Memories of Down Neck/Ironbound

by Linda (Panek) Prignano


From the 50’s to the 90’s Down Neck memories.

Remember walking to Sid’s Jewish Deli (cor. Pulaski/Oliver St.) to get a bagel or Byk’s (cor. Pulaski/East Kinney St.) for Polish Kielbasa, of course Teddy’s & Alex (5 corners Ferry St.) another favorite. You really went down under into a dugout for pizza - Dugout Pizzeria!

Crossing Independence Park (Nichols/Warwick Sts.) to get Pizza Bread. St. Casmir’s CYO & bowling under the Church; dances at St. Benedicts & Wilson Ave Schools were special. Then there's Rivoli Theatre, Newark Drive-In, & Ferry St (Goldfingers, Lorzacks, Roman Jelley) were icons itself.

On Halloween those were the days stores would toss out money, you stayed out to midnight and had to watch out for water bombs and being egged. We looked forward every year to Mt. Carmel Church Italian Festivals (Van Buren/Chestnut Sts.), where my Dad taught me to eat raw clams, but do I miss those zeppoles.

There’s Italian Ice Nastos (Adams St) & the Italian Restaurant (Jefferson St), does anyone remember the family-own restaurant's name in this large 3 family house....most of our family events were here as the Polish Falcons (New York Ave) was booked.

I will never forget Johnny Maestro & the Brooklyn Bridge performing my junior/senior year in East Side. Having a part-time job at Laurel Lamp (Rome St) and ending up with a full time job at Western Eclectic (Cedar St) downtown Newark where you can find Klein's, Two Guys, McCory's, Woolworths, & Kresse's are only a few I remember. I'm sure there's many more.

After moving to 'The Gateway' Penn Station I remember leaving my job for a short break only to go into the ticket station to a small pub (wish I could remember the name) only to catch Luke & Laura get married from General Hospital Soap Opera...they are still around on the Soaps, imagine that over 25 yrs ago.

Wonder if they still sell hot pretzels over at the end of Wilson by the ramp going over to Jersey City? I doubt it.

Slowly the changes started, with the little malls opening (Lafayette St.) and then came all the Portuguese & Spanish Restaurants….I really do miss those places & the people during the era.

So many friends and family have all moved from the Down Neck area.....and now in 08, what is left in the Ironbound?


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