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.