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Readers Respond: The best and worst of Ridgewood

Responses: 48


Ridgewood bordering Bushwick, Brooklyn, has changed as much over the last 100+ years as neighborhood in Queen could. It's home today to a melting pot of immigrants, particularly Polish. The neighborhood's yellow-brick buildings, built to last by German immigrants years ago, is still beautiful, in spite of some rough treatment in spots.

What do like about Ridgewood these days? What can't you stand? What do miss from the old days?

Ridgewood in late 1930s & early 1940s

I'm referring to the late 1930s and early 1940s. I would put what was called a peach basket into a 4-wheel wagon and leave from Catalpa & Seneca Avenues. Walking along Catalpa Ave. to Myrtle Ave., I would pass the Harrico Drug Store, and the Crawfords Clothing Store. Then, after crossing Cypress Ave., I would go past the Howards Clothing Store, the Ridgewood Theatre, and the smelly open Chicken Market on the corner of Madison St., which was opposite the RKO Madison Theatre, the upstairs Chinese Ridgewood Terrace, and Gottleibs. Further down, on the opposite side, was a Bickfords Restaurant. At the corner of Myrtle & Wyckoff Aves was a large newspaper & magazine stand, and then further down along Wyckoff Ave. was the Parthenon Movie Theatre. Continuing along Wyckoff Ave. I would go down to someone's cellar and purchase soft pretzels (believe this or not) at two (2) for a penny. Then going back along Myrtle Ave. I would set up my wares at the corners of Myrtle & Seneca Aves. There was competition.


Continuing my BillOS story....I would go down to someone's cellar and purchase Soft Pretzels (believe this or not) at two (2) for a penny. Then going back along Myrtle Ave. I would set up my wares at the corners of Myrtle & Seneca Aves. I would sell them for a penny apiece, and if they were not selling too well, at 6 for a nickel. There was competition for certain spots and that was the spot where I set up. Nearby stores were Vims Sport Store, a Tom McAnn Shoe store, and a Trunz Pork Store. A little further down was the Kresge's and Woolworth's 5 & 10 cent stores. On good selling days I would make 20-25 cents. Which was pretty good in those days. With the money that I made I could take the Flushing Trolley from Fresh Pond Rd. under the elevated train station to the New York 1939/40 World's Fair. The trolley ride was normally 3 cents, but you could get discounted School tickets at a much cheaper rate. I didn't realize it at the time but, "Them were the good 'ol days."

To Clara S

Murkens was located on Myrtle Avenue by Forest Avenue next to a bank.

I grew up in ridgewood 60's to 80's

I used to live 1711 gates and 1871 grove went to ps81 and 93 went to Queens voc HS for electricity 33 years NYC Transit Now retired my name is Bobby Williams born 1958 and Ridgewood was and still is my home. I now Live in Fresh Meadows but I miss all my friends from Ridgewood Grew up during the Blackout in the 60's and 77 there were many stores all gone now , there was a ice cream parlor on Woodward btwn grove and linden gone. and a chicken store also on Woodward that Flamed broiled chickens 60's. then there was a variety store on Woodward and linden gone. and Saurer hardware store on Woodward gone. and right accross from the hardware store was Nardellas fruit and Vegetable gone. I went to St.Marks church Grove and Onderdonk for many years now I am getting old and miss so much. anyway I hope i stered some memories and I will check back
—Guest bobw927

Byhoff Bros. records

I lived on grove btwn onderdonk and woodward did you know Susan Glintmeyer from woodward and gates ?

Clara S.

Hey Mark, was Murkens on Woodward Ave. I used to pass on my way home from Grover Cleveland HS and "hang out" there after school. They made the best hamburgers in Ridgewood.
—Guest Clara


Did anyone out there live on Woodbine St. I lived in 1864 Woodbine between Onderdonk & Woodward Ave. Lived there in 40's and 50's. Went to PS 93 and Grover Cleveland H.S. Now live in Texas. Would love to see if anyone is still alive out there.
—Guest Clara

ridgewood memories

does anyone remember the girls from Norman street during mid to late 1940 era. there was the Murgolo girls,thelma ritter,kay jahn . Agroup or us hung out with them and I wonder if any of them still remember me and Tony Peralta. I would like to contact any of them. I remember all of the good times that we all had . IF YOU ARE OUT THERE CONTACT ME either on this site or at asa8605@verizon.net
—Guest fred Letzeisen

Byhoff Bros. records

I went to both 81 and 93, have contacted a couple of my greatest teachers in recent years. Anyone know Paul Byhoff, whom I sold some records to in the early Eighties? I started my modest little album collection in that store. Bought a lunchtime sandwich most days on Woodward at Gates in a German deli. Does any deli still sell meat cakes on a Monday?
—Guest Bamjaya

good old days

while I have placed a few short notes on thi site I have never received any answers to them. I did see a note from Mildred Walsh from Texas. I lived at 1714 Madison Street next to where she grew up and I remember her Mom and Dad and her brother. The family lived on the ground floor ,the apartment was eventually taken by the Young family. After living in Florida for 21 years my wife and I now live in the Dallas area of Texas in a suburb named Southlake. I would love to hear from Mildred if she would like to rehash Madison Street . I just turned 84 in March and would like to hear from Ridgewood Alumni while I am still on the green grass side of the earth. Also if anyone that grew up in Ridgewood in the years 1934 to 1966 when we left New York City . Looking forward to hearing from someone that remembers the good old days
—Guest fred letzeisen


tony peralta....hey I just saw your letter re Ridgewood .....love this site. I have one on page two also. Ridgewood was a great place to grow up in . I have fond memories of the Madison Street area and of you my friend. How soon we got old and live on memories now. I thank you for introducing me to my wife Angela when I came home on Leave . I also remember the many games of pool at the ridgewood grove. The good old days just are memories now. Thanks for being a friend through the years buddy.
—Guest fred letzeisen

i live here now

these days ridgewood is taken over. mainly by hispanics and the polish from what i know there is no german stores but a butcher shop hope this helps
—Guest reblo

Corpus Christi, Texas

I remember playing Ace, King, Queen on the wall that formed the back of the Ridgewood Theatre. I also played stoop ball on my stoop at 1716 Madison St. between Seneca and Cypress. I loved St. Brigid's School. I graduated from there in 1954. I remember fondly Franzini's produce and Adams' candy store where I bought comic books and orange ice. I remember the summer dances at St. Brigid's school yard and all the wonderful friends on Madison and Woodbine Streets. I live in Texas, but I will never forget Ridgewood - Madison St. in particular.
—Guest Mildred Walsh Garner

Looking for William Ostvang

Hi . I am looking for my Uncle William Ostvang born 1927 from Norway. I am living in Norway , and have been told that he lives in Ridgewood. Do anyone know him ?
—Guest Espen

67TH avenue

I remrmber growing up on 67th ave between 60th st and 60th lane which was located between Forest Ave and Fresh Pond Rd. I went to PS88. The best part of growing up in the 50's and 60's in Ridgewood was the 5 & 10 cents stores on Myrtle ave and the great movie houses in the area. Every Saturday my grandmother would give me $1 so that I could go to the movies. I would walk to the Oasis theater on Fresh Pond Rd, stopping along the way to buy a big bag of french fries for 10 cents. I paid 25 cents to get into the movies (a double feature, saturday serial, and 5 cartoons) and still had 65 cents for drinks and snacks. The theater would sometimes give away door prizes to the holder of a lucky ticket stub, and would have halloween costume contests for the kids, and all this for the 25 cent admission price. Those days are long gone, and I sure miss them.
—Guest jp2009

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