It would be nice to hear the Christmastime
shopping remembrances of those on this site. The Christmas shopping
areas from Vailsburg were accessed by the #31 or #32 South Orange
Avenue bus to Downtown, the # 94 Stuyvesant Avenue bus to Springfield
Avenue (Irvington ) or Central Avenue ( East Orange ) and locally
by walking to South Orange Avenue.
Bamberger's, Kresege's, Hahne's , Klein's, Orbach's, Miles, Learner's,
Terry Shop, Woolworth's, Bond's, Howard's and many more. This was
where most of the serious shopping was done. Remember the coded
bells that would ring in Bamberger's. They would use them to call
a manager. Or for some stealth reason. Christmas music was piped
into the streets on a P.A. system. Remember trying to get a bus
home? They were all packed. The people would stand near the front
of the bus. The driver would constantly tell everyone to please
move to the rear to no avail. Sometimes the bus driver would let
you pay him and enter through the back door. It seemed like most
people got the #31 at Washington or Halsey Streets. If they were
really crowded some would walk down past Broad Street to get a bus.
The good thing was that the buses ran every five minutes. They were
like e conveyor belt.
Springfield Avenue (Irvington)
Tom McCann, Woolworth's, Canadian, Kembler's, Goldfinger's etc.
It was the next notch up from South Orange Avenue without the hassle
of going Downtown. Shopping here was a lot easier then going Downtown.
The bus would run every 15 minutes but they were also crowded.
South Orange Avenue (Vailsburg)
Woolworth's, Merit, Lincoln , Boccia's, Marx's, Cornacchio's,
Young's etc. Shopping on the Avenue was convenient. It also allowed
the little children a place to shop for modest priced Christmas
presents. It was also very unique. Especially if the street was
snow covered. It projected the image of a village.
These are precious and unique experiences that can never be relived
but only remembered.