Clinton Hill

by J. Kessler


I was born at 19 Clinton Ave in 1924, the son of Dr. Mrs. Henry H. Kessler, an orthopedic surgeon. We moved to 29 Hillside Ave. (between Avon & Clinton) in 1927, then to 53 Lincoln Park in 1935. I attended Charlton St, Avon Ave., South Side High School, Newark Academy, and Blair Academy.

The beginning of Clinton Ave. are at Lincoln Park and Washington St. Lincoln Park starts at Broad St and ends at Broad St. The odd numbers on the north of the park and even on the south.

On the north were 2 churches, a White Castle and the 31 Lincoln Park - The Medical Tower - offices of Doctors such as Sam Roth, Sam Goldstein, Lohman, Firtel, Eisenberg, Kessler -- dentists Jacobs, Buck Weiss and many others. The ground floor had a pharmacy, a barber shop (Al Rizzito) and NJ Motor Vehicles - insurance agency.

Several brown stones, Colonnade Apt., more brown stones then 53 Lincoln Park. This was one of the Feigenspan homes, with a carriage house in the back. Then a few more brown stones to Washington St.
On the south side of the park were mostly brown stones. One of them was the offices of one of the first group medical practice's in the area -- Drs. Parsonnet, Brief, and others.

Going up Clinton, on both sides towards High St, were brown stones. At Parkhurst was The Clinton Manor Caterers.

At the intersection at High was a church, dental laboratory, and Father Divines Retreat, which has been described before. One comment -- the resident would always refused any gratuity other than their salary.
On the 4th corner was Smith & Smith Funeral Home. My uncle used to drive the horse drawn hearse.

My facility was next, an Apt house, tire exchange, Elks #21, (formally National Casket Co.) more brown stones to Hayes Circle. Next to Father Divines was Bruack Oldsmobile.

At Hayes Circle were 2 banks and a bowling alley.

Up Clinton was Stratford Bake Shop who moved to South Orange in ???. On the opposite side was Petermans. 299 Clinton housed many notables -- Elsie Sommers (dresses) who moved to South Orange, Louise August, Hollander Furs etc.

Then Hillside Ave -- doctors row -- one side Dr.Mass,Silverstein a dentist, Gershenfeld--who brought me into this world, my brother, sister,and my 2 children, then another dentist. On the other side Dr. Kaplan a dentist (nothing to do with Jerry Lewis), Timer, Laurie, Kessler, Blaustein, Feinberg, Simonson -- around the corner on Madison was Brahms and Parsonnet -- on Clinton was Dr. Reinfeld .
I can still recall the "4 horse and flies" as well as the vendors selling from their horse drawn carts -- ice, milk, and coal.

Past Clifton Ave was the Sugar Bowl for after high school dancing & sodas.

Over the tracks was Lustigs -- the Best deli in Newark.

Then the movie theater.

Above Bergen was Brinkmans Ice Cream -- running a close second to Grunings. The owner could remember taking orders from 8 people each requested 3 different scoops of ice cream and she never made a mistake. This was a favorite place after bowling at the YMHA on High St.

There was the Jewish Orphanage, Tracy and Baldwin Ave with their many doctors and Temple B'nai Abraham. Just before the Irvington line was another movie house and Taffet Shoe store.

These are my recollections of that area

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