-mail-letter to the head prioress at Amityville's motherhouse, regarding evil D.P. and her hell-borne teaching methods, with absolutely no reply. My guess is the nuns are all on orders from on high (the Bishop) to not respond to anything that might lead to another RC law suit of any kind. But if you know her whereabouts you might help someone track her down and slap her with a civil suit of some kind. If you have a real lead on Dennis Patrick why not share it with the rest of us here? Many of the nuns were pure evil on the young children they could not break spiritually... Dennis Patrick was one of their most hateful leaders. The woman, by now retired, doesn't belong in a nursing home or retirement villa -- she ought to be in a prison. I wonder how many lives she has ruined? I know she nearly ruined mine. If not for good teachers in the public school system I would have wound up in jail myself more than likely -- instead I graduated on the Dean's List from the college I eventually wound up going to, after getting out of the USAF.

And yes, like you, I still suffer the consequences (and aftereffects) of D.P.’s evil sadistic ministrations, today, at 60 1/2 years of age. This woman will surely burn in hell for what she's done to mere children in her charge. Of course I am no longer Catholic because of her nonsense and ungodly crap. And thank God for that too. ..

Mary, If you knew a guy named John who was the custodian at St. B.'s, well I was his son, Warren. Do you remember me or my dad? At any rate, Mary, I wish you well and much peace. Please get in touch. You can reach me at ‘wjspies@yahoo… etc., etc. ’

Also, I’m sure others here would like to learn more about D.P.’s whereabouts. We could send her volumes of essays on “How to Explain the Color Red to a Blind Man.” … one of her favorite “punishment” composition assignments.

Best Regards,

Warren S.

Warren S.: 20th Aug 2008 - 20:04 GMT


She seems to have ballooned up a little -- now I know which one to aim the darts at!

Warren S.

Richie Fisher: 21st Aug 2008 - 02:04 GMT

She is the toughest nun alive, but I remember Sister Kathleen Thomas, and Sister Betty They must have had notches on their belts for wacks on the cheek / butt / ear / hair pull /ear pull / ruler knuckle whack / blackboard head butt / verbal attacks / writing punishments... Remember, Times tables 100 times , spelling words 100 times, " Go to the cloakroom!!" " Go to the principle' office! " " I want to see your parents !" Come to think of it, didn't all those bad naughty priest go to Catholic School??? Oh well, time for a beer. CHEERS !!

Warren S.: 22nd Aug 2008 - 01:40 GMT

Sometimes, I had to report to the cloakroom straightaway or directly to the hallway. One nun had a big steel edged ruler, named "Mr. Brown;" she whacked kids across the palms of their hands with it if they "misbehaved" too much for her liking.

Another moronic -- idiot -- nun made me sit on the open-end of a wastepaper basket for a whole half-day. It had very sharp and rusted edges, which dug deep into my ass cheeks; after a while hurt like hell.. I called it the "Iron Maiden" many years later, during my 'therapy' and recovery stage.

These freaky half-crazed women were all obviously nuts! I think they held Satanic rites in their Bleeker Street Convent's basement on full moon nights, and midnight each Friday the thirteenth!

Ever notice, we never saw many black cats around in the neighborhood..?

My guess is... they nailed all the black kittens they caught to tiny cat-sized crucifixes during their monthly ritual cat murders! How many of these unloved old and bedeviled harpies were insane from the word go, before they ever stepping into a parochial school classroom?

As I like to say... Dennis Patrick was the leader of their evil Satanic nun's coven. She had the market cornered on broomsticks in that part of Brooklyn.

I do hope she reads this! How's that for explaining the color red, Sister Dennis...?

Richie Fisher: 22nd Aug 2008 - 14:59 GMT

You are right Warren, in fact you should send a letter of thanks to DP for making your tour in 'Nam almost seem normal compared to the Mennehan St. Maniac monastery we called school.

Warren S.: 22nd Aug 2008 - 21:02 GMT

Richie, you are right on the money there! It's like it was practice for more violent things to come.

I hear that St. Barbara's church is or was closed, and they only say masses on Sunday's, and once a day in the rectory building on Bleeker Street. The pictures I see of the old neighborhood make it look like a war zone -- Nazi Germany, after WW-II. And most of that happened since the the "blackout riots" I gathered... My heart goes out to all those people who tried to make a go of it there, after my family got the heck out of Dodge.

You know, St. B's had been refurbished because Monsignor John E. Steinmuller was tagged to get some kind of RC bishopric office from the pope and his resident church (St. B's) would need to reflect his church post as an Aux. Bishop, or whatever. All that re-doing of the church property was wasted because after Pope John XXIII died suddenly, Steinmuller fell out of favor with other conservative RC bishops. Also the conditions in the neighborhood forced St. B's closure for reasons of personal safety and usage.

It's a real sad story but from someone who survived those evil nuns and Dennis Patrick's holocaust on children, it seems here like divine justice. "What goes around comes around" as the saying goes. Maybe the Buddhists have it right about karma, both the good and bad varieties.

There was a lot of BAD KARMA emanating from that evil place! Maybe it was God's way to end it all.

That pic: 27th Aug 2008 - 07:50 GMT

Junior Casuso (Tony now-a-days) is in the last row, third from the left :)

Pia: 8th Sep 2008 - 20:10 GMT

What a great site. I am soooooooo glad that I fell upon it. Wish I would have before now. It brougt back so many great childhood memories.
I often say what a rich childhood I experienced although we had no money. Wish kids today could say the same. I remember all those Knickerbocker Ave. stores and especially most of the people named here. Hope to connect with some of you soon.

I'm sorry some people have such bad memories of St. Barbara's nuns although I don't. I think they picked on the boys much more than the girls.

I haven't been there in some time but it's nice to hear that the area is changing for the better.

Looking forward to more posts.

Ed "Class of 60": 18th Sep 2008 - 14:34 GMT

I guess there are some people that look in the mirror and don't like what they see. They blame everyone but the person in the mirror for their miserable putrid lives. They look back and decide, it's safe to to beat up on an eighty year old woman because she smacked them in the face fifty years ago. She tried to destroy them by giving them homework essay assignments that they thought were cruel. Give me a break!!!! Get over it!!!! One of these morons wants to sue this poor woman. He also states that if he would see her today, he would spit in her face. Then after saying this, he states that he propably wouldn't because he is a passive person. What a nice guy, lets just tear this nun up front the comfort of our safe home. Can you say COWARD???

Of course there are a few other very small people that chime in about the terrible nuns of St. Barbara's. Yes a few more cowards who have nothing better to do with their miserable lives than bash a eighty year old woman for something she did a half a century ago.

One of these fools is still mad at his Mommy. Sixty one years old and just can't let go. Hmmmmm So much for freedom of speech.

By the way, I had D.P. in 3 different grades. I got punished and smacked as much and probably more then anyone that ever went to that school. I remember writing chapters of history until midnight at times. Guess what, no big deal, I got over it. D.P. was my favorite nun, and I understood where she was coming from after a few years. I guess I grew up. Maybe these boobs should try it some time. It was fifty years ago!!!!!!!!!

Warren S.: 20th Sep 2008 - 15:27 GMT

"Putrid lives" speak for yourself...

Simple fact: child abuse is wrong, it's illegal, and children suffer for it well into their adult lives. Nowadays it's illegal to see it and NOT report it.

Maybe you are in denial sir, or you are an enabling sort of guy -- a co-dependent personality type, as it's now called.

When personal boundaries are violated they must be talked about, acknowledged, and set straight. Pretending people aren't wronged never keeps subsequent generations from being abused in similar ways. Ask any psychologist or medical psychiatrist! ... or, ask any Jewish holocaust victim, or any Jew for that matter.

Maybe the mirror you self-describe in your life needs some house cleaning, because it's fogged with the tarnish left over from unresolved childhood trauma, and lack of real insight.

Warren S.: 20th Sep 2008 - 15:31 GMT


There is nothing like the truth to set things right.

As Jesus taught: "The truth will set you free." Dancing around it never did anything of the sort.

Apparently Sister D.P. forgot to teach you that in any of the three tries she had at doing so.

Richie Fisher: 21st Sep 2008 - 13:43 GMT

You tell 'em Warren. Although D.P. didn't affect me as bad as others, she hurt people like Mary A. and others like yourself. This "Ed" guy shouldn't judge other people without even knowing them. Seems like he has more anger issues than anyone else, but he has all the answers. The end of an era in the Bronx tonight, too bad the season was not a good one. Go Jets...

Joe Bilardello: 30th Sep 2008 - 19:28 GMT

Hey Warren, Your article brough back a tremendous amount of memories. I was in your class, I lived on 91 Harmon Street between Central and Evergreen Ave. We use to play stick Ball until it got so dark we couldn't see where the ball was going. It was me, Anthony Bastogne, My Cousin Jimmy aka Jace Carmada, Joey and Frankie Gasarro, The Walker bros. Rich and Wayne, Robert D'Agustino, just to name a few. We moved to Glendale after the 7th Grade. Yea you got it, after DPs Class. Took enough beatings from her,so did my Cousin Frankie Catone. Someone mention the Pretzel guy, that was Joe the Pretzel Man. Really a nice guy.

Warren S. : 9th Oct 2008 - 04:34 GMT

Jeeeezzzz... guys! Richie... Joe, thanks for the support on this one.

Once I had my responding comment out there, I couldn't return for a while just to cycle it out of my system a tad.

The nerve..! I can see someone disagreeing, but to cite some kind of inherent personal foible on my part as a root cause; it really gives me some pause. Anyway once I said my peace, I decided to steer clear for a short time.

I remember stick-ball too, and yeah playing until we couldn't make the ball out anymore against the sky. Then we'd jump on our bikes and ride around the block, over and over again, or grab an Italian ice at Stella Doro's, sit on our stoops, until our moms would call us in for the night. Those were great days.

Joe those were real fun times, despite DP. I remember Frank Catone like it was yesterday -- dark hair, and glasses, thick eyebrows -- as I recall. And Joey, Jace Carmada, and Wayne ring some bells? I remember a lot of these names from our class or from CYO. How are they all doing?

Joe "the pretzel guy" stood in front of St. B's with his baby carriage full of pretzels and he always had a pleasant thing to say to all of us kids. Being on the short end of things, so often, I could never 'figure' why he was so nice to us all of time. Usually some adult was trying to pin some blame on me for one childhood crime or another. I remember once when the school was broken into and money was missing, the priest involved in investigating this "crime of the century" was doing his damnedest to pin it on me somehow, for whatever reason, though I had nothing to do with it, whatsoever! But guys like Joe "the pretzel guy" were different.

Richie, I took note of the passing; Yankee Stadium is no more! I used to go there a lot to watch the Yankees under Ralph Houk, as manager. I saw Whitey Ford pitch his first 20th win there. And who could forget the Yanks of '61 when Marris and Mantle battled it out for the HR crown. I see the New Stadium being built across the street will look more like the old Yankee Stadium of our youth. I never really liked the refurbished one. The 're-done' facade was different and the blue plastic seats were hot, smaller, and pretty uncomfortable on the kester. But I did see Ron Guidry and Goose Gosage mow them down there too -- back when they were playing "Billy Ball." :)

Please take care, and I hope all is well and stays well with everyone.

Gotta go!

JoAnn LaForte: 25th Oct 2008 - 06:28 GMT

I can't believe I am reading all this stuff. I lived on 130 Grove Street - bet. Central/Evergreen, from birth [1953] till we also did the mass 60's exodus (right after the beatles came) in 1964. I went to St. Barbara's through mid-fifth grade. Someone up there mentioned my childhood favorite candy store "Barbara-Ann's" and I do remember LaRosa's bakery cause I think one of my classmate's family owned it - Kathy and Maria LaRosa. I often wonder where all those people went to. I am still in touch with friend from Grove Street - JoMarie Bonanno - who now lives out west. I still live in NY (Queens). I remember Sr. Dennis Patrick's name but thank God I didn't have anything to do with her although I remember her being scary. But I have to say my meanest was a lay teacher - Ms. Rosalie Cottone - who gave me bad memories for LIFE. But I don't hold it against them - it WAS what it WAS. Anyhow, I would have graduated in 1967 if I didn't move (went to Blessed Sacrament ENY afterwards for the rest of elementary) so if anyone out there is from my class - write!
Regards to all and to those fond memories.

JoAnn LaForte: 25th Oct 2008 - 06:37 GMT

oh and a P.S. God help any one of the teachers that MY 2 KIDS had [throughout their 12 years of catholic school] if they ever laid hands on them, the way they did to some of my classmates (mostly the boys) at St. Barbara's!!

Joe Mayo: 4th Nov 2008 - 19:09 GMT

hi. I lived on 145 harmon st. from 62 to 69 Hi jace I remember you and i went to manhttan during the blackout . stickball grat time

Joe Mayo: 8th Nov 2008 - 21:07 GMT

Hi Jace... This is amazing, reading all these blogs brings back great memories. I also talked to Rocco he told me he spoke with you. He also told me about this site, do hear from anyome how about victor colon or Jerry castoria?I see Mikey Whalen every now and then. Hey Jace we diffenitly have to get together I will get in touch with Rocco and set something up. Its great to hear from you stay well

Thelma Fuentes: 12th Nov 2008 - 18:19 GMT

I went to school with Elizabeth Casuso at St. Barbaras....I remember her Dad taking up collection at Mass...I used to live on Grove St between Central and Evergreen....

Thelma Fuentes: 12th Nov 2008 - 19:37 GMT

I lived at 146 Grove Street and moved to Staten Island in early 70s (I didn't get to graduate with my class at St. Barbara's in 1972)...I remember Barbara Ann's, my first dance at the CYO, Mrs. Bayer that used to work in the principals's office, Sister Justine, Sister Hannah Patricia. Anyone remember the lay teachers? Mrs. Lawlor, Mr. Russo and Mr. Curtis? What about Father Patton and Father Robinson? I remember there used to be a German, Italian and Latin Mass...later they added a did away with the latin and added a Spanish Mass. School girls could not go into the church without their school hats for childrens Mass or veils on Sundays OR pants.

St. Barbara's church was beautiful to me.....there was a serene sense of peace to me. I loved going to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.....the church smelled like fresh pine. The last time I was at St. Barbara's was 6 years ago and my mind was flooded with SO many good memories of my childhood...I got a big lump in my throat. I went to the old Rectory and spoke with a very attractive bald and "Buff" man who allowed me to walk through and into the church. I later found out he was the parish priest. I was like "Dayum!" LOL! I am no longer a Catholic, (Assemblies of God now) but hold St. B's near and dear to my heart.

I remember that the nuns and teachers would come to our classrooms to give us class but then one year they started having students taking different classes in different was almost like high school. I remember how the students were separated by floors at the school....the first floor were the "Babies"..the second floor was for the pre-teens and the third floor was for us "Grown" kids. I played the fife too and I remember having a male teacher that they called "Mr. Rip or Mr Rif"...something like that.

My experiences with the nuns were not as horrific as with some.....I guess I never really pissed them off enough. I had several of cousins that went to school with me at St. B's....Crescencio Irizarry, Hector Irizarry, Alberto Irizarry, Norma Irizarry, Madelyn Ramos and Enid Orta, Ivette Rivera, Orlando Rivera. My cousins Norma and Madelyn and I were the same age and in the same class together and we used to get into mischief but they handled that by separating us into different classes. I got "paddled" once for turning around and asking Dorene Kline for a piece of loose-leaf paper! Yeah go figure!

I remember when I made my first communion it was the first time they let kids drink straight out of the chalice. That sacred wine burnt all the way down my throat and I even got a buzz! Afterwards I had to go get my communion pictures taken at Rufino's Photo Studio on Broadway and I my eyes looked all "glazed over."

I remember there used to be a funeral home on the corner of Menaham and Central......I remember the old health department on Central Ave and the park directly behind it. I remember walking to the Bushwick library...taking Gates Avenue all the way to Wyckoff (I think).

When I moved to Bushwick my family was the first Puerto Rican family on my block......the rest were Germans and Italians and they all made us feel welcome and never rude, mean or nasty. As time passed the older German/Italians died off or moved away and the cultural geography began to change. When it got "bad" my parents purchased their first home in Staten Island and made the move.

If anyone remembers anything of what I've mentioned above and would like to chat some more, feel free to write me at

Peace and blessings......

Marianna Calabrese: 13th Nov 2008 - 01:47 GMT

Hi to everyone in Brooklyn land i grew up on 271 CENTRAL AVE. i also went to ST.BARBARAS SCHOOL FOR 8 LONG YRS,I spent lots of time in the cloak room or the hallway for talking sister Dennis Patrick also slapped me in my face she was a horrible nun she was suppose to teach, and educate and also show compassion now that she is old does not errase all the horrible things that she has done,what a disgrace that she was able to get away with it for so long and all the scars that the students had to bear,shame on you SISTER DENNIS PATRICK p.s. I don't care if she is 50 or 150 years old.Hope you like the heat because it is hot where you are going. Marianna Calabrese email address is my maiden name is Bonacasa

JACE: 14th Nov 2008 - 01:50 GMT


JACE: 14th Nov 2008 - 03:11 GMT


JACE: 14th Nov 2008 - 03:21 GMT

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JACE: 14th Nov 2008 - 03:26 GMT

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JoannC: 4th Dec 2008 - 16:47 GMT

These comments bring a tear to my eye. I lived at 195 Linden Street and went to 8 years at St. Barbara's class of 1965 remember Sister Veronica Christi, she was such a doll. I heard she left the order got married and had children. I remember how beautiful the Church was and how long the aisle was. every girl wanted to be a bride going down that aise.

Warren S.: 17th Dec 2008 - 20:29 GMT

That pic of the CYO entrance is pretty depressing.

I lived on church property, adjacent to that entrance. The church used to rent out apartments in the "old rectory," and my dad as the chief custodian in those years from 1960 and prior (8 years) was required to live there -- though we had to pay rent too, to live in that building.

I remember looking out our rear window, 3rd floor, in sight of that CYO entrance-way, and it used to be pristine and very well keep, with glass block brick on the side for light side. I see the glass block is panted-over and the building materials are cumpling and deteriorated.

How sad... we left in late 1960, I think, after my dad got sick and the church could not longer keep him on.

My father later found work with the NYC-MTA and worked for them for 16 more years. The MTA didn't think he was too sick to perform work related duties, though the RC church did. My father died in his sleep only a few years ago, at the age of ninety-three on Long Island, in a assisted care nursing facility.

Seeing the other pics of the church, and so forth, it's all very sad and very depressing to look at. We escaped this episode oF degradation when we moved to Queens and later on to E. Northport, on Long Island.

I did military service with the USAF for 4 years plus -- 2 years, 3 months, and 23 days in the Vietnam theater of operations, namely Thailand, on a semi-secret base. I also did lots of TDY duty in Vietnam during those years too.

Once I got back to Long Island, I never felt like I belonged there anymore. I guess that's what got me here to Northern California -- 50 miles south of San Fransisco. I love it here and never once looked back with regret, save for the horrors of being a parochial school "survivor" at the hands of some very evil nuns.

To me it proves the RC church is not as holy or as God-centered as it claims. I'm happily non-Catholic these days and proud of it. When I do go to church it's at a local Episcopal church nearby.

Joseph La Rosa: 30th Dec 2008 - 14:31 GMT

Hey Brooklyn, what nice things are being said about "the old neighborhood". My name is Joe La Rosa and my family used to own LaRosa bakery on wilson ave. My dad was Joey. His brothers were Jack, Tony (pipes), George (ox), Mickey the boxer and his sister is Agnes. My grandfather was a great big man Saverio. We had by far the best bread and pizza probably in the whole world!!!! I was born on 135 Menahan st. I now own Barosa restaurant in queens along with a new Barosa restaurant in williamburgh brooklyn. This was so nice to see people still have fond memories of "the old neighborhood"...............ciao!!!

Kriestine Mangel: 4th Jan 2009 - 23:45 GMT

wow. it's cool to read about people's memories of Bushwick. I may be a bit younger than some of the posters...Our family lived on Halsey St. between Irving and Knickerbocker between 1964 through 1980. Good times. open johnny pumps in the summer, skellys, handball, RCK, cocolivio, spin the bottle, loosey newports, dough fights from the Italian bread factory, block parties that were super rare since it took an act of God to change the bus route (#26) for a few hours, riding bike for miles even though we just kept riding from corner to corner, flipping cards, using cards and clothespins as noisemakers on our bikes' spokes, quinepa shell fights, snowball fights, stoopball, Nick's, the record store, and Cirilo's all next to each other, the park across the street from St. Martin's, midnight mass at St. Martin's on Christmas eve, the Double L, going to the store for Josephine's Ballantine Ale and getting tipped a quarter which was enough for a bag of onion and garlic potatoe chips and a Nehi and my mom making me go to the store for Mrs. Romano's milk even though she didn't tip :)

I went to PS 151, St. Martin's/St. Elizabeth Seton, then to RFK Incentive Program at St. Brigid's. Though the nuns could be tough, none could be described as demonic. Srs. Mary and Eileen from SES and Sr. Mary at RFK seem like angels compared to what I've just read.

By the way, for the poster who mentioned the library...I think it was on Irving Ave. next to Bushwick HS. I've heard that they closed Bushwick HS a few years ago. I'd love to go and visit the "new" Bushwick. I went up there about 2 and 1/2 years ago and was surprised at how much smaller it seemed.

Anyone from Halsey between Irving and Knickerbocker who grew up in the 60's and/or '70's? Chuleta, Crazy Joe, Michael who was a bike fanatic, John & Artie, Linda & Susie, Kevin & Kenny, Kahun (Rufino) and his bros. Joey and George, Salami, the twins Ronald & Donald, Chema, Tony & Dinah, Howard, Carl Reid, Airport & Angel...I'm surprised I remember that many!

if anyone from the neighbor hood or St. Elizabeth Seton remembers Kriestine, Johnny, or Lisbeth email me

Richie Fisher: 13th Jan 2009 - 20:54 GMT

Guess you didn't know the right phone #, because when I drove the B52, B38, or B54 busses in the summers of 1980 - 1982, EVERY WEEKEND was a maze- like detour through that route, at least 10 block parties would be going on at once. The one good thing about driving in the badder areas was that every other johnny pump was blasting and I would pull up with my sauna bus and open the door and SWOOSH!! no more hot!!

Kriestine Mangel: 17th Jan 2009 - 05:17 GMT

to Richie 1980 I was in FL. I was too young to organize the block parties in the 70s but I remember hearing complaints about how difficult it was to get them to detour the 26.

Diana Manchur=Henke: 24th Jan 2009 - 10:35 GMT

Marianna Bonacasa,
You and I use to hang out for a while. Remember Delia Rose? I wondered what became of her. I lived on Harman St. between Central and Wilson. Its good to hear from you. When I first came to St. Barbara from P.S. 116, 5th grade Sister St. Vincent's class, you and Delia were the first to make friends with me. Anyhow here's my e=mail if interested :

Joseph La Rosa: 24th Jan 2009 - 17:17 GMT

anybody remember the smell of fresh baked italian bread coming up from the cellar of La Rosa bakery on wilson ave ?

paul bonacasa: 26th Jan 2009 - 01:57 GMT

I would like to hear from my friends from the old neighborhood.Ilived at 271 central ave.graduated from st.barbaras in1964 and from bushwick h.s. in1968.

Richard Cancemi, M.D. (Retired): 26th Jan 2009 - 03:44 GMT

I was born in a top floor flat at 151 Central Ave in 1933, around the corner from St.Joseph's. Our sisters took no guff from us and slapped us or gave us whacks on the hand with a strap. We accepted it it without liking it because we knew we deserved it. We never went home and told our parents because we'd get it again from them. But you know I loved the Sisters, all of them, as did most of my friends. There was NO tuition to attend St. Joseph's. If you lived in the parish you were eligible. Monsignore Silvestri managed to fund the school and everything with some magic of his. I think he put the squeeze on the local politicians and business-
men,not to mention Joe Bonano. It was a slum during my time but it was a happy place. I visit Sicily often and especially Palermo. When I walk the streets there, I feel as if I am back in time on Knickerbocker Ave. By the way, the candy store mentioned by someone, on Central around the corner from St. Joe's was run by my parents (after I grew up and left the neighborhood). Used to hang out in Knickerbocker Park (official name: Bushwick Park) in my teens. Attended Bushwick H.S.

I don't know how it was in St. Barbara;s school. But the guys talking of it in other comments, sound like whiners. Maybe they have a right? Besides, I believe it was a German Parish and Germans and Italians look at life quite differently.

I am writing a book. It may or not get published, It's title will be "Kid Richie". If it ever gets on the shelves, people, from Bushwick especially, might find it interesting and entertaining.

It broke my heart to see the destruction wrought on the neighborhood after my time!

Alfred Furrs: 30th Jan 2009 - 18:08 GMT

Unbelievable stuff! Richie Fisher, I just can not believe you remember me. Good memmory and memories. I lived on Menahan Street between Evergreen and Central. The next block up from the church and school. My brother is Quinn Anthony Furrs. I have nothing but wonderful memories growing up in the neighborhood.

Does anyone remember Salvatore and Anthony Bartolameo? They also lived on Menahan Street.

anon ( 31st Jan 2009 - 03:45 GMT

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Richie Fisher: 2nd Feb 2009 - 21:37 GMT

Hey Alfred Furrs! Do you hear from anyone in our class? I've lived out here in Staten Island since '71. I E Mailed Pia D. , but that's about it, Still playing hoops? Carlton P. Hall, Marlon P., Jesus A. , Manuel D. ( Remember the bakery ? ) Those were the best times...

Diana Manchur: 3rd Feb 2009 - 20:02 GMT

Did anyone go to P.S. 116 1959-1964? I had Mrs. Russo, Ms. Stern, Ms. Strong and Ms. Campisi before transferring to St. Barbara's.

anon ( 7th Feb 2009 - 14:44 GMT

Born in Wyckoff hosp,lived at 27 bleecker st went to St Barbaras Played stick ball, box ball,johnny on the pony and more. Unforgettable summers. Schooled in Halsey Jr. High.German family next door German deli on evergreen and Bleecker.Mike and Emma candy store where we were able to sneak a smoke once in a while. Lots of kids in my age group maybe 20-25. Most of us had the same things in common have fun and get in trouble once in a while. Couldn't wait to finish eating to go out and play box ball right in front of my house. There was a large set of garages right across from my house (no parked cars)life was good then still is but different oh well. Let me know if you lived in this area.P.S. St Barbaras Confraternity dances. My name is Mike

Mike: 7th Feb 2009 - 15:16 GMT

does anyone remember Stella Dora Bakery I think it was on Wilson ave Let Me know if you remember

joe mayo: 8th Feb 2009 - 21:48 GMT

Hey Diana Manchur I remember you and I use to walk to sunday Mass once in a while,I lived in 145 harmon st. I used to hang out with Rocco, Jace, Jerry Castoria ,Mikey Whalen,Nicky Rosalia,Diane Castigleone,Eddie Fisher Victor colon Do you remember?

Diana Manchur: 13th Feb 2009 - 23:12 GMT

Joe Mayo,
The picture of the class of '68 reunion (St. Barbara's), I'm in the second row with all the nuns at the end on the right and Diane Castiglione is last row standing in the middle. Octavio Casuso is the second guy to the left from her in the last row with the mustash. I'm trying to picture you. I'm sure I'll remember. I do remember Rocco. I hung out around the corner on Greene Ave. with Carol Benenati, Audrey Arnold, Joan Tranchina, Anna Messina, Susan Gagnon(?), Marianne Arena. Some of the guys from school like Joe Barone, John Campisi, Anthony Parenello(?) more names will come to me.

back in the day: 15th Feb 2009 - 04:21 GMT

does anybody remember Dr. Pelicane or dr's Klein or Viviani

Warren S: 17th Feb 2009 - 00:45 GMT

Stella Dora Bakery was on Central Avenue right on the corner of Bleeker Street across from St. Barbara's church.

Richie Fisher: 17th Feb 2009 - 00:53 GMT

In the picture of the '68 reunion, who are the nuns? I think Sister D.P. is 2nd from the right, next to Diane Manchur. I graduated in 71. Thanks

Diana Manchur: 17th Feb 2009 - 22:19 GMT

Sr. D.P. is the second one from the left in pink/purple.

mike eckhardt: 18th Feb 2009 - 01:51 GMT

Holy Moly, this is where I lived growing up, 627 Central ave, my cousins lived on Himrod st, this would be in 1957-1959. Went to St Martin of Tours Catholic school, wow, it looks bad now, was pretty fun back then.

Frank Spataro: 21st Feb 2009 - 21:14 GMT

I returned to this site after talking to some work mates about the area I grew up in. How do you convey the wonderful memories and experiences of street life growing up in Bushwick, a street-life where lifelong friendships and relationships have been forged?

I use the term street-life, because where those memories are fun filled and rich, many of us came from hard working middle class families who were trying to scratch out a mere existence. Life at home was not “Leave it to Beaver or the Andy Griffith Show. (though many of us had wished it could be) Our reality was more like the “Bowery Boys or The Honey Mooners”. Street life and its friendships became important to us kids and for some of us an escape to what grew into life long relationships. It’s to those memories I speak and like to go on record for.

First off, about the neighborhood Nuns, though many are gone, I would like to set the story straight. Sister Denis Patrick, who commanded a class of all boys, was a tuff old bird who demanded respect, not because her head was filled with grandeur, but because she knew to garner respect from people you had to earn it in yourself first. She was tuff alright, but fair, that’s all one can ask in life. This is coming from someone who on a few occasions had the opportunity to feel the swing of that mighty Irish arm and paddle.

And then there was Sister Marie Michel and St James, Thank you for all the times you reached out to my brother and knowing that our home life wasn’t filled with Partridges but buzzards. These two Nuns walked the tough streets of Bushwick to see us off when our family left NY.I will never forget and haven’t. Heaven is a better place with both of you there.

Then there was the neighborhood gang, Susan & Kathy Monti, who I still keep in touch with after all these years even though distance separates us. And there was Pia D., Sal M., Giacamo F., Michael P., Nick Fortuna, Bobby Casuso, Vincent Despensari (spelling) and of course R. Fisher (the ball buster). Who on occasion I had to kick butt for being a trouble maker, (I am glad you’re man enough today to own up to that fact, heard that through the Bushwick grapevine….lolol.) Anyways, it is a wonderful memory which will stay with me to my dying days. Till we meet again…

Frank Spataro

Frank Spataro: 21st Feb 2009 - 21:56 GMT

PS. Never forgave Brooklyn for giving up the "Dodgers", till this day, every Brooklynite who remembers is haunted by that sale... Bring the "Dodgers" home!!!!

peggy: 24th Feb 2009 - 15:45 GMT

Hi i remember i had some friends who lived there when the fire clamed there homes dorthory delmage and flamily

RViola: 26th Feb 2009 - 20:52 GMT

I lived on Bushwick Ave. from 1949-1962 then moved to Staten Island. Went to All Saints Elementary. Does anyone remember the school and church?

Susan Luciano (Monti): 27th Feb 2009 - 00:42 GMT

My husband and I pass through the neighborhood every so often and still get believe how our streets have changed. Some of the new houses built look like Army barracks but still all the memories are there. We did drive along Bushwick Ave where our physician Doctor Viviano practiced. As a child I remember him even making house-calls! Hard finding that now. I started St. Barbara's in 1963 with Sr. Jean Catherine, 2nd-Sr. Jean Catherine,
3rd Gr. Sr. Maxentia, 4th Miss Foley, 5th Miss Capadora (now Lawlor), 6th Sr. Vincent,
7th Sr. Therese Marie & 8th Sr. Mary Kathleen. I guess I lucked out not having Sr. Dennis Patrick - but I did have Sr. Therese Marie who was just as mean. My brother Vincent also hung out with many of the guys on Harmon and he too played stick-ball, johnny on the pony, all that crazy & wild games. Then when we hung out it was a little bit of stick-ball, skelsies, hot, peas & butter, stoop ball, red-light, green light one two three, I can go on and on! I recall even going to Mike & Joe's Candy store on Central, Ed & Louise Tortorice's Drug Store on Central & Harman, and everyone's bakery LaRosa's where the pizza would come up from the basement on a pulley or was that the bakery on Himrod & Central (can't remember the name). I also have a few pictures of good ol Harmon which I'll be downloading soon. Some before and after of Central & Harmon. Good talking to everyone and let's keep this going. I can be reached at If anyone would like to email my brother Vincent who also had Sr. Dennis Patrick & went to school with Octavio (Jr.) Casuso he can be reached at

Diana Manchur: 27th Feb 2009 - 19:15 GMT

I had Sr. St. Vincent when I first came to St. Barbaras from P.S. 116. She was very nice, use to write on the board using different color chalk for english to disect a sentence(verbs,nouns, etc.). Sr. Celeste was quite mean at times. Looking forward to seeing some older pictures of the neighborhood.

Pia: 9th Mar 2009 - 19:24 GMT

I am so glad you have such wonderful memories of the old neighborhood, although your memories of those nuns is a little clouded. As a young girl I didn't feel the wrath of those nuns but I do remember how they mistreated some of the other students (especially the boys). I guess Sr. DP took mercy on you and your brother. Consider yourself lucky. Others didn't have that luxury. As far as demanding respect, respect needs to be earned not beat into children. Sorry, that's how I remember it.
The teacher that was one to be commended was Mrs. Lawlor. She was the exception to the rule since she really liked the kids. She always had the best interest of her students at heart. She was a teacher that left a good impression instead of bad memories on alot of us. I'm sure there were others, but she stands out the most for me.
I do remember many of the games that you mentioned that taught us how to play fair and get along. That was the best part of summer, playing outside with your friends from morning until night. Never got tired of your friends and I still have many good memories
from all of you.
Like Susan said, let's keep this going and please include me in any reunion. Would love to see Richie, Susan, Junior and all of you again.

Al Mezzapella: 10th Mar 2009 - 15:12 GMT

Lots of memories! La Rosa's bread and pizza and Stella Doro's lemon ices and cannolis! Miss all you guys...

Allen: 11th Mar 2009 - 21:05 GMT

I used to live in Bushwick area during the early 1960's, around Hart Street. I remember the Myrtle Ave El, Bush wick High School, etc. I wonder if anyone remembers the group of kids that used to run around in the area of Central Avenue down towards Starr Street and Troutman. I know one of the kids name's was Benjie. I think there was a girl (blond curly kind of hair) I think her name was Joan or Joanne. I would love to find her, and know how she is doing. I believe her Mom was divorced. Her Dad had been in the army.
Also of another friend by the name of Rubin Figueroa, who had lived last years I know at Suydam Street. He had an uncle on Hart Street. He attended Bushwick High School, but had dropped out. He then took some courses for dental technician. He had a sister who had been murdered, but had several other brothers, nephews, and another sister. I would love to find these friends if possible! Also, another one I had just thought of, is Edward Will, who lived on Grattan Street. Also attended Bushwick High School.
If anyone has any information on these, please let me know at

anon ( 14th Mar 2009 - 23:55 GMT

Many thanks to the Casusos, for your courage and perseverance I can't say it enough.
Your reach not only helped transform Bushwick, but gave all us an opportunity to travel down memory lane and revisit old and dear friendships. Hi Pia, I guess Pia you set me straight regarding the nuns. I see Sister D.P. built up quite some reputation after I left, I hope it wasn’t at the expenses of my butt! LOL.

Then there was Sister James Michele and Marie Michel, well what can I say, they're the only two teachers that cared enough to come our home and say good bye before we left for Texas. Ok maybe they weren’t all perfect! Can the real Mr.& Mrs. Perfect please stand up!

Let me tell you what scarred me more at St. Barbara's. Above, there’s a picture of "St. Barbara's CYO", it's where I jumped off playing and bit right through half my tongue which required stitches to hold back together. I wonder if Susan Monti remembers that? The doctors remedie, “Lots of popsicles to keep the swelling down (which by the way were bought at Murry’ It was the only time in my life I was quite and happy at the sametime!

Speaking of Susan, she was my first girlfriend, stole a kiss from her playing “Truth Dare Consequences” lol. Bushwick was rich with street life and games. I remember all the guys complaining about how Pia D. would always butt into the boy’s games, some what like she did above against my stances on the nuns, always the little Miss Buttinski, lol. Anyone remember the scooters we use to build with a roller skate, a wooden crate and a 2x4? Zoom zoom! Great memories.

One day this Summer we should have a reunion at some bar and bring along some pictures it would be great seeing everyone again. Does anyone know the where abouts or in touch with a Vincent Dispensary, Giacomo Ferrie, Sal and Fran Marchica, Michael Passalaqua? (sorry for the spellings)

Francine Cammarata: 2nd Apr 2009 - 06:46 GMT

Hey Joe La Rosa, I remember your family's bakery. We lived on Woodbine Street and Wilson Ave. I had to go everyday to get the bread for supper. Two loaves each day. I was so hungry walking home with that great aroma going up my nose that I would break off the heal and eat the insides all the way home. By the time I got home I would turn the bead upside down in the bag so my mother couldn't tell that I ate the inside of the bread. By the time my father got home there was nothing but the crust left. I can't tell you how many times I ducked a slap in the head and the evil eye from my mother. I laugh now. My grandparent's owned the pool hall on Gates Ave. and the diner under the El near the Parthanon Theater which I think turned into a bowling ally.
I think I predate some of you on this fantastic blog, but what memories we have! The streets may be different but the experiences were basically the same. I remember I use to have to talk Italian to the tailor, the grocers on Wilson Ave btwn Woodbine and Palmetto Streets. Their name was Stalloni's Groceries and they made the best ham and cheese heros. Remember mello-roll ice cream cones? I remember the ice man, the old man with the pony who gave us rides for a dime, the guy that use to come around with the truck with a ride on it like the whip. I remember when Wilson Ave had trolly cars. I remember when they tarred Wilson Ave. to cover the tracks so the buses could run. Remember the 83rd Precinct? All this experience as kids, our parent's reactions, the schools, the churches ( my father being hit with three rulers bound by rubberbands by the Brothers of St. Barbara's ), Redlight/Greenlight, Mother May I, Scelzzies, handball, stoopball, our scooters made from wooden crates and roller skates is all what made us some of the most creative people in this country. Think about the singers, the writers, the directors, the movies. Look what Brooklyn produced. Man we have Striesand, Woody Allen, Susan Haywood, Jackie Gleason from Halsey St. and hundreds of us. Look at us! We all turned out pretty damn good no matter what we went through. The point is we're good souls because we know what it's like to have the ground under our feet and then have it swiped away, but we survived and we still have our memories and each other to do this reality checks with. It was a good life in retrospect. I lived there in the late 40's to early '65. We tried to milk it but the neighborhood became unsafe and my father was freaking out because he had four nice Italian/Catholic daughters. So they moved us upstate. It never was the same. My family says I live in the past but they haven't come up with a better alternative! Nice to see my neighbors understand. I'm home now. Thanks everybody, just keep the words coming. By the way did anyone know Joanne or Cookie Tortorici who went to St. Barbara's?

michella: 16th Apr 2009 - 02:56 GMT

this is for Joe Larosa You have a wonderful restaurant. I was impressed since i am a city person and would never dare dine anywhere else. I came down with a few friends we were on a modeling assignment and some girls live in the area. Heard nice things about your restaurant. Will be back........ Everyone should try this place. Great...... Ciao Joe

Karen (Legault) Perry: 20th Apr 2009 - 15:51 GMT

I googled St. Barbara's and stumbled upon this site.....I cannot believe after all these years it would be this easy to find people you have lost touch with but shared in such wonderful childhood memories....after reading all your notes, I wonder which of you remembers me as well as I remember you....Richard Fisher, Pia DiGiovani, Alfred Furrs...and I am also one of those that have mostly good memories or St. B's....I loved Sr. James Michele, Sr. Kathleen Thomas, Mrs. Lawlor and Mr. Curtis....but of course there were some things that I could have done sitting with my hands on my head for a couple of hours or having pieces of chalk or erasers thrown at you by Mr. Russo....but I also enjoyed Barbara Ann's candy shop and the smell of LaRosa's bakery when walking home from school....anyone?

John Lopez: 26th Apr 2009 - 12:59 GMT

I have great memories of my time at St Barbara's...I remember several people mentioned here like Alfred Furrs, Carmen DeJesus, Pia DiGiovanni Carlton Hall, Karen Legault and my good buddy Jesus Aponte.I also remember the ultimate terror, Ms. Rosalie Cottone. I had her in the 4th grade and boy was she mean and crazy.

Nestor Argueta: 28th May 2009 - 01:42 GMT

Richie and Alfred Furrs I remember you guys. Alfred you Jose and I hung out a great deal, remember. You guys should join great site. I have some pics of our graduation in '71 from St. Barbaras. We all were in the basketball Team.

Nestor Argueta: 28th May 2009 - 01:47 GMT

we are having a reunion on 6-13-09 class of '70-'71-'72 and '73 last year of St Barbaras com and look at join for free. And look me up. Nestor Argueta

Anthony G.: 30th Jun 2009 - 02:59 GMT

You've got to love the Internet. I am in the midst of writing about my childhood to keep some memories safe somewhere before it all fades away, and every time I remember something, I do a quick check and end up finding proof of it on the Net!
I grew up in Bushwick for most of my life - was born in the Downtown area, but then moved to Knickerbocker Avenue - above the fish store and a couple of stores away from the Bakery (anyone remember the name?) - when I was 12, ironically IN 1977, while everyone else was making an exodus, it seems! Shortly after we moved in, NY suffered the Blackout that changed the neighborhood . Pretty scary, but we made it through.
I was specifically trying to remember the name of the Malt Shop on Knickerbocker, as my sister and her husband lived on Melrose St, and knew it started with an "M" - thank you for reminding me it was Maxies! My friends can't believe I'm old enough to remember a Malt Shop. Remember the toy store? Morris Toys? The biggest selection anywhere! I used to love looking through those windows.
I lived there through the rough times of the neighborhood- stayed out of trouble by staying in my room.
Moved out in the early 90's - also to Ozone Park, like another person here, once it became too dangerous to even get out of my car wearing a tie. My car was stolen THREE times when I parked it by the park.
I have tons of memories of shopping down the avenue with my sisters.
Anyone remember the smaller church - was it St. Joseph's on Melrose? That was where I made my confirmation.
And P.S 123! My friends remained close with the Gym teacher there. My best friend is still a buddy I met in grade school, whose Mom was on the Parent/Teacher's committee and still lives in the area.
I also have strong memories of VITO's Pizzeria - where I spent many many days of my youth - arguably the best pizza I had in my life. The day they closed, the owner's wife cried as she bid me goodbye. And I learned to discover music at Moe's record shop, and remember vividly the incident there, as it occurred shortly after I had visited to purchase a Beatles album.
It's very odd opening Wikipedia's entry for Bushwick and seeing my block pictured there!
Best wishes to my fellow Brooklynites.

anon ( 2nd Jul 2009 - 05:36 GMT


I have many happy memories of my childhood in Bushwick, although at the time my block was always called Ridgewood. I lived on Linden St. (between Wilson and Knickerbocker Aves.)
I remember all the stores on Knickerbocker Ave., the happy times I spent with my extended family (so many of us lived in the same building) and many other things but most of all I remember St. Barbara's.
I was an altar boy and I remember how kind the priests were to all of us. After each Mass they would always give the altar boys a special blessing in the rectory. I remember going to the Polo Grounds with the altar boys and Fr. Reynolds to see the New York Mets play the Houston Colt 45's, as they were known then. This was my first visit to a professional baseball game. I wonder how Frs. Reynolds and Bessendorfer are doing. They were the youngest priests at the time. Fr. Ryder and Msgr. Steinmuller are also remembered.
School was wonderful. I remember all the good sisters who taught me, especially Sr. Joseph Marietta, Sr. Miriam Bernard, Sr. Inesita, Sr. Denis Patrick, Sr. Ellen Marie and others. My sixth grade teacher could have been nicer but I do not see any benefit in publicly maligning her.
I stumbled on this website this evening and I enjoyed reading everyone's memories of the old neighborhood. I graduated St. Barbara's in '63 and went on to Christ the King High School. My family left the neighborhood in '71.
By the grace of God, I am doing well financially and live in an area that is considered "well-off". However, when I observe the children in my current neighborhood who have so much more than we ever did in Bushwick I can honestly say that I don't think they are as happy as we were.

Don Scaturro 6th Jul 2009 - 16:25 GMT

BUSHWICK, St Barabara's, 1952/ 1960 Sisters: Henrica, Sharon Eileen, Gemma, DennisPatrick, Celestine, Mrs Weatherbee, Miriam Bernard, Teresa Angela. I was born at 263 Central between Harmon and Greene Avenues. I remember it like it was yesterday. Stella Doro's Bakery on the corner of Central and Bleeker with the lemon Ice window on the bleeker side. Barbara Ann's candy store across from the church entrance on Central. I remember selling Ads and Chance books so I could go with the school to Steeplechase Coney Island. In the fall it was Bear Mountain and West Point. As we grew up, social and athletic clubs bloomed. Do you remember Clubs: Romanesque, Mosaic, Shangrila, Jolly Sportsman, Elite. We had socials on weekend nights and the clubs played softball and football against each other through the seasons. Remember St Joseph's Feast? Everyone came home with a goldfish and a gas balloon. I found this site by accident and I'm happy that I did. Anyone who remembers me feel free to email at the address below
Don Scaturro (

Kathy Moeller: 14th Jul 2009 - 18:17 GMT

My mother Dorothy Kaiser graduated from Bushwick High School in 1933. She lived on Knickerbocker Ave. Are there any relatives of her classmates out there? My email is Please sen pictures of the school from 1933 and the address. Thanks.

p. johnson: 24th Jul 2009 - 11:42 GMT

I went to PS 75 in Brooklyn in the 50s's lived at 1156 Gates Avenue would love to get a picture of PS 75 and also of 1156 Gates Avenue. Anyone have any? would appreciate it. Thanks. email

anon ( 3rd Aug 2009 - 23:11 GMT

I remember LaRosa's Bakery. I rememeber the LaRosa Family that owned the building I lived in at 191 Menahan St. We were The Mauceri Family. My Sister married into the DeCarlo Family that lived on the same block as the Bakery.
They were married in St Barbara's Church. To the person looking for sisters knew cookie and dottie. They lived accross the street from us.

Barbara F: 11th Aug 2009 - 16:33 GMT

I did a google search on St. Joseph's church to baptize my son and this article popped up. I thought it was really cool. My maiden name is Casuso. My dad is Bob Casuso. I loved reading what everyone had to say!

Barbara F: 11th Aug 2009 - 16:35 GMT

I am the baby that is in the Casuso christmas photo above. My Grandfather is holding me. I have such great memories

Joey La Rosa: 17th Aug 2009 - 13:11 GMT

What a real pleasure to read REAL passion when all you good people talk about your childhood in brooklyn. Being that I am all Italian I can't help but smile when I read all these postings with all these Italian last names. It almost sounds made up. You see what growing up like that did for us was put us in a real life movie. So maybe you moved after 5,7,10 or maybe 20 years we all look back knowing that time not only was the best but it put something in us that NO WHERE IN THE WORLD CAN EVER DUPLICATE... I mean to the women who said she used to eat my familys italian bread on the way home from school and then turned around the loaf in the bag when she got there is just priceless! The funny thing is because I have been around bread for so long I have heard that same story at least 200 times. And each time it sounds better and better. Thank you to the person who said nice things about my restaurant. Next time ask for me..... Joey La Rosa

charlie p: 29th Aug 2009 - 02:02 GMT

contact re st.barbara site repening ceremony,september 13.
also,dr.pellicanes home and office was at 930 bushwick near green ave untl 1974.
his children,mary ,rosanne and charlie live manhattan,sea cliff and queens

for Joe Larosa: 1st Sep 2009 - 04:28 GMT

Yes, I did meet you at your restaurant and you bought me a drink, you have a great place for the neighborhood. I have come down several times with friends and highly praise your place..

Thelma Fuentes: 9th Sep 2009 - 12:48 GMT

I have it understood that the old St. Barbara's School is going to be used again. Anybody know as what?

anon ( 13th Sep 2009 - 03:56 GMT


I read many months ago in The Tablet that St. Barbara's was going to re-open as The Pople John Paul II Family Academy to servce poor families in the parish. There was going to be an income limit for entering students. If I remember correctly, it is going to be a tuition-free school.

Jim: 18th Sep 2009 - 12:20 GMT

I just stumbled upon this site. Unfortunately, I'm a year late in responding to Ed (class of'60). We must have been classmates. The only Ed I can think of that slapped by DP more than most is Ed Granshaw. Would that be you?

Debbie Pernice: 19th Sep 2009 - 14:53 GMT

Stumbled onto this website...Was St.Barbara's Grad in 1973 (last class) Lived on Gates Ave between Wilson and Central. My Dad owned the Luncheonette on Wilson between Gates and Linden St. My whole family of Uncles, Aunts, Cousins, Grandparents lived within a 2 block radius...We moved out of the neighborhood in 1967 following a robbery in progress my mother and I walked into. Went to the Academy renion/opening last Sunday. Most of the alumni who came followed to my sister's house along with Sr.Dennis Patrick and Sr. Marion. It was a wonderful day of memories and hope for the
neighborhood again.

Pope John Paul II Family Academy: 22nd Sep 2009 - 18:50 GMT

Hello all. I am Jim Viola, VP for Development & Community Development at the new Pope John Paul II Family Academy. It is wonderful to read all your comments.

We have renovated the old building that was St. Barbara's School. We are located at 139 Menahan Street, Brooklyn, NY 11221.

All of you are welcome to visit our new mission school. We have a display case in our entrance that has memorabilia donated by alumni of St. Barbara’s that I am sure you will want to see. Our web page will be on-line later this Fall; in the meantime, you may reach me at:

Jerry Castoria: 28th Sep 2009 - 12:49 GMT

OMG..... Bushwick, stickball, those were the days. If anyone can help me get in touch
with Joe Mayo or Mikey Whalen that would be great. Very strange how life
works, I have a consulting gig as we speak on Knickerbocker and Dekalb.
Right near Wyckoff Heights Hospital. It would be great to hear from you

Tony La Marca: 29th Sep 2009 - 21:27 GMT

What a great place to grow up, between the smell of fresh baked bread at La Rosa's and the smell of basil coming from the backyards. I lived at 152 Harman and my father Tony bought the candy store on central and Harman in 1965. My mother was JoJo and she had the typical bee-hive hair-do, in flaming red. You gotta love it. I have 3 other brothers that you might know, Al, Steven, and Syl.
Does anyone remember Fatta's Cleaners?

J: 6th Oct 2009 - 16:26 GMT

Well, My son attends Pope John Paul the II Family Academy.

I can honestly say that I am so thankful for this wonderful oppurtunity. The staff are awesome and my son (although he is already smart thanks to his Mother lol) is learning so much, he loves it.

The school is beautiful and the programs are great. I just hope that the school is able to maintain and that they do offer a new grade each year so that he can graduate at the 8th grade.

Noah: 9th Oct 2009 - 01:43 GMT

I moved to Bushwick (Troutman between Irving and Knickerbocker) shortly after graduating from college last December. Reading all the stories about the old neighborhood as well as your comments have been tremendously interesting and make me proud to live here today. As you may know, Bushwick is currently a sought-after neighborhood among certain circles of younger New Yorkers like me. In particular the area around Wyckoff Avenue has seen an influx of artists and other L train regulars over the last five years. See for a sampling of Bushwick's new food, art and community attractions (my favorite's a minigolf course at Wyckoff & Troutman).

If anyone would like a current photo of your home, school or other landmark, I'd be happy to take one for you. Just email me at And if anyone has any stories about my block I'd love to hear them!

Jerry Castoria: 12th Oct 2009 - 23:54 GMT

Hi All,

Does anyone know how to reach Joe Mayo?

Thomas L: 15th Oct 2009 - 23:45 GMT

I used to live at 144 Grove street and went to St. Barbara's from 1962 until 1966. The Bonanno family lived in my building. We had a peach tree in the back yard.

There was a wonderful deli on the corner of Grove and Central where I'd buy salami and Provolone heroes. Some evenings, older guys would sing acapella songs in the doorways.

My first girlfriend was Vinnie S.

cookie rall: 20th Oct 2009 - 20:15 GMT

I lived at 285 Central Ave between Greene Ave. and Bleeker St. I hung out in Charlies Candy Store next door to me.Stella Doro was on the corner of Bleeker and Central.Chris DeMarco owned it along with his father and brother. The homemade ices were the best. We played in the street all day-roller skateing was great especially when they put new pavement down in front of St. Barbara's. We played red ligt green light, johnny on the pony, truth or consequences, jump rope, box ball, skelzies. My best friend was Linda, her father owned the candy store. The older crowd was great and took us with them to Coney Island and the feast on Suydam St. Then I got to hang out at this great candy store. the jukebox was always going,the eggcreams were sooo good!The crowd was great..When I was 10 Linda lived in back of the store. We used to wake up to Rock in Robin at 8:00AM- I think they played that song 20 times the first day it was in the jukebox. I learned how to do the Lindy from the older crowd-Geppie, Vinny Talotta, Bambi, Anita and Mike were some of the older crowd.When I was 14, I became a fixture in the candy store.We had Francine and her sister Georgette, The 2 Vinny's Big Vinny and Little Bongiorno, Antoinette from 281

cookie rall: 20th Oct 2009 - 20:35 GMT

Central Ave. Then there was another crowd. Tommy Danburger, Lenny Leggio, Fizzy, Jean Marie tivili(all they guys loved her) Phil Pinion (all from around Menahan St. - Mike Motto, Billy Kiley, Lena, and of course Bobby Stettner (who probably went out with every girl in Brooklyn and Queens. They were all great people to hang out with. I have great memories of my old neighborhood. Wish I could do it over (if it weren't for school). Barbara Ann's made us ribbons for your hair with bells on the end. I loved to wear them. Her store was the greatest. We had everything within a 5 block radius. 2 grocery stores. Joe's on Greene and Central and Paterno's on Bleecker and Central. 2 Pharmacys 2 Funeral parlors (Joe Fariella)on Central corner of Menahan.His daughter now runs it. St. Barbara's church, dry good store, a butcher,a deli, shoe repair, 2 bakeries, Joes on Central between Bleecker and Greene (His pizza was good and I haven't had pizza like that since). Of course Knickerbocker Ave. I used to go down there at least twice a day. Walk to Knickerbocker and back. I loved that neighborhood. When I was working on Wall St. I was on the M train and I remember I started to cry as I passed Knickerbocker Ave. and saw my neighborhood destroyed. They can never make it like it was but the memories will always be in my heart.

cookie rall: 20th Oct 2009 - 21:30 GMT

Mary Aguanno,
I remember u very well. I lived next door from ur father's fish store and we used to hang out when we were around 10 yrs old. I remember ur father very well too. Such a great childhood we had and with very little money. Cookie

Donna LaMarca: 24th Oct 2009 - 13:39 GMT

I remember visiting my Aunt JoJo and Uncle Tony almost every weekend. We lived on LI but loved going to Harmon Street and walking over to my Uncle Tonys candy store TonyJos. What memories. Playing in the yard smelling all the fresh vegetable growing, smelling the sauce cooking in Aunt JoJos apt. The hugh family parties in the bsmt. What fun. I only wish my kids could have had Harmon Street too!!!! I miss it dearly.

Anthony LaMarca: 27th Oct 2009 - 20:47 GMT

for the lamarca family at 152 harmen miss it dearly

anthony mauceri or butchie : 8th Nov 2009 - 21:40 GMT

i came from knickerbocker ave. i work in vinnie pork store on knickerbocker ave for meny aunt betty rosalea lived 152 harmen st.

Maria: 11th Nov 2009 - 01:37 GMT

I too lived in the Bushwick area on Troutman between Evergreen and Bushwick. My uncle owned the grocery story on Evergreen and Troutman and I attended St. Joseph's on Suydam Street, mid 50's to early 60's. Going back into the early 40's (1943 to be exact), my father was the guy who saved the girl's life on Hart and Knickerbocker, she was hanging from a clothes line three stories above the ground. Family lived all around within walking distance. The area holds many memories, all good ones and it has been a pleasurable trip to read all of your memories too. And by the way, Dr. Pellicane brought me into this world!!

John Piraino: 15th Nov 2009 - 05:39 GMT

I lived at 62 Harman Street between 1949 to 1964. A few posts before was the name Mary Aguanno. I remember her well, she went with a guy named John Bove who lived across the street. My grandparents lived next to her at 97 Harman St. Also there was Joe Palminteri @ 100 Harman St. A few doors down from Joe was a skinny girl named Mae. furter down was Anthony Simone. I went out and married MaryAnn Bamonte who live at 103 Harman St.

That was the best times in my life...

Playing stick ball with the sewers as our bases. Going for soda's at Mike & Emma's on Evergreen & Green Aves. Going to St. Barbara's and the witch Sister Dennis Patrick. The red headed Father Zimmer was very nice. I went to PS 75, then PS 85 (Halsey Jr. High) which I had to walk to because we lived 19 blocks away and you had to live 20 blocks to get a bus pass.

I enjoyed reading what everybody had to say and really like this site...I started a group on Facebook called "Remembering Brooklyn" maybe some of you can post there too.

If anybody remebers me, I would like to hear from you...
My email

pizza murder: 15th Nov 2009 - 20:16 GMT

anyone remember the killing of a guy by the owner of the pizzeria on the corner of Irving and Greene. any details, I was only 7 at the time.

Joe Mayo: 21st Nov 2009 - 20:05 GMT

Hey Jerry .....rocco called me and told me you were looking for me, thats great I was looking for you too!. I see mikey once in a while he asked about you also, listen I would like to get together here is my email get back to me soon.

Richie Fisher: 25th Nov 2009 - 00:44 GMT

Hi Harmon St. folks, and fellow St. Barbara's classmates, if you go on Facebook, there are some people that are there if you are looking to reconnect with long lost palls!

Erik LaMarca: 26th Nov 2009 - 19:11 GMT

I'm trying to find it somewhere on-line but my grandmother Jo Jo LaMarca wrote a letter that was published in the paper called Good-Bye Dear House. She wrote it after our third story burnt down and the family was forced to move from 152 Harman St. I was the 4th generation to live in that house.
I remember the block had a strong community.
SHoot I remember eating my first Hot Dog in front of the house.

Tony ("Dee Gee") DiGiovanni: 27th Nov 2009 - 18:40 GMT

I lived on 129 Menahan St between Central and Wilson av (the play street) in the late 40's and 50's.
Allow me to list some of the things I remember:
* played in St.Barbara's fife, drum and bugle corps (sergeant)
* ate pizza at La Rosa's bakery
* Friends with(forgive bad spelling)
Oraitzo Grazi,Joseph Valente,Roy (on Menahan St),John Shools,Pete Milazzo,Charlie DeComo,Steve Matisi, Josephine Cicio, Angie and Nancy Cicio.
My first true love: Geraldine Palisi who lived on Covert St.
Was a member of the "Encounters" singing group at the Jolly Sportsman club
There is a lot more, I'll post it as it comes to mind.

Jerry Castoria: 27th Nov 2009 - 23:56 GMT

Hi Joe, I eamiled you and sent you my cell number. looking
forward to catching up.

Richie Fisher: 5th Dec 2009 - 16:56 GMT

I just spoke to Mrs. Lawlor, after 38 1/2 years. Wow I was both nervous and excited. Anyone who wants to get in touch with her, my E mail is Richie Fisher , St. Barbs class of '71

patti arnold: 12th Dec 2009 - 17:56 GMT

my sisters vicki,audrey and i had the pleasure of attending the dedication of st.barbaras school recently. it was wonderful going back there and seeing the multicolor windows and the cloak room that i was punished in several times but the best part about it was seeing sister dennis patrick and how small a woman she is and how i had seen her as sooo big and tough back then. the things you see when you are a child are so different when you grow up. i had my best years in that school and in that neighborhood . i wouldnt have changed my childhood for anything.

Joey La Rosa: 30th Dec 2009 - 22:54 GMT

Hey Dee Gee, how was that nice big square slice of "bitza" from LaRosa bakery? My family owned that Bakery and I lived on 135 menahan street in the 60'S.

anon ( 1st Jan 2010 - 18:54 GMT

Nice to hear from you Joey La Rosa, I can still almost smell the wonderful aroma of fresh baked bread and pizza coming from the cellar under the bakery. Wow, a loaf of Italian bread never made it home fully intact. As a kid, I always managed to eat the end off before I delivered it to my Mom.

Gilda (Jill) Fasullo: 6th Jan 2010 - 19:52 GMT

So grateful to the Casuso family for this. Went to Bushwick H.S. from 1961-1964. Still keep up with friends and w/Mrs. Roz Gittleman from the Music Dept. Lived on Menahan St. off Wycoff Ave. Loved going to Coletti's luncheonette/soda shop, remember movie theater on Myrtle Ave (the Madison) and so many other places w/love. Whatever has happened since and whatever will happen, for a moment in time it was home. It will always have a place in my heart!

Tom Székely: 6th Jan 2010 - 21:01 GMT

I too remember Joey Palminteri (John Piraino's 11/15/09 post), and I grew up on Harman, at 889 Bushwick Avenue from 1953 or so to about 1961, with my buddy Frankie O'Neill (deceased, pancreatic cancer/Agent Orange exposure, 'Nam) across the street at 899. These were the two six-story apartment buildings at Bushwick and Harman. His friend, John Turano was in college at St. John's for a law degree while I was at Bushwick HS. Both he and Frankie were about 3-4 years older than I.

While I exchange Christmas Cards with Sam Naglieri (now somewhere in Texas) who was on Harman or Himrod between Evergreen and Central, I don't have an e-mail address for him. -- my e-mail address is

My family moved to Bushwick and Grove around 1961, and I split to Manhattan (Upper West Side) around 1966.

Graduated Bushwick HS 1963. Had the same walk to as John Piraino to '85, and my folks moved to Grove street just before I started 6th grade, so redistricting had me go to '74 on DeKalb when I was only two blocks from '75.

Go figure.

Jimmy McNulty: Sure was a great place to be wasnt it

Anthony Terranova: 7th Jan 2010 - 00:20 GMT

My Bushwick. I was born July 1, 1933 , at home at 1269 Bushwick Avenue corner of Halsey Street My father Giuseppe Terranova owned the house I was born in. I was born with the help of a medwife. I attended P.S 56, then Halsey Junior High , then Bushwick High. Later NYU. I am happy I escaped the nasty sick sisters in Catholic schools. My experience in Public schools was excellent. I have fond memories of caring and nurturing teachers who were an inspiration , who encouraged students to learn, to question, helped us discover who we were and most importantly to be proud to be American. I read sadly that my part of Bushwick does not have any people who lived in the area i grew up in. La Rosa's bakery , Stella d'ora yes I had the pleasure of eating pizza from there every saturday and on holidays Stella d ora sweet. Nastasi was that the owner of Stella ?

Joyce Carra: 7th Jan 2010 - 14:08 GMT

I too grew up in Ridgewood. My friends listed above introduced me to this post. How wonderful to go back in time. I attended St. Joseph's unlike most of you who attended St. Barbara's. After that I attended Bushwick until graduation in 1964. My first crush was Al Como who should have graduated in 1960 from St. Barbara's. After trying to find him, some information told me that he had died which made me extremely sad. I too remember going to the park on Knickerbocker Ave. with my granfather and shopping at all the stores you mentioned on the avenue. All my family lived within walking distance which was wonderful. My children will never have that experience. I have recently reconnect with some friends from high school and hope to see them all soon. Thanks for a bit of happy memories.

anon ( 18th Jan 2010 - 05:38 GMT


I'd like to know of your experiences in Catholc high school. My four years in an all-boys Catholic high school were the four worst years of my life. An abusive Brother is much worse than an abusive nun. The brothers were very much into verbal abuse. In my Catholic high school, the athletes were definitely favored. Those of us who were not athletically gifted were constantly belittled. They would alwayspass the athletes so they would not be barred from any teams. Corporal punishment was not used that often; however, when it was used it really hurt. I remember being sent to the dean once beause my social studies teacher made fun of the clothes I was wearing (we had to wear a jacket and tie everyday but no uniform). When I arrived in the dean's office he told me to choose either a belt or a paddle for my punishment. I chose the paddle. He hit me at least six or seven times! He then smacked my face a few times. After this he drew a circle on the board, I had to stand on my toes to put my nose in the circle - I did this every day for one hour for one week. This punishment was given to me because I could not afford to dress as nicely as the guys who attended my school in a Queens middle class neighborhood.
So, while I read the bad experiences many have had in elementary school my horror years were in high school. I'd like to hear from others about this.
Luckily, we recover.

Warren Spies: 18th Jan 2010 - 21:15 GMT

Dear Anon,

Sounds a lot like my experience in parochial grade school. I've posted here about my experiences, and have been tagged as a "crybaby," while some people (right here) have defended the one nun in question (KNOWN TO BE A TERROR) only because she is now in her last years -- 70s or 80s.

All I can say is fully I understand you, and I also see the unrelenting pressure it forces on an emerging psyche, and young emotional growth. It took me years to recover from the sense of fear (and loathing) it engendered. It should never have been allowed to happen, anywhere! But I really get how it affects some real emerging personality issues, and stunts an adolescent's growth emotionally.

I'm not sure now - in my early 60s - that I still don't feel the emotional aftermath. And, that said, I think of myself as being 'lucky' because the parochial school principal insisted that I leave the Catholic school (in 7th grade). At once and to my amazement I experienced a complete reversal of fortune, moving from the bottom (and at times the outside) of the class to the near top of my class in two public schools.

I graduated from public high school with honors, and a Regents diploma, and then after the US Air Force and Vietnam, I went on eventually to college, where I again graduated with very high honors. None of that would have, or could have, happened (ever) in the Catholic parochial or the Catholic high school system.

Suffice to say that today I am staunchly non-Catholic. I know how and what you went through my friend. And if by some chance someone (here or anywhere) tries to dismiss your post as histrionics, or you being a wimp, don't allow it! There are those who will try to mitigate the horrors of a Catholic educational experience as it happed for some of us. So draw clear boundaries on that matter. Don't let them do it! No growing child -- no growing CHILD -- should ever have to face the psychological torture that some of the Catholic 'religious' forced on their subject students. In my opinion the nun(s) who afflicted me, and the brothers who tortured you, should all be in jail somewhere, with no hope of escape -- just as is it seemed for us at the time.

Very best regards...

Warren Spies: 18th Jan 2010 - 22:06 GMT

John Piraino,

I remember the candy store you've mentioned at Green and Evergreen. Also playing stick ball; I could hit two-plus sewers.

...Also St. Barbara's and with Dennis Patrick, as my chief and main tormentor.

Father Zimmer was very nice yes indeed, he often played cards with my father and a few other parish men in the CYO, after it was closed on Wednesday night.

I too went to PS 85 (Halsey Jr. High) and there fell madly in love with maybe the prettiest girl in the school, who -- to my amazement -- had very similar feelings toward me; she flat-out told me so one morning in our home room. ...Long story there, but it scared the crap out me at the time, in a good sort of way I guess. Though sadly I could never bring myself to tell her how I felt, appropriately, and follow through in the best possible way. I was way too shy at the time.

I lived on Central and Menahan and got to ride the bus everyday. Yes, I got a bus pass, but sometimes, if the buses were running late, I'd walk and beat the bus as often as not. Actually, if I felt a need for it, I kind of liked the long walk at times, where I would have little conversations with myself, in my head as it were. It was a good way for me to decompress from the horrors of St. Barbara's stern and strict regimens imposed by some of the meanest nuns there. Jeeeezzz… I thought at the time I was crazy, talking to myself like that, but it turns out those kinds of self-talks are, and were, great self-therapy for one getting over a post traumatic stress situation. …Must have been a gut reaction thing.

It's good to remember some of this stuff. I don't remember you specifically, but we may have had mutual friends. Did you know a girl named Marianne Renda (sp?) who lived on Greene. She was in my class at St. Barbara's until the seventh grade when boys and girls were segregated from each other. I hung out with one of her neighbors for a while -- he was also in my class but I've forgotten his name.

Warren Spies: 18th Jan 2010 - 22:43 GMT

Tony ("Dee Gee") DiGiovanni,

You were older than me by a couple of years. But I knew Sal and Sammy Giarusso on the first floor of your building on Menahan St.

I played stickball with Sal sometimes, and went fishing with him once or twice. His younger brother Sammy (Savario) was younger than me, but at times I hung out with him too. He didn't play much stickball as I recall.

I just remembered this: I once broke a window while playing ball and blamed it on you to avoid catching hell from my father, John Spies the school custodian. Sorry 'bout that, I think my dad wound up paying the damages.

Do you remember the Scholl brothers? Tommy and Georgie, I think. Tommy was way older than me -- he played a lot of stickball. Georgie and I hung out a bunch when we weren't trying to kill each other, which may have been about half of the time.

anon ( 26th Jan 2010 - 02:03 GMT

Hey everyone. My name is Catherine Soccoa and I lived at 182 Harmon St. I went to St. Barbara's around 1958-1966. Had LaRosa bakery pizza many times. It was delish. That I remember.I remember playing street games,roller skatingand just running around the streets like a maniac. Ha.I don't have too many nice memories of the nuns in school. It got better when I went to HS at Christ the King.I miss Brooklyn.

John: 27th Jan 2010 - 03:32 GMT

I grew up on Greene Ave between Knickerbocker and Irving.
Went to PS 86K on Irving.
great memories! anybody remember Peper Bros Paint store,the sign is still there but the store is gone.

Richie Fisher: 27th Jan 2010 - 18:30 GMT

Hi Catherine, I lived across the street over Murray's, my grandma had the carriage store. I remember your brother Dominick and sister Maryann. We moved to Staten Island in '71. How are you all doing ?

anon ( 29th Jan 2010 - 01:45 GMT

Hey Richie I'm getting old. This site is like an old movie. My 2 sisters and my brother Dom live on LI. I'm in Florida now but visit NY whenever I can. I miss it so much.WE are all grandparents now Yikes. It's so much fun to read about the old neighborhood.

Richie Fisher: 29th Jan 2010 - 01:59 GMT

Wow !! That's great. see you can go home again, thanks to the Internet!! It's like " The Wonder Years ' but ' Where is Kevin and Winnie Now ??' Who were you friends with on the block Catherine ???

anon ( 30th Jan 2010 - 00:58 GMT

i remember Rocco Macchia and Frannie Bowers. My cousin Barbara lived next door and always got me in trouble.HA we hung out a lot at the candy store.Used to go to Rockaway beach. there was a pretty big group on the block. I remember the boys making ice forts in the winter.I can't believe I went inside. I don't think I could do that now. My sister Theresa has been talking to someone named Susan Monte.We all seem to remember different people. this has been fun.

Mary Aguanno Allocca: 30th Jan 2010 - 02:03 GMT

Cookie Rall,

I haven't been on this site for some time. Yes, I do remember you. My dad passed away in 1994 and my mom passed away last year. Those days on Harmon Street and Central Avenue were some of the best time of my life. I e-mailed John Piraino and told him I have dreams about the old neighborhood at least once a month for the past 44 years. I remember when your sister Madeline died.

My e-mail adress is:

peper bros: 31st Jan 2010 - 01:00 GMT

My grandmother lived at 1392 greene remember the canizarro fish market, "hamburger" bank. how about the pizzaria on greene and irving when the kid got shot. do you remember that....

mcmanus: 10th Feb 2010 - 19:48 GMT

I grew up on Weirfield St between Wyckoff and Irving -- went to St Martin's Elementary School from 66-74 . Anyone out there from those years? Have some good memories and some not so good. We got out of the neighborhood in 77. Nice to read about good time...

Delma Flores: 11th Feb 2010 - 05:42 GMT

Now this brings back memories..having a hard time remembering some of these names...i lived right next door to St. Barbaras...left in 1981...found myself back here almost 15 yrs now...can never forget the good old days mom still lives across from the school.

Jimmy McNulty: 11th Feb 2010 - 16:54 GMT

I lived on Linden between Wilson & Knickerbocker. Hung out at the candy store on Central by Cookie Ralls house (Hi Cookie). Also hung out at Knickerbocker park. Our group had Bob mcNeill, Tommy Morrissey, Louie, leo, Ray, Tony Palermo, Ray & John Camella and a few more. The bakery on the corner of Linden & wilson also had great Pizza
Im at

Jane Fahrbach: 12th Feb 2010 - 05:03 GMT

I lived at 228 Linden St. (right across the street from you Jimmy) between Wilson & Knickerborker. I went to P.S. 116, JHS 162 and Bushwick High School. I think I was a few years behind you in school. If I remember correctly, you went to Catholic school. My best friend on the block was Vita Asaro, I went out for a while with Billy Raia when I was 13. We moved in 1967 to Woodside Queens. Got married in 1969 to Mike Klotz from Myrtle and Menahan St. and moved to Long Island where we raised our children. It was great growing up on Linden St. and I agree with you, the pizza from the bakery on the corner of Linden & Wilson was the best.

Warren Spies: 13th Feb 2010 - 01:23 GMT

Hey Warren: thanks so much for getting back to me. It's great talking to people from the old neighborhood. Yes, I did play stick ball on Menahan St. As you probably recall, it was designated a "play street" so most of the guys and girls came from the surrounding blocks to hang out.

Thanks for fessing up to the broken window thing. I must have beat the rap because I don't remember it at all. I do remember John Scholls. He and I were friends for a long time but one day something happened, I haven't a clue, and he stopped talking to me. I remember his parents separated (a big deal back then) but his father used to invite us kids to the apartment to listen to classical music. He was crazy about the stuff.

I remember Agnes and her sister Nancy Cicio who lived across the street and next to them was Roy (forgot his last name.) Andrew and Julius lived in the house with the only tree on the block, in front of it. I believe the Cicio sisters were first cousin to my very first love: Geraldine, who played in St.Barbara's Marching Band. I'd give anything to talk to her again.

Anyway, take care and again thanks so much for taking the time to write. Visit me on the web:

Paula Koprowski: 20th Feb 2010 - 05:40 GMT

Hi all - Jimmy and Jane, I lived at 221 Linden Street until 1967; went to St. Barbara's. I was friends with the Raia's and the Marsala's lived next door to me. I had such wonderful times in the old neighborhood and it is so great to read about so many others who have such great memories!

Paula Koprowski: 20th Feb 2010 - 05:43 GMT

Just thinking - it was Fricano's Bakery on Linden and Wilson - every Friday we enjoyed those round pizzas!! they were the best - no one makes anything like that anymore!!

Paula Koprowski: 23rd Feb 2010 - 18:20 GMT

Jimmy McNulty - do you have a sister Maureen?? I remember one of my best childhood friends was Maureen McNulty

Maureen McNulty Crescente: 24th Feb 2010 - 20:03 GMT

Hi Paula, yes it's me Jimmy's sister. Jimmy just told me about this site today, and when I looked I saw your message. We all loved the pizza from that bakery, especially how they cut it with a sissor. Hope all is well with you, and Jane I do remember you and your sister Carol. I used to see Vita every once in a while but haven't in a long time

Paula Koprowski: 25th Feb 2010 - 21:02 GMT

This is so amazing!! When did you leave Linden Street? I remember you went to St. Brigid's - I went to St. Barbara's, and then to Christ the King for one year (til June '67) and then we moved to Farmingdale in Long Island. I'm living in Staten Island now but the rest of my family are still in Long Island.

Paula Koprowski: 25th Feb 2010 - 21:10 GMT

Debbie Pernice - are you related to Anthony Morreale? Him and his mother Rose were neighbors of ours on Linden Street. Can you tell me what he is up to? Thanks!
PS - I missed Sister Mary (formerly Sister Marian Edward) 50th anniversary but my best friend Camille went and said that she spoke to your sister while there. Camille and I went to school with your brother Anthony! How is he?

Paula Koprowski: 27th Feb 2010 - 15:30 GMT

I meant Joseph Morreale!! Sorry abt that!!

Larry D'Angelico: 3rd Mar 2010 - 17:21 GMT

Whats up Harman street. I lived at 110 Harman street from 1965 till 1984. Rick I remember those times like it was yesterday.Good Times!

Robert Rivera: 11th Mar 2010 - 16:13 GMT

Hey folks I'm looking for pics from Halsey Jr High School 296 from 1973-1974 anybody out there attend those years or knows someone who did. Thanks

Gloria Piraino: 13th Mar 2010 - 06:50 GMT

Hello, Harman Streeters! I lived at 62 Harman from 1955 to 1965. I went to PS 274 on Bushwick Ave. I had to walk past the Menorah Home every day. I know lots of the names mentioned on this site (my brother John, of course, John Bove, Anthony Simone, John Turano, MaryAnn Bamonte--and Debbie Pernice). I also remember from that block Linda Green, LauraLee Piccione,Michelle Lamont, Brenda Guardino, Valerie, Eddie, and Gus Labasi, the Walker twins, and some of our other neighbors like Gladys and Daisy, Mrs Moneypenny, Mrs Mack, crazy Mr Accardi who always banged his door, the hot dog man who kept his cart in the garage in the middle of the block and sometimes gave us kids his leftovers. I loved every inch of those broken, crooked slate slabs I roller skated over. I loved the huge tree that was knocked over during Hurricane Donna and almost squished a house 2 doors away. I loved the little shacks we all had in our yards. I of course loved LaRosa's pizza, and BarbaraAnn's--the penny candy store where you could get a real bellyache for twenty-five cents. I made a pencil cup at the CYO out of a juice can, covered in crushed colored easter egg shells and shellacked that my mother kept for over 40 years. I can remember how Harman Street smelled after a soft spring rain, or how it sounded on a hot summer night when everyone sat out on the stoop, eating ice cream, and the boys sang accapella doo-wops on the corners. I remember the knitting mill across the street, the little bodega at the corner, the print shop with its little dutch door across from that. I remember a little girl, one of a pair of tiny twins, who fell out her third floor window and was killed in the early 60s. I remember pulling up plugs of warm asphalt from the street in the muzzle of air rifles. Yes--I remember Harman Street.

John: 22nd Mar 2010 - 02:27 GMT

I actually lived on 1378 Greene Ave.
Our block had the side entrance to Hamburg savings bank.
Our block also had many doctor's office on it.
great memories!

we used to call it: The "hamburger" bank

Gus Labasi:: 31st Mar 2010 - 20:16 GMT

Hi John And Gloria, Yes I lived next door at 64 Harman St. It sure was a different time when we played street games during the summer months from morning thru the late hours of the evening. I remember fondly all of the places previously mentioned however I'm surprised no one mentioned sitting on the Stoop in the summer evenings waiting for the Mister Sof-Tee Truck. Our block was between Evergreene and Central and we would could see down the street between Central and Wilson as the lights from the truck would get ever closer to our door while the Music of the truck played over and over alerting everyone to come out for their Fifteen Cent Cone! I too was member of St. Barbara's and I remember attending Mass on Sundays with John and the others in our crew: John Bove, Anthony Simone, Joey Palmentari, The Walker Brothers and the coolest cat on the block, John Turano. Turano was so cool he wore his Black Rayband Sunglasses 24/7 inside and out and even to Mass on Sunday. Where, we would stand at the side of the church so we could sneak out early from Mass.He was a bit older than me but he was a God because he could hit a Spaldin almost 4 sewers! I attended Halsey Jr. High and was about to start 9TH Grade at Brooklyn Tech when my father's job ended when they closed the Brooklyn Navel Shipyard and he moved our family to Connecticut.If anyone wants to contact me:

Tom L: 3rd Apr 2010 - 04:16 GMT

There is a Saint Barbara's Elementary School
Facebook group for easily sharing memories and photos.!/group.php?gid=50120629078

Anon: 18th Apr 2010 - 04:42 GMT

Joey La Rosa, I knew your Dad Joe.I also knew Aggie.
I knew them in the forties when they lived on Dekalb
between Wilson and Central Ave.
Your Dad was a few years older than myself.Aggie was
my age.I also remember an older brother they called "Ox"
and I'm not sure who played the piano but it was another
They lived on the bottom floor and the music was great.
The building they lived in was next to a large knitting
mill factory that no longer exist's.The house still exist's.

Tom L: 6th May 2010 - 15:06 GMT

Saint Barbara's on Facebook:!/group.php?gid=50120629078&v=wall

Please join us in sharing photos and memories.

anon ( 17th May 2010 - 22:09 GMT

Joe La Rosa has to be one of the nicest, most positive people in the world. So genuine and passionate, but so humble too.

anon ( 20th May 2010 - 11:52 GMT


anon ( 20th May 2010 - 11:53 GMT


Jerry Corso: 31st May 2010 - 19:48 GMT

Myself and John Basil used to work at La Rosa's Bakery (1962)with Pipes, George, and Joe. Mostly hung out with Joe, when he made deliveries. Helped make some of that Pizza. I remember Papa La Rosa would pick the bread up (from the oven) with his bare hands, no problem. Donny Scaturro e-mail me.

Peggy: 3rd Jun 2010 - 18:32 GMT

I too went to St. Barbara's and remember most of the nuns and priest memtioned. I live on Bleecker between Knickerbocker and Wilson. I was friends with Maria and Debbie LaRosa
Yes I dod remember Grandpa all in white sitting near the fish tank in the back of the bakery..

Frances Curcuru Giordano: 6th Jun 2010 - 16:09 GMT

The photos bring back many memories. I graduated in 1962 and know some names from this site (Gloria Piraino, she mentioned John Bove, and Mary Aguanno Allocca) and I am sure there are others. I too was in the Fife and Drum corps. About 10 members of our graduating class of 1962 are getting together this coming Saturday, June 12th at Rye Beach for our fourth annual reunion. If any members of that class are interested in joining, e-mail me at In any event,I am glad to have found this site and reading all the interesting e-mails. My cousin Rosanne Sanfilippo and uncle James Lucido graduated in 1964.....

ANN Quick: 10th Jun 2010 - 18:35 GMT

The new school at St Babara, I hear is terrible.

anon ( 19th Jun 2010 - 04:10 GMT

I read the comments of Warren and just wanted to add that I too remember very well having to sit in the garbage pail in front of the classroom. Sister Celestine was this seemingly sweet, elderly nun but I remember to this day how she made me sit in the front of the room in the pail because I laughed at this girl who also had to sit in the pail. I was in the 6th grade at the time. This was behavior modification at St. Barbara's. I graduated in 1963.
My fifth grade teacher was Sr. Ellen Marie. I remember her literally slapping a girl around the room because she did not do her homework.
My second grade teacher, Sr. Dennis Marie, was a terror. She pulled me by the hair one day because I stepped off the crack in the sidewalk. It was my first day at St. Barbara and I didn't know we had to walk on the crack of the sidewalk. My punishment that night was to do my homework three times.
I am almost 60 years old now but these incidents have never left me. However, to be fair I also remember the kindness of Sr. Inesita in the third grade, Sr. Joseph Marietta in the fourth grade and Sr. Miriam Bernard in the eighth grade. They were really great, kind people.
I guess in life we just have to take the bad with the good.

James Backmann: 25th Jun 2010 - 18:06 GMT

WOW! I moved from Bushwick in 1966 to Woodhaven in Queens and landed down here in Jacksonville Fl. soon there after! Just reading about the old 'hood is soooo cool!
Stella Dora was just across from St. Barbara's & the funeral home was at Central & Greene. My brother Kevin died last Dec., and we were apart for the last 2 decades plus! That was his desire......but checking these posts really brings back memories! Miss Cotone was my ogre! Tough as nails. The only year I didn't miss a day was in her class. The next year they gave away perfect attendance awards! The year Im had her I had to go to the Bushwick Public Library to do all of our homework then went home at dinner time! There was a girl from Germany in that class that had the same routine. The one benefit was that I did much better in 5th & 6th grade due to the demands of that 4th grade class. What was that nutshell fromn our history book we had to write a gazillion times???? We moved after 6th grade & dodged the Sister Dennis Patrick bullet. Two quick "New York" stories.....When I was in my first year at Jacksonville Univ. I had to hitch hike home due to lack of a ride & was picked up by John Ponzo! We were together for a few years at St. B.'s Also......Father Bessendorfer is here in Fl. He even presided over the funeral of a dear feiend...neighbor....& my docor about 5 years ago!Well my laptop is dying....guess I'll come back another day & stroll down memory lane!

Maryann Zummo Grassia: 25th Jun 2010 - 22:58 GMT

I grew up at 287 Harmon Street, between Knickerbocker and Irving. Went to P.S. 86, Willoughby JHS 162 and Bushwick HS (class of '68). It was the best! Hot pretzels for 5 cents after Mass at St. Joseph's on Sunday mornings...Lemon ice and charlotte russe at Circo' buns at Weber's bakery on a Friday night. My uncle Joey had a bakery on Himrod between Knickerbocker and Wilson - the best Italian bread - Zummo's Bakery. My Uncle Johnny had a liquor store across the street from the 83rd Pct. on Wilson Avenue. I'm actually going to a stickball tournament on Suydam Street tomorrow. Can't wait to see the old neighborhood!!!!!

Maryann Zummo Grassia: 28th Jun 2010 - 20:26 GMT

Went to the school yard behind St. Joseph's Church on Suydam Street for the stickball game with the people who lived in the neighborhood in the 60's. We went for the best pizza on Knickerbocker Avenue and then to Circo's to buy cakes and cookies. Boy, did the area change!!!!....but it was great to see it.

Richie Fisher: 1st Jul 2010 - 01:34 GMT

Still have a stickball bat from the 60's ( and all my Baseball cards ). and we still play...

kathy smith: 5th Jul 2010 - 08:48 GMT


Bill Schumm: 11th Jul 2010 - 09:58 GMT

Wow. What a site. I was googling the names of some nuns I had and stumbled here. I grew up on Menahan between Wilson & Knickerbocker. I attended St. Barbara's 1st to 7th grades. We moved to NJ in '64 when I was 12. I had Sister Therese Marie for 2nd & 4th (it was her I was actually googling) Sr Joseph Marietta for 5th (what a wonderful person) Sr. Celeste for 6th and DP for 7th. I never had a problem with any of them. And besides my parents, I thank them for my upbringing. (I did have a problem in 3rd grade with Miss Cottone) . Yes Fr. Zimmer I also remember fondly. If I had a dime for every time I had to pick up pizza at La Rosa's I'd be a zillionaire. Never have found better pizza. What wonderful memories on this site. It made me think I have to teach my 18 month grandson stick ball and stoop ball. Now if I could only find a spalding or pensie pinkie.

Barbara: 7th Aug 2010 - 01:13 GMT

To the anonymous posting from June ... I had the same nuns and graduated the same year as you did. Dennis Marie took a ruler to my hand in second grade when I didn't have my art paper positioned horizontally. In 7th grade, I had Sr. Maxentia (remember East Side/West Side in the school play) and in 8th, Sr. Monica Frances. I believe she went on to become principal of St. Pancras.

To Bill Schumm -- Sr. Therese Marie is still alive (my sister had her) and I spoke with her in 2007. Her name is Betty Nickels. After St. Barbara's closed, she went to another school and also adopted a couple of teenage girls whose parents threw them out. She then founded a non-profit called TOPS for You located in Bushwick which aids teenagers who are becoming parents. I think it's also a daycare.

To an earlier posting ... Fr. Zimmer didn't have red hair ... Fr. Amos did.

nicholas huffman: 8th Aug 2010 - 18:10 GMT

used 2 live on 1867 harman st in ridgewood...went 2 p.s. 53 on starr and central ave...also lived on putnam ave..right across from bushwick h.s.between knickerbocker ave and irving ave..left for airborne trainig in 67 ...went 2 germany 509th airborne...then viet nam 69/71 the 173 airborne brgd...then the 82 airborne when i got out of nam..moved from melrose street and knickerbocker upstate 2 aclimate from nam..then moved 2 harman street between onderdonk and ? best dam hamburgers in n.y.over by the cemetery...
now i live in upstate e-mail address is any one remembers me..write please...always loved 2 sleep on the fire escape when i lived on melrose st when i was a kid...ciao everyone hope 2 hear from some one soon....

urs truly RED DRAGON

JACE: 10th Aug 2010 - 21:49 GMT


Diana: 21st Aug 2010 - 03:38 GMT

Tell me more about the reunion. I remember Rocko on Harman was he there?

SADIE Mistretta aug.22, 2010: 24th Aug 2010 - 00:39 GMT

I'm a little older than most of you. I lived at 1246 Greene av. Between central and Wilson, we had the bar on the corner of Central and Greene Half bar, Half pizza ,owned ;by 2 brothers that were former boxers. Maybe It was the Piccadilli. Across the street was the funeral parlor, Bonaventure. Years ago the King of the Gypsies died and was layed out for days, and nights . People came from all over and they stayed all night. Women smoking pipes others nursing babies, right on the side walk. All the children on the block went in to see the body which was stuffed with gold, up his nose, in his ears,, between his fingers nuggets and the coffin was full of money, thats why they stayed all night. I wonder if anyone else remembers this. And i also remember the junk store on the corner of Harmon or Himrod st. where my brother Joe, sold his stacks and stacks of newspapers Across from the Rivoli Movie House, on Myrtle Ave. I also went to P.S.75, St. Barbaras and got out in 8th grade and went to JHS 162.

Bill Schumm: 29th Aug 2010 - 04:18 GMT

To Barbara
Thanks so much for the information. I'm going to try to get in touch with her.

Delma Flores : 31st Aug 2010 - 20:00 GMT

Hello Bushwick and everyone from St. Barbara's! Joseph LaRosa...i've been to your restaurant many times...didn't realize it was you. I used to live at 137 Menahan, we were right next door to eachother. My mom used to make me get bread at your's dad's bakery every single morning...we sure did miss it when it closed. Those years growing up on Menahan and attending St. Barbara's were some of the happiest times of my life. I'll never forget my friends and all the wonderful experiences i had there. My mom still lives there. I'm back in New York now for 13 years...left to California in 1981. No place like New York. Would love to speak with my old friends again. I can be reached at Looking forward to hearing from you guys.

Vic Cosentino: 6th Sep 2010 - 13:12 GMT

Hi all. I lived at 1411 Jefferson Ave, between Irving and Knickerbocker. Graduated from Bushwick HS in 63. Live in Valley Stream now. The body is 65 but the mind is still 16.
Played baseball with St. Martins. Anyone remmember Busers Bar on Knickerbocker? was going there with the boys since I was 16 or 17, Some of the boys wew Ricky Collins, Bruce Pienkos , Bruce Schmidt and also the Halsey Bops

catherine soccoa starace: 6th Sep 2010 - 16:21 GMT

Hi Brooklynites! Haven't been here in a while. Am I the only who remembers that Ms. Cottone wore a uniform like us girls? I remember that being weird to say the least.I also remember that Rocco Macchia and I wanted to be a comedy duo when we grew up. Rocco if you read this HELLO! I'm proud to have lived in Brooklyn. I live in Fl. now. Don't ask. Ha

Richie Fisher: 6th Sep 2010 - 22:48 GMT

I was lucky to have Sister Maria Michele in the 4th Grade, I remember a time when Sister asked me to bring something to Ms.Cottone's class after school was done.. It was on a Friday of a 3 day weekend and we never got homework on those days but I was stunned to see on the blackboard of Ms.C's class enough homework for her class to take up all 3 days and nites...

Kathleen M.: 12th Sep 2010 - 00:11 GMT

I grew up on Menahan Street between Knickerbocker Avenue & Wilson Avenue, as did Bill Schumm...remember Billy? When it rained, we used to play board games in the tiny "lobby" that had the brass bells and the great tiled floor. La Rosa's Bakery was the absolute best. I, too, have never tasted pizza as good since those "old days!" I remember a picture on the wall of the owner as a BOXER. I, also, remember a green seat with a planter? Could that be possible? Those meatless Fridays always brought us to LaRosa's for those personal pan pizzas (I believe they were the ORIGINAL personal pan pizzas) for lunch when we went home at lunch from St. Barbara's. No "captive lunches" for us!!! It was to LaRosa's...and, our apartments to enjoy that great pizza! What great memories!

Kathleen M.: 12th Sep 2010 - 02:31 GMT

If Joseph LaRosa reads this: How can I get in touch with Maria? We graduated together in June, 1964. We had Sister Monica Francis. I believe that Maria was in the Fife & Drum Corps. I seem to recall the name "Justin Case..."...could that be possible? Anyway, Joseph, your family's bakery (gorgeous neon sign in script writing, heavenly bread smells wafting from the basement, and a counter to the left as you walked into the store) is engraved into my memory banks for life. I remember those black pans with pizzas being emptied to service the throngs of noontime-Friday students from St. Barbara's. Your family's store was directly across from Nicky's grocery store (with Mr. Newman's grocery store at the corner of Wilson & Bleecker). I seem to recall LaRosa Bakery's basement doors open frequently...enjoyed those great smells of baking bread. Scaliti, 7, I haven't thought about those breads since childhood! My email address is: pass it on to Maria, if you can! TOTALLY GREAT MEMORIES!!!

Nicholas B Huffman: 13th Sep 2010 - 19:41 GMT

didn't rocko live on 1866 harman street also does anyone remember nicky bop over by the carbines on delkalb and onderdonk ave and what 2 the dude named tank???he lived over by bleeker ave and onderdonk ave..i lived pretty much all over brooklyn and ridgewood queens..from myrtle ave 2 flushing ave..over by webuilt stoves and the beer brewery off of melrose ave and central..over by ps i45...the pretzel factory on starr stree and knickerbocker ave..the pizza joint over on dekalb and knickerbocker ave...starr street park starr street movie house...right next door was a barber shop with a real barber pole..anyone remember mazeie..her dad owned the shop.used 2 hang out in highland park...went 2 bushwick h.s...lived right across from the putnam ave name is nick...lived on putnam ave till 67,,then went into the army..loved 2 bowl at heart lanes bowling ally over on heart st.near p.s 162...used 2 walk from melrose st 2 highland park all the every in brooklyn that way..any on remember the bath house on wilson ave jsst off of starr st???any one remember jan's iceream parlor?? or the pizze joint off the corner of myrtle ave and putnam ave ...the ridgewood terras.the myrtle ave ell...the madisan movie house on myrtle ave..the ridgwood movie house same place...gottliebs resterant on myrtle ave...hell of a sandwich..cornbeef..pastromie the place was the bomb...well u can reach me at i don't expect anyone 2 remember my name cause i was really a loner..but i did get around..last and not least..does any one remember Donna La Fever..she lived on putnam ave and graduated bushwick 68..well she passed away three yrs ago.from huntintons disease..suffered 4 20 yrs..the sweetest person i ever meet in my life,and i have covered the world, both hemispheres..seen and meet loads of humans..she had a heart of gold...and eyes u would never in peace donna...well any body out there remember me get in touch...ciao folks brooklyns friend forever Nicholas B Huffman

Bill Schumm: To: Kathleen M , top floor on 198?

Jim McNulty: 17th Sep 2010 - 22:37 GMT

This is Knickerbocker Park after the storm

Frank Bianco: 28th Sep 2010 - 16:45 GMT

For Joe larosa: Are the same Joe that had a bakery on wilson and sold bread to my family at 242 knickerbocker (Meatland)?

Carmen Serrano Giubilei: 24th Oct 2010 - 13:55 GMT

I remember living at 144 Harman St near Knickerbocker as a very young kid - probably 5 or 6 years old with my younger sister Sandra and our single mom, who was also named Carmen. I have favorable memories of songs Mamacusa, Bruce Lee movies, the elevated train over Knickerbocker Ave, playing in the streets, or many house parties, but most particularly of a latino bodega my mom used to send me to, to pick up a short list of groceries for her. Once there - she had an arrangement to take the groceries for credit - asking the store owner to jot down the amount due on a notebook - after I told them I was Carmen's daughter, and so the magic question would be "Which Carmen? Carmen, the blond one, the black, the fat one, the skinny one?" Imagine how many Carmen's there were out there within the neighborhood, and of course - my mom was Carmen, "la flaca" (the skinny one) and I was "Carmencita - the little one". So once I grew up, got married and started having my own kids and of course living very far away from Harman St - no offense to my mom - I always knew I wouldn't name any daughter Carmen for lack of creativeness. Reason for leaving: around the time the popular song was out "Louie, Louie, Louie . . . Louie", young kids drinking beer and doing drugs would gather at the foot of the stairs within the small 2 story town home, and end up throwing up, passing out, etc. My mom thought it was no longer a nice place for her girls and she moved us out to upper Manhattan, Inwood section where I finished growing up. Nonetheless, when I think of Brooklyn, I also conjure memories of the innocent days, when a milkman delivered glass liter bottles of milk to our doorsteps and the lids were thin and frail tin foils, and of course we'd pay on a weekly basis - one of many dues to be met from my mom's small manila envelope. :)

Carlos Gonzalez: 7th Nov 2010 - 00:52 GMT

I graduated from St Barbara in 1969 and remember Quinn Furrs. I made it back to the neighborhood after 32 years. My aunt has been living there for over 43 years. I was there last week and love all my memories of the neighborhood. My best friends were Robert and Victor Gonzalez. I have traveled to many parts of the world but growing in that neighborhood was inspiring. You can e-mail me at i would love to hear from you.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 14th Nov 2010 - 15:06 GMT


AL MEZZAPELLA: 14th Nov 2010 - 15:06 GMT


Mary Jane (Saccheri) Palma: 21st Nov 2010 - 11:29 GMT

Wow! This is such a find. Found this site this morning and it's going to take several of these notes to recall so many fond memories of St. Barbara's and Brooklyn. I grew up at 102 Himrod Street between Central and Evergreen. I was in the class of '68 at St. Barbara's but we moved to Long Island a few months before graduation. I don't know if anyone will remember me but the two highlights of my St. Barbara's years were getting hit by a car on the way to school at the corner of Greene Ave and Central (right by the bar). I remember a whole crowd carried me home, I think including Carol Benanati's mom. Does anyone remember the plays we had every year? For the first grade play I was a nun and I was so short they had to order my "habit" special. I remember the Sister making such a point of taking very good care of it because it was made special......So we had our dress rehearsal first because we were the first grade. Then we went back to the classroom to change and were going to go back to the auditorium to see all the other classes' dress rehearsals. I took so much time changing out of the habit because I was trying to be so careful that the Sister didn't realize I was still in the cloakroom and left with the class and locked the door. I was stuck in the classroom alone all day. I could hear the music from downstairs and I was so upset, a little scared and a lot bored, but I was such a goody goody in those days I wanted to take chalk and draw on the board but was afraid I'd get in trouble. When the Sister came back with the class and saw me sitting there she freaked when she realized she had locked me in there all day. I remember she gave me a statue of the Blessed Mother for being so brave. Well those were my claims to fame back then. So many memories and so much more to write and it's going to take a little time to read all the comments on here. But I'll go for now with just a list of names of people I remember from back then. Don't know if the spellings are right though Some are from school and some are from the neighborhood: Carol Benanati, Mary Ann Arena, Michele Lamont, Mary Long, Antoinette D'Giorgio, Elizabeth Caputo, Elizabeth Benvenuto, Bernadette Cox (was terrified of her), Robert Rurup, Anthony Greco, Octavio Casuso, Frank and Ann Savino, Johnny Anselmo, John Campisi, Vito and Camille Triolo, Anthony Tramutra, Peter and Paul Buschemi, Sister Dennis Patrick who put the fear of God in everyone, Sister Cheribum Rita who I dropped a hymn book on from the choir loft, Father Reynolds who my cousin and I would visit at the rectory when we were bored on Saturdays, Larosa's bakery where we used to get pizza on Fridays for lunch and I think they had a fish tank with the biggest goldfish I had ever seen as you walked in to the righthand side, Mike and Joe's for eggcreams with my uncle, a candy store I think called Jessy Ann's? on Central Avenue on the way to school and church where I used to spend most of the dime I was supposed to put in the basket at mass, Garameta's grocery store on the corner of Himrod and Central and Tony at the butcher on Central Avenue that had all the sawdust on the floor. Looking forward to reading about all your memories and posting more.

Richie Fisher: 21st Nov 2010 - 16:48 GMT

The candy store was Barbara Ann's....Welcome Mary Jane!!!!!.... Richie Fisher ,class of '71. P.S. Sister D.P. could have been a drill instructor !!!!

Mary Jane (Saccheri) Palma: 27th Nov 2010 - 04:18 GMT

Hi Richie and thank you for the welcome. You're right, it was Barbara Ann's and all my allowance went there every day after school. You could get a whole lot with a dime back then. I never had Sister D.P. but was terrified whenever I saw her. I've had time to read all the comments here and I feel very badly for the people who were scarred by her. She seemed to have it in for the boys much more. While she may or may not have been a good teacher you've got to feel for the children who remained emotionally scarred by her. The only thing I can say to them is find a way, no matter how hard, to reconcile it for yourself otherwise she wins!

Okay enough of that. Does anyone remember the little round tubes we used to get that we had to fill with dimes? Did anyone ever fill theirs? I remember being so embarassed handing mine back in with like 5 dimes in it. Also does anyone remember the bakery on Himrod and Central? Anyone remember the name of it? I used to go there a lot and for 5 cents you could get a piece of something they called spice cake, but it was more like a chocolate cake square with some sugar on it. Never found a chocolate cake that good again.

Hope you all have had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Will check in and touch base often. Want to know if the class of '68 ever has another reunion.

Richie Fisher: 28th Nov 2010 - 23:22 GMT

Remember the song that we had to sing to those tubes.. ' Klink is a happy sound - a hap hap happy sound..... remember the gambling bazzar's ...the chocolate bars.. the chances we had to sell.. but for $4 a month tuition, who could complain.. my dad went nuts when it went up to $6 around '68 or 69.. "Do they think we're *&%%#$!! millionares"?? I have to E mail Mrs. Lawlor and ask her how much she was being paid back then, $12,000????

AL MEZZAPELLA: 29th Nov 2010 - 15:15 GMT


AL MEZZAPELLA: 29th Nov 2010 - 15:15 GMT


AL MEZZAPELLA: 29th Nov 2010 - 15:15 GMT


Ed Hetherington: 9th Dec 2010 - 23:29 GMT

Bill Schumm, I think you and I were in many classes together. The names of the teachers you had all match with mine. I lived on Bleecker Street.

anon ( 11th Dec 2010 - 18:33 GMT


So many memories!! I grew up on Menahan and Bushwick. Actually went to Bushwich High School, Spent most of my days in the park. Oh yes it was the 70's dancing the Hustle. Hanging out with Georgie Girl, Gladys Mathews and her sis Liz, Gidget and I remember my first high school boyfriend Hector Irizzary 2 brothers Crecencio and Gergie would love to hear from him or anyone else for that matter. So if anyone has any info the Email is or message me on facebook

AL MEZZAPELLA: 12th Dec 2010 - 14:53 GMT


Bill Schumm: 16th Dec 2010 - 04:49 GMT

Ed Hetherington; I remember you well. You lived one block up from church on Bleeker. We were kind of good friends in 6th with Sr. Celestine. We were homework checkers. I remember your cousin, I believe, Cathy Forgione (sp). I recently sent letters to Sisters Prague Marie, Therese Marie, and Dennis Patrick. I'm going to try to visit them on Long Island soon. What a website! I'm on facebook.

Thelma Fuentes: 16th Dec 2010 - 22:38 GMT

This is for Margie Caamano....I am the Irizarry brothers cousin. Hector and Georgie Irizarry both passed away. Crescencio lives in Miami and their sister Norma lives in Rutherford, NJ. I attended St. Barbara's but didn't get to graduate with the last class of 1972 as my family moved to Staten Island. I now live in Fort Myers, FL.

Carol Manchur: 19th Dec 2010 - 06:43 GMT

Diana Manchur is my first cousin and I was not allowed to go to sleepovers at my friends houses, so Diana would have me and Alice sleep over by saying we were going to 6 AM mass as St. Barbara's. What a trip reading all these emails, it brought back so many fond memories, loved Brooklyn. I used to live on Myrtle Avenue and Diana's parents had a little grocery store across the street. In those days we would play stoop ball or shoot marbles up at the 20 foot hallway ceilings. One time Diana got her head stuck in the wrought iron fence on the statue at the beginning of Knickerbocker Avenue. It was the best summer ever, roller skating (with keys) on Myrtle Avenue and sneaking down to the Carbines to kiss Nicky Huffman. Man was he the best kisser. We found each other through and are getting married. Yeah.

catherine soccoa starace: 20th Dec 2010 - 23:10 GMT

Happy Holidays everyone! Whichever way you celebrate have a Happy and Healthy season.Happy New Year too!

Francesca: 2nd Jan 2011 - 04:14 GMT

We lived right off the Avenue on Stanhope Street. Our block had many hard working Italians living there. These were from the third largest wave of Italian immigrants that came across on ships- the "Cristofero Columbo" and the "Saturnia" to name a few. I lived there from 1958-1968. In the early morning you could see the procession of women walking down the street with their brown paper bag lunches in hand and a sachetto with a falare in it for working (if they did not wear the falare to work). The fathers also headed toward the Avenue and then they all veered off to the blocks where the factories and knitting mills were. Most fathers held two jobs- one f/t and 1 p/t. My father worked at Paramount pasta factory on Suydam and Irving right near KnickerBocker park (next to PS 123) and then as a barber. On Sundays all the stores on KnickerBocker Ave. were closed-except for maybe Harrico's Drug Store across Stanhope St-across from RainBows Ladies Shop with it's many glass enclosed fashion mannequins. I loved to play around those displays and also fantasize that I was wearing those latest fashions- ruffled midriffs and capri pants, pointed sunglasses. and a chiffon scarf on the ponytail. On Saturdays we took a number and waited on a long line in Circos pastry shop so that we could eat cannoli's or maybe the hard cookies that broke your teeth with the piece of "bone in it" on Sunday. Occasionally Mom would take us three children to a luncheonette for franks or knishes right across from Ruby's card shop at Stockholm St. She did this after leaving a brazeer and girdle shop right next door. I loved those pointed bra's that came down to the waist. It was owned by Jews but the saleslady was Italo-American with a black flip and bangs and spoke the sicilian dialect. Whether it be King Solomon or Stone appliances I got used to the Jewish store merchants eyeing my mother up as I held her hand in the various stores. The owner would shake and drop things as mom tried to explain the specific item she was looking for. Strolling down the Avenue with Mom a shop keeper would come out whistle and exclaim "Mama Mia!!!" Dad had a creme colored Ford Meteor parked in front of the 6 family brick row house where we lived. It had pointed tail lights which nobody bothered. I can only appreciate now through pictures how cool it was. Unfortunately the neighborhood soon became infiltrated by people that did not share our values. People who were able-bodied welfare recipients (or shall I say cheaters). A phenomenon that the European immigrants did not understand- they thought that America was for working. These newcomers with their idle minds wreaked havoc and felt entitled to the hard earned belongings they robbed. When they got off the boat the Italians went to work the next day or week. They had their jobs waiting for them by bosses who were told by other working immigrants that a relative or friend would be coming. This secured a job for them before they even boarded a ship in Italy. There was no interview, no investigation. It was all about trust and good faith. Those were simpler times and joyous but we could never go back there again!!

AL MEZZAPELLA: 3rd Jan 2011 - 18:36 GMT


Kathleen M.: 9th Jan 2011 - 23:38 GMT

Haven't been online in a many great memories here!
To Bill floor next tenement over.
To Al Mezzapella...didn't Marino's Funeral Home have 2 white pillars framing the entrance...and, a candy store to the right?

AL MEZZAPELLA: 10th Jan 2011 - 15:15 GMT



Kathleen M.: 10th Jan 2011 - 22:32 GMT

Sorry, Al....but, I don't have a sibling named BobbyAnn. I do remember the candy store (tiny), though, with old sit-in phone booth!

AL MEZZAPELLA: 10th Jan 2011 - 23:57 GMT


Diana Manchur: 12th Jan 2011 - 20:14 GMT

Carol, Totally forgot about getting stuck in the fence. We did have fun, loved brooklyn too.

john basile : 20th Jan 2011 - 12:11 GMT


AL MEZZAPELLA: 20th Jan 2011 - 21:04 GMT




anon ( 21st Jan 2011 - 02:07 GMT

Bill Schumm tried to look you up on Facebook but more than one. I am on facebook and I live In Georgia.

anon ( 21st Jan 2011 - 02:07 GMT

Bill Schumm tried to look you up on Facebook but more than one. I am on facebook and I live In Georgia.

Ed Hetherington: 21st Jan 2011 - 02:11 GMT

Bill tried to look you up on facebook but more than one of you. I am on facebook and live in Atlanta.

Ed Hetherington: 21st Jan 2011 - 02:11 GMT

Bill tried to look you up on facebook but more than one of you. I am on facebook and live in Atlanta.

linda bucksbaum,ferrantelli: 27th Jan 2011 - 00:20 GMT

anyone remember club imperial on centeral ave,bklyn.iwwent to p.s.53 on troutman st.
i am looking for linda vanilla?

linda bucksbaum,ferrantelli: 27th Jan 2011 - 00:21 GMT

anyone remember club imperial on centeral ave,bklyn.iwwent to p.s.53 on troutman st.
i am looking for linda vanilla?

AL MEZZAPELLA: 3rd Feb 2011 - 20:15 GMT


tito from menahan & wilson: 4th Feb 2011 - 00:51 GMT


fred letzeisen: 13th Feb 2011 - 15:29 GMT

this site is great.just found it . does anyone remember the Buscemi family from Himrod Street. I married one of the daughters,Angela, in 1953 at St. Barbars Church and we had out reception in Schwaben Hall off of Myrtle Avenue. My wifes Uncle Tony owned the fish store with the swimming eels.I lived at the other side of Ridgewood behind the Ridgewood theatre. I lived on Madison Street between Seneca and Cypress Avenues. I met Angela while home on leave in 1950...she was bowling with friends at the old Ridgewood Grove lanes and a friend introduced us. She wrote to me all during the Korean War and when I came home we married 5 months later. Does anyone remember her family????

Edward Grassi: 13th Feb 2011 - 19:52 GMT

any body live on cornelia st between Wilson & central or maybe you know someone from there like Tito Acosta, Valerie eff, Ben Carpino, John Roach, Richie Kobus, Larry Belgram, Danny Malverty, maybe someone new Joanna Zummo

Richie Fisher: 13th Feb 2011 - 22:01 GMT

To Mr. Fred L. that was a nice post. Thank you for serving for our country, I hope you are enjoying your retirement. God Bless

fred letzeisen: 13th Feb 2011 - 22:22 GMT

is there someone out there who might have the e-mail address of Mary Aguanno Alloco.She is a relative of my wife who would like to make contact with her, if possible. Mary was a small child when she was at our wedding reception in 1953. Thanks in advance.

Joey La Rosa LAROSA BAKERY: 2nd Mar 2011 - 14:46 GMT

Hey there Bushwick....its been a while since I've been on this site and I cant believe how many people remember my family, and especially my dad Joey La Rosa. The women Anon...thank you so so much for those kind words about my dad. For you to say that you must of had numerous conversations with him. So many people have told me that he was a "piece of bread" ...the nicest person one could meet. Thank you so much, you brought a tear to my eye. To everyone who commented on the Pizza and bread in the bakery thank you so much it means the world to me.One thing is for all know taste big time. You wonder why life was so simple then. To Al Mezzapella....thank you so much for your letter. For you to go out of your way for me is incredible. I will be writing you back today!!!! If anybody still lives in the area I own Barosa restaurant on Woodhaven Blvd. webite is Although I cant duplicate the bread and Pizza from ages ago I sure give it my best shot. I always roll out the red carpet for people who knew my dad and LaRosa bakery. I never forgot where I came from because I was proud of where I came from. All the best to everybody on this site and God Bless all of you and your familys. CIAO!!

RoseAnn: 3rd Mar 2011 - 02:47 GMT

My grandparents, father and his 4 brothers lived at 57 Himrod Street. They were known as the Schimmenti Boys. Does anyone have relatives from the old neighborhood?

Linda Lanigan: 5th Mar 2011 - 02:09 GMT

What a great site! Lived at 12 Bleecker beetween Buswick and Evergreen. Mr. & Mrs. Muller's Deli on the corner of Bleecker and Evergreen, and Mike and Emma candy store on the corner of Green and Evergreen... had friend Suzanne who lived at #5 Bleecker, big apartment house across the street.. and 3 girls, Nancy, Cathy and Lesley who lived at Number 23 I think. Vera lived at 18A with the pink stoop. Used to play ace/king/queen on the garage doors until Mr. Muller would come out and yell at us. Went to St. Barbara's from 59 thru 66, left after the 6th grade to move to Lawngisland. Larosa's bakery was the best.. waited on line on friday's after school for pizzas to come up from the cellar... nothing better.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 7th Mar 2011 - 15:31 GMT


Sal Giarrusso 9th Mar 2011 - 15:48 GMT

I lived at 129 Menahan st From 1946 to 1963 you have a brother named Tommy and one of your neighbor was Bruce Caruana.

Sal Giarrusso 9th Mar 2011 - 15:51 GMT

Tony Dee Gee Lived in the same building as you and your brother Frankie. Roys' Last name is Orlando he also had a sister name Fran

AL MEZZAPELLA: 9th Mar 2011 - 17:42 GMT


Sal Giarrusso 9th Mar 2011 - 18:50 GMT

No I think the LaRosas' were at 135

Sal Giarrusso 9th Mar 2011 - 19:27 GMT


With all that you didn't mention the Boy Scout troop that your dad was the scoutmaster.
I have fond memories of Camp Alpine and other trips.

Sal Giarrusso 10th Mar 2011 - 14:02 GMT

Jim: 18th Sep 2009 - 12:20 GMT
I just stumbled upon this site. Unfortunately, I'm a year late in responding to Ed (class of'60). We must have been classmates. The only Ed I can think of that slapped by DP more than most is Ed Granshaw. Would that be you?

Jim - is this Jim Russo. I am also (class of '60).

Jim: Sal Giarusso...yes it is!

anon ( 11th Mar 2011 - 03:44 GMT

I remember John Scholls, he was a hell of a stickball player. I don't know what became of him. I also remember jackie suflay, billy henn, joe (who was the younger brother of Gus (I think). Roy Orlando lived across the street from me, and Julius and his brother lived in the only house with the tree in front.
Tony (dee gee) DiGiovanni

Sal Giarrusso 11th Mar 2011 - 16:37 GMT

Al - I lived there from 1946 to 1963. I think remember the fight you referred to with Tony D.

anon - I lived at 129 menahan st the same building as Tony Degee what is your name. We must know each other.
Remember my brother Sammy, Frank Reiger, Sal Romano, Nicky Romano (is this you) , Joey Verga, Billy Kiley, Bruce Carauna, John Decessa (Spelling ???) etc.

Jim - Been a long time. Remember Marty Lima (I saw marty in the late 80's at the airport he comming off a plane spoke to him briefly), Don Sacturro (I just Sent Don an email, Ray Lombardo. and more.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 12th Mar 2011 - 21:49 GMT







Sal Giarrusso 12th Mar 2011 - 23:33 GMT

Your Brother Tommy might remember me or my brother Sammy. I do remember John Scholl and his brother George Scholl they lived in the same building as Gaspar and Joey Scalfani.

I went to St Barbaras and Bushwick HS. Our family moved in August 1963 and I finished HS in West Islip Long Island. I live at 129 Menahan a few doors from the Larosas.

You must know Bruce he lived near you.

Yes one the post was deleted.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 13th Mar 2011 - 12:27 GMT







John Piraino: 13th Mar 2011 - 18:01 GMT

Att, Fred Letzelsen, message dated 13th Feb 2011. I lived across the street from Mary on Harman St. She moved to Long Island in 1963, and I have her email address. Contact me at

fred letzeisen: 13th Mar 2011 - 20:00 GMT

John Piraino,
thanks for your note today. I just saw it and sent you an e-mail.

Sal Giarrusso 14th Mar 2011 - 00:12 GMT

I live in Babylon presently and my neighbor is Jack Brozinski he is retired from LIRR engineer. Jacks' brother name is Richy and he also retired from LIRR conductor. Do know them.

Yes I definitly remember Tommy. I do know the bars you mentioned small world.

C. Viola: 14th Mar 2011 - 06:06 GMT

I lived in the neighborhood from my birth in 1944 until we moved to Bethpage, LI in August of 57. I finished the seventh grade at St. Barbara's elementary school. I discovered this site through my friend Sal Giarrusso, we belong to the same yacht club in Babylon, Long Island. We knew each other for years before realizing that we went to the same school. I have been reading with great interest the comments about Sister Dennis Patrick who I remember. I also remember getting some pretty stiff corporal punishment at St. B's and I'm now wondering if all those negative memories were caused by this one nun, I suspect that might be the case. Some of the comments about her are a bit disturbing. I joined the Marines after high school and I have always joked that after St. Barbara's Parris Island was a cake walk. Sister DP, if you're out there, no hard feelings, those were different times.

I lived at 104 Grove Street across from PS 75. I share many of the wonderful memories that others here have expressed. My father would go to LaRosa's and bring home Sicilian Pizza on weekends and I remember the great aromas and huge lugs of Provalone in Conte's market. I remember 1955 for its inescapalbe summer heat and the Dodgers bringing home the championship to Brooklyn. It seems there was and effigy of Casey Stengal hanging from lightpoles all over Central Avenue. It was great fun. When I went to the movies it was usually the Lowe's Gates or the RKO Bushwick. Here are some names I remember from school and the neighborhood: William Becker, Billy Johnson, Johnny Preston, John Turano, George Kellerman, Robert Weinstein, Jane McHew, Jimmy Canfield, Bruce Shapiro, Robert Foster, Mario Marino. I'll check back from time to time on this site as it is so interesting and my fill in some blanks for me.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 14th Mar 2011 - 10:37 GMT




Sal Giarrusso 14th Mar 2011 - 13:04 GMT

I knew Tommy as a kid on the block. My brother(Sammy)knew him better.

I spoke to Jack he said he knew Tommy. You got it right about Richy he is still that way.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 15th Mar 2011 - 17:43 GMT


fred letzeisen: 15th Mar 2011 - 19:08 GMT

Does anyone out there remember the families Buscemi or Dressel. I married Angela Buscemi in 1953 and after living in many places we now reside in Florida . Carol Dressel had a sister Jane. Carol is now married to Tony Peralta and they live in North Carolina. Tony and I grew up together in Ridgewood. If anyone knew Angela or Carol it would be nice to hear from you. We are going to try and contact MaryAguanno Alloco who was the grand daughter of Tony and Mary Aguanno who owned the fish store near St Barbara Church. Contact me here or at
This site is great and my wife remembers most of the places mentioned.

Sal Giarrusso 15th Mar 2011 - 21:54 GMT

Al Thanks for the info i'll pass it along.

Don Scaturro ... 16th Mar 2011 - 00:22 GMT

I was at 263 Central Ave. My cousin Robert lived next door to me. I am also from the class of '60 and remember all of you. Last time I wrote on this site was a couple of years ago. If anyone would like to get in touch, you have my email. I now live on the Jersey Shore.... no, snookie isn't here

fred letzeisen: 16th Mar 2011 - 01:15 GMT

does anyone remember Jimmy Herring or Johnny Breitenbruck both of whom fought middleweight at the Ridgewood Grove late 40's early 50's.

Joey La Rosa: 16th Mar 2011 - 13:24 GMT

Hey Al Mezz, once again thanks for that pic. of my dad. You made my day BIG time when I recieved your letter. One day when you have nothing to do call my restaurant so we can shoot the breeze a little bit. I'm off on Wed. and sundays. Thanks again pal!

Nicholas Huffman: 18th Mar 2011 - 14:42 GMT

Hi linda Bucksbaum/Fermatelli.
My name is nick huffman i went to #p.s 53 back in the early to middle 50"s.and right under you on irving and used to baby sit for me and my brother ed.your brothers name is tommy,i for got the other ones name..from there we moved to melrose st.bennie was your other brothers can reach me at to hear from you.ciao.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 18th Mar 2011 - 16:24 GMT


A.: 18th Mar 2011 - 17:25 GMT

Al: They're being deleted because you're posting in ALL-CAPS. It's impolite to type in ALL-CAPS on the internet - its the equivalent of SHOUTING. See the site rule here:

AL MEZZAPELLA: 18th Mar 2011 - 19:00 GMT

I"m sorry, I didn't know it was a rule!!! Why is it impolite???

AL MEZZAPELLA: 18th Mar 2011 - 19:12 GMT

HI Joe Larosa, I responded to your post, but it was deleted because it was all upper case!!! It was my priviliage to know your family, they were a big part of my childhood!!! I have some wonderful memories of the fresh bread, Scalida, and Pistalone, if I remember right!!! Forty cents for pizza, Fish, or Cheese, Twelve cents for bread, and Two cents for bread sticks!!!
We helped carry in the flour, two of us carried one, Ox took two all by himself!

My E'mail if i'm allowed to post it is LIRR67@YAHOO.COM IT'S ALL UPPER CASE!!!

Thank You to whoever responded, and filled me in on the rules!!!

Sal Giarrusso 18th Mar 2011 - 20:19 GMT

WOW!! Scalida and Pistalone and the Pizza on Friday and Sunday.
Hey Joe Larosa my name is Sal Giarrusso I lived at 129 Menahan St just a few doors up from you.

I will always remember my mom sending me to LaRosas for a loaf of bread. By the time I would get back to my apartment 1/4 or more of the loaf would be gone.

luis mendez: 19th Mar 2011 - 01:15 GMT

my freinds are still their i wish them well i am well also i found you by shear luck i am in middletown n.y. but i cuold never forget were i came from i live on 169 harmam s.t. regards once again to the casussos family i can be reached at revilu
it was nice to seeyou all .

Nicholas B Huffman: 19th Mar 2011 - 04:31 GMT

Hello Linda Bucksbaum/Fermatelli
my name is Nick Huffman and i grew up with you on irving av and starr st.went to p.s.53.knew your brothers tommy and had the apt above me on irving.the sicilian pie joint was right next door...they turned p.s.53 into ps it is something used to baby sit for me and my brother mom's name is julia from Melrose st and knickerbocker av if this is you you can reach me at Red Dragon was my code name in viet nam back in 69/71.did two tours there...served with the 173 AIRBORNE UNIT....we where airborne and destroy..hey it was a living...well i hope to here from you soon...stay frosty girl.CIAO BELLA


Raquel: 19th Mar 2011 - 08:35 GMT

Hello, does anyone remember a black family of Toney's on evergreen n harmon. Mother Tommy Lee, daughters Gail and Renee, son Rickey Allen Toney best friend Skip. They lived there between 1962-1965 I believe.Im lookin for any information or relatives for a young lady named Kandi she was black but had a very light complextion and had light brown hair, she was Rickey's girlfriend and also my mother whom i never had the pleasure of meeting. If any of these names sound fimilar please contact me at Any information GOOD or BAD would be greatly appreciated. thank you

Bb2ru: Remember Richard Ruisi the milk man?

Richie Fisher: 20th Mar 2011 - 01:51 GMT

To Nichols B Huffman , I don't think I knew you, but I for one would like to thank you for your Military Service . I remember my neighbor Madelyn crying for days around '68 or so because her future husband was killed in 'Nam. I was only 12 or so and was confused but I felt so bad for her and couldn't understand what this war was about, my father was old school and the Govt was right to do what they were doing, St. Barbara's never spoke much about what was really going As I got older I realized two things, we shouldn't have been involved in this War and the GI's coming home were greeted by a confused, naive and unappreciative country. I missed the draft by about a little less than a year. I can't imagine, even after watching Platoon , Full Metal Jacket, and Hamburger Hill what it was like for young people who should have been hanging out and partying and having fun but were either loosing limbs , coming home in body bags, or never coming back the same person they left as. I just asked Facebook friends to donate toiletries, snacks, personal items, and other things that GI's can use . I know this rarely happened for the GIs fighting in 'Nam. I now have met and know numerous vets and have a great appreciation and understanding of what that war was really like. To Mr.Huffman, all I can say to you and my pal Warren Spies and all the others who sacrificed more than we'll ever know... THANK YOU AND YOU SHOUT ALL YOU WANT "CAUSE YOU HAVE EARNED THE RIGHT AND RESPECT FROM ALL OF US TO DO THINGS YOUR OWN WAY AND ENJOY YOUR YEARS OF RELAXATION AND RETIREMENT THAT YOU HAVE EARNED. AND SCREW ANYONE WHO HAS A PROBLEM WITH IT. ALL I CAN SAY IS HEY BUSHWICK 77 CHAT SITE.. COME HERE AND DELETE THIS @#$%!#?&#^&.... God Bless

Joey La Rosa: 21st Mar 2011 - 20:02 GMT

Someone asked about "Richie the milk man" . Well Richie was one of the best guys around. He stayed the same (nice and loud) up until he passed a few years ago. He was my dad's friend and remained my friend when my dad passed. He enjoyed golf and was a good solid guy. He will be missed.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 22nd Mar 2011 - 01:34 GMT

Joe how old was your dad when he passed??? He couldn't have been much older than me??? I just turned sixty nine in October!!! I remamber a milkman, i don't think it wasRichie, we nused to steal Chocolate milk off his truck, and drink it with your dad in the basement!!! We supplied the milk, he supplied the bread, great memories!!!

C. Viola: 22nd Mar 2011 - 14:20 GMT

My uncle Frank Messina owned a pastry shop in the area. It was called Sabrina's I think. It was near Myrtle and DeKalb but I'm not sure exactly where. My brother Tom is still in contact with the Messina family and he told me that the shop is still there and owned by one of Frank's sons. Joey LaRosa, your family was in the bakery business, does it ring a bell?

Richie Fisher: 22nd Mar 2011 - 17:47 GMT

Mr. Nicholas B Huffman... thanks, will send out an E mail this week... no need to apologize to anyone... this site should apologize to you .... Most of the Bushwick folks are solid people... don't know who runs this site... maybe they should I.D. themselves if they have a pair....

AL MEZZAPELLA: 24th Mar 2011 - 19:36 GMT

Does anyone remember Helen Hubbard, Ann Blandino, Carmela Nicholetta, Pete Campisi, Christopher Puomo,or Lillian Marino, all from the Bushwick area???

Richie Fisher: 26th Mar 2011 - 00:36 GMT

Mr.N Huffman, your E Mail address's do not seem to be going through... Please E Mail me at and I will reply. Thanks!!! Richie

Richie Fisher: 26th Mar 2011 - 00:40 GMT

Mr.N Huffman, your E Mail address's do not seem to be going through... Please E Mail me at and I will reply. Thanks!!! Richie

Richie Fisher: 7th Apr 2011 - 12:20 GMT

Yo bro... Obama needs a wake up call.... if not a visit from some Vets.... and these people wouldn't be sleeping well at night if it wasn't for guys like yourself... Hey Nick, what's with the small print.... hope you aren't getting soft !!!! GIVE'EM MORE OF WHAT THEY CAN'T HANDLE!!!!! AAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHH!!

Richie Fisher: 9th Apr 2011 - 00:18 GMT

Hey.. there was a post here from a stand up Vet named Nicholas Huffman... Why is it off??? He's a vet... and it's because of guys like him that you can even have a website.... you guys Jamie and Peter Caveat who run this site and make $$$$ off it.. should give a little respect to our vets... bet you never even held a weapon in your lives...

anon ( 9th Apr 2011 - 01:09 GMT

Hey, Joey...How is Maria? We graduated together!

anon ( 9th Apr 2011 - 01:09 GMT

I seem to remember Maria was in the Fife & Drum Corps.

anon ( 9th Apr 2011 - 01:09 GMT

I seem to remember Maria was in the Fife & Drum Corps.

Jerry Corso: 11th Apr 2011 - 22:45 GMT

Hey to John Basile.Remember working atLaRosas. We hung out with Tommy Mezzapella, John Guida, and Joey Fabio. Hung out on the corner of Wilson and Menahan (candy store) and at Clemenzas Pool Hall.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 12th Apr 2011 - 11:17 GMT

Hey Jerry, I remember all you guys, you were the younger bunch!!!
John Basile has posted on here, a few weeks back!!! Joey Fabio's brother Bob, is on Bushwick Buddies!!! My brother Tommy is living in Florida, his E'mail is,
MEZZTV@AOL.COM!!! Don't know about John Guida!!!

I'm living in Venice Florida, Frank Turitto is in Margate Florida, Eddie Mundy is in Jacksonville Florida, Charlie hodder is in Pennsylvania, Richie Palumbo, is in Arizona, and Joe Dellutri is still in Brooklyn!!!

Jack DeCarlo, and Vinny Grosso have passed!!!

Kathleen M.: 12th Apr 2011 - 14:45 GMT

The Menahan St./Wilson Ave. corner candy store was Perry's...I remember coming home from St. Barbara's and buying 3 for 5 cents stick pretzels...also, I remember their egg creams!!! Didn't Clemenza's sell pizza, too? I seem to remember a brown-backing sign with the name, Clemenza's Pizzeria, on it. Maybe it's a false memory...after 60, everything becomes suspect as a memory... :).

AL MEZZAPELLA: 12th Apr 2011 - 20:34 GMT

Mike, and Paul,Clemenza closed the pool room, and opened an Italian restaraunt 1960, 1961!!!

Are you Bobby Ann's sister???

Kathleen M.: 13th Apr 2011 - 16:39 GMT

No...I only have a brother. I lived on Menahan Street until 1973.

Jerry Corso: 13th Apr 2011 - 23:31 GMT

Nice to hear from you Al. We used to go to the Met games, first at the Polo Grounds and later at Shea. John and I used to go to St. Michaels dances and Rock n Roll shows. We used to hang out upstairs with the acts. John's sister (she was older) was going out with the MC. Also had Jerry and Louie Albano in our group.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 13th Apr 2011 - 23:57 GMT

Did you go to St Michaels whe Mike Seltzer from the corner, sang with the Enchanters???

I don't remember your sister but she must be my age, did she hang out by Perry's???

I remember Louie Albano, but who's Jerry???

Didn't you also hang out with Henri St John, his brother Richie, was my best friend!!!

AL MEZZAPELLA: 14th Apr 2011 - 00:07 GMT

Kathleen, when did you move to Menahan street??? I lived on Wilson Ave since I was two years old in 1943, as did most of our crowd!!!

Did you hang out in Perry's???

What's your last name???

How old are you, and your brother???

I'm not trying to pry into your life, I'm just trying to remember if I knew you or not!!! If you feel the questions are to personal, you need not reply!!!

If you think my questions are too personal, you need not reply!!!

Either way, I thank you for your input!!!

Kathleen M.: 14th Apr 2011 - 02:21 GMT

I moved to Menahan Street in 1954 (I think) at the age of 3. I only stopped at Perry's to pick up newspapers for my parents on Sunday or pretzels after school (sometimes, egg creams, too). I am 60 and my brother is goodness, those ages are hard to admit!!! :) I only went to Wilson Avenue to shop for my parents at Nicky's & Mr. Neuman's. Such a sheltered life!

AL MEZZAPELLA: 14th Apr 2011 - 11:10 GMT

Kathleen, I cant believe you lived there so long, and never met any of the crowd from Perry's!!! We were a friendly bunch, a little wild, but not like the groups that followed us!!! There were lots of us that had brothers and, sisters, your age, your brother was a little too young!!! The people I remember from "your" block were Joe Deluttri, Louie Berg, Carol Berg, Bobby Ann Mauceri, Kathy Mauceri. Vinny Grosso, Joe Bosco, Lucille Beveni, Bobby Allbach, Louie Lotion, and Paul Bauman!!! There were a few others, but the names are not coming back to me at this time!!!

From the candy store there was Jack DeCarlo, Frank Turitto, Nancy Puglisi, Bob Fabio,
Lillian Marino, Eddie Mundy, Charlie Hodder, Maryann Pallacino, Jackqulin Suflay, Carol Turitto, John Ventura, and Joe Ciceo, again a few others who's names escape me!!! I am still in touch with some of theme!!!

I ran errands for Mr Neuman, and helped Nick on his truck with deliveries!!! That was back when I was around ten years old!!!

I hope some of these names ring a bell, we were ther almost every day, and most nights!!!

I didn't know anyone that had a sheltered life, there was too much fun going on in the street!!! Sorry you never got to hang out with us, those were the best times of my life!!! We were poor, but too stupid too realixe it!!!

Where are you living now days??? I'm in Venice Florida!!!

Kathleen M.: 14th Apr 2011 - 14:16 GMT

I live in Nassau...when I said, "sheltered," I meant sheltered... :). I have never lived more than 20 miles from where I grew up on Menahan Street...although, in my travels, I have helicoptered into a volcano and flown over the top of Mt. McKinley! I remember Paulie well...he was my next door neighbor! I seem to recall that he married a lovely girl who was a nurse living across the street from us? Not sure about that. Yes, I lived on Menahan Street until 1973...shortly before the massive fires that decimated the Menahan Street/Knickerbocker Avenue/ Bleecker Street area. My house was abandoned shortly thereafter...then razed. A playground’s grassy knoll now presides over the site where I lived & played as a child.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 14th Apr 2011 - 22:48 GMT

I lived in Lindenhurst, moved out in 1995 to Pennsylvania!!! My son still teaches in Islip!!! Then to florida in 2001!!!

I'm a gutsy guy, but you would "NEVER", get me in a helicopter!!!

I found the photos of the fire on the imternet, very sad to see that!!!

The only houses left on Wilson avenue last time I was there, was Jack DeCarlos, and Larosa's bakery!!!

My house is now a Jehovas Wittness!!! Times they are a changing!!!

Jerry Corso: 14th Apr 2011 - 22:49 GMT

Jerry Albano was Louie's younger brother. We also hung out with Henri St. John. I heard he was killed in Nam. I was in Nam from April 68 to April 69. The last person I saw was John Guida in 71 when my daughter was born. I live in Clearwater Florida (13 years now). We also hung out with Conchetta DeCarlo and Joann (can't remember her last name). They all lived on your block.

Kathleen M.: 15th Apr 2011 - 01:54 GMT the corner of Wilson Avenue & Menahan Street (on Nicky's Deli/Mr. Neuman's block over the laundromat)), was there a girl named, Tina? Was her father a fireman?

AL MEZZAPELLA: 15th Apr 2011 - 09:51 GMT


Henri St John died from a drug overdose, in his hallway during the seventies!!!

I live in Venice, but I use the airport in Clearwater when I go North to vist my Grandchildren!!!

Conchetta DeCarlo was Jacks sister, Jack passed last year!!! JoAnn could have been JoAnn Chifalo,(HARPO), she had a sister Beatrice, lived next door to me in St Johns house!!!

Sorry you had to serve in Nam, but I thank you for your service!!! Unfortunatley, not many people do!!!

AL MEZZAPELLA: 15th Apr 2011 - 10:03 GMT

The girl over the laundromat was Tina Turitto, my friends youmger sister!!!
The fireman was not her father, he was the father of her youngest sister!!! Her father was Gus Turitto, last I saw him, was at my wedding!!! Her mother just died last year!!!

Last I saw Tina was in the seventies, she was working as a "Welder", up in Connticut!!!
Her oldest brother Joe died years ago, her brother Frank, is in Margate Florida, the other two sisters I have no clue!!! There is also another brother, but his name escapes me!!! Frank Turitto is on Facebook, if you want to check him out???

Kathleen M.: 15th Apr 2011 - 10:17 GMT

Thank you, Al...I thought a girl named, Tina, lived there. One of her brothers (I'm not sure which one) rang our bell after a snow storm to let my father know that he had to move his car off Wilson Avenue because it was going to be ticketed. I always thought that was very sweet of him. Apparently, Wilson Avenue was one of those "emergency clearance" roads after a snowstorm.

Bill Schumm: 16th Apr 2011 - 02:06 GMT

Hi, Kathleen. I didn't know you and your family stayed on Menahan till '73. We moved in '64. I missed 8th grade at St. Barbara's. Someone above mentioned photos on the internet about the fires. Do you know the website? As I was reading all these posts again I began thinking of other names. Do you remember: Clara Amico, John Stroller, Walter Scneider, the Ventagmilia family (sp)? Would love to know about them too. Hope you are well, Billy.

Kathleen M.: 16th Apr 2011 - 02:25 GMT

Hi, Billy! How are you? I am sorry, but I don't know the website. Of course I remember some of the folks that you mention! I remember Clara, Frances, Barbara, and Jackie. I don't know where any of these folks are these days, though. Hope all is well with you, too!

AL MEZZAPELLA: 16th Apr 2011 - 20:39 GMT

Hey Bill,
Google Bleeker Street Bushwick Fires 1977, there are lots of pictures and information there!!! There is one horrific shot of Knickerbocker, and Myrtle!!!
Glad I moved out in 1964, I lived on Wilson, four doors down from Bleeker!!! My house wasn't touched, but it was real close!!!

Kathleen M.: 17th Apr 2011 - 00:08 GMT

Al, my heart broke when I looked at the pictures I found on the site you described. To see the factory building ready to collapse is horrible.

Kathleen M.: 17th Apr 2011 - 04:14 GMT you remember Ruthie, your next apt. neighbor? Wasn't she sweet? I believe that she lived with her Aunt. I used to hear her playing her upright piano through the walls. Her playing that old piano ("Bells of St. Mary's") made me want to learn how to play the piano myself. Eventually, I took lessons at St. Barbara's nuns' terrific, Victorian convent....for a $1.00 a lesson! Hard to believe!

Bill Schumm: 17th Apr 2011 - 04:41 GMT

Kathleen: Not so hard to believe. I took lessons there too. The nun was about 105 years old but I remember her as being the sweetest person I ever met. I remember Ruthie and her aunt Mrs. Reynolds. They were my second family. I can still feel the day when the witch Mrs. Cook told me yelling out her window as I was coming home from school. I guess not all memories can be good ones.

Bill Schumm: 17th Apr 2011 - 04:42 GMT

AL: thanks for the info. I'll check it out now.

Kathleen M.: 17th Apr 2011 - 04:57 GMT

Still hard to believe those piano lessons were $1.00 a piece...imagine what they cost today! Yes, the nun who taught us to play the piano was quite old Did Mrs. Cook live in the 2-family red house by the old street light?

AL MEZZAPELLA: 17th Apr 2011 - 14:17 GMT


Try I think I got it right??? The one picture shows the Rainbow Shop building in total flames, with Schwaben Hall in the backgroung!!!

I believe the building ready to collapse is Berg and Berg knitting mill, on Knickerbocker, and Bleeker???

Jerry Corso: 17th Apr 2011 - 14:41 GMT

Sorry to hear about Henri ending up like that. Didn't Richie drive a red Grand Prix convertable? The Albano's moved to the neighborhood from Red Hook, they didn't grow up there.

Kathleen M.: 17th Apr 2011 - 15:51 GMT

Al...yes, you can see the Berg & Berg Knitting Mill, Schwaben Halle, and Rainbow Shop in those archival photos. When I walked back & forth to Putnam Park (adjacent to Bushwick H.S.) as a child accompanying my grandmother, and later walking back & forth to Bushwick High School for 4 years from Menahan Street, I used to feel bad for the firemen from the Gates & Knickerbocker firehouse that had to respond to almost-daily fire calls . I remember hearing those firetrucks screaming through the streets of Bushwick in the middle of the night & praying that the firemen & the people in the houses to which they were going would be safe. I especially prayed my house wasn't one of the row-house tenements involved in their calls! Many Bushwick firemen gave the ultimate sacrifice on September 11th...those Bushwick firehouses were some of the first to respond to the "all out" calls. I truly admired those firemen and still admire all firemen for their bravery!

Bill: Al, thanks. Kathleen, re Mrs. Cook, Yes!!

Bill: Al, thanks. Kathleen, re Mrs. Cook, Yes!!

Bill: Al, thanks. Kathleen, re Mrs. Cook, Yes!!

Bill: 17th Apr 2011 - 20:08 GMT

Sorry about the repeats. Still getting used to a new cell.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 17th Apr 2011 - 22:37 GMT


Richie had a 1963 red Grand Prix, hardtop!!! They didn't make Grand Prix convertibles until 1968, and only for the one year!!! I had the 1963, Gold Chevy Super Sport!!! Richie Palumbo had the 1963 Rambler!!! I think you guys, were too young to drive??? I remember the albanos, being late comers!!!

AL MEZZAPELLA: 18th Apr 2011 - 01:07 GMT


If you lok close you will see a phone booth in front of the Rainbow shop, I proposed to my wife on that phone in 1964!!!

Kathleen M.: 18th Apr 2011 - 02:08 GMT

That is sooooooooo coooooooooooolll & romantic, Al!

Kathleen M.: 18th Apr 2011 - 02:08 GMT

That is sooooooooo coooooooooooolll & romantic, Al!

Enid Orta: 19th Apr 2011 - 15:38 GMT

OMG! I am also a cousin of Hectors, Georgie's and Cresencio Irizarry. I lived on Grove between Evergreen and Central. Went to my Beloved St. Barbara"s, then transferred to 7th grade at St. Joseph Patron when they closed St. B. If I had to choose which were the best years of my life, I would definitely have to say they were the years I lived on my block and grew up with most of my cousins...God, this has really taken me back...:)

Kathleen M.: 20th Apr 2011 - 02:23 GMT

Al...I used to buy my mother's holiday gifts (Mother's Day, Christmas, etc.) at that Rainbow Shop!

Bb2ru: 20th Apr 2011 - 12:15 GMT

knickerbocker ave stores were the best, especially the pizza place, Tony's and Joe's army and navy stores

Kathleen M.: 20th Apr 2011 - 20:38 GMT

I remember Associated well...used to shop for my parents there often! The pizza store on the same block was great, too. I remember a lady making pizza in that store with a red pony tail. If I remember correctly, Knickerbocker Men & Boys clothing shop was at the corner of Knickerbocker Avenue & Greene Avenue.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 20th Apr 2011 - 22:18 GMT

Sorry Kathleen, the Boys,and Mens store was between I believe Himrod and Stanhope!!!

Kathleen M.: 20th Apr 2011 - 23:53 GMT

Yes, are correct! I was getting it mixed up with the store on the corner of Greene & Knickerbocker. Was that the Army & Navy store?

AL MEZZAPELLA: 21st Apr 2011 - 01:23 GMT


Rainbow Shop was on the corner of Greene, and Knickerbocker, followed by Associated, Browns Butcher, and a small Charlotte Rousse stand!!!
On the other side of Knickerbocker, going towards Irving Avenue, was a Drug Store, and a Jewelery store!!! To the left I remember a Fruit Stand, and a Toy Store!!!

I forgot the year but I remember a Hook and Ladder, wrapping itself around the El Piller in the middle of Knickerbockker avenue!!! I don't remember if anyone got hurt!!!

Bb2ru: 21st Apr 2011 - 12:01 GMT

Remember those good old butcher shops with the saw dust on the floor, the meats were so fresh along with the cold cuts, and the butchers new everybody's name. I really miss those great days!!!!!!!! Does anyone remember the name of the bank, I think was on the corner of Bleeker and Myrtle maybe it was Hamburg Savings Bank.

Richie Fisher: 21st Apr 2011 - 12:40 GMT

Montana Cleaners... Demicelli's Drug Store...Sam The Glazier....Vassalaro's Plumbing... Murry's ( which I lived right over ) Joe's malt shop and Barbara Ann's... If you go on You Tube and type 'City Of Churches St. Barbara's' there is a great vid about 25 min. long about St. Barbara's.. anyone that went there will love it...

NICHOLAS B HUFFMAN: 25th Apr 2011 - 07:30 GMT

hi bushwick and the rest of the five boros..
has any one heard from Linda Bucksbaum/Fermatelli???she hails from starr st and wilson ave.went to p.s.53...i grew uo with her brothers tommie and bennie..i lived on starr street between wilson and irving ave.right across from p.s.53 the school was torn down and became p.s.111...i do not think it is there any if any one knows linda or her brothers please have them contac me at or bushwick and stay frosty richie fisher...thanx for the e-mails.always look forward to reading long 4 now.

Arlene: 27th Apr 2011 - 03:23 GMT

hi;;anyone out there from starr st,,,and ps 53,50s and early 60s,
teachers from 53; mr curt, mr cohn, miss laconne, mrs romano, mrs finger, mrs lamyas
principals; mr gusso , mr starsky
i graduated from ps 53 in 1962
anyone,, remembers ps 53,,,,there are many scholls from many lands and scholls that others love to,but there is no school how ever grand like our own 53 we love u..

NICHOLAS HUFFMAN: 27th Apr 2011 - 04:18 GMT

Hi Arlene
My name is nick,borne and raised on melrose street between knickerbocker and wilson..308 melrose st to be exact.born at willimsburge gen hospital.nov 24 1950...went to p.s.53.for a life time i guess...knew all the teachers you named including mrs livertoff.old iron gusso was a commie a real curt was ok...i knew a girl in my class named elizabeth,and a girl named mazzie.her dad had the barber shop next to the starr movie house..also lived right next door to the pretzel factory on starr and knickerbocker...great pretzels,every morning i would get two for myself.and eat them in class..i would get snagged by a teacher and still have one left for later...i would go up on the roof of the school and day dream about going to the places i saw from up there..i went further than i expeceted..i ended up going around the world top and bottom.both poles.i lived a pretty exciting i am retired in upstate n,y,...i hunt ,fish,camp out,,hike and love the wild woods of upstate n,y,the wilder the better...i retired from 20 yrs of law enforcment..16 in indiana..I have been a rouge for over 20 yrs..things will be looking up for me soon..been married three what a bummer.. we will see..any way i played knuckels with peter macaronnie he lived on the school side on starr..peter mossilino he also lived on the school side..i lived across the street and on centrel ave and starr.right under linda bucksbaum and her family..the pizza store was right next door..made pan sicilian pie to die can reach me at me know if you know me!!ciao..

your bushwick friend nick huffman

NICHOLAS HUFFMAN: 27th Apr 2011 - 04:22 GMT

hey also knew frank graffel on the troutman street side..i found his son,looks just and acts just like him..a bully...lives some where in brooklyn..that could be any where..ciao


C. Viola: Joe McGrane, are you out there?

nicholas huffman: 30th Apr 2011 - 03:27 GMT

to c.viola i have family on my side that go by the name grandfather's name was nick palmiotta,his wife ,my grandmother was bertha...her brothers names wher charly ,jack, and chico,sisters areor where alice diprima,anna taylor,irine viola was my aunt married to jack moms name is julia,and my dads was edward huffman..i lived on melrose street between knickerbocker and wilson ave..the geocastros also owned a carpet store on the corner of melrose and knickerbocker in the 50's...marion was a viola also married to joe geocastro..they had two girls named marie and ? also had three sons sal,pete,and jimmy geocastro..all were very close to you belong to the same viola clan..if so you can reach me if you look up from this post..cio and hope i found anothr family member.

yours Nicholas Huffman/RED DRAGON

AL MEZZAPELLA: 30th Apr 2011 - 19:49 GMT

Does anyone remember when they painted P.S. 116 all Green???

I wonder who's dumb idea that was, glad they changed it back to the origional brick!!!

Linda Bucksbaum Ferrantelli: 1st May 2011 - 03:42 GMT

Hi Arlene,I lived on central ave.& starr st.went to ps 53 remember mr.curt,miss laconne they spent most of there day in the teachers lounge also miss pella,mrs.blackhead (NO LIE).I WENT from 1958 to 1961

Darryl Messineo: 2nd May 2011 - 11:46 GMT

My family Lived @ 168 Harman St. 1946 to 1957. Parents were Charlene & Al and my sister Darlene. The Casusos lived across the @ that time. Great Family. We live on the 2nd floor (Left). The Kellys lived on the 1st Floor with their Sons Pat, Jake & John. Reading these posts brought back some fond memories of growing up in Bushwick. I use to play @ the abandoned Brewery on Wilson Ave. Sold Pretzels on Knickerbocker Ave and @ St Brigids Church on Sundays. Borrowed a Milk box from Murray.s to build my 1st Scooter. Rode my Schwinn, Black Fantom on the Sidewalk with Baseball Cards or balloons in the spokes up & Down the street all day. Stick Ball? How many sewers can you hit. Spaldeen or Pensy Pinky? Aunt & Uncle lived on Wilson Ave, between Harman & Himrod St. Grandfather live on Knickerbocker Ave between Grove & Linden st. Ah yes......Those were the days................

C. Viola: 7th May 2011 - 04:09 GMT

To Nicholas Huffman:

Thanks for the post but none of the names you mention are part of my family. Viola is a common name in Brooklyn and on Long Island. My family left Brooklyn for LI when I was only twelve so many of you have much deeper roots in the area. I still have vivid and fond memories though.

C. viola

Jim McNulty: 7th May 2011 - 19:17 GMT

To Darryl Messineo
I believe my grendparents (Jim & Agnes) Mcnulty also lived on the second floor at 168 Harman. I was born in 47 so I was there often.

Nicholas Huffman: 7th May 2011 - 23:41 GMT

to C.viola:
thanx for the post..we all have very deep root in n.y. like my grandfather,born on mullburry street.back in the old days they had the "black hand" running things..then came u.know who??? life for me started as soon as i could walk out my front door..i would walk fron melrose and wilson to starr street an p.s.53 by myself..i never was afraid of even the night or heights.hence my going airborne..only i never fought alone with the AIRBORNE
i am very proud to have served my country,and would gladly do it again if i had to...a lot of names i remember,rocky,tank,nicky bop,carol and alice manchur,sonny gonzalaz,raymond court,micky marrelli,the late Donna Le Fever,kathy sauter,the quigily twins,billy gagen,frank graffel from p.s.53 on the troutman st side right across from the school..mazzie her father ran the barber shop next to the starr street movie house.right across from the many names are like dreans passing in the many lives,live,love, and change. then pass into the night.yes i lived right next to maxies the chicken market on melrose street i lived next to the starr st pretzel factory...i worked for welbuilt stoves on flushing right up to when it closed..lived right across from bushwick h.s. and the putnam av park...might say i got around alot..but thats how you meet folks..very little where bad,the rest where great..all lived in our world...some never made it for what ever reason..i guess thats why i worked on the law enforcment side for many take away from the really bad guys what they stole from the ones how could not defend grandmother was only 4'10" and lived out on surf ave in the projects right next to the old parashoot ride,was mugged three times when i was away serving my did that hurt.i was going to do the wrong thing,but alas i di the right..i went law..and burned every bad guy that my 'GOD' would alow me in a night or day. now they are just fleating memorys of violince in the the wat she hails from thames street and flushing ave..they used to make fresh rye bread right down the street.i think it was called levie's rye bread inc...well thanks for the time u have given to me..stay frosty. u can reach me like Richie Fisher has... bushwick ,sleep tight

one of your sons NICHOLAS B HUFFMAN

anon ( 8th May 2011 - 21:10 GMT

hi my name is freddy,I cant believe how many stories i just read about the old nieghborhood. I grew up on knickerbocker and linden from 1963 till 1990 when i moved to upstate n.y. my best memories were of those growing up in bushwick. I went to p.s. 116 halsey j.h.s. and bushwick high school. those early days were the best though 1960s thru early 70s bushwick was a beautiful nieghborhood. I remember sals 3-d cleaners on the corner of linden & knickerbocker, suzys bakery on the same corner, la rosas bakery, as a kid my dad would take me to phils barber shop on wilson & gates ave, great memories of the stores on knickerbvocker ave, going to the park and afterwards getting a slice of pizza on dekalb & knickerbocker but things went for the worse in the mid 70s and we moved to the parkville section of brooklyn. but Ill never forget the good times i had oon knickerbocker ave thanks for the memories guys .

Nicholas Huffman: 9th May 2011 - 13:45 GMT

Hi Freddy
i went to Halsey J.H. in the 60's---also went to Bushwick.H.S...lived right across the street from the Putnam av park...1400 Putnam ave to be exact..loved that pizza place on knickerbocker ave and De Kalb ave.made the best sicilan pie,,to die for...I also live upstate n.y. you can reach me at my e-mail. to hear from you soon..


Daniel: 15th May 2011 - 01:44 GMT

I attended PS 151 from 1968 thur 1973 while my two older brothers Edwin and Johnny went to the local Junior H.S. I remember our address was 803 Knickerbocker Avenue between Halsey and Eldert. In 1973, we unfortunately moved to Los Angeles, California. And, I have to say my childhood memories living in Brooklyn totally outweighs any of those living as a kid L.A. Back in 1977 one of my brothers attended Los Angeles City College in Hollywood and accross the street, there was a pizza place and I think the name was NY Pizza. I walked in to order a slice and the owner looked at my brother and I and said I remember you two riding your bikes on Eldert street where he used to live (very small world).

Blessings to you all

AL MEZZAPELLA: 16th May 2011 - 17:59 GMT

Anyone remember the Rivoli Movie theater, on Myrtle Avenue???

NICHOLAS HUFFMAN: 17th May 2011 - 14:47 GMT

Yes Al
there was also the ridgewood terris a great chinese right down the street. the rko madison movie theater was also in the same area...under the myrtle ave el there was also a great chinese on wycoffe you remember the late ,great starr street movie theater on knickerbocker ave and starr street not far from the starr street pretzel factory and right across from the knickerbocker park..i used to leave the emergency exits slightly ajar and go play in the park with my kid brother Ed,then slip back in to catch the flick...great if the first flick sucked egg..still no one remembers the barber shop next door to the movie..a girl named mazzie's dad used to run it..oh well ,like i said before..we all pass like ships in the night,sometimes unaware of our prencence.untill we have a momentary lapse of reason that binds a life to a life. there'a one regret ,we'll never forget ..there will be no sleeping here tonight.(PINK FLOYD)..Ciao Bushwick.

hal smith: 6th Jun 2011 - 05:54 GMT

jerry corso, tina de carlo and joanne Chifalo, said hi joanne also lives in flordia.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 9th Jun 2011 - 11:58 GMT

Hal I know all those people, can you get me their e'mails???

hal smith: 12th Jun 2011 - 16:48 GMT

Al, Neither have an e mail address. e mail me i will give you their phone numbers.

hal smith: 12th Jun 2011 - 16:54 GMT

by the way jerry albano died last year from cancer

Ray C. McPherson: 12th Jun 2011 - 23:11 GMT

Hi to all, I lived at 91 Harmon St in 1970-1972, I went to PS274 and then to JHS11 for one year then my parents moved to Queens. Just reading brings back some good memories.My big brother Ian used to be able to "Pop wheelies" on his Schwinn stingray for blocks. Thanks for the good memories

AL MEZZAPELLA: 14th Jun 2011 - 09:14 GMT

Hey Hal, Sorry about Jerry Alabno, he was a few years younger than me!!! And I don't have your email address!!!

*tom turitto: 16th Jun 2011 - 20:00 GMT

al mezzapella i'm frank turitto little bro, i remember you, i remember la rosa bakery me and my brother tony use to buy pizza for 75 cents on sunday night. when vinny drop us off that was the fieman name. my moms boyfriend. i also remember perry candy store. and nick grocies. numan deli, i love his crab cakes, and potoe salad. i use to by a genoa sadwich on a hard roll for 25 cents at nicks too.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 17th Jun 2011 - 14:52 GMT

I remember you, your the little guy!!! I remember when,you were born!!! When I was a kid the Pizza's were fourty cents, and black as coal on the bottom!!! I would kill, for one of them now!!!

Vinny was a good guy, everyone liked him!!! But we also liked your dad,he came to my wedding in 1966!!!

I just recently heard about your mom, i'm very sorry for your loss!!!

I have some pictures of Perry's on my Facebook, also one or two, of your brother Frank!!!

anon ( 2nd Jul 2011 - 23:26 GMT

hi fellow brooklynites

anon ( 2nd Jul 2011 - 23:26 GMT

hi fellow brooklynites

RED DRAGON: 7th Jul 2011 - 02:54 GMT

happy safe fourth of july, my oldest turned 37 0n the third of am i old!!oh well! drive on with a hard __!!! the 173 AIRBORNE RULES!!!!
weird my 1st born i on the 7 month 3rd day..173...look up 137 on your computer and find out out what it realy means...spooky!! fer sure..


hal smith: 29th Jul 2011 - 06:04 GMT

Another person from Bushwick dies STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Former Eltingville resident Dorothy Albano, 63, of Toms River, N.J., a loving wife, mother and grandmother, died Tuesday at home.
Born Dorothy Smith in Brooklyn, she lived in her native borough until 1972, when she moved to Eltingville. She relocated to Toms River in 2006.
While on the Island, Mrs. Albano was a parishioner of St. Clare’s R.C. Church, Great Kills,
She took great delight in time spent with her family, especially her grandsons.
Surviving are her husband of 42 years, Louis; her daughter, Roseanne Luca; two brothers, Jack and Eugene (Pet) Smith; two sisters, Cookie Steffen and Joyce Honig, and two grandsons.
The funeral will be Saturday from the John Vincent Scalia Home for Funerals, Eltingville, with a mass at 9:45 a.m. in St. Clare’s Church. Burial will follow in Resurrection Cemetery, Pleasant Plains.

CHARLIE(CHUCK) BOWERS: 1st Aug 2011 - 13:50 GMT


CHARLIE(CHUCK) BOWERS: 1st Aug 2011 - 17:25 GMT

Richie Fisher,i remember your great grandmother,your grandmother nellie,your grandfather,your mom joan and your dad gene,your uncle ray.i also remember the sweeneys,vittings,loftus,mc.governs,pipatones rose anna and joe,deffenbacks,mirabilis,fields,savoldis,la marcas,de natalis tom and joey,murray and pearl,anna and maria bonacasa and my sister frans friend Catherine Soccoa and many others.!

Tony Dee Gee: 2nd Aug 2011 - 20:35 GMT

Very interesting reading. It sure it great having so many old stories to relive and recall. To answer your question, I was in St. Barbara's Fife Drum Corps, and an original founding member of the Encounter (with Pete Milazzo, Steve Matisis and Charlie DeComo. Those were great times at the Sportsman's lodge on Wilson and Harmon St. I also remember having a fight with someone on Wilson av and Menahan St.

Richie Fisher: 5th Aug 2011 - 14:06 GMT

Charlie.. wow .. I remember you too.. you were a little older than me.... there are a lot of people from the block that I've been in touch with..The Soccoa's..Pia D...Bridget.. Sue Monte..Diana Manchure....people in my class... I think you used to be friends with Rocco who lived upstairs from Rose... My mom is the only one of the family group still alive,,I remember Mrs. Tortarlici, the old lady.. yelling at us in Italian! I was friends with George Fisher.. remember the lady across the street with one arm, Mrs. O' Connor... and 'Aunt' Pearl a few houses up...Living in Staten Island since '71 and am retiring from the MTA next June....Been in touch with anyone??? Talk soon...cheers.!!

chuck bowers: 6th Aug 2011 - 01:29 GMT

richie,i'm guessing you were born in the mid 60's i remember you being born before i shipped to nam in '67.i was born in '47.
i remember trying to get your dad to play stickball with us but he was always busy working(hacking with the green cab and security work)

Richie Fisher: 6th Aug 2011 - 12:16 GMT

I'm 54.. I remember you and I think Rocco also going to 'Nam...My dad drove the Checker cab and kept it across the street in Democelli's garage...Played stickball every day....still play sometimes...

chuck bowers: 6th Aug 2011 - 16:30 GMT

rocco was way younger than me.bernie sweeney and i left for nam about the same time.bernie was eddie and kenny fishers uncle.i remember your dad having a dark green cab that he kept in democelis garage acroos the street from your house.

Tony Dee Gee: 7th Aug 2011 - 23:23 GMT

My brother Frank DiGiovanni wanted to say "hi" to some people but I could not find any of the names he gave me. He's not much for the computer these days, but still, as always, a great guy.

Louise Buttner Thumudo: 10th Aug 2011 - 01:04 GMT

Hi Joe LaRosa, My brother George and I grew up on Bleecker St around the corner from your family's bakery. I know George stopped in a few times before it closed and chatted with Aggie. I remember your unbelievable bread and waiting patiently on Fridays to order the delicious pizza which was wrapped meticulously in white paper and tied with string. I can picture your mom and dad working together as if it were yesterday. George and I were planning to take a ride into the old neighborhood one of these days. I know he would like visiting Barosa's for our lunch and to see you.

Tony Dee Gee: 17th Aug 2011 - 17:13 GMT

Sad news: If anyone remembers my brother Frank DiGiovanni who lived at 129 Menahan St in the 1950's and would like to wish him well, I encourage you to do so. He has been diagnosed with Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia and his condition is "grave." Any news from old acquaintances would be very much appreciated at this time.

Thanks so much,

Tony Dee Gee

AL MEZZAPELLA: 18th Aug 2011 - 17:41 GMT


Tony Dee Gee: Thank you Al, I will.

Louise Buttner Thumudo: 1st Sep 2011 - 21:17 GMT

Anon mentioned John Scholl. John Scholl from Menahan between Wilson and Central was my 2nd cousin. Unfortunately, I heard through the grapevine that he has passed away. Very sad news.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 2nd Sep 2011 - 13:49 GMT

Sorry to hear that Louise, John was a great guy!!!

AL MEZZAPELLA: 2nd Sep 2011 - 13:49 GMT

Sorry to hear that Louise, John was a great guy!!!

Maryann Palacino Hodder : 5th Sep 2011 - 17:08 GMT

I have been searching for Johnny Scholl for a while now. I found several John Scholls on the internet, one older man with the same name died. I thought John Scholl moved away didn't hear that "he" died. Sorry if this is true, I even asked a cop friend if he could find him but couldn't. I used to hang out by Perry's Candy Store before I graduated Bushwick High School in 1961 w/Rosemary Miskill, Charlie Hodder (husband), Marie Culmone Campo, Bobbiann Mauceri, Frankie Turitto, Jack De Carlo and Alan Mezzapella. My friend Rosemary had a crush on him for years, she will be sorry to hear this.

Tony Dee Gee: 7th Sep 2011 - 16:47 GMT

I am sorry to hear John Scholl has died. He was a great guy and ball player. I remember he came a visited me every day for three weeks when I was bedridden with pneumonia. I miss him.

Loretta Marino: 9th Sep 2011 - 19:05 GMT

To Al Mazzapella, We paid a quarter on Saturday to go to the Rivoli, 900 kids, no a/c, cartoons, 2 movies, popcorn, goober's. Walked up Himrod St. went up the El to get across the street to the theater...Some nasty guys trying to be big shots...Some kid named Mutzi...seems like Jt Joseph's feast was all summer...bunch of kids walked there by themselves...Great times.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 10th Sep 2011 - 16:08 GMT

When I went to the Rivoli it was Eleven cents,for all those things!!! You forgot to mention the Rats, and Roaches!!!

Louise Buttner Thumudo: 14th Sep 2011 - 22:51 GMT

Al, I just realized that I believe I know you. I lived at 166 Bleecker St. We called you Alan and you had a younger brother. Is that you?

AL MEZZAPELLA: 15th Sep 2011 - 14:29 GMT

I had two younger brothers, Tommy, and Steven!!! I lived at 284 Wilson, two doors down from LaRosas!!!
I grew up with Frank Incandella, Chris Puomo, and a few others whos names escape me from your block!!! Do you remember, Joe the pretzle man???

(JACE) JAMES CAMARDA: 20th Sep 2011 - 02:48 GMT


John Piraino: 20th Sep 2011 - 20:39 GMT

I was drafted with a Charlie Bowers in Jan 17, 1967, also Joe Salvato we all went to Nam together. I lived at 62 Harman St. We both liked the same girl on Evergreen Ave named Camille.

John Piraino: 20th Sep 2011 - 20:48 GMT

Tony Dee Gee...The Encounters are great. I don't know you, but know Charlie De Como who started singing on Evergreen and Harman St with John Turano, Joey Palminteri, I used to sing a litter too with them, that was in the early 60's.
I have a Doowop group on Facebook called "Long Live Doowops" ...Tell Charlie, I said hello.

hal smith: 21st Sep 2011 - 07:05 GMT


anon ( 3rd Oct 2011 - 19:09 GMT


AL MEZZAPELLA: 12th Oct 2011 - 01:14 GMT

Looking for Helen Hubbert, Ann Blandino, Carmela Nicholetta, Barbara MaCorrmack, and Lillian Crotti from Bushwick Brooklyn!!

patricia (buscemi) collins: 15th Oct 2011 - 01:38 GMT

To Mary Aguanno Allocca I am your second cousin. My parent were Gasper and Caroline Buscemi. I watched you in Valley Stream, your grandfather Tony Aguanno's summer house.In turn your mother Delores watched us, Joe, Michael and Annette Drago and me in VS. Then all the adults would come out on weekends. I was in touch with your uncle Michael and his wife Delores, since moving to Md.lost touch.
I lived at 268 Himrod street and went to St Barbara's class of Jan 53. I have wonderful memories of school and the good nuns there. They had quite a job teaching and controling classes in excess of 50 kids. I remember all my classmates and would to hear from them. Sal Ferreri, Thomas Cessoprone, Robert Saprono.
I graduated and went on to All Saints High class of 57. We had a class reunion and met some of my old classmates from St. Barbara's.
I remember all the sites mentioned and because my grandmother lived on 204 Grove St I was friends with kids from Putnum Park and married Tim Collins from Jefferson Ave.
I am so fortunate to have wonderful memories of the nuns and priest and good friends from my childhood My e-mail is

CHUCK BOWERS: 21st Oct 2011 - 13:16 GMT

John Piraino,been quite a few years john.
hope all is well with you?
remember joey as well.
as for camille we divorced about 17 or so years ago.
i'm a retired suffolk ny police officer and live with my lovely wife and daughter in lancaster county pa.

CHUCK BOWERS: 21st Oct 2011 - 13:17 GMT

jace,yes i remember are you?it does seem like yesterday.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 21st Oct 2011 - 16:08 GMT

Looking for anyone who attended P.S. 116, 1946, to 1953, and Halsey Junior High, 1954, to 1957!!! Who might remember me???

JACE: 22nd Oct 2011 - 21:29 GMT


Bob D: 1st Dec 2011 - 20:20 GMT

Looking for the name of a Teacher at St. Martin of Tours School in the 60's. She was a wonderful Jamacian Teacher and not sure 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade. Anyone remember??

catherine soccoa starace: 2nd Dec 2011 - 03:02 GMT

Hi all, haven't been on this sight for awhile. Saw a posting from Charlie Bowers. I was good friends with Frannie until the family moved. So weird to see my name. LOL I miss Brooklyn. I just got back from NY and had a great time as usual. Hello to anyone that remembers me.

sydney pesquera: 13th Dec 2011 - 20:34 GMT

Wow i was sitting here and i google st barbara's well let me start by saying i went there 71 miss fiqueroa a bad teacher .lol miss mcgowen, i think than after third yr it became ps 116 where my teacher was ms pullo, mr butler my grand da had a candy store across from st barbaras on central avenue between bleecker n menahan, his name was don juan, he also use to own one on central between bleecker and green. it use to be own by lillian's next to lauras beauty shop. we sold ice cream 1 penny candy like squirell's mary jane. the lil flying saucer candi that was like a waffer out side and inside it had lil pieces of hard candy,, the lil ice creme cone that had the marshmellow on top. the gum you could whistle with,,,lol model air planes,, and alcapurias rellenos de papa etc,, we live 106 bleecker street,, la rosa bakery my dad wk there his name was sidney as well i recall the basement where that italian bread was the best of the best where i would start eating the bread and when i got home which was 4 mins away there was no bread,,lol and that pizza wraped in that white paper,, yummmmm yummm.. i had a few friends i wish i can find,,, if you know them hit me up.. there was a set of twins billy and michael the lived corner of bleecker n central... a indian family lived in menhan street rochad and sister debbi,,, robert vasquez a alter boi at sant barbaras. carolyn and candy cortejo one off them is a cop now i believe. after moving from bleecker street. stood in the area, wierfield street, bushwick ave, stanhope st i recall the skating place sweet ruby's the block party dancing the webo dance break dancing. playing skellie red light green lite i meet alot off nice people

Don Scaturro: 17th Dec 2011 - 02:45 GMT

Tony Dee Gee.... I was in the Fife Drum and Bugle with you at St Barbara's. I played the Bugle. I also worked with your brother Frank between 2005 and 2008 at Broadridge (ADP) on Long Island. The last time I saw you was in California in 1969. You were playing in a band in a place called "The Place Under the Ice House" in Glendale California. Venues like this makes people remember things that they would never have remembered otherwise. I also remember you from Menahan St. I lived at 263 Central Ave between Greene and Harmon. It's been awhile since I wrote on this site. My wife and I are on the Jersey Shore and retired. Please tell Frank I said hello. If he ever gets a computer, or if you want to contact me it's

RED DRAGON: 29th Dec 2011 - 17:03 GMT

al went to halsey j.h. in the 60's then bushwick h.s. til 67...then went to germany 509th airborne....then NAM.with the 173 rd airborne assault unit...did 2 tours with the 3rd HERD...When i got back to the world they stuck me in the 82nd airborne to all my brethern in all the armed forces..have a safe new year...and (GET HOME SAFE)...Your friend forever Bushwick homeboys and homegirls..

Nicholas Huffman from melrose st and knickerbocker av

RED DRAGON: 29th Dec 2011 - 17:10 GMT

Hey bushwick jut turned 61 on nov

ciao Nick Huffman

Thom Guida: 31st Dec 2011 - 03:13 GMT

My Uncle and Father owned the Associated Foods on Evergreen and Troutman. We had our daily bread delivered 2x a day from LaRosa's - I think Joe and sometimes George (huge man, guess that's why he was called OX) would deliver it. I loved and still miss the most unbelievable Italian Bread, Scalida or is it Scalita, the LaRosa's made. We would have the Pizza every once in awhile, it was to be considered a very special treat, and I remember that Sicilian Pie is why I always gauge a pizzeria by their Sicilian. Joey LaRosa I have a sign Julius LaRosa 45 record somewhere. I forget his relationship to your family. Cousin perhaps? I remember Hymie's Candy Store on Evergreen and Myrtle. I used to take the bus from GHS to Dekalb and Evergreen 4-5 days a week to work at my father/uncle's store. I started at 8, I think they just raised the fare to .15 cents. Never had to worry about abduction, molestation like we do today. Too much to say - too poor a typist. Happy Healthy Prosperous New Your to All! God Bless!

Nancy Velez - Class of '72: 5th Jan 2012 - 16:51 GMT

Well Hello & Happy New Year to everyone. I came across this site by pure accident and can say that it was meant to be. Thank you for bringing back the best memories of my youth. I attended St. B's from '68 and graduated in 1972. Mrs. Lawlor was my absolute favorite teacher and so was Sister Hanna. Classmates, gosh, so many, but I did see a posting from Thelma Fuentes who I remember and especially her cousins Madelyn Ramos and Norma Irizarry. Mr. Russo, Mr. Curtis were the bomb back then. I remember how us girls went crazy when we found out they were going to be our teachers. Classmates I would love to hear from are; George Santos, Agnes and Andre Dominic, Diane Poidomani, Victor Rodriguez, Reginald and Ronnie Bozeman, Mildred Morales and so many others from the class of '72. Gosh, we made it a point to meet in front of the funeral home on Menahan each morning - no matter how cold or hot. I can't tell you how coming across this site has made my day. I lived on Woodbine Street between Central and Wilson avenues until 1977. If anyone knows of these folks or remembers me, please send me a note. So sorry I didn't know of a reunion a couple of years back.
I wonder who attended.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 5th Jan 2012 - 23:14 GMT

I was fortunate, I lived two doors down from LaRosa, so I had Bread Pizza, and Breadsticks, anytime day or night!!!

Bb2ru: 8th Jan 2012 - 14:42 GMT

Nancy is that the same Norma Irizarry that went to Maxwell HS on Penn.Ave after St. B's?

anon ( Yes, it is. Do you know her?

Bb2ru: 21st Jan 2012 - 13:10 GMT

yes, I'm not sure but I think she married a guy from NYPD

Nicholas Huffman: 23rd Jan 2012 - 02:04 GMT

i guess not many people remember me at all...seeing that i was born on Melrose st between Wilson Ave and knickerbocker Ave...went to P.S.53 from 1955 to ? went to Halsey JR.high...then bushwick H.S. lived on putnam ave back if any on knows me please,you can reach me at is quite impossable for someone not to know me..went to the starr st pretzal factory when i went to p.s.53....hung out at the knickerbocker park.all of bushwick knows what happened there..wind knocked almost every tree down...played hand boll in the putnam ave park every day...after going to bushwick h.s....come on people of bushwick..i know there are people out there that know how i am...i am 61 yrs young..served in viet nam 2 tours 69/71..dated carol 71..was in three airborne units...served as a law enforcement officer for 14 in indiana,indinapalas...retired from both army and law enforcement...come on i knew a lot of people back then..ciao for now bushwick,brooklyn,ridgwood,willimsburge,greenpoint,maspeth,middle village,carol and her sister alice manchur..diana( manchur) Henke is first cuz.. like i said ciao to all of n.y. your friend forever..even if you don't remember me.i remember you..Nicholas B Huffman

AL MEZZAPELLA: 23rd Feb 2012 - 12:12 GMT

Can anyone tell me, if this site is still in operation???

bobbym: 7th Mar 2012 - 05:44 GMT

I remember some of the people here. Someone was asking about a Linda Vanilla. I had a cousin by that name. Her father Joe, was my father's first cousin. She had a brother named Ronald. Unfortunately, I do not know what became of that end of the family. I went to St. Leonards and grew up on Jefferson st. between Wilson and Knickerbocker avenues.

TIM: 10th Mar 2012 - 22:35 GMT

id love to hear from st martins of tours grads 1951 tim collins

Crickit: 11th Mar 2012 - 05:09 GMT

Hi Al It,s good to see your still on this site. Richie told me about DeCarlo.s passing. He was one of the good guys....

AL MEZZAPELLA: 11th Mar 2012 - 11:30 GMT

He certainly was, Richie St John, is also gone!!!

RED DRAGON: 28th Mar 2012 - 04:01 GMT

Hi bushwick...happy to see people r still trying to find friends from the old name is Nick Huffman and i am from bushwick...i grew up in what is now brooklyn..Melrose st Between Knickerbocker& Wilson...i am trying to find Joe and franny Beonca they live an the same if any one knows them please contact me @ Al MEZZAPELLA have you heard from RICHI FISHER?He is a very great guy.I have been busy as all get and lost touch with every one Richie was to retire from M.T.A this yeay is he stll out in Staten island...miss the guy...seems like nobody but one or two know how i am ..i went to p.s.53 then moved to elizabeth n,j, for a while..when i got back i moved to starr st between wilson and central ave the back to melros st..then to putnam ave right ocross from Bushwick H.S. I even was to wed carol Manchur.diana mancher"s.=Henke cuz..never happend..back in 71 then in 2011..she got cold come on bushwick i have appealled to all of everyone to reach me..even went to Halsey J.H. then over to bushwick 67 then went to the army became a paratrooper in germany then reuped to go to nam did two tours with the 173rd Airborne search and destroy...the over to the 82nd Airborne in ft bragg s.c.when i got back from nam and the 82nd Airborne i moved to melrose st then over to starr and Knicker bocker...yes i used to get those great hot pretzals from star and knickerboker..i lived on harman St between onderdonk and woodward for a while used to han out in the carbines and play handblall ,black ball and black what a game..also played at putnam ave park between knickerbocker and irving..beat a lot of guys in that game..well if you read the post i have been trying to find people that knew me back then...i now live in Glen Spey N.Y....i am a retired law enforcement officer..just living the life..ciao for now bushwick.sleep well brothers and sisters..knowing that i am still that crazie wall crawler from bushwick h.s.and covering every ones ass while they sleep...ciao

LLL: 31st Mar 2012 - 00:58 GMT

I'm late joining the conversation.

Any pictures of King Solomon butcher? I think it was owned by two Italian brothers who lived on Himrod St and later moved to Middle Village.

I visit Knickerbocker when in NY. Lots of beatnicks moving in because they can't afford the rent in Williamsburg and figure the residents won't call the cops on neighbors who smoke pot every day.

LLL: 31st Mar 2012 - 16:10 GMT

Lower Ridgewood vs. Bushwick

It's trendy to say Bushwick these days. But a lot of people I know who grew up between county line(Cypress Ave) and Knickerbocker never ever considered themselves as being from Bushwick.

They would say "Brooklyn", "Ridgewood", or "Lower Ridgewood". Any thoughts?

Nicholas Huffman: 2nd Apr 2012 - 04:55 GMT


LLL: 3rd Apr 2012 - 06:39 GMT

I was friends with the caretaker of the cemetery. I think Maspeth starts on the other side of Metropolitan by McDonald's.

Those borders are tricky

LLL: 3rd Apr 2012 - 06:39 GMT

I was friends with the caretaker of the cemetery. I think Maspeth starts on the other side of Metropolitan by McDonald's.

Those borders are tricky

Bill Nevitt: 8th Apr 2012 - 17:45 GMT

Just found this site and I am trying to read all of the posts, I lived at 87 Bleecker Street and played in the Fife, Drum and Bugle Corp. I was a drummer and Mr Synder taught us and Sr Dennis Patrick was the moderator. Graduated from St Barbara's in 1964 then went to Bishop Loughlin and graduated in 1968. Some of you might of had my aunt as a teacher, Sr Rose William.
My email is for anyone who wants to contact me.

Kathleen M.: 13th Apr 2012 - 03:03 GMT

Hi, Bill! We graduated St. Barbara's together...I remember Raymond, Robert, the twins...Joseph & Frank...Anthony...I believe these folks were all in your boys' class. The nuns separated the boys from the girls in Grades 7 & 8. Mass every day, except Saturdays (reserved for Confession). I never had Sr. Dennis Patrick...I think she only taught the boys classes in Grades 7 & 8. I do remember your very nice Mom...always at the school's functions. We may have had Sr. Gemma & Sr. Veronica Cristie during the early years. Hope all is well with you & your family!

anon ( 20th Apr 2012 - 01:39 GMT

I lived on Bushwick Ave. from 1949 till we moved to staten Island in1962. I went to All Saints School. Wondering if anyone remembers that church and school.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 21st Apr 2012 - 11:43 GMT

All Saints on Flushing ave, down near Phizers!!! I knew a girl name of Angela Piedmont, that graduated from there in 1961!!!

pjohnson: 25th Apr 2012 - 16:26 GMT

Hi there, went to PS 75 with my cousin Dennis Riley in the 50's lived at 1156 Gates Avenue, anyone have any old pictures of PS 75 or 1156 Gates Avenue? sure would appreciate them, thanks email

AL MEZZAPELLA: Where on Gates, between what Avenues???

Bb2ru: 27th Apr 2012 - 11:38 GMT

I think 1100 block of Gates Ave. was between Wilson and Central

pjohnson: 27th Apr 2012 - 11:52 GMT

sorry it's been so long, we lived at 1156 gates ave we walked to PS 75 it was pretty close, like around the corner, there was a boys club at the end of our block thanks for your help.

Bill Nevitt: 6th May 2012 - 20:46 GMT

Katheleen M
you are probably right had both Sr Gemma who I thought was 90 years old and had Sr Veronica Christie also, who I remember being very young My e-mail address is I have posted pictures of St Barbara's on facebook Hope to hear form you

Kathleen M.: 9th May 2012 - 01:46 GMT

Hi, Bill!
The most recent time I went back to St. Barbara's was about 5 years ago...the confessional booths we knew (that were so beautifully carved) were gone. The gorgeous, gold-leafed, marble-top altar rail (had extended across the entire front of the Church) was gone...only a small part of it remained & was used for a Baptismal font constructed near the center of the pews/main aisle. The 3-dimensional alcoves are still there...still lovely (including the apparent-replica of the Pieta). Still magnificent...very well restored as a landmark!

Joe-Ann Bianco/Meatland Family: 13th May 2012 - 00:03 GMT

Hi Everyone!
Just happened to trip across We're all so much older now and wish we could just go back and play on the avenue or in the park.
Just wanted to ask if anyone remembers Bianco's Meatland? Corner of Starr and Knickerbocker. If so, I would love it if anyone has memories of my Dad (Frank) or my Uncle (Phil).
My Uncle was just diagnosed with Leukemia and I was hoping to cheer him up with some happy memories of Knickerbocker.
I remember the Starr Movie theatre and the park across the street. Circo's was a favorite and the Woolworths also. Dont forget Ponzo's Bakery.
Of course...the pretzel factory!!! omg. I will never have another pretzel that good. Hot out of the oven. 3 for 10...I think.
Do you remember how on the sidewalk there were baskets filled with snails and other stuff on sale? Gosh, every night we'd have to bring them in. It was so much work.

Well anyway, please respond if you have any memories at all about meatland. I'd so much appreciate it.


Richie Fisher: 14th May 2012 - 12:07 GMT

If you go on youTube and go to 'City Of Churches St. Barbara's' there is a video made a couple of years ago about the history of our Church , it is excellent...!!

Kathleen M.: 15th May 2012 - 03:07 GMT

Thank you, Richie, for the tip on "City of Churches - St. Barbara's"...just watched that terrific video!

frances: 25th May 2012 - 14:54 GMT


AL MEZZAPELLA: 25th May 2012 - 19:15 GMT

I lived at 69 Troutman in the early forties, no memories of it!!! Moved to Menahan, and Wilson, around 1943. or 44!!!

anon ( 26th May 2012 - 16:00 GMT

for joe-ann bianco name is nick huffman i was borne at willisburge gen 1/24/50...grew up on melrose st between knickerbocker and wilson ave..yes p.s 53 was my school then it became p.s.111...then went 2 p.s.145..then halsy jr high then over 2 bushwick h.s.from there i went 2 the army ..but i was pretty much all over brooklyn and queens..ridgwood had the eagles nest on on woodward ave made the best damn hamburgers in n.y.the first 1/4 pounder's...i used to live on putnam ave between knickerbocker and irving ave right across from bushwick last time home before i went to the army..i was gone a long time..when i got home i moved right into ridgwood queens...yes every morning before i went to p.s.53 i went to the starr street pretzel bakery and bought atleast three of those great big one coverd in salt...took them to school and shared them with all the girls in brooklyn.i was such a ladies man even at the ripe old age of 8..great times for the only living boy in n,y,...not for nothing i had a lot of girl friends back then retrospect good thing i did because now i live alone upstate ny, i just gave up on trying to be married...after three divorces you just give e-mail address is if any one remembers me give a holler..make contact...we come into this world alone and for a brief moment in time we make contact, we r no longer alone..then when he and or/she is ready we leave go for the gusto and say might just be suprised...hey joe-ann i do remember your dads you remember melrose and knickerbocker ave's carpet cuz pete giocastro's dad owned it..went to ST LENORDS CHURCH.hell i lived right across from it...well i hope u get in touch with me soon..take care joe-ann..CIAO of bushwicks sons....NICHOLAS HUFFMAN

Linda Mccormack: 14th Jun 2012 - 20:20 GMT

I lived in Bushwick/Ridgewood,left in 1982,also knew Tito Costa and his bro Eggi,new Larry Belgram,Danny Malverty,My brother's name was Johnny who passed early in 1962,how bout JoJo Resini,Carol Richardson,Ginny Bamford,Mousey,Mobyjohn.Sure miss Brooklyn!But safer here in AZ tho hotter!

AL MEZZAPELLA: 15th Jun 2012 - 14:10 GMT

Linda was that Mousey, from Stanhope Street??? Did he hang out with Billy Cross, and Dennis Guzzardo???

Barbara: 15th Jun 2012 - 15:20 GMT

@ Bill Nevitt ... I remember you. We were in the fife, drum & bugle corps at the same time. My mom was friends with your mom, Muriel? and your aunt. Your cousin, Charlie Bayer, went to school with my sister, Kathleen.

Michelle Lamont: 23rd Jun 2012 - 01:23 GMT

I just found out about this wonderful site today through my St. Barbara's grammar school friend, Nicolette Gradilone. I started to read the comments from the beginning and was astounded. I had to stop reading so I could poste this. I lived at 46 Harmon Street a block away from the Casusos. My mother and Kitty were close friends. Her oldest son Octavio was my first crush! I graduated in 1968. My father died the month I started 8th grade. When I graduated in1968, we moved to Canarsie. In the first postings I saw familiar names of the nuns who "taught" us. I had Sr. Thomas Bernadette, Sr. Charles Mary, Miss Cottone, Mrs. Childs, Sr. Celestine and can't remember the others. I was in the fife, drum and bugle corps and I remember Sister Dennis Patrick VERY WELL!!! I went on to Catherine McAuley, an all girls Catholic HS in Flatbush. Whatever psychological damage the nuns in grammar school didn't do, the nuns in HS finished! Nicolette Gradilone and I just attended our 40th HS reunion this past April. We spent successive years in school together. I am hoping to find some old friends, especially "Tony" Casuso. Some names I remember: Joseph Barone, Bernadette Cox, Joan Ann Vivona, Carol Benenati, Mary Long, Anthony Tramutra, Carlisle St. Martin. If any of you remember me, please write back!

Niki Gradilone DiStefano: 2nd Jul 2012 - 16:21 GMT

I can't stop reading this site; day after day I keep coming back for more. When I first happened upon it and the Youtube video of St. Barbara's church, I sent the links to Michelle Lamont (see above), I was feeling so nostalgic that I actually wrote to her that we were lucky to have grown up where we did. Wow, maybe it was lucky to have had a unique childhood, but happy...nah. I was actually so burnt from going to Catholic school for 12 years that I refused to allow my son to even attend religious instruction (which I now regret.) While my cousins in the "country" were playing in their back yards I was being chased down out of the park on Linden Street by three girls wielding broken Pepsi bottles. We lived at 176 Linden, between Central and Wilson Ave. in one of the large apartment buildings across from the park. Our apt was 1D and all the way up the line, 2D, 3D, and even for awhile in 4D there were all cousins. If one of us needed something or was sick or in trouble, we would bang on the steam pipe with a knife (just like in the song) and then yell out the window to get the right cousin to come down. The best part of that building was New Years Eve when everyone left their doors open and we all celebrated in the halls and in each other’s apts. -- As far as Sister DP goes, the year I reached 7th grade there were too many girls so they took 10 of us and put us in with the boys. That was fun, I think Carrie Carbone was with me and maybe Carol Benianti. Sister was always very good to the girls if I remember correctly, but God help those poor boys. I would love to go back to see the church again, the video made me cry it looked so beautiful and brought back so many memories. If anyone knows me and would like to reminisce you can contact me facebook, with the above name or email me @ I would love to know where Carrie Carbone is, we had kept in touch for a few years into our twenties but then I moved to Long Island. The only one I still see is Michelle Lamont, since we went to the same HS. Hope to hear from some old friends. Class of "68. If there is ever another reunion, maybe in 2018, God help us it will be 50 years, please let me know. I would love to come.

Niki Gradilone DiStefano: 2nd Jul 2012 - 16:26 GMT

For Jo Ann Bianco, are you related to Donna Bianco? She was in my class and graduated in 1968.

Domenic : 4th Jul 2012 - 00:08 GMT

hi, I went to st b's between from 1956-1961
I was in the classes of Srs Gemma,Maria Dulces, and got out before DP there was no way I was sitting in her class! In 2nd grade i had a Sr Ellen Marie anyone remember her? Any way it was great reading youu guys, brings back many memories. Any one else @ St B's during that period. Some of your names do sound familiar. I lived @ 90 Bleeker St.

Gloria Piraino: 5th Jul 2012 - 18:24 GMT

I rememeber Michelle Lamont! You lived on the corner, next to the print shop. I lived at 62 Harmon Street. My mother once made Michelle a nun's costume, either for Halloween or a school pagaent. somewhere, I have a picture of her in it on her stoop!
Michelle's mother, Anne, would give us Ovaltine--and we played the Hungey Hippo Game. I also seem to remember an incident with some cherry pits... LOL
Hi Michelle! Email me at! Let's re-connect!

Robert "Bobby" Amico: 7th Jul 2012 - 09:51 GMT

Born october 1st 1952 at Bethany Deaconess hospital on St. Nicholas Ave.....Lived at 1721 Harman St (at Cypress Ave) from 1952-1966 then at 1893 Stockholm St. (at Woodward Ave). My parents Bertha & Tony "Doc" Amico as well as my baby sister Susan are buried at the cemetery right there. I went to St. Brigid Grammer School then Brooklyn Tech. Most of my family on my father's side lived on Melrose St, between knickerbocker Ave & Wilson (Russo's & Amico's) My Father was born there at the family house and went to St. Joseph's. My Mom also went to St. Brigid and her father was the janitor there in the 1930s & 1940s....She Grew up on Bleeker St. at Irving Ave.
Remeber Robert Hall's on Dekalb & Irving? Circo's Bakery on Knickerbocker? The Grove Pool Hall (where at 16 I hustled pool)? As a younger kid I hung out at the bleeker School yard of PS 81...a tough crowd and later hung and got high with the crowd on bleeker & woodward (1968-1975) Remember John's Bargain Store? Mum Freeze? Johnny-On-The-Pony? Slap Ball? Kick-The-Can? Spin-The-Bottle?
Hey nick I knew "Tank" and hung out with him. One tough dude! remember his beautiful girlfriend Jeannie a natural platinum blonde...
As a kid on Harman st. I remember the Tuttle's, The Viola's, Bobby Catalano, Charlie Cacioppo..
My Mom later worked at St. Alyoisus Church in the Rectory until her death 3 years ago...
I NOW live in LA since 1990 and work as an actor and producer for many many years...
to contact me: welcome you all...Great days in ridgewood...

Robert "Bobby" Amico: 7th Jul 2012 - 17:10 GMT

This is sooo great....All these great memories coming back to me...remember those wax tubes with the flavored drink would drink the drink and melt the wax into your bottle cap for some weight and use it for Skelsie...We would also melt down crayons in the bottle cap on the stove and put a charm in it from the gumball machines outside the candy about egg creams and vanilla soda out the fountain...Or those big blue rubber bands with the big clasps that you would use to hold your books for the walk home from school....Lived around the corner from Eagle's nest later from sixteen until I got married....Married maryanne distefano from Maspeth back then in grandmother, Rose Amico who lived in the family house all her life on Melrose St. between Knickerbocker Ave & Wilson..My family lived all over that block..My two cousins both named Vinny Russo, both born 1950 I think...And Mae Russo, uncle Sal Russo, my Great grandmother and Great grandfather lived there also...I remember going to their 75th Wedding anniversary around about Knickerbocker Boys & Mens Shop..We had to get our uniforms for St. Brigid from there...God awful grey pants with green belt loops and a green clip on tie..SBS it said...Lots of stoop bal and lots of stick ball playing all the other "blocks"..I remember playing stickball against the lower Harman St. block in bushwick on a summer day. We all walked down from my Harman St between Cypress & Seneca with our gloves and warm sodas to play you guys..Anybody remeber that game..It was the talk of the guys won...ha ha ha...I remember the Allen twins who were in my class at St. Brigid..They lived right there on St, nicholas by the church...Also Robert & Cynthia Barton (twins) who lived on Harman st between Cypress & St. Nicholas (across from the Tuttles) and richie DeLuca who lived on Menahan St. between St. nicholas & Irving...All went to St. Brigid with me, all in the same grade...

Robert "Bobby" Amico: 7th Jul 2012 - 17:18 GMT

I was married in nov. of 1976 to Maryanne DiStefano and we lived at 680 woodward Ave just off of Palmetto, above the knitting mill and across the street from that German club/slash bar. They were all paracuters who went out to Jersey every other weekend..It was on the northeast corner of Palmetto and divorced in 1980 moved to Flushing, then manhattan then LA in 1990......Here since...As teenagers my friends and I Played softball & Basketball at the PS 93 playground off of Forest ave....That's when I hung out with the big cool crowd (guys and girls) in front of the drug store on bleeker and woodward...Anybody remember Lenny Carbone? Or the Gallaghers who lived right there?

robert "Bobby" Amico: 7th Jul 2012 - 17:23 GMT

Moved from 1721 Harman St. in 1968 to 1893 Stockholm St...EVERYBODY remembers THAT street...It was the only street in ridgewood that was still cobblestoned (around the corner from Eagle's Nest) it ended at woodward Ave to the entrance of the cvemetary...THAT is exactly wher i Buried my Mom, my Dad and my baby sister Susan who passed away a year ago. Right when you walk in that entrance on the left...The grave says AMICO...sigh...

robert "bobby" amico: 7th Jul 2012 - 19:15 GMT

took me time to look it up But most of my family grew up at 348 Melrose St. between Knickerbocker & Wilson...the Russo's & Amico's...My Father was born there, my grandmother lived there as well as many aunt's, uncles, and cousins..all over that block...In the late 50s a lot of them moved to Centereach LI were they had country houses..I spent most of my summers out there...

NICHOLAS B HUFFMAN: 8th Jul 2012 - 22:39 GMT

Hi bobby my name is Nick Huffman...born on 343 melrose street... between knockerbocker and wilson....on the corner my cuz peter Giocastro and his two sisters maria and rosey and other two brothers sal and jimmy their family owned a carpeting store... on the corner of Knickerbocker and Wilson ave my grandparents lived right up the street from me their names were nick and bertha palmiotta....maxies chicken market was in the middle of the block tony the indian and his family was right next to maxies...maybe you might remember me i was born 11/24/ that puts you in the time frame...i went to p.s.53...and went to st Lenords is no longer can reach me at be we can hook up ...i have already hooked up with 3 people from the make a move me at Knickerbocker park at the starr st movie house and maybe we can ckeck out RODAN OR GODZILLA...LOLOL ciao bro...
angie manzo and joe bionca and frani bionca all on melrose st

Michelle Lamont: 8th Jul 2012 - 23:55 GMT

Does anyone remember a restaurant in Ridgewood called Gottlieb's? I think it was a Jewish deli type of place with a movie theatre across the street. I lived on Harman and Evergreen and I remember it being a long walk as a child. I also remember passing a taxidermist near Myrtle Avenue. My email address is

NICHOLAS HUFFMAN: 10th Jul 2012 - 00:34 GMT

Hi michelle
my name is nick....yes gottliebs was on myrtle ave...the RKO madison was right near gottliebs so was the ridgewood terres..all of it was not to far wycoffe ave...gottliebs made great sandwichs and great of my cuz had a bar mitzva there...great kosher food...ridgwood terras had great chinese is all gone now..but the song remains the can reach me at BRO....Nicholas huffman

Nicoletta Gradilone DiStefano: 10th Jul 2012 - 00:45 GMT

Hi everyone, I would love to hear from anyone from the class of 68 from St. Barbara's or if you lived on Linden Street in the 50's and 60's. I lived at 176 Linden, in one of the huge apartment houses on the first floor and it would be great if any of my old neighbors would post. I know it's a long shot...
Michelle, I don't remember Gottlieb's, but we rarely ever went out to eat, if it wasn't a slice of pizza for a quarter, my mother cooked at home. But I do remember the taxidermist, the animals with the glass eyes gave me the creeps. (off subject, having dinner with Fran and Maureen on Wed. will tell them about our new find)

Charlie Triolo: 13th Jul 2012 - 12:18 GMT

Great memories. My friends & I were part of the color at the corner of Linden & Knickerbocker in the early 60s. I remember Jack Upton, Joe Tucci, George Geilman, Pat Harrington & a load of other great people. I was also a product of St Barbara's. I have good memories of Sister Dennis Patrick. She kicked my butt more than once but that was part of the fabric of that time. Great place to grow up!

Domenic Annunziato: 14th Jul 2012 - 22:44 GMT

I can't beleive this! You guys' are talking about my old neighborhood! I was born in 1949, I first lived on Himrod st between Central and Wilson Ave's. Then moved to Bleeker St between Evergreen and Central Ave's. I finally moved to Linden Street, between Wilson and Knickerbocker. I also went to St Barbara's for 6 years and you got it I got out before I started DP's class. I was terrorized by her during Confirmation classes.Vinnie Russo, you sound familiar. does anyone remember Corrine Provenzano? She also went to St Barbara's and there was a Dennis Woods, and a Lena Adamo. If anyone wants to make contact, my E-mail is

Tony (Dee GEE) DiGiovanni: 15th Jul 2012 - 17:32 GMT

I'm very sorry to announce that the great spirit and good heart that was my brother Frank has passed away.
Rest In Peace my brother.

joie dorane: 15th Jul 2012 - 23:30 GMT

hi, my friend joe mayo mentioned this site to me and it 's been some fime since i visited it. i lived in at 176 linden st and went to st barbara's graduated class of '66. i remember nicoletta gradilone since my grandmother lived next door. my closest friends, louis greene and charlie meyer, lived there also. we were always getting chased from the halls of the apartment house by the super. the grove st park across the street was our home from morning til night. punchball, stickball, ring alevio(i have no idea how to spell it),boxball were our life. i remember being an altar boy and being assigned to 630 mass and having to go to mass each and every mornng before dennis patrick brought fear to every 7th grade boy. we would go barbara anne's for candy or a pensy pinkie. one dollar would cover a slice of pizza, soda, and a movie at the rko madison and one could never forget the stink that came from the live poultry place on myrtle and linden. i could go on for hrs. this site just triggered so many memories as many others have said thanks to all

Niki Gradilone DiStefano: 16th Jul 2012 - 15:21 GMT

Joie, I was going crazy trying to come up with your last name, of course I remerber you and your brother James, and your mother Rosalie. Your grandmother was the sweetest woman. The Meyers had the apartment between ours. We had a lot of fun out side of that building. My favorite game was skelskies with the bottle caps. How is James doing, I hope all is well. Do you ever hear from the Charles or Louis, remember my cousin Frances and Isabell DiBari who lived above me, last I heard they were on Long Island but that was 15 years ago. I also live on Long Island in the Hauppague area, married with one son who is older than I am, don't ask how that happened. It is so good to connect to a familiar name after all this time. Joie, do you remember one day playing chinese handball outside the apartment building, and I was playing hopsctoch or some girlie game and you backed up to make a play,knocked me over and fell on top of me. I chipped a front tooth. And you mother was worried you might have gotten hurt could you, you fell on top of the chubbiest girl in the neighborhood. Talk about a soft landing : )) Great talking to you. my email is if you would like to get in touch or if any one else would like to talk about the old neighborhood.

Patricia Perez (now Flynn): 16th Jul 2012 - 19:35 GMT

Wow! sooo many memories and they are all fantastic! I lived at 52 Bleecker Street between Evergreen and Central Avenues. I went to St. Barbara's Elementary School from 62-70. I miss so many friends that I've lost contact with ... the year a fire started in our building was my 7th grade summer and Dad moved us all to Queens. I wanted to graduate with my friends so I traveled from Woodhaven to Bushwick for my last year. So glad I did. I graduated with Charlotte J., Kathleen K., Ivy T., Matthew O., Hector Casuso, Billy G., Artie, Frank M., and so many more. The nuns didn't bother me but I can never forgive what Ms. Foley did to Elsie R. head and the blood coming out of the gash in Elsie's head! Foley was gone the next day! and rightly so. My school memories still stay with me, I had so much fun even though I was terrible at Math! Sister Mary Kathleen with her wicked sense of humor never let me forget that fact. "I be better selling apples on a corner"! was one of her lines ... and secretly I thought it was funny! I'm on ... good times, good times! and the Casuso's are an amazing family, God bless them all!

AL MEZZAPELLA: 16th Jul 2012 - 19:40 GMT

Tony I am very sorry to hear about Frank, I will say prayer!!!

Lillian (Amari) Albanese: 18th Jul 2012 - 18:37 GMT

My family (parents Peter & Frances; sisters Heather & Norma) lived at 162 Harman Street. My mother baby sat for the Casusos. Reading everyone's entries brings back many fond memories. Our family attended Greene Ave Methodish Church. I remember the Sunday School parades on Bushwick Ave.

Charlene Messineo was my godmother (168 Harman St). My mother (who is now in Nursing Home) kept in contact with Charlene (until she past) and Darlene. Was glad to see Darryl's posting - hope you are all doing well.

My family moved to Ridgewood and then Albany NY. We now live in Victor NY (finger lake region) but I will also remember Brooklyn (JHS 162 & Bushwick HS).

Charlie T: 19th Jul 2012 - 13:47 GMT

You guys remember the Larosa's pizza we ordered in on fridays at St Barbara's? Maybe its just a mental thing but I remember them as the best I ever ate. And for only a buck!

AL MEZZAPELLA: 19th Jul 2012 - 17:16 GMT

LaRosa's Pizzas were forty cents when I had them, bread was eleven, or twelve cents a loaf, bread sticks two cents each, three for a nickle!!!!!!

Charlie T: 19th Jul 2012 - 18:57 GMT

That's great, forty cents! We gave the nuns a buck & they ordered us a whole pie, about 12". I really hope they weren't rappin us for sixty cents. This was late 50s early 60s.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 19th Jul 2012 - 20:20 GMT

One never knows!!! But Im talking late forties,early fifties!!!

Niki Gradilone DiStefano: 27th Jul 2012 - 14:50 GMT

As kids we had so much freedom the kids of today will never know. My mother used to take me to the pool in Cypress Hills just below the El train when I was small and by the time I was the 4th grade, what is that 10 years old, I would go by myself! She had to work, she was a dressmaker,"International Garment Makers Union", and she would give me some change in the morning,a sandwich, a towel and my bathing suit and off I would go. Can you imagine now sending an 10 or 11 year old off to take an El train and spend the whole day alone at a public pool and trust that they would be home for dinner. I was happy, my mother was happy, she knew where I was, neither one of us had any thought that anyone might "take" me. It was great. That memory was triggered by Joie Dorane's mention of the chicken market on Linden and Myrtle, but that is another story for another post. Does anyone else remember that pool? It was accross frome the cemeratary under the El.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 27th Jul 2012 - 20:31 GMT

Cypress was the holy grail, a lot closer than coney, and a lot cleaner!!!
In the mid to late forties, early forties, is was a big treat!!!

Nicholas Huffman: 27th Jul 2012 - 21:18 GMT

yes i remember the pools on cypress...there was another one but my memory fails me...johnny pumps where the main gig on melrose street..that and the famous beaches of coney island.. rockaway park and fitzgeralds on 69th street great bar...manhatten beach..sleeping on the fire escape on those really hot summer nights..sooo coool!!!the fiftys were great 4 me...the homes r like 200,000 grand now...nothing is cheap any more...knickerbocker pk is all but gone..used to have sprinkler heads in the pool there..if you can call that a was for wadeing in and we used to clog up the drains to get more water in it...lolol well have a great night Bushwick Brothers and Sisters...your Friend forever....Nicholas Huffman...does any one remember the bath house on wilson av just off starr is long gone now but i used to climb up the side of the bld to get in and did i get it for being in that place...

Michelle Lamont: 28th Jul 2012 - 21:33 GMT

Thank you for the memories of Cypress Pool! A visit there was a huge treat. My mother occasionally took me to Coney Island. The bus and train ride there seemed to take forever. After a day on the beach, the reward was a delicious knish and a custard cone. Anyone remember:

The Brooklyn Day Parade on Bushwick Avenue?

A Chinese restaurant on Broadway?

Renken's German delicatessen on Evergreen Avenue off the corner of Harman Street?

Best regards,

Michelle Lamont from 46 Harman Street

AL MEZZAPELLA: 29th Jul 2012 - 16:22 GMT

Does anyone, remember anyone, from Hancock, and Central???

fred Letzeisen: 29th Jul 2012 - 17:40 GMT

I wonder if anyone is out there who remember PS 77 class of 1944 . I have been trying to locate anyone who went to school with me from 1936 to 1944. Does anyone remember the annual book ...Bluebird.....that was printee every year. I have been trying to find copies . My e-mail address is and would love to hear from anyone that graduated in 1944. I went to Queens Vocational High School after leaving ps77. Now live in spring hill florida which is about 40 miles north of the tampa area in Hernando County. My wife and I were married at St. Barbaras church and after moving around through the years, settled in Florida about 20 years ago. Contact me at this site and let us bring back fond memories of Ridgewood during the 30'and 40's.

Joey La Rosa: 31st Jul 2012 - 11:17 GMT

@Al Mezzapella.......I see you said your on facebook... Im going to friend request you. Accept me...I have some amazing pictures of LaRosa's Bakery on there. Also some pictures of Bushwick also..Enjoy..

Niki Gradilone DiStefano: 31st Jul 2012 - 13:28 GMT

Al,I would love to friend you too...

Niki Gradilone DiStefano: 31st Jul 2012 - 13:30 GMT

I meant Joey, sorry, I got so excited when you mentioned pictures : ))

AL MEZZAPELLA: 31st Jul 2012 - 13:48 GMT

Joe would be a great addition to your friends!!! Where did you live???

AL MEZZAPELLA: 31st Jul 2012 - 16:50 GMT

Does anyone, remember anyone, from Hancock, and Central, or Wilson, and Menahan,in Bushwick???

Niki Gradilone DiStefano: 31st Jul 2012 - 19:44 GMT

I lived on 176 Linden Street, between Central and Wilson, in the large apt. bld. across from the park. I just looked it up on the Google maps and they are still standing. Our apt. was on the first floor and since they kept the entrance from the street locked the only way into the "courtyard" was to climb out my mothers kitchen window. It was about a six foot drop, fortunatly there was a brick wedged into the corner that gave us a boost up when we wanted to come back in. It was a four story apt bld. and some of the older people who were home all day would go crazy listening to us playing and running around in our cement yard. Mr Purpura on the third floor would try to throw boiling water on us to get us to leave, but Margret on the forth floor was much smarter, she would wrap some change in a hankerchief and toss it down to us so we could go buy candy and thus buy her a little piece and quiet. What a neighborhood. Al, I would like to Facebook you too it that would be ok, as I start to go through my old pictures, I want to post them. I am sorry I missed Bushwick Buddies.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 1st Aug 2012 - 21:20 GMT

Facebook me, I only lived three blocks from you, from 1942 until 1964!!!

AL MEZZAPELLA: 1st Aug 2012 - 21:26 GMT

Niki do you have a Facebook account, but you must be my friend to access them!!!

Niki Gradilone DiStefano: 6th Aug 2012 - 19:02 GMT

Al, I can't believe it. I'll friend you now. As Stan Laural once said "It's a short world"

Charlie V.: 10th Aug 2012 - 13:31 GMT

Michelle Lamont,

I remember that parade very well. You may be thinking of the "Free World", a Chinese restaurant close to the Lowes Gates movie. My parents took me there many times as a kid. I didn't like going because I didn't care for Chinese food. That's certainly not the case today.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 25th Aug 2012 - 19:50 GMT

Remember the Rathskeller across from the Partheon???

nicholas hufman: 27th Aug 2012 - 13:24 GMT

yes i used to go there when i got back from viet nam in was a german bar with live enterainment..sum where a little strange..guys in drag...not my taste... STAY FROSTY EVERYONE....NICK HUFFMAN

Kathleen M.: 31st Aug 2012 - 02:52 GMT

Hey, Joey! I believe I graduated St. Barbara's with your sister, Maria. We had a terrific teacher in Grade 8....Sr. Monica Francis. I have fond memories of your family's great Friday personal-pan pizzas! What a terrific treat every Friday at lunchtime when we were fasting. I seem to recall a picture of a boxer over a fish tank in the bakery on the right wall....was that your uncle? Also, I seem to recall a very art-deco green, tufted chair with arc-like, curving metal arms on it next to the the tank. Are my memories correct?

Jim Feehan: 3rd Sep 2012 - 05:57 GMT

Johnny Piraino...I can't believe that only yesterday afternoon,my mother gave me some old pics from when I was about 6 or 7 yrs old and you were in the picture! I lived upstairs from you at 62 Harman St. from 1947 to 1957. Was your mother's name Carmela? I can remember every detail about the house as it stood back in those days. Now I see it has been rebuilt. We moved out to long Island in '57 and never returned. I ran into William(Billy) Kiley back in '88 in Commack when he came into my dealership to shop for a car. That's when I first learned about the old neighborhood first being destroyed and begining to be restored. He became a beat cop in the old hood after highschool. Then he moved up to be a suffolk county cop. I'm in Florida since '89 near Disney World. If you feel like filling me in on St.Barbara's church and what you've been up to, send me an email: Would really like to hear from you. Jim Feehan

AL MEZZAPELLA: 4th Sep 2012 - 01:57 GMT

HI JIM, didn't Billy Kiley come from Menahan street??? If you see him tell him I was in touch with Billy Henn, until my computer crashed!!! he became a big shot at N>A>S>A>!!! I lived on Wilson, and Menahan!!!

Niki Gradilone DiStefano: 5th Sep 2012 - 18:19 GMT

To all St.Barbara former students...Sr.Kathleen Thomas who taught 3rd Grade in the sixies is now in the hospital part of the Dominican Sister's retirement home in Amityville, NY. I am friends with her cousin. I didn't have her for a teacher in 3rd Grade, but a lay teacher instead, (I can't remember her name,) but I do remember Sr.Kathleen as the biggest nun I had ever seen.She had to have topped six feet. I have since met her socially and needless to say she is a lovely woman. Her health has been going downhill lately, so if some of her former students could say a prayer or think a kind thought for her it would greatly be appreciated. It is hard to believe that in 1963 when I first saw her she was only a young girl of 27, all the nuns seemed so old to us. Thanks...

Richie Fisher: 6th Sep 2012 - 12:42 GMT

I had Sister Kathleen Thomas in the 5th grade, she was big AND tough.. but nothing like Sister DP, she could really pack a wallop....!! Also,the lay teacher could have been either Mrs. Puello or Miss Tuferiello???

Niki Gradilone DiStefano: 6th Sep 2012 - 17:39 GMT

Richie, neither of those names sound right, this would have been in '63. I have to ask Michelle Lamont, we went through most of the eight years together, plus high school. she may remember.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 11th Sep 2012 - 20:33 GMT

Does anyone remember Perry's candy store, on Wilson and Bleeker???

Kathleen M.: 13th Sep 2012 - 13:02 GMT

Most definitely, Al! Coming home from St. Barbara's every day I would see the 2 big red Coca-Cola signs above the entrance and glass areas (always bought the daily newspapers there, too). I believe the background to those signs was green....made the signs really stand out.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 13th Sep 2012 - 17:42 GMT

Kathleen did you know any of the crowd, that hung out there???

Kathleen M.: No, I don't think so.

Kathleen M.: 14th Sep 2012 - 20:43 GMT

I do remember the hardware store next to Perry's, the "knitting mill" storefront across the street, and Clemenza's pizzeria.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 15th Sep 2012 - 01:28 GMT

The son of the hardware store guy got hit by a trolley, and lost his leg!!! Do you remember Clemenzas tuxedo rental, next to the Pizzeria??? The knitting mill was next to Marinos funeral home!!! How old are you, I'm seventy, and the crowd was mostly my age???

Kathleen M.: 15th Sep 2012 - 04:59 GMT

I was a toddler in the early 1950s. I do remember Marino's with its white pillars & the very small candy store next to it. Wasn't there a laundromat on the other corner of Menahan & Wilson...across from Perry's?

AL MEZZAPELLA: 15th Sep 2012 - 12:58 GMT

First came a kniitting mill, then Marinos, Stallones barber shop, then the candy store called Harry's, a shoe supply store, my house over another shoe supplty store, (then the beauty shop, and shoemaker in the same building,)
La Rosa's bakery, and another knitting mill that's the whole block!!! The laundromat was across from perrys!!! You said you were a toddler in the fifties, how old was that???

Kathleen M.: 15th Sep 2012 - 16:23 GMT

62 now...however, I still have vivid memories of the block that was "my world" for so very many years. I lived there into the 1970s. Do you remember the sewing machine store on the corner of Menahan & Knickerbocker?

AL MEZZAPELLA: 15th Sep 2012 - 20:59 GMT

i dont know, when I lived there there was Boscos Deli on that corner, across from P.S. 116, and the church!!! That was in the sixty four!!! But I hung out on Menahan, and Wilson, for a few year more!!!

Kathleen M.: 16th Sep 2012 - 02:31 GMT

I lived there from the early 1950s through the 1970s. I only seem to recollect the sewing machine store. However, I could envision how that store may have been a deli before. Do you remember the "fresh fruit & vegetable" store that was adjacent to it? It's possible that store had changed, too, before my toddlerhood.... :)

AL MEZZAPELLA: 16th Sep 2012 - 10:48 GMT

The area went through many changes in those years, mostly for the worst!!! My memories are great, I wouldn't change growing up in Bushwick, for anything!!!

Paul Kennedy: 22nd Sep 2012 - 13:45 GMT

I remember the Deli on that corner owned by the Bosco family, the owner had passed away his son was in the Marine Corp at the time and the family could not make ago of it. They left the store without a cleanup and mold and roaches could be seen from the windows for months afterward. The landlord finally cleaned it out and a sewing machine store opened later on. There was also a Hobby shop on that street owned by a pervert who later on bought the candy store, it was called PAULEX's. He later on was accussed of child molesting and sold the candy store but remained a predator in the neighborhood. Why he was allowed to live right across from a school was always a wonder to me. I remember the produce stand there, had my first Pomegranate there, we called them Chinese apples. Does anyone remember Cathy and Grace Romano who lived on that block?

anon ( 10th Oct 2012 - 02:06 GMT

I am looking for Maria Perez Figueroa she lived in Linden S.T in Brooklyn. My name is Sylvia,I use to go out with your brother Lume. I lived in Knickerbocker.If I rember right, you had two sisters and four brothers. All I want to know how are things going.Send me pictures . Your brother (Lume)might remenber me more. Send at this email Please I want tohow all of you are. Sylvia

anon ( 11th Oct 2012 - 02:39 GMT

Lived at 226 Bleecker St now the police station. Berg & Berg was on the corner and a German
wedding hall across the street. This was back in 1959.

ALMEZZAPELLA: 12th Oct 2012 - 11:16 GMT

I lived on Wilson, between Bleeker, and Menahan, 1942, til 1964!!!

Charlie V.: 15th Oct 2012 - 15:09 GMT

Al M.
We were very close at the same time. I lived in the large apartment house at 104 Grove Street near Evergreen Av, just across from PS75 where I attended Kindergarten. I was there from 1944 until we moved to LI in 1957. I went to St. Barbara through the seventh grade. There was a shoe factory at the corner of Evergreen and Grove that burned in the early fifties. It was quite a fire so I would think somebody would remember it.

Angela : 16th Oct 2012 - 04:18 GMT

My family owned LaRosa Bakery on Wilson Ave. Between Bleeker and Menehan. We lived upstairs,My grandparents ran the store, my uncles were the bakers and my mom (Agnes) worked in the bakery. I had three sisters, Maria, Debbie, me (Angela) and Regina. We went to St. Barbaras, but when I was in the 5th grade, St. Barbaras closed and I then went to St. Josephs on Sydam St. Those were the best days ever! I still reminisce often of those days and am glad I have those wonderful memories... I sure do miss everyone:(

Angela : 16th Oct 2012 - 04:30 GMT

@ALMEZZAPELLA... in an above post you mentioned a hardware store... that was Jacks, and his son that lost his leg was Ollie, I know because my family (The LaRosa's) were good friends with them and when Ollie and my dad would take me to the beach, I would hide Ollies cane in the sand... one time we couldnt find it!!! LOL The Luncheonette on the corner of Menehan and Wilson was Maries and Stanley's, they had a daughter that everyone called Snoopy.

Angela : 16th Oct 2012 - 04:35 GMT

@Kathleen M... I think you graduated with my sister Maria, I see you posted something to my wonderful cousin Joe La Rosa (who by the way has the best restaurant around... Barosa's) Joe and I have some awesome pictures of the Bakery and Wilson Ave. posted on FB, let me know if you are interested in seeing them... The picture hanging above the cookie shelf was Uncle mickey, other wise known as (The Brooklyn Cannon Ball)! You are correct about the furniture, but it was yellow leater with curved metal arms... fish tank on the tight when you walked in. you have a great memory :)

AL MEZZAPELLA: 16th Oct 2012 - 12:29 GMT

Angela I knew your family well, mostly your mom and uncle Joe!!! I heard Joe past, and that was a shame, and the last I heard of your mom, she was working on Metropolian Ave in a mall!!!
Hope she is well??? How do I access your pictures, I would love to see them!!! My facebook page has a few you might enjoy, AL MEZZA-PELLA MARTIN!!!

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Kathleen M.: 19th Oct 2012 - 19:45 GMT

Angela....yes! I believe I graduated with Maria. Funny how memory plays tricks...I remember the leather seat in a different color...but I did get the curved metal arms right! :) I remember your Uncle Mickey behind the counter on Sundays (the "7 sisters," "scaliti," and French breads were absolutely wonderful). Loved those deep dish, personal pan pizzas, too!

anon ( 22nd Oct 2012 - 00:32 GMT

Hi Kathleen..I graduated in '71 with Maria, I'm Riche Fisher..been in touch with Maria.. and Mrs Lawlor..

Kathleen M.: 22nd Oct 2012 - 01:17 GMT

Can't be the same Maria with whom I graduated...Maria & I had Sr. Monica Francis in the 8th Grade.

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anon ( 26th Oct 2012 - 20:53 GMT

Why aren't these jerks that advertise, deleted from the board???

anon ( 27th Oct 2012 - 20:23 GMT

Angela....did you have a cousin named, Maria, and a sister named, Maria? Apparently, one the of the Marias graduated in '71. My graduating class left St. Barbara's 7 years about the same time that St. Barbara's closed down its remaining, 9th Grade high school class.

Kathleen M.: 27th Oct 2012 - 20:25 GMT

Angela....did you have a cousin named, Maria, and a sister named, Maria? Apparently, one the of the Marias graduated in '71. My graduating class left St. Barbara's 7 years about the same time that St. Barbara's closed down its remaining, 9th Grade high school class.

Grace (Longardino) Grasska: 4th Nov 2012 - 02:02 GMT

This site is awesome. Just found out about it from a Remembering Bushwick site that I belong to on facebook.

Kathleen M.: 18th Nov 2012 - 21:05 GMT

Survived Superstorm Sandy on Long Island...however, no power for 14 days & nights (brrrrrr....). One giant tree fell in back yard & just missed the house. We are grateful to be alive. Just wanted to say, "Happy Thanksgiving!" to all of our Bushwick family!!!

Kathleen M.: 18th Nov 2012 - 21:22 GMT

To Barbara: Forgot to ask - What year did you graduate from St. Barbara's? I graduated in 1964.

anon ( 19th Nov 2012 - 01:00 GMT

I'm glad you and your Family are safe Kathleen..

Bill Schumm: 20th Nov 2012 - 06:10 GMT

To Kathleen M. Hi. Isn't this site amazing? I get chills when I read it. You have a remarkable memory. I'm glad you survived the storm. We got hit here pretty good but the main thing is we're still here. I get a monthly newsletter from the Sisters of St. Dominic. Last issue had a story about Sr. Betty Nickles (Sr. Therese Marie) who I had for 2nd and 4th grades. She spent 50 years serving Bushwick. Truly amazing. I'm going to visit the Motherhouse in Amityville one of these days hopefully to see her, Sr. DP and Sr. Prague Marie. Stay well. Billy

Bb2ru: 20th Nov 2012 - 14:55 GMT

It's amazing how mother nature works, who would ever think that "Sandy" was going to cuase so much damage,especially in NY and NJ. It reminds me of hurricane Andrew in 1992 here in Miami, no one expected that hurricane to be so strong and cuase so much damage, it caught alot of people off guard, but despite of it all many neighbors became closer, even if they lived blocks away, it was everyone helping and pitching in to get things accomplished.I lost my entire house along with many neighbors, unfortunately events like these brings people and family closer. Good luck to all those who experienced "Sandy" stay strong, you'll make it.

Kathleen M.: 20th Nov 2012 - 18:34 GMT

To Billy..Yes, this site is amazing...such wonderful people that share memories that "fill-in the blanks" of our own... :). The Long Island NEWSDAY reported last week that Sr. Kathleen Thomas had passed away at the Motherhouse in Amityville. Wasn't Sr. Kathleen Thomas a teacher at St. Barbara's? I hope that the Motherhouse wasn't damaged during the storm...I believe Amityville was in the "evacuation zone" when Superstorm Sandy struck. The damage here on Long Island is truly overwhelming...hundreds of 50'-70', mature trees fell down from Sandy's gusts (one barely missed my house). You are soooooo right....the main thing is we're still here. Sr. Prague Marie was my teacher in First Grade. I can't believe that First Grade was over half a century ago for me!!!

Bill Schumm: 20th Nov 2012 - 23:26 GMT

To Kathleen M. I think Sr Kathleen Thomas was the fifth grade teacher when Sr Joseph Marietta had the other fifth grade. Sr. Prague Marie was my first grade teacher too. When I spoke to someone in their Development office she told me that Sr. Prague Marie was well in her 90s and has as sharp a mind as ever. I'll call them and find out how they made out with the storm. Thanks for reminding how old I'm getting:) I was in first grade in 1957. It's just a surreal thought. Forgot to tell you I went to a funeral in Brooklyn several months ago and then afterwards I went to our old street and the church. I hadn't been there since we moved in 1964. Wow!

raquel: 21st Nov 2012 - 00:22 GMT

Does any one remember the toney family? 295 evergreen and harmon ? ricky ,lee, gail,renee, there mother tommylee they were a black family and a woman named candy or spelled kandi she was friends of the family.

Kathleen M.: 21st Nov 2012 - 02:26 GMT

To Billy: When I went back to our old street a while ago, the only way I recognized where our tenement buildings had been was by the "johnny pump" across the street. The "pump" had been almost directly opposite my building and slightly diagonal to your building. Our old residences have become a park....with trees! During our childhood, I only remember seeing trees on Bushwick Avenue. A few years ago, my husband & I attended Sunday Mass at St. Barbara's. At that time, only 3 Masses were scheduled on Sunday. Remember how, in the 1950-60s, St. Barbara's had 6-7 Masses on Sundays...with some "overlap" Masses in the Church's basement (the CYO center)...and, all the Masses were jam-packed?

Kathleen M.: 21st Nov 2012 - 23:07 GMT

Billy...remember "Dukie"? I think everyone who lived between Knickerbocker & Wilson pet that old, sweet, gentle dog as they passed him. Ruthie used to sit with him on the stoop during hot summer nights.

Bill Schumm: 22nd Nov 2012 - 17:10 GMT

To: Kathleen M: I'll never forget Dukie. My parents have film with me rough housing with him when I was very young. He was special. I remember the Sunday masses. The first was at 5:30AM. I remember because I had to get up at 4:30 and get their early to sell "The Tablet" for 10 cents. It's great on Thanksgiving Day that we have all these great memories. Happy Thanksgiving!

Kathleen M.: 22nd Nov 2012 - 20:15 GMT

Happy Thanksgiving, Billy... and, Happy Thanksgiving to all your family members, too!

Kathleen M.: 22nd Nov 2012 - 20:20 GMT

And....Happy Thanksgiving, again, to all of our Bushwick family!!!

Peter Saccheri: 28th Nov 2012 - 14:26 GMT

Wow I also lived at 102 himrod st.guess who this is Mary Jane Saccheri.I would like to bury the hatchet please contact me can get off the floor now in case you fell down.Your long lost brother

Robert K. Greco: 29th Nov 2012 - 22:25 GMT

I just discovered this site. I went to school with Robert Casuso at St Barbara's @ 1966.I think the teacher was Miss Mugavero. ( sic) It would be nice to get in touch with Robert again

Sr DP: 30th Nov 2012 - 02:30 GMT

Sister Dennis Patrick is now Sr Noreen .. She can be reached at the Amityville " mother house " OH we has a reunion of the class of 62 . I wrote to DP asking her to come If she would admit that she was a child abuser !

anon ( 30th Nov 2012 - 13:50 GMT

Mrs. Mugavero ( 3rd grade) was the nicest teacher.. Sister DP was a Drill Instructor...!!

Richie Fisher: Above sent by Richie Fisher..

Robert K. Greco: 1st Dec 2012 - 01:08 GMT

To Kathleen M. I just read about sister Kathleen Thomas, Too bad. I just wrote to the dominican motherhouse asking if I could be put in contact with her. I would like to have told her that most of those nuns should be in jail for child abuse, She was one of the nicer ones though. They should change the name of the order to the sisters of the Marquis De Sade.

Richie Fisher: 1st Dec 2012 - 17:39 GMT

Like Henry Hill said.." Sometimes we all gotta take a beating"...

Robert K. Greco: 1st Dec 2012 - 21:59 GMT

to the intrepid person who invited DP to a reunion, Did you get a response? I never had DP but just the sight of her scared the hell out of me.

anon ( 1st Dec 2012 - 23:35 GMT

Robert, are you still afraid of girls???

Richie Fisher: 2nd Dec 2012 - 14:15 GMT

She had a way of slapping you that numbed your face for 2 hours...I bet now (she must be close to 85) I could out run her and tire her out....

Kathleen M.: 2nd Dec 2012 - 16:34 GMT

Never having had her, I find all of these comments "enlightening" sorry that so many seem to have such terrible recollections.

Robert K. Greco: Anon, In a way I still am.

p1964: 5th Dec 2012 - 00:33 GMT


Richie Fisher: I could woop her now....!!

Kathleen M.: LOL!!!

anon ( 5th Dec 2012 - 20:05 GMT

At least unlike the priests, she didn't fondle the young boys!

Robert K. Greco: 5th Dec 2012 - 21:42 GMT

Hey P1964 your joking right? Like priests abusing young boys ( though not as serious I admit) it was another form of abuse perpetuated by the church. I cannot think of a more unkind UNCHRISTIAN act than child abuse in any form!!!!

Kathleen M.: 5th Dec 2012 - 22:27 GMT

Robert & Richie....when did you graduate from 8th Grade? Did we attend at the same time? I graduated in 1964.

Kathleen M.: 5th Dec 2012 - 22:30 GMT

Monsignor Steinmueller served the Mass for the 1964 graduation, I believe.

Richie Fisher: 6th Dec 2012 - 00:11 GMT

Kathleen,I was class of '71... When I was an Alter Boy after they just changed to English around '66, .Monsignor Steinmuller would say Mass back and forth in English and Latin, very confusing.!!..I miss those days...

Robert K. Greco: 6th Dec 2012 - 06:32 GMT

I only went to St. Barbara untul 5th grade. We left the neighborhood and moved to Canarsie in 1967

Charlie V.: 8th Dec 2012 - 11:32 GMT

Regarding comments about Sister Dennis Patrick: I'm older than some of you who are posting here so my memory of her goes back to the eary to mid fifties. I left Brooklyn for LI in 57 at the end of 7th grade. I remember having her as my teacher twice, although I can't remember for which grades. She was a very strict disiplinarian and I felt her hand on my face many times. As for your parents coming to your defense, forget it. In those days kids were always in the wrong and in fact we usually were. We could probably use a bit more of that thinking today. Anyway, that sought of thing was more or less normal for the times, she wasn't the only nun at St.Barbara who would slap you around. I joined the Marines in 62 and I always jokingly thought that St. B's was worse than Parris Island.

Robert K. Greco: 8th Dec 2012 - 12:25 GMT

There is some validity in what you say Charlie but there is NO excuse for child abuse in any way, shape or form,this is the reason that the church literally lost an entire generation of catholics. As far as I'm concerned, if the church ceases to exist it would not have any effect on me one way or the other

anon ( 9th Dec 2012 - 03:40 GMT

A good kick in the ass, never hurt anyone!!! I
f they could do it today, kids would have more respect for life!!!

Kathleen M.: 11th Dec 2012 - 17:34 GMT

Anyone else remember the Bushwick Avenue parades? I seem to recollect big parades there during the summers of the early 1950s.

Kathleen M.: 11th Dec 2012 - 17:36 GMT

Bushwick Avenue had such elegant, big houses!

AL MEZZAPELLA: 11th Dec 2012 - 19:24 GMT

The mayor of Brooklyn, and New York city, used to participate in those parades!!! Bushwick Avenue was the showplace of Brooklyn, back in the day!!!

Robert K. Greco: 11th Dec 2012 - 23:01 GMT

Kathleen. my father told me that back in the day on Bushwick ave lived doctors, lawyers and many other upper class people. However I don't remember any parades. I do remember a man who used to beg for money on Broadway. He had no legs and would say " just a penny, god bless you" Also, does anyone remember " mickey" He used to walk around the streets cursing all the time.

Kathleen M.: 11th Dec 2012 - 23:25 GMT

Yes, Robert...I, also, heard that Bushwick Avenue's residents mostly were doctors and lawyers pre-1950ish times. In fact, when I was a child, many of my doctor's OFFICES were on Bushwick Avenue.....we walked to the doctor back then... :).

Kathleen M.: 11th Dec 2012 - 23:27 GMT

Al...I, too, remember the "majesty" of those Bushwick Avenue parades.....even though I was just a tyke back then.... :).

Kathleen M.: 12th Dec 2012 - 13:05 GMT

Does anyone recall a "wooden piano man" playing the piano on top of the entrance to a club/saloon on Bushwick Avenue nearest to Eastern Parkway? As a child, I thought he was real!

AL MEZZAPELLA: 12th Dec 2012 - 16:05 GMT

That piano player was about a block before Cooper, I think it was, or became a gay bay???

Kathleen M.: 12th Dec 2012 - 18:39 GMT

Al...I think that the piano-player was removed in the early '60s.

AL MEZZAPELLA: I think you might be right!!!

anon ( 17th Dec 2012 - 07:52 GMT

My uncle Al a carpenter built it in the 1950's

Kathleen M.: 17th Dec 2012 - 12:56 GMT

Anon...I can still see the image of your uncle's carpentry masterpiece in my mind over 60 years later!

AL MEZZAPELLA: 17th Dec 2012 - 21:10 GMT

Anon are you sure it was the fifties, I believe it was there in the late forties!!!

harold smith: 19th Dec 2012 - 07:07 GMT

My uncle Al Bauer, told me he built in 1950,but he was pretty old he died last year he was living in Garden City, originally from Ridgewood his family owned a Deli there and someone in his family started Bauer Mustard Company. Still in business today but I think new owners.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 19th Dec 2012 - 09:15 GMT


1950 you say, I would have thought earlier, it was one of my favorite memories as a boy!!! We would walk along Bushwick Ave, from Menahan St to Granite St, to see my grandmother, it was like a midway point!!!

Kathleen M.: 19th Dec 2012 - 12:36 GMT

Funny how that "piano guy" is a vivid part of my memory, too. Amazing the things that kids remember through the years.

Charlie V.: 19th Dec 2012 - 13:12 GMT

The Piano player was over the entracne of "The Gay Cafe" bar. I remember it going up. It was not a gay bar as we think of it today but a very popular hangout for the locals. Back then "gay" meant happy or having a good time, like the Gay Ninetys, referring to a great decade at the end of the 19th century. I agree with you Robert Greco on child abuse but corporal punishment was just a way of life back then. I remember the parade each year on Bushwick Avenue, can't remember what the occasion was though. The big homes on Bushwick Avenue go back to the Beer Barons of Brooklyn and in the 40's and 50's were owned by professionals such as doctors and lawyers and sucessful businessman. They were grand homes, a friend of my mom and dad who was a judge owned one between Menahan and Bleeker and it was like a mansion. There is a lot of information about Bushwick and St. Barbra on a website called "City of Churches" for those of you who may not have seen it.

Bb2ru: 19th Dec 2012 - 14:46 GMT

I'm trying to locate a girl who used to go by the name of "Candy" her real name is Christina Payne, used to hang around Broadway and Myrtle Aves in the 70's, had a baby girl who she never met. Her duaghter is trying to locate her mom.Thanks

Kathleen M.: 19th Dec 2012 - 17:25 GMT

Charlie...very interesting info re: the bar. Thank you for sharing!

Kathleen M.: 23rd Dec 2012 - 14:28 GMT

Just wanted to wish our BUSHWICK FAMILY a very Merry Christmas! May 2013 bring everyone the best of everything!

Domenic Annunziato: 24th Dec 2012 - 17:17 GMT


Cruz Maria Bermudez: 29th Dec 2012 - 19:35 GMT

I hope someone can help I am looking for a family by the name of Medina they live around the corner from Bargain Town. I looking for my childhood sweetheart his name is Frankie Medina he has a sister b the name of Nancy Medina They had a monkey I can't remember her name. We all went to the same Church. We were picked up in this white van and went to church.To me live was going to church that was were we got to see each other. The church was call Templosion it still is in Bushwich the Pastors name is EL mano Moncho. Please can someone help me. I have to fine closure. Every year it gets worst I need to know how he is and if he still remembers me. Once again can someone help me fine closure. My name is Cruz Maria Bermudez I have seven brothers and sisters we went to church on Fridays and Sundays my heart would jump when we stop to pick him and his sister up for church I know there is someone out there that knowa them please help me. Here is my Phone # 562-756-8536 I go by Cookie now.Yrs- 1969-1974

Cruz Maria Bermudez: 29th Dec 2012 - 21:43 GMT

P.S I forgot to leave my Email address its

Cruz Maria Bermudez: 29th Dec 2012 - 21:43 GMT

P.S I forgot to leave my Email address its

Cruz Maria Bermudez: 29th Dec 2012 - 21:43 GMT

P.S I forgot to leave my Email address its

fred letzeisen: 5th Jan 2013 - 18:57 GMT

Just was wondering if anyone out there remembers the Buscemi family that lived on Himrod Street, father was Gaper,Mother was Caroline,two sisters Angela and Patricia , I married Angela in 1953 at St Barbaras RC Church and we had our reception at Schwaben Hall in Ridgewood. We will be married for 60 years on Feb.14, along time ago.
I grew up on Madison Street in Ridgewood 1934 to 1949 when I enlisted in the Army. I am a Korean War vet and proud of it. After we were married we lived in Maspeth, Bushwick, Long Island , New Jersey, Pennsylvania,Florida where we have lived for twenty years.
Does anyone remember the Ridgewood Grove Arena ,,,,,,pool room and bowling allys upstairs and the fight arena downstairs.......I had ringside seats for about three years.Still looking for guys I grew up with, one of whom I found Tony Peralta my best pal growing up. There was Eric Gehm,Johnny Lynch. Does anyone remember Thelma Ritter, Grace and Florence Murgolo,Kay Jahn, Adam Ziegler, all from Norman Street. Would like to hear of any of them or from someone who knew my wifes family, her Uncle Tony and Aunt Mary owned the fish store near St. Barbaras. Answer at this site or at my
This site is great for memories.

Kathleen M.: 5th Jan 2013 - 19:58 GMT

Although I was a toddler in the 1950s, I, too, remember the Ridgewood Grove Arena...before it became Dilbert's! Wasn't there a billiards' hall across the street, too? I used to walk past Schwaben Hall everyday on my way to the train station...sure do remember that place, too, near the corner of Knickerbocker & Myrtle. Although I am sorry to say that I don't know any folks you mention, I spent many hours in the Madison Library while in school (great library). By the way, thank you for your service to our country, Fred....and, Happy New Year to you and yours!

Robert K. Greco: 8th Jan 2013 - 23:50 GMT

Anyone remember the ridgewood terrace??

anon ( 10th Jan 2013 - 21:05 GMT

Great Chinese restaraunt, with Fri and Sat floor shows!!!

Nicholas Huffman: 13th Jan 2013 - 04:18 GMT

hello Bushwick, i just wanted to post this one with the hopes someone would remember peter Morsellino..he was born and raised on starr street between Wilson and Central av...right next to P.S 53...then moved to gates av between Knickerbocker av and Irving Av...well the doctors are shipping him to Boston Mass for a heart transplant...he will either get the real deal or one made of metal and plastic...please any one who remembers the WHOP/AKA PETER say a prayer for him he is a viet nam vet 69/70 in the navy...even if you don't remember him he is still a Bushwick home boy...i grew up with him for most of my life we went to P.S.53 when we where kids...either you loved him or hated him he was the WHOP....MAY BE IF WE ALL GOT TOGETHER AND PRAY FOR HIM ...WEL YOU ALL KNOW THROUGH THE POWER OF PRAYER ANY THING IS POSSABLE...LOVE ALL YOU GUYS AND GALS FROM BROOKLYN AND RIDGWOOD,,,


Nicholas Huffman: 13th Jan 2013 - 04:24 GMT

HI IT'S ME AGAIN IF YOU WANT TO GET IN TOUCH WITH ME I AM AT or call me at 845-856-4981,call me at any time...CIAO FOR NOW....


Kathleen M.: 13th Jan 2013 - 14:58 GMT

Nicholas: Although I do not know Peter Morsellino, I will keep him in my prayers. Also,
thank you for your service to our country.....and, for Peter's service to our country. Freedom is....and, has never I seem to recall that, when Dilbert's took over the old Ridgewood Grove arena, an establishment across the street (above a store) became known as the Ridgewood Grove in the 1960s (had billiards). Where was the Ridgewood Terrace located? Memories are getting farther & farther away....LOL!

Al Mezzapella: 13th Jan 2013 - 18:18 GMT

Ridgewood Terrace was located just past the Madison Movie, on the second floor!!! There was a bowling alley, and pool room in the basement, known as the dungeon!!!

Kathleen M.: 13th Jan 2013 - 18:34 GMT

Thank you so much, Al! I couldn't seem to remember the location, although I clearly recalled the name, Ridgewood Terrace. Wasn't there a Bickford's nearby, too?

Kathleen M.: 13th Jan 2013 - 18:35 GMT

P.S. - Loved that Madison beautiful!

Nicholas Huffman: 14th Jan 2013 - 16:18 GMT

yes! Martin paints went up in flames back some where in 66/67 took a lot of stores with it...i was there...saw the fire dept looting the jewlery stores and other talk about freedom!!!what a pair in broad daylight to boot..and they said us kids where bad!?!?!? i want to thank u all for your prayers for Pete...he is in Boston at this time and his fate is in the hands of God and the doctor's .....does any one remember the Chinese restaraunt under the Wycoffe Ave Ell second floor ,,made the best take out in the area...better then the Ridgewood terrace....right across the street was the enterence to the LL train station...they also made the best fried rice on metropolitan ave near Christ the king high school more like TIME SQUARE STORES OR dead mans hill just near the creamatory i think it was called creamatory hill road...there was a beer distributer across the street....well if you guys will excuse me i have to go and fight the V.A. again for my claims...just more money wasted for and by them..CIAO FOR NOW BUSHWICK...

ONE OF YOUR SONS Nicholas Huffman/aka/ RED DRAGON

Kathleen M.: 14th Jan 2013 - 22:57 GMT

We're praying for Pete, Nicholas. I remember a Chinese walk-up restaurant on Knickerbocker Avenue, too...I think above Harrico drugstore. Great food, too. The Crematorium is still there. My family used to know the owners of that "building on the hill" back in the 1960s. That narrow road going through the cemetery (Elliot?) was quite the dangerous one...I drove through there going to school in a snowstorm back in the early 1970s and was hit by a sliding car next to me. Lucky, though, not too much damage...and, we stayed out of the cemetery itself...LOL!

Robert K. Greco: 18th Jan 2013 - 01:40 GMT

I remember the Ridgewood Terrace fire. My brother who is 7 years older than me, (I'm 56) was devastated!!!. I remember the Madison theater with those seashell light fixtures, I used to think they were dragons!!!

charlie 930: 22nd Jan 2013 - 01:29 GMT

re:Bushwick ave parade: It took place on brooklyn /Queens Day each year. All schools except the catholic ones were closed , as is to this day.The nuns at st barbaras told us it was a protestant affair so could not participate.We were also told not to join the Bushwick Boys Club (Bushwick ave & Gates for the same reason.Both instructions were totally ignored to our betterment.

Alfred Furrs: 25th Jan 2013 - 18:15 GMT

"Churches of the City" Features St. Barbara, Brooklyn, and Bushwick. YouTube - Enjoy the memories! Go to:

AL MEZZAPELLA: 6th Feb 2013 - 00:43 GMT

Anyone ever a member of Club Crescendo, on Myrtle Avenue next to the Rivoli movie???

Kathleen M.: 9th Feb 2013 - 18:59 GMT

Al....I don't remember Club Crescendo, but I do remember the Rivoli Theater most fondly! I saw many, many movies there as a pre-schooler with my grandmother. On the corner of Gates & Myrtle in the '60s, I think there was a 45 rpm record store. I seem to recall buying loads of 45s there.

Kathleen M.: 9th Feb 2013 - 19:01 GMT

Ooops!!! I meant "the corner of Greene Avenue & Myrtle Avenue."

AL MEZZAPELLA: 9th Feb 2013 - 20:01 GMT

Thwe club started in 1961, it was just past the Rivoli, heading towards Wilsoon!!! Your right about the record store, I bought many records there!!!

Kathleen M.: 10th Feb 2013 - 02:43 GMT you remember the name of the club that was in the "center" of Menahan Street between Wilson & Knickerbocker Avenues? It looked like an old store-front on the side of the street where the Protestant Church was. The club was very active as I recall.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 10th Feb 2013 - 12:06 GMT

I don't remember any club, when I lived there it was a radio, and tv, repair shop!!! My buddy Butchie Bassano lived upstairs!!!

Kathleen M.: 10th Feb 2013 - 13:01 GMT

Wow, just brought back the memory for me of the radio & tv repair shop that was there!!! When I was an early teenager, that store became a club. Believe it or not, I do remember Butch...I think. Did he drive a convertible, wear glasses and have black hair? For some reason, a convertible comes to mind.

Kathleen M.: 10th Feb 2013 - 13:02 GMT the late 60s, the owner had the store/club bricked-up and made it another apartment in the building.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 10th Feb 2013 - 16:29 GMT

Butch was big, and fat, hence the nickname butch!!! He drove back in my day, a 1955 blue four door Ford!!! He worked at the airport, as an air traffic controller!!! He died in his early thirties I believe??? My landlord also bricked in my Wilson Ave house, greedy, greedy, greedy!!!

Kathleen M.: 10th Feb 2013 - 20:02 GMT

I'm so sorry to hear that Butch died so young. I'm almost positive I remember him.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 11th Feb 2013 - 01:54 GMT

I don't know what year, and i'm guessing at his age!!!

Nina M.P.H.: 11th Feb 2013 - 03:31 GMT

Hi...I lived on Harman Bushwick from my birth in 1955 to the end of June 1969. No body seems to mention it, but what destroyed the neighborhood in those days was the infiltration & growth of hispanic (puerto-rican) gangs. First it started as small events...candy stores, etc. being robbed, then personal property, parked cars, etc, being publically vandalized & destroyed, people being terrorized & finally whole families being threatened & seriously harmed. When one man stood up to them in June of '69', to defend his family from being burned out of their home, one of the gang members was killed, the family had to flee & go into hiding far away & the man was tried for murder (though aquitted years later ). That man was my father & I had nightmares about that neighborhood for decades after. Which was a shame, as 75% of my life there was good & gave me such a beautiful experience of being raised as an Italian-American New Yorker. In fact, it scarred me so bad, I was not able to return to the neighborhood I loved until over 40 yrs later, when I was determined to face my fears once & for all. What I found was a neighborhood being slowly rebuilt by a very brave & dedicated people & for that I applaude you. Yes, I went to St Barbara's..I remember all the nuns mentioned, including the terror of St. B's...Sister DP....who we nicknamed sister 'Death Patrol'...remember. I remember the great blackout in the 60's, I remember the Bushwick Parades, the awesome Italian Feasts, the candy store we bought a candy bar from (for 5 cents), every day before going back to school after lunch, etc. I remember the good & the bad & I thank God for all of it...even the bad. Because if it weren't for the bad, I wouldn't be who I am today. An Outreach Minister w/a passionate heart to help the least of society...yeah, even the gang members, heal. grow & still become the people God intended for them to be. And for that I say, thank you Bushwick, thank you Harman St, thank you St Barb's, thank you Sister DP, thank you all childhood friends & family who were all around with & me , & even thank you bad guys (& girls). I pray you finally found the peace & joy I finally found, when I let go of the pain, forgave & determined to live free. May God bless you all in your memories.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 13th Feb 2013 - 13:07 GMT

Nina I disagree with you, I was a gang member and needed nothing from myth you call God, to progress through my life!!! Myself and the folks I surround myself with, do not need prayers from you, or anyone like you!!! If you chose to live in fear of your myth that's fine, don't impart your born again Bullshit on others!!!

Richie Fisher: 13th Feb 2013 - 13:43 GMT

You are absolutely right Nina.. the neighborhood changed in the late 60's, for the worse, and anyone with a brain could see that... I was 13 when we moved out in '71' and we had to leave because me and my friends would always be getting mugged by the 'new' people in the 'hood. The last straw was my younger sister getting robbed for her 20 cents for the ice cream truck. We had one punk threaten to burn our app. building down because my father came to my friend's defense when he was getting robbed. They are the reason the owners of the app. buildings torched these buildings so they could get the hell out with some $$. Sad cause we never even locked the doors when I was young... I remember the Sanitation strike. in the late 6o's, the 'old' Bushwick people would try and bag all their garbage while the 'new' people in the neighborhood would just throw it out the window in a giant pile for the rats. I made a couple of friends with some of the 'new' kids on the block and my class in St. Barbara's had quite a few. But the older ones, closer to the previous post's age. made life miserable for all of us who were too young or were scared when they saw a knife, which was frequent. Maybe if I was older and in a gang I could have defended myself , but I hung with a bunch of 90 lb. weaklings. When I started working for the MTA in 1980 I worked in the area and would visit my grandparents who still owned and lived in the app building I grew up in on Wilson and Harmon, right over Murry's. I was now an adult and I would walk the neighborhood sometimes and see what a disaster our neighborhood had become. Now I am not a very Religious person, was an Alter Boy for 5 years, but I do remember those days like it was yesterday. I had many great and happy times growing up there, but for someone of any age not to see what went on around them at that time is just blind.

Richie Fisher: 13th Feb 2013 - 13:44 GMT

And ask the Casuso's, who lived across the street from us, if the block changed for the worse.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 13th Feb 2013 - 20:01 GMT

I was a gang member in the fifties with the Halsey Bops, we did not spread violence, we kept the bad guys on the other side of Broadway!!! The myth of God, had nothing to do with it, and should not enter into it!!!! I went into the Navy in 59, when I got out in 61, the neighborhood was a diasaster!!! You guys saw it in worse shape than I, but you are much younger and were around longer!!!!!!

Richie Fisher: 13th Feb 2013 - 22:18 GMT

Agreed. Sad though that our great neighborhood went down the crapper...we should have built The Great Wall Of Bway and kept everyone on their side...!! Thank you for your service sir...

AL MEZZAPELLA: 18th Feb 2013 - 20:39 GMT

Anyone ever go to Billy's pool room, on Wilson, and Bleeker???

Niki Gradilone DiStefano: 18th Feb 2013 - 20:47 GMT

Nina, I think it is wonderful you can remember the nuns from St.Barbara's with kindness but at the risk of opening up a subject again we already covered several years ago, they did more harm with their abuse than any other experience in my life. Now, I realize they were only about 26 or 27 years old when I went there from 1960-68; how could these young woman have been so cruel. My education at St.B's has done so much to hold me back in the world. Sorry to whine, but things would have been much different if we had not grown up in such an atmosphere of fear.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 18th Feb 2013 - 21:50 GMT

Niki, that is the smartest thing I have heard anyone admit to, I know many others that would totaly agree with you!!!

Richie Fisher: 18th Feb 2013 - 22:52 GMT

And they could hit..!!! I think Professional Wrestlers went to Catholic school...You know how wrestlers slam their opponent's head into the turn buckle...well they learned that from the nuns slamming your head into the blackboard... as Henry Hill said, " Sometimes we all gotta take a beating"...Still glad I grew up when I did...

AL MEZZAPELLA: 19th Feb 2013 - 03:25 GMT

A good smack upside the head, never hurt anyone!!! I the teachers could do that today, maybe the kids would learn something???

Nina M.P.H.: 19th Feb 2013 - 14:25 GMT

I agree w/all of you re: the nuns. Even one I truly cared for was into public humiliation quite often. I don't know why they were that way; yes they had to be very young but to "paddle" all of us kids on the very first day of school was definitely tramuatic. To be honest, I hated nuns for years & lumped them all in the very same mold, but eventually I figured out that all my fears (& I had a bunch of them) were to me!! But I must admit, I'd love to meet one of them today and ask, "Whatinitiated by they way I was treated & unprotected in grammer school. So I had to make a conscience decision to let it go & forgive, for to me...the unforgiveness was a poison in me. But I have often wanted to ask one of them, "WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?" And I must admit, I would be VERY Angry w/anyone who treated my standards. Hey does anyone remember my Dad, Pat Piccione and the shooting case of June 29th (I thnink), 1969? I wondered how Harman St. & Bushwick reacted after.

John Piraino: 25th Feb 2013 - 01:27 GMT

I remember your dad and was friends with your brother Tally, at that time you were living on top of the cleaners. At the time of the shooting, I was long gone, we had moved in 1965, but my grandparents still lived there till 1977. I still have the newspaper clipping of the shooting.

Richie Fisher: 25th Feb 2013 - 20:31 GMT

I remember hearing about that Nina, I lived on Wilson Ave. till 1971.If I recall, those punks were throwing bricks or rocks at your house , I remember they arrested your dad after he retaliated, I never heard anything after that though. I think it was in the N.Y. Times.

Richie Fisher: 25th Feb 2013 - 20:34 GMT

Nina, what # did you live on Harmon St.? I was at the corner of Harmon and Wilson, over Murry's.

Charlie V.: 7th Mar 2013 - 06:37 GMT


I have been reading your posts with great interest. You sound like a really nice person who has had a very traumatic event take place in your life that most of us can't imagine. The fact that you are talking about it is good. I'm sure your faith has helped sustain you and given you the strength to forgive and help others. I was the recipient of much of the cruelty from the nuns you speak of. I have no hard feelings now but I did for years when I was younger, I too have forgiven them. Somebody trained them to act as they did. They were members of one of the strictest orders of nuns, the Domenicans. The Domemican Fathers were the same people who ran the Spanish Inqusitions. To harbor hatred will only have a negative effect on us. In spite of all the abuse, I did get a good fundemental education at Saint B's that enabled me to have success in life. Keep up the good work you are doing and thanks for posting.

Charlie V.

irving and Greene: 7th Mar 2013 - 22:53 GMT

Like the Harman Street incident, does anybody remember the harassing of the Pizza Shop owner on Greene and Irving. He was harassed to the point that he shot one of the guys harassing him. Does anybody have any details?

Robert K. Greco: 10th Mar 2013 - 00:15 GMT

those nuns should all be in prison for child abuse!!!!

Mary Piccione: 10th Mar 2013 - 02:42 GMT

WOW!!! All the notes and letters here bring back so many memories, good and not so good. I lived on Grove St between Central and Wilson and always enjoyed the playground on that block. Being 85 years old my memories go pretty far back to having the water in the pool in the summer, playing handball on the back court. I lived there until I married Pat Piccione in 1947 and lived in Europe for a year while Pat worked for CARE. We then went back to Harmon S

Mary Piccione: 10th Mar 2013 - 02:49 GMT

Street until the incident of the shooting in 1969.Some people here have wondered what happened to our family after that. We had to leave the area because the police told us we would not be safe. We lived with relatives for a while, waiting for Pat's murder trial. One of the gang members had been killed and my husband was arrested and the Grand Jury did not know how to decide so decided to leave i

Mary Piccione: 10th Mar 2013 - 02:49 GMT

Street until the incident of the shooting in 1969.Some people here have wondered what happened to our family after that. We had to leave the area because the police told us we would not be safe. We lived with relatives for a while, waiting for Pat's murder trial. One of the gang members had been killed and my husband was arrested and the Grand Jury did not know how to decide so decided to leave i

Mary Piccione: 10th Mar 2013 - 02:49 GMT

Street until the incident of the shooting in 1969.Some people here have wondered what happened to our family after that. We had to leave the area because the police told us we would not be safe. We lived with relatives for a while, waiting for Pat's murder trial. One of the gang members had been killed and my husband was arrested and the Grand Jury did not know how to decide so decided to leave i

Mary Piccione: 10th Mar 2013 - 02:49 GMT

Street until the incident of the shooting in 1969.Some people here have wondered what happened to our family after that. We had to leave the area because the police told us we would not be safe. We lived with relatives for a while, waiting for Pat's murder trial. One of the gang members had been killed and my husband was arrested and the Grand Jury did not know how to decide so decided to leave i

Mary Piccione: 10th Mar 2013 - 02:49 GMT

Street until the incident of the shooting in 1969.Some people here have wondered what happened to our family after that. We had to leave the area because the police told us we would not be safe. We lived with relatives for a while, waiting for Pat's murder trial. One of the gang members had been killed and my husband was arrested and the Grand Jury did not know how to decide so decided to leave i

Mary Piccione: 10th Mar 2013 - 02:59 GMT

it to the courts. After 2 years of stress a trial was held and Pat was acquitted. It was shown that the bullet that killed the young man came from a different direction. We moved to Upstate NY. Pat died in 1995 and I now live in North Carolina with my daughter Nina and her family. The grace of God brought us through the bad times and has blessed us more than I can say.. God bless all of you.,

Mary Piccione: 10th Mar 2013 - 02:59 GMT

it to the courts. After 2 years of stress a trial was held and Pat was acquitted. It was shown that the bullet that killed the young man came from a different direction. We moved to Upstate NY. Pat died in 1995 and I now live in North Carolina with my daughter Nina and her family. The grace of God brought us through the bad times and has blessed us more than I can say.. God bless all of you.,

Kathleen M.: 10th Mar 2013 - 06:49 GMT

Mary....wasn't a NYC Health Department building erected adjacent to the park that you describe near Central Avenue?

Robert K. Greco: 10th Mar 2013 - 12:34 GMT

Kathleen, the health dept bldg you refer to was/is at Central and Grove st.

Charlie V.: 11th Mar 2013 - 02:11 GMT


I lived on Grove between Evergreen and Central from 44 to 57. I remember the park very well and the fountain being turned on during hot summer days. I remember the monkey bars, slide, and see-saws. Being older, you must remember the neighborhood when it was really lovely.


anon ( 11th Mar 2013 - 19:38 GMT

Charlie, you were there for the good years!!!

Mary Piccione: 14th Mar 2013 - 22:43 GMT

Kathleen and Charlie - the building you talked about was a clinic I brought my babies to for ongoing care. I remember the castor oil they gave me to give the kids. And I did!!! Charlie, I went to school at PS75. Not all the teachers were great there either. I remember being 6 or 7, had to go to the bathroom - teacher wouldn't let me and when I started to wet myself made me stand in the front of the room peeing and crying in humiliation, so it wasn't just the nuns - I guess it was common in those days not to consider the feelings of the kids.

Kathleen M.: 15th Mar 2013 - 09:59 GMT

Mary, thank you for the clarifications about the park & the clinic. I remember the see-saws at the park of which you speak...went there often. I lived closer to Knickerbocker Avenue in the 60s.

Mary P: 19th Mar 2013 - 04:51 GMT

I have really enjoyed reading all the things people have remembered. In spite of some of the problems, those were good years for most ordinary people - we had friends through the neighborhood, church, school - I remember dances in Bushwick's High School park area on Thursday nights in the summer, Fridays it was at Grover Cleveland HS, dances at the PAL on Myrtle Ave,living through World War II when we thought we had it tough. I don't know that I would want to relive that time, but I like going back in my mind and see where I was then and what and who I am today. I am so grateful to God for all His gifts - even the not so good times, because of how they have molded my life and given me the sense of awe that I am loved by my Lord, no matter what I have done, how I continue to sometimes mess things up, and how I will mess up in future. May God continue to bless us all.

Kathleen M.: 19th Mar 2013 - 15:42 GMT

So well spoken, Mary...I share your sentiments...:).

anon ( 19th Mar 2013 - 18:43 GMT

I didn't think this was a religious site, at least it never was!!! You want to talk about your myth, go to a site of Born Agains, or Jehovahs!!!

Bill Herget: 20th Mar 2013 - 18:40 GMT

The pizza owner, on Irving & Greene Aves, shot someone who was harassing his teenage daughter who had been working there. I lived across the street, at 237 Irving Ave.

AL MEZZAPELLA: 21st Mar 2013 - 19:13 GMT

Bill did you know Pat, and Maureen Clemens, Gloria Montera, Lorraine Accuri, or Frank Duhigg???

Charlie V.: 27th Mar 2013 - 16:38 GMT

You're right the neighborhood was very nice when I lived there. Our family started moving to LI in 52 and in 57 my mom and dad joined my aunts and uncles by doing the same.

I went to PS75 for Kindergarten, St.B's after that. I don't have any bad memories of 75.


AL MEZZAPELLA: 27th Mar 2013 - 21:25 GMT

My brother Tommy, went to PS 75, in the sixties, the area was still fairly good!!!

foakleys: 6th Apr 2013 - 01:57 GMT

Une fois de plus l'on pense que les faux détruisant fera tout arrêter et les décideurs devront cesser de faire ce qu'ils font. Quelle erreur. Ces contrefa?ons ont probablement une valeur de 10.000 $ et non 39 millions de dollars qui a été cité. Cette valeur de 39 millions de dollars est la valeur des articles si elles étaient réelles. La vraie montre co?te 5000 $ et le faux 200. C?te à c?te et sa quasi impossible de faire la différence pour les non formés. Les deux montres ressemblent et fonctionnent de la même mais il ya une différence $ 4800. Pourquoi sont des "Top End" articles si cher? Ses habitants ne sont tout simplement prêts à payer un supplément pour le nom quelle que soit sa je la qualité, etc avoir une réplique "de luxe" montre. Maintient moment idéal, est presque identique à la "Real" chose encore m'a co?té 7000 $ de moins que la vraie montre. Pourquoi devrais-je payer 7000 $ de plus pour la chose réelle lorsque la réplique fait exactement la même chose? Je connais un fabricant de montres de luxe qui utilise des mécanismes internes qui sont fabriqués en Chine et ils co?tent moins de 30 $ par mécanisme encore la montre se vend à 2000 $ dans les magasins. Que vais-je payer? Le fabricant de ces montres utilise des robots et des machines automatisées pour produire leur montre et il ya peu de mains réelles sur les travaux effectués par le fabricant encore une montre qu'ils produisent qui leur co?te moins de 100 $ pour faire est vendu pour 2000 $. Ne vous se demandent maintenant pourquoi le commerce de faux fait si bien? foakleys

anon ( YOU DON'T SAY

anon ( 7th Apr 2013 - 00:59 GMT


Robert K. Greco: 7th Apr 2013 - 21:45 GMT

Does anyone remember a girl nicknamed " meatball" in the early 60s?? What was her name?

big jock outside: 8th Apr 2013 - 10:14 GMT

i dont remember meatballs real name , who cared , but she was good with the meat .

Kathleen M.: 14th Apr 2013 - 21:07 GMT

To Joey La Rosa: My Mom (85) and I traveled to your restaurant in Queens today for Sunday dinner...girls' afternoon out.... :). Your restaurant is terrific! We were most disappointed to learn you weren't there, though! I had forgotten you are not there on sorry we missed you! I wanted to tell you in person about the great memories I have of your family bakery (and, your family) circa 1950s through the early 1970s! My memories include everyone who worked at La Rosa Bakery. I, also, seem to remember your uncle's picture (I think) near the fish tank by the art-deco padded seat with the arching metal arms...with big buttons on the seat (I think). I can still "see" the small, black, circular, metal trays of hot pizzas that would be brought up from the cellar on Fridays at lunchtime. So many of my classmates at St. Barbara's waited for those pizzas (including me) to take home for lunch. Some of the pan-pizzas had little fish on them (anchovies?) and some were just cheese, as I recall. Am I recollecting correctly or am I having a "senior moment" here? LOL! The smell of baked bread, each morning, was wonderful….I seem to remember that our favorite La Rosa breads were "7 sisters" and "scaliti"/"scaletta" (not sure if I'm spelling the name correctly). Hopefully, we'll get to see you next time we visit your restaurant! Also, I hope that everyone is enjoying a most blessed beginning of Spring....the weather has been simply gorgeous in Queens today!

Kathleen M.: 15th Apr 2013 - 04:26 GMT

Thank you, Al....always nice to know my memories aren't failing... yet... LOL! Those breads were soooooo good!

Bb2ru: where is Joey La Rosa restaurant in Queens?

catherine mauceri: 17th Apr 2013 - 08:02 GMT

6229 Woodhaven Blvd, Rego Park barosa's

Bb2ru: 17th Apr 2013 - 17:21 GMT

Thank you, my next visit to NY I'm going to stop by.

Raquel : 19th Apr 2013 - 21:47 GMT

Does any one remember Ricky Allen Toney he was a pimp. Lived on Harmon street. He had a brother lee and sisters Renee and Gail.

anon ( 19th Apr 2013 - 21:51 GMT

That must have been after the low lifes took over the neighborhood!!!

anon ( 19th Apr 2013 - 21:51 GMT

That must have been after the low lifes took over the neighborhood!!!

Re 237 Irving ave.: 20th Apr 2013 - 19:45 GMT

I happened to be staying with my grandmother on greene ave. when the shooting happened but was to young to remember some details. Do remember (I think) that th brother of the victim came looking for the owner of the pizzaria. Would appreciate any details you could provide.


anon ( 22nd Apr 2013 - 03:00 GMT

why would you ask about a pimp are you looking for a job

anon ( 22nd Apr 2013 - 21:25 GMT

It's people like Raquel, that put Bushwick in the toilet!!!

Raquel : 24th Apr 2013 - 06:04 GMT

Actually he is my father and bless his soul if u don't have the facts don'tcomment please. I

anon ( 24th Apr 2013 - 15:41 GMT

Im sorry, it was people like you, that put Bushwick in the toilet!!! We had no pimps, in my days there!!!

anon ( 29th Apr 2013 - 18:45 GMT

Raquel I made no remarks about your father, you brought up the pimp!!! Bushwick was great until you, and your people, brought in Drugs Pimps, Filth.and Crime!!!

Kathleen M.: 7th May 2013 - 15:41 GMT

When I visited Bushwick, about 5 years ago, I went to the corner of Wilson Avenue and Menahan Street (I crossed that street 4x a day for many years...going back & forth to St. Barbara's). At that intersection, 5 years ago, there existed a beautiful garden apartment complex. Much further down Menahan Street towards Knickerbocker Avenue, there was a lovely playing field, lined with beautiful trees......extending for much of the rest of the block back through Grove Street. Also, the Heisser Square (Triangle) monument to a WW I soldier (1918) named, Charles Heisser, was still there... opposite a fast food restaurant...where, as I seem to recall, Schwaben Halle once stood.

Kathleen M.: 7th May 2013 - 15:58 GMT

The Heisser Square (Triangle) still borders Knickerbocker Avenue, Bleecker Street, and Myrtle Avenue...the Knickerbocker Avenue side used to face Schwaben Halle.

anon ( 7th May 2013 - 23:41 GMT

I never knew it because in was young, but Schwaben Hall was a Nazi hangout!!! In my teens we used to crash the Saturday night beer fests, got drunk for free!!!

Judy W: 7th Aug 2014 - 04:34 GMT

What happened to the postings on this site after May 2013 ?

chuck bowers: 8th Aug 2014 - 23:23 GMT

nice to see this site up and running again!

harold smith: welcome back!!!

Bill Schumm: 19th Aug 2014 - 03:33 GMT

Kathleen M.: Hi. What happened to this site? It's been over a year since I checked in and it seems to have gone down hill. Anyway, what's the name of that restaurant in Queens? I'm a METS season ticket holder and since I'm often at Citifield, I'd like to check out LaRosa's. How have you been?

Charlie V: 3rd Sep 2014 - 14:54 GMT

Schwaben Hall is where the German Bund met. Their mission was to promote a favorable view on the German Nazi Party. Their members were mainly average German Americans. Their mission became almost impossible after 1939 when no patriotic American would be caught dead there. But the parties continued, attended mostly by young men looking for free food and beer.

Tony Russo: 11th Sep 2014 - 03:09 GMT

hi all you people, i lived at 135 menahan st. bottom floor right, the gulino's anna mary leo anthony , lived on the bottom left the laRosa families lived upstairs including mickie and his wife and baby.we had the first tv on the block, in may of 1947 we had about 15 people in to watch the first louis, walcott fight including mickie laRosa who was a pro fighter himself. isaw so many names on this site that brought back memories names like killey, scafani. orlando,joe torito krieger family, rosemaie bruno,william campbell , and many others. i had the german shepards and the nuns always stopped and gave them something to ear ,Anthony gulino had a rooster in the back yard . i was two doors from st. barbara but went to p.s 86 and jus 162 . hung out mostly on greene ave. we had a club cal lea the Romans, the club was there for many years, i use to run dances there on the weekends in the mid 50's so many more memories. hope the people i mentioned are all still with us. some of my old friends from greene ave. between knickerbocker and irving. had a reunion in las vegas in 2006.

Guy st.john: 24th Oct 2014 - 02:20 GMT

Looking for anyone who knew my dad.henri st.john.he died when I was 2 years old.and don't know much about him.trying to find out what I can good or bad.some one made a comment on here that he died from an the seventies.well I don't know how he died.but I know it wasn't in the seventies.he died sept.1969 3 months after coming home after 3 tours in mothers name is Mary Ann maggiore we lived at 260 himrod st. Between knickerbocker n Irving with my grandmother Francois maggiore n grandfather edward maggiore n my uncle tommy maggiore.would like to hear from any body that knew my dad or anyone else in my family

CHUCK BOWERS: 14th Dec 2014 - 17:49 GMT

sure miss the christmas shopping along knickerbocker ave,the woolworths,5&10 store side by side.the stores on mytle ave ridgewood,the many food places to stop shopping and take a breather.taking the el to downtown bklyn for more shopping or catch the 14st line or broadway line to the city for intense shopping and sightseeing.ahhhhhh the memories of those days...gone forever.shame

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