Memories of Downtown

by Florence Colandro


I have already posted a couple of memories on this great site. But one of my best memories is of Downtown Newark.

When we lived on Madison Avenue we used to take the number 13 or 14 bus on Clinton Avenue, if I remember correctly. My father did not drive and if he did we could not afford a car, so we used mass transportation, always. I used to love going Downtown with my mother. We always went to the 5 & 10 cent stores (where have they all gone?). There was Grant's on Market Street that had the most delicious hot dogs. Then we would go to Woolworth's on Broad & Market to buy some loose candy or cookies by the pound. They also had a great counter where you could have a really inexpensive lunch. My mother would buy little bottles of cheap cologne etc. at the cosmetics counter. Then we would trek down to the last 5 & 10, McCrory's on Broad Street, closer to S Klein on the square. They had the best pizza for 15 cents a slice if I remember correctly.

A lot of my memories revolve around food as you can see. Downstairs in McCrory's you could even buy a canary or a parakeet, if you wanted one. S Klein always had great sales and if we had not eaten anything yet we would go to either Bam's basement for a hot dog and one of their chocolate malt ice creams soft serve. Or it was on to Nedicks on the corner of Broad & Market for a hot dog (we ate a lot of hot dogs) and a delicious orange soda.

When we moved to Orange Street & Norfolk Street my friends and I (I was older by now) would walk Downtown to the movies (there were the Adam's, the Branford & the Paramount that I can remember). We would also go to the great Newark Library & the Newark Museum. We had Hahne's. Kresge's, S Klein on the Square, Ohrbach's & Bamberger's to shop in along with Lerner's, Bond's etc. We were so lucky & we did not even know it. We also went to Chock Full O'Nuts for their delicious donuts & the Nut House for nuts.

We were not confined to a mall the way you are today. Downtown was the best around Christmas time going in and out of the stores especially great when there was snow on the ground. Sometimes my friends and I would walk High Street (now Martin Luther King Blvd) to go to the Newark Slip Company that sort of catered to lower income people such as my family & the families of my friends. But lower income or not I would trade my childhood in Newark for a childhood full of money or in a more exclusive area. We were able to walk the streets without our parents worrying about us getting killed.

Boy, have times changed everywhere!!!

Those were the days my friends!


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