My name is MaryAnn, and I grew up on 1st
Street during the years of 1960-1970. Growing up in Newark, NJ was
like having one big block party all the time. We lived at 238 1st
Street, the house was connected to another house by a driveway,
so you were family with the people who lived there as well. In fact
my mother grew up in this home along with her brothers and sister.
The oldest brother married the girl across the driveway sometime
during the 1950's.
On Sundays, after church was over, you would come home to the smell,
which was throughout the neighborhood, of all the gravies cooking.
I always felt like I was in heaven with all the great smells around
me. We used to all sit on the stoops at night and talk with all
our neighbors. The neighbors would cart their lawn chairs over and
we all would linger out there until late at night, especially in
the summer time. Somehow you never felt the heat because air conditioning
was for the rich, we had fans! Also when the ice cream truck would
come around you felt so lucky just to have all this security around
Everyday a fruit and vegetable guy would come down the street with
a wagon full of goodies being pulled by a horse. I used to feed
the horse sugar cubes.
Unfortunately the riots started in the late 60's and my grandfather
sold the house that I had so many wonderful memories in, that was
I don't think there is a place on this earth that could take away
the magic I felt growing up and being a part of Newark for the 10
shortest years of my life. I wish I had more years...