Photo Gallery - Page 14

If you have a photograph that captures some recognizable block or neighborhood or landmark in the Bronx,
we would love to add it to our gallery. Here are details on submitting your pictures.

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Taken in the 70's, this photo shows Bergen Avenue and the marquee of the Loew's National theater. This building no longer exists. Back in the 40's and 50's they had Vaudeville Night every Tuesday with live acts. I sold newpapers in front of the theater on Saturday nights.

--Settimo DiDonato

This was taken in 1949 in the playground of St. Mary's Park. The entrance was on St. Ann's Avenue. The big building in the background is P.S. 27 and the right end of the picture is 148th Street. That's me in the pigtails and Pat Segursky and her least I think that's who it is.

--Rosalie Van Nosdall

This picture was taken about 1930. The house was located at 1331 West Farms Road, corner of Boone Avenue. That is my Mother and brother, and in the carriage was my sister. The man on the steps is my Uncle Isadore Cruppi, owner of the house. The newsstand is the candy store I tell about in The Bronx Diary, "The Depression Years, 1930-1942". Note the hairdo of my Mother and her coat with the fur collar. You wore knickers and knee-high socks until you were thirteen and then got to wear long pants.

The newsstand outside the store held all the papers of the day, including the News, the Mirror, the Times and several more. It also had a couple of papers in other languages like the Jewish Daily Forward and Il Progresso. On the left of the storefront was a large window, which in warmer weather was raised, allowing you to pay for your paper, cigarettes or soda without actually entering the store. The front door was large and fully glassed. Inside on the right was a stand with all kinds of magazines and comic books like Dick Tracy and Superman. One of the store's two telephone booths was just inside. To use the telephone you would insert a nickel and an operator would answer and you would give the phone number you wanted. If you wanted to call long distance, you would have to ask the operator for the long distance operator. This was one of the phone booths I would answer and the party would tell me who to call in the apartment building. The party would give you a penny or two for the service. Next to the magazine rack was a glass showcase with all kinds of cigars. To buy a cigar you would have to call the owner and he would get the box with the cigar you wanted. Behind were showcase cabinets, all glass so you could see what you wanted, plus all kinds of school supplies. Opposite the case was the main part of the store. There was a counter and several stools to sit on. Packs of cigarettes were sold here, like Lucky Strike, Camels, Chesterfields, Tweny Grand and Wings. The owner also sold loose cigarettes for a penny each. On the counter there was a box of chocolates and you could buy a piece for a penny. If you got a piece with a pink center, you got another piece free. Also from the counter you could get a seltzer (known as "2 cents plain") or an egg cream. Egg creams were made with chocolate syrup, some milk and then seltzer. They came to a frothy head and were delicious. You could also get ice cream or malteds. They sold MelloRoll ice cream, which was put in wafer holders. On the counter were various candies, like flat bars of Mary Jane, Milky Way and others. Further down the store was a showcase full of all kinds of candy. Opposite were a couple of small tables with wire-back chairs. Another phone booth was in the back. The owner would never bother us in the store because we would always answer the phone.

--Vincent Palazzo

This was our family business back in the late 1950's. The address was 1037 Ogden Avenue (between West 164th and 165th Streets). My Grandfather and his two sons opened the store in September of 1957. The store has been there for 43 years. My uncle believes this photo was taken in 1957 or 1958. They were known as "Yore" Butchers of Highbridge.

--Marie B.

This was Nick's IceYard on 147th Street between Brook and St. Ann's Avenues. The year was 1948 and that's me, Rosalie, and my brother, Wes, who delivered ice.

--Rosalie VanNosdall Molloy

This was St. Benedict's Band marching on Castle Hill Avenue for the St. Helena's parade in 1957.

--Carol Del Gatto Culkin

176th Street and Topping Avenue

A curbside parking spot in the Bronx? Here's plenty, sixty years ago, along 176th Street, looking east past Clay to Anthony Avenue. Photographed from the corner of Topping Avenue, with Grand Concourse two blocks behind the camera, the scene is typical of a tranquil Bronx Sunday morning, in late August of 1945, shortly after the war ended. Many awnings have been fully lowered, covering the whole window, top to bottom. Several newspapers are on the sidewalk, waiting to be picked up. We had some good times hanging out under that great looking streetlight on summer nights and my friends and I hopped that johnny-pump every time we passed it.

Clay Avenue ends, on the right, across from the small tree. At the time, Clay was paved with smooth tar for the single block, to East 175th, making it a prime trap-on-ball-bearing-roller-skate gutter.

The dark (red brick) apartment building at the far end of the street is on the southeast corner of Anthony Avenue, at the top of the 176th Street hill, which offered one of the most rightening, irresistable and fulfilling Flexible Flyer rides in the Bronx. The hill was arrow-straight, steep enough to give a sense of freefall and really long, allowing time for us to knock out a short prayer as we screamed toward the bottom. The hill was especially harrowing on the first several runs of the season, with the initial ride usually generated by a dare. Before long, the hill was crowded. The apartment building supers faithfully spread about fifty feet of furnace ash across the street, near the bottom, so we wouldn't rocket past Echo Park and into the Tremont and Webster Avenue traffic. What a ride!

--Ken Reeth

1823 Topping Avenue

During World War II, our family lived at 1823 Topping Avenue, renting a ground floor apartment in one of these old converted row brownstones. The apartment rented for twenty-eight dollars a month in 1942. One summer morning, our kitchen ceiling fell down and it took the landlord a month to replace it. The shiny car belonged to the landlord.

In the photo, two girls are standing on our stoop, a favorite neighborhood summertime meeting place, for gossip and games. We played in the gutter or on the stoop all day and hung out beneath the corner streetlight, often until late night. On the front stoop, we traded comic books, played cards (often, endless games of War) and Checkers. We held day-long Monopoly marathons or, to please the girls, played, Go To The Head of the Class. Often, the stoop became a bomber and we would bomb Tokyo or Berlin, usually patterning the game after the latest war movie and ourselves after the stars. Once in a while, on any small plot of dirt, we would mark off a square and play Land, flipping a pen-knife and carving up territories, marking each one with an initial...

We had a pint-size back yard, with space for a small victory garden and some flowers. Everybody's laundry hung out back, on washlines attached to wood telephone poles. On washday, my mother, like other Bronx mothers, headed for the kitchen sink with a box of Rinso, Gold Dust or Super Suds, the family washboard, a gallon jug of crystaline water and a chunk of blueing, wrapped in cheesecloth and knotted at each end, for whitening. Then, she boiled up a batch of hot, slimy-looking starch, and made the collars of my white, P.S. 28 assembly day shirt all but unbuttonable.

On most summer washdays, every backyard line would be filled with flapping underwear, bedsheets, shirts, socks and other pieces of laundry. Quite a sight. It was the last thing I would have taken a picture of at the time, but I sure wish I had one to share now. When a summer storm neared and the first boom of thunder sounded, every washline pulley on the block squeaked at the same time, sounding like a locust attack, as women hurried to haul in the laundry before the rain hit.

The photo faces north. The apartment house with the fire escapes, barely visible at the right, is on East 176th Street. Grand Concourse is to the left. Each neighborhood kid knew the name of every man, woman, child and pet, in every apartment and when a neighborhood pet died, every one of us mourned.

--Ken Reeth

Topping Avenue between 176th and 175th Streets

This is Topping Avenue, late one summer afternoon in 1945, taken from 176th Street, looking south to 175th. At the far left, on the corner of 175th, mostly hidden by trees, is a Lutheran church, Saint Michael's, I believe.

In most Bronx neighborhoods during the war, gas rationing kept traffic to a bare minimum. Milk deliveries were made by horse and wagon. Ditto for produce and ice. Few people on our block owned a car, so there was plenty of room in the gutter for kids to play and wide sidewalks, where Grandmas, usually dressed in black, sat on campchairs and knitted or napped in the summer sun.

We played stoop baseball, fire-escape-basketball, wallball, boxball and stickball, but punchball was our ballgame of choice. Ringalevio and Kick the Can worked best for us, after dark, when shadows made it easier to hide, or sneak up to free the captives. Our apartment was on the ground floor, in a converted brownstone house beside the tree, partly visible on the right. The tree, no longer there, served as first base in our gutter punchball games. The pictured gutter was our stadium, with manhole covers, chalked squares and automobile fenders doubling as bases. To a ten or eleven year old during the World War II years, few personal pleasures in life compared with punching a Spaldeen down the block, with that unique pinging sound, meaning a solid hit, then circling those bases to the cheers of your friends and the false feeling that you^̉re being admired by every girl in sight.

Winter snowstorms never stopped us from enjoying the block either. We bundled up, fastened our galoshes and played for hours, after school. Snow, shoveled off sidewalks, remained piled high on Bronx curbs all winter long. Most kids rarely used the cleared sidewalks, but wore paths atop the snowpiles. The highest snowpiles were at most intersection corners, where we built snow-slides, forts and tunnels and had great snowball fights. When the snow began to melt, we made dams in the gutter.

--Ken Reeth

This was the sandbox in Joyce Kilmer Park. Looking east are the apartment houses along the Grand Concourse between 162nd and 163rd Streets.

--David Johnson, Louisville, Kentucky

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