by Philip Donnelly


To outsiders you just said you were from Newark, but to another Newarker you gave what section. I was born and raised in ROSEVILLE (4th generation). I came into this world at the Newark Presbyterian Hospital on South 9th Street. We lived for a while at my grandparents home on 7th Avenue but later my parents got a house of their own on North 7th Street. The majority of those living in Roseville were Irish. School was St. Rose Of Lima and later Essex Catholic. St. Rose Of Lima had two playgrounds, one an asphalt covered basketball court and the other was Gray street which was barricaded to traffic during recess.

Part of the entertainment for the children was to watch the A&P truck backup to a small sidewalk level window, hookup the roller ramp and watch the driver shoot the boxes down the ramp to the basement storage for the A&P. Once a friend and I took a dare and hopped on the ramp and the rollers carried us down into the darkness on like a ride on some maniacal rollercoaster. We were deposited in the dimly lit basement. We bolted up the stairs, pass a startled employee, and out the door.

There were two theaters in Roseville, The Plaza and The Tivoli. The Plaza was a B movie theater, not much to look at and the floors were always sticky but we children loved it. On Saturday for a quarter you got a double feature and tons of cartoons. Most of the films were horror or westerns. Those horror films ensured many a sleepless night for the children of Roseville. The Tivoli was the first run move house, this was where the parents went, children in tow to see things like a love (ick) story. The Tivoli had class, from the round brass and glass ticket booth you walker up a ramp to the lobby. The walls along the ramp had mirrors that reflected your image hundred of times. The lobby and seating area rivaled any Broadway theater. In fact The Tivoli was an old burlesque theater and still had a stage an orchestra pit. Across the stage was a large red velvet curtain. The movie would start to play with the curtain slowly opening to reveal the screen, now there was showmanship

For my family, Roseville had four places to eat, the White Circle on the corner of 7th Avenue and Roseville Avenue, a small hole in the wall place with 4 or 5 stools and hamburgers that would put White Castle to shame. There was a greasy spoon next to the National Newark and Essex Bank called Bodholdts, then there was the Clippership and Grunings. The Clippership was on Roseville Avenue between the railroad and the Armory. This was the restaurant were dad would take Mom out for a special evening. Sometimes I would go with them and while I don't remember much about the food (what kid does) I do remember the painting of a clipper ship that covered the back wall. I would stare at it the whole time we were there imagining myself on its deck sailing to distant lands. Now Grunings, this was something special, all tile, marble and chrome. The floor had small Black and white tile and running down the center of the floor was a pattern of black tile swastikas, I never knew why. The food was mostly a luncheon affair but the ice cream, malts and those special sundaes is what most of us from Roseville remember.

Roseville was the stable on 6th Street, next to the 5th Precinct, that kept the horses for the mounted patrol of Branch Brook Park, the soapbox derby races down the 12th Street ramp over the railroad, the Halloween parade of children or marching in top hats and tails down Broad street on St. Patrick's day ( I didn't know until I left Roseville that St. Patrick's day wasn't a national holiday). Roseville was Orange Street with every kind of shop to fill your every need.

I still say with pride "I came from Roseville"


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