by Ken Cypra


Since I grew up in 1950's near Bergen/Hawthorn, we were in Peshine School and Weequahic HS district - so I guess I belong to both neighborhoods.

With all the other memories I've seen on your website, I'm surprised by the absence of Ace's Pizzeria on Hawthorn Avenue. Ace's has probably defined Italian Pizza and hot dogs for the rest of the US. For 15 cents, the best hot dogs were gotten at Ace. My family has tried to duplicate them over the years, but to no avail.

If you wanted to go Jewish, there was always Cohen's Knishes on Hawthorn/Dewey right across from my grandmother's; also handy when I spent time at the Annex.

My first 15 years spent at 846 Bergen Street in Newark (now probably the center lane of Rte 78) left an indelible mark on my life and outlook which is still present 45-50 years later with me located in Indiana - a third of a continent away.

The only other group of people who seem to have had the same kind of experience with their "childhood" city are my friends who grew up in Gary, Indiana (near where I now live). Both communities certainly have large African-American populations, but its more than that. Gary, like Newark, was (and still is) a working class city with a very diverse population in the 50's and 60's, a great school system and a commercial downtown second to none.


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