Chancellor Avenue

by Andrea Jay


Saw your site mentioned in Weird NJ 2 which I bought today at a yard sale for $1. I had no idea there was a site with "Newark Memories" and enjoyed reading it.

My brother, Stan and I were both born in Beth Israel Hospital (he in '43 and I in '47), Though we lived in Hillside, about 2 blocks from Chancellor Avenue, I absolutely LOVED Newark and wished my parents had bought a house there, and not in industrial, really dull Hillside. Believe it or not, they thought that Hillside was a "step up" from Newark where they grew up.

Chancellor Avenue was a living, breathing area of commerce in the 1950's. There were 2 bakeries (one was Lehrhoff's), Tabachnick's Appetizers, Halem's, Leeds Drug Store, The Coro Corset Shop, a wonderful 5 and 10 store where I bought my first ball-point pen, a florist, a dry-goods store, a shoe store, a tailor who had two thumbs (not kidding), a delicatessen, a very serious looking Jewish funeral parlor, a ritzy clothing store for upscale teens, and many other stores that I can't remember.

Going down towards Olympic Park (what a great place!) was an ice cream place and, of course, Watson Bagels, Ming's, and a movie theater that had a sign saying, "Closed for the summer -- reopen in September." If you went towards Maple Ave., there was a restaurant and a Jewish Center. Most Saturdays, I would take the #14 Clinton Place bus "downtown" to go to the big Newark Library.

By the 60's, Newark was going through its death throes. The infrastructure was decaying and the corruption in City Hall let it die. The riots in '67 drove the final nail into the coffin. Even my neighborhood in Hillside emptied out within weeks (except for a few people, my parents included)who stayed for a few more years. Poor Chancellor Avenue atrophied over the 70's and by the 90's, there wasn't much left. The big superhighway (78?)tore through, not that it mattered, it was over by then.

I still have vivid dreams about Chancellor Avenue, however, and they seem very real. I would love to see pictures of these stores on your Web Site, along with pictures of the old orphanage on Lyons Avenue.


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