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Readers Respond: The best and worst of Ridgewood

Responses: 44

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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?

Your bests and worsts

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.
—BillOS

William

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."
—BillOS

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

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

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

bubbles

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

Searching for Guarneri family from 1971

Guarneri children went to St. Matthias late 60's early 70's, names were Laura, Peter, Diane. I move to Jersey in 71 and lost track. Does anybody know what happened to this family, where they moved. They lived down the block from me on Onderdonk and Woodbine. The had a parakeet named Petey if that helps. Been searching but it is like they dropped off the planet. They went to St. Matthias, I went to P.S 88....also looking for a Michael Falco from P.S. 88, gradutated with me in 1971.. Thanks to all that can help.
—elvis76queens

RIDGEWOOD

I was born in Wycoff Heights Hospital in '65 lived across the street from the hospital on Stockholm st.Parents moved us up on Menehan St and 61st street in the mid 70s .Moved out in 99 to another state.I would like to meet some fellow Ridgewood neighbors if your out there
—Guest MAUS

dukeydg123@gmail.com

i would love to chitchat re: brooklyn: PS 123, Junior high 162 and of course Bushwick High school, graduated 1956. Oh Brooklyn Can You Hear Me?
—Guest Dolores Grecco

Madison Street and Ridgewood

I grew up on Madison St. between Cypress and Seneca. The years were 1937 to 1947. Fred Letzeisen was one of my best friends. Punch ball and stick ball in the street were our favorites, and occasionally we played handball on the brick wall in the back of the Ridgewood Theatre. The summers were hot and humid, and to pass the time away we sometimes played cards on the steel stairs outside the Ridgewood Theatre. I remember going to the chicken market on Myrtle Ave. opposite the RKO Madison with my father where he hand picked a nice fat chicken for soup. I went to the Chinese restaurant, Ridgewood Terrace, for the first time with my two sisters, but that was before it was raided by the police for having strippers on saturday nights. In my teen years, I went to the dances for the Catholic Youth Club at St. Mathias Church that was moderated by Father Marsh, a wonderful man. Other priests that I remember were Father Muller and Father Heather. Were friends with Norman St. guys and gals. Great!!
—TonyPeralta

Your bests and worsts

The best and worst of Ridgewood

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