I was born in the Gianntti house at 38
7th. Ave. in 1942. I remember all the people that lived in the building
plus on the block. Jerry Tobi's candy store across the street. Giordino's
bakery next door to Jerry's. Sal's Italian Deli downstairs from
where I lived.
In the summer the hydrants were open for us kids and we sat out
almost all night after getting a pizza with the family and people
from the neighborhood if it was too hot. Sometimes my father and
other would sleep on the fire escapes if it was too hot.
We lived in cold water flats, as they were called, and went up
to the bath houses by the park to take our showers. I was to young
but all the adults went. Saturday was a day my family went food
shopping. All the stores were right on 7th.ave. There was Celentano
for pot cheese, a pasta store where you got a hand shovel to take
your pasta from barrels.
If you didn't get your fruit and vegetables from the peddler that
was always on your corner you would get them when you shopped up
7th. Ave. Everything you needed for the week to eat was on that
street. Harry Meyers, Litterio's meat market, De Noias bakery, La
mortes bar. A&P on the corner of High St. and 7th. Ave. A&P
was a store front, might have been first one. I remember the two
that ran the A&P, Nick and Ambrose, the latter was a butcher.
Ting a Ling was on 8th. AVE. and what great lemon ice! That was
a summer treat we had a couple of times in the summer.
As kids we played in Webster St. play ground or just on the block
we lived on. We played points, where you throw the rubber ball on
the edge of a building and when it popped up you catch it and that
was the start of your points. Jump rope and double dutch rope. Hop
Scotch with a heal from your father's shoe or some other man's shoe,
fun, fun, fun.
Can't forget the St. Lucy's feast every summer. The great smells
and the food and the singing. We were poor then but we sure didn't
know it, we had a family neighborhood that watched out for us, and
we didn't even know it.
In the winter on the corner of High St. and 7th. Ave., there was
a lot and the guys sold Christmas Trees. The smell from the trees
was Christmas in itself. The guys had a metal drum that they had
wood burning to keep them warm while selling the trees. When Christmas
was over all trees from our building and others were put out for
the garbage men. I don't think they had artificial trees then, not
I can go on and on for my memory of the First Ward is so vivid,
but I will stop here. Maybe I will come back another time and tell
more of my great days on 7th. Ave. My relatives were Marchetti,
De Angelo and Cerbone.