Comments from JoeG

Showing 26 - 29 of 29 comments

JoeG commented about Colonial Theatre on Aug 24, 2005 at 4:09 pm

Peter, I came along later, in the ‘60s, but I remember Einhorn’s, which I believe later became Key Food. There was also a great little Italian pastry shop there. And I remember the newspaper stand with the deaf-mute couple. The woman used to try to communicate with my mother; she always would have a big, warm smile even though she couldn’t speak. Fred M., I went to Lourdes, again, later, late '50s to mid '60s. I wrote some stuff about it that is posted up above.

JoeG commented about Colonial Theatre on Feb 16, 2005 at 9:23 pm

Peter, the Saratoga Branch, a Carnegie library, is on Hopkinson Avenue, also now called Thomas S. Boyland St., right off Broadway (Saratoga Avenue is actually a block away). It is still there and in use since 1908, one of the city’s smallest and poorest in one of its poorest neighborhoods, but it gave a kid from a poor neighborhood in Brooklyn a wealth of information and instilled in me the love of the library that I retain today, and will always have. P.S. I lived at 1501 Bushwick Ave. A couple of years ago I came across some sort of ironworking company way out in Connecticut, near Hartford or somewhere, called the Bushwick Iron Co. or something. Turns out they had been located in Bushwick decades earlier, moved but kept the name.

JoeG commented about Kings Theatre on Feb 13, 2005 at 10:57 pm

I saw the Ali-Frazier II and Ali-Foreman fights on closed-circuit in this theater. The crowds outside alone were huge, like the fights were actually being held there.

JoeG commented about Colonial Theatre on Feb 13, 2005 at 10:49 pm

Hey, guys: I stumbled across your website quite by accident and it brought back many memories. There’s so much more I could tell you than I have time to go into right now, but in brief: I lived from shortly after birth in 1952 till 1959 on MacDougal St. near Broadway, and from ’59 til 1971 on Bushwick Ave. between Furman Ave. and Granite Street. I went to the Colonial Theater many times but I don’t remember many movies I saw there besides “Ben-Hur.” I saw some other posts about the RKO Bushwick and Loew’s Gates, which I also attended many times (we always walked â€" took 20-30 minutes). Movies then cost 50 cents for kids, and there was nothing you couldn’t see â€" no ratings, and no need for them. To answer a couple of questions: I attended Our Lady of Lourdes church and school, and it closed because of neither the neighborhood’s decline nor low-flying planes. The neighborhood started going into decline in the mid ’60s, long before the ’77 blackout. (On the night of the ’65 blackout, when I was 12, my friend and I went into the street with flashlights to guide traffic.) Lourdes was a huge, magnificent Gothic church known to everyone for miles around. Jackie Gleason did live on Chauncey Street but not at 328; he lived near the public library’s Saratoga branch, and attended public school but took Catholic instruction at Lourdes. The church had a $10,000 gold monstrance, a vessel used in some services, that was paid for through the donations of parishioners’ gold and jewelry, which were melted down to create it. It was once stolen, and the word went out that the local Mafiosi had vowed to find the thief. (The young John Gotti lived in and terrorized the neighborhood.) A day later a priest found the vessel sitting on the church steps when he opened up in the morning. As the neighborhood declined more thefts took place, including, incredibly, that of a life-size bronze statue of St. Peter seated on the papal throne, modeled after the Vatican’s, that weighed thousands of pounds. It was cut into pieces at night in the church and carried out. Around 1975 arsonists burned the church. A day or two before it was demolished, I walked with the pastor through the still-smoking ruins and we reminisced. The services were moved a block away to the garage of a former Chevrolet dealer. Other famous people who lived or worked in the neighborhood were the actor Vince Edwards (“Ben Casey”) and cops Frank Serpico and Eddie Egan (“The French Connection”). The neighborhood went all the way downhill but has become gentrified, especially out toward Williamsburgh. I’m told that houses like the one I lived in, which my parents sold for $50,000, now command 10 to 15 times that amount. It’s doubtful we could have lived there that long. Oh, well, hope you enjoyed reading this.