Vanished Neighborhood

by John P. Rotondo


The area of West Market street held many fond memories of stores, people and movies.

We had the Funeral Home at 32 West market St., just above the Essex County Hall of Records. Across the street was the well known Cardiologist Dr. Antonius next to Mr. Papas' Drugstore and down from them was the Colavita Travel Agency and the office of Dr. Charles Coniaris the Optometrist (who, incidentally just passed away a few months ago). Further down was Winkies diner where a mug of coffee cost a nickel and finally the Biltmore Hotel on the corner of High Street, where the girls from the Empire Burlesque used to stay.

We lived across the street at number 32 and next to us were the Doctors Olini, two brothers and then, Dr. Coffey, the Court Theatre and finally George's Barber Shop before you reached the corner of Nelson Place and High street, across from the Hall of Records.

It has all vanished and has been replaced mostly with a parking lot where I once lived. Of course, further up the street were many stores and shops exhibiting a tremendous array of ethnic businesses; Dr. Lessen the Dentist, Mr. Hamerschlag the Realtor, Colman Tuxedos, the Connelly Coal company, the National Food store , Mr. Scwartz' Drug store and finally the Witzel ice cream and candy store on the corner of Sydney Place.

Vanished but not the fond memories of my childhood.



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