From the 50’s to the 90’s Down
I 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!
Over at (Nichols/Warwick Sts.) you could buy Hot Pizza Bread in
the basement. I would work the bingo at St. Casmir’s Church
and joining the CYO as the bowling alley was under the Church; and
even the dances at St. Benedicts & Wilson Ave Schools were special.
Heading from Penn Station to Ferry Street you had the Rivoli Theatre,
Newark Drive-In, Goldfingers, Lorzacks, and Roman Jelley all were
icons in itself. That was then and now there are Portuguese/Spanish
bakeries and restaurants.
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.
You had the real Italian Ice Nastos (Adams St) & the San Lucicha’s
Restaurant (Jefferson St), family-own in a large 3 family house....most
of our family events were there as the Polish Falcons (New York
Ave) seem to be always booked.
In the late 60’s I will never forget Johnny Maestro &
the Brooklyn Bridge performing at East Side High. My first part-time
job was with Laurel Lamp (Rome St) and ending up with a full time
job at Western Electric (Cedar St) downtown Newark where you would
find Klein's, Two Guys, McCory's, Woolworth's, & Kressge's are
only a few I remember. Those were the days the businesses went to
your High School looking for you to fill out an application to work
My job moved from Cedar Street 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 (the only there -- wish I could remember
the name) to catch Luke & Laura get married from General Hospital
Soap Opera...they are still around on the Soaps, imagine that over
25 yrs ago and this year 2008 Luke & Laura re-married on General
Hospital once again and that is when I said to myself “do
you remember where you were when they first got married”,
and sure I did….Newark - Ironbound/Down Neck – in Penn
Station no less.
I really do miss those times, the places & the people. You
were not afraid to walk the streets, go to Independence Park or
even to buy a carton of milk from the milk machine right across
East Side High School on Pulaski St. in a little vacant triangle
So many friends and family all moved from the Down Neck area.....and
now in 08, what is left there?