Newark Memories and Roots

by Richard Blume


Newark would always be my home is what I thought in those childhood, adolescent, and young adult years.

Born in a typical working class family on Seymour and Clinton Aves. We moved on to Bergen and Avon Aves in the early WW2 years, then moved to Clinton and 19th St. about three years and then to Chadwick and Bigelow, across from Bergen St School. All those neighborhoods hold such wonderful memories including Roosevelt movies, Avon movie theatre, Woolworth 5 @ 10, great deli's, bakeries, candy stores, Weequahic Park, playgrounds and our family get togethers at Olympic Parks picnic area.

Families and friends were always a welcome sight strolling down the street for a visit. Most likely we may have been sitting or playing on our porches or stoops. One of my aunts always had some goody from the bakery, and a quarter for my sister, brother and me, and a quarter went a long way in those days, particularly with the Good Humor truck coming down the street. My best friend Harry and I would walk thru many neighborhoods of Newark and found them all similar to our settings, but we were looked at as strangers in some cases, and kept on walking, picking up the pace a bit, but never had a bad experience.

For sure downtown Newark was everyone's neutral neighborhood, and spent many wonderful hours there particularly on holidays with all those stores, such as Bams(my mom worked there for over 40 years) Orhbachs, Kresges(I worked there a year), Haynes and so many great specialty stores and restaurants. Always looked forward to those parades which made me feel so proud to see marching bands and men in uniform.

Moved onto North Newark in my early twenties, first to 4th and Broadway and then Taylor St and Summer Ave. This area was a whole new experience, just newly married. Branchbrook Park, the Cathedral and all those great Italian restaurants, such as Thomms, Biasis, Mamas, Vesuvius and of course Jimmy Buffs hot dogs, could go on. Moved to Belleville in 1964.

These are just some of the basic roots and memories of Newark, and will carry them for always.


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