The subway, bus and the trolley were only a thin dime to ride.
And if you are really old, you'll
remember a nickel a ride.
Schools were the showcase for the whole country.
3. Tuesday night was fireworks night in Coney Island, put on by Schaefer
4. There was very little pornography.
5. There were the bath houses: Stauches, Bushman Baths, Steeplechase
Baths, Washington Baths,
Brighton Beach Baths.
The above photograph (taken around 1900) shows the Marine Railway
Station just north (left)
of the Brighton Beach Bath House (center). The Brighton Beach
Hotel is at the far right..
THE BRIGHTON LINE TERMINAL CONSISTED OF THESE LOOP TRACKS.
6. There was respect for teachers and older people in general.
7. There was almost no violence.
8. The theme of the music of the times, even when it became rock and
roll, was love...not anger.
9. A great day was going to the beach at Coney Island or
Brighton Beach .
10. People made a living, and, rich or
poor, people all knew how to have a good time, no matter of status.
11. There was no better hot dog than the original, at Nathan's, in Coney
and no better French fries than
the Nathan's thick ripple cuts.
12. There were no divorces and few "one parent" families.
13. There were no drugs or drug problems in the lives of most people.
14. The rides and shows of Coney Island were fantastic: Steeplechase
horses, the big slide, the barrels, the zoo (maze), the human pool
table, the Cyclone Roller Coaster,
Tornado Roller Coaster, the Thunderbolt Roller Coaster, the Bobsled, the
Virginia Reel, the Wonder Wheel,
Bumper cars, the Tunnel of love, Battaway,
Loop the Loop, the Bubble Bounce, Miniature Golf,
Whip, the many Merry-Go-Rounds, the Penny Arcades, the Parachute Jump,
Fascination, toffee and cotton candy stores, custard stands, Pokerama,
Skeeball, prize games, fortune tellers guess games, hammer games, the
freak shows, the house of wax, the animal nursery, restaurants, rifle
ranges, push cart rides and parades.
The fruit man, the tool sharpener, the junk man and the watermelon man,
all with the horse and wagon.
Brooklyn's own Dugan Brothers Bakery (1878-1967) delivered to your
16. Sheepshead Bay was Lundy's Restaurant and fishing.
Only place for pizza, and only whole pizzas was Joe's Bar and Grill on
Then, in the mid-50's, a pizza explosion: you could buy it by the slice
for a dime at many places.
the late 50's, it was a whole 15 cents a slice!
A tuna fish sandwich or a BLT were 45 cents. A small Coke was 7 cents, a
large Coke was 12 cents.
Remember Vanilla Cokes, when they pumped real vanilla syrup into the
glass, before adding the Coke?
18. There were many theaters, where every Saturday afternoon you could
see 25 cartoons and two feature films:
Highway, The Avalon, The Kingsway, The Mayfair, The Claridge, The
Tuxedo, The Oceana, The Oriental,
Avenue U, The Kent, The Paramount, The RKO Tilyou, The RKO Bushwick, The
Lowes Gates, The Fox,
Mermaid, The Surf, The Walker, The Albemarle, The Alpine, The Rugby, The
People's Cinema, The Canarsie, The Marlboro, The
Avon and The Globe.
19. Everybody knew all the high schools in Brooklyn .
20. Big eating and coffee hangouts:
Dubrow's on Kings Highway, also on
Eastern Parkway/Utica Avenue,
Famous on 86th Street, Bickford's on Church Avenue,
and Garfield's on
Flatbush Avenue .
21. Ebinger's was the great bakery...loved the chocolate butter cream
with the almonds on the side,
Boston Cream pie, and the Blackout cakes! ...Bierman's was
22. Kings Highway stores had their own ornate glitz, as far as style
23. There were many delicatessens in the 50's -- very few today.
The best? Adelman's on 13th Avenue and Hymie's on Sutter Avenue
. The food was from heaven!
24. Big night clubs in Brooklyn were the Ben Maksiks' "Town and
Country" on Flatbush Avenue,
"The Elegante" on Ocean Parkway, and the Club 802 on 64th Street
in Bay Ridge.
25. There were no fast food restaurants in the 50's, and a hamburger
tasted like a hamburger.
26. There was Murray the K's Rock and Roll concerts at the Brooklyn Fox
and Alan Freed's at the Brooklyn Paramount .
You had to go the night before and stand in line, to get good
Quick bites at Brennan and Carr, Horn and Hardart Automat, Nedick's,
Chock Full o' Nuts, Junior's, Grabsteins or Joe's Delicatessen.
Junior's, you'll be glad to know,
is still in the same place, and the cheesecake is still
Knishes were great at Mrs. Stahl's in Brighton or at Shatzkin's
Remember the knish guy on the beach with the shopping bags?
Stahl's Knishes is now a 'Subway's')
People in Brooklyn took pride in owning a Chevy or Ford in the 50's; there was
nothing better than General Motors or Ford then.
The cars would run and run and run -- no problems.
You bought sour pickles right out of the barrel -- for a nickel -- and
they were delicious.
the 60's, they cost a whole quarter.
Harry Schorr and his pickle stand at the corner of 2nd & Havemeyer
Streets in Williamsburg
And how about Brooklyn's own Gold's Horseradish
Morris and Manny in 1944 at Gold's Horse Radish factory on 18th Ave and
Anyone remember Miller's Appetizing, on the corner of 13th Avenue
and 50th Street ?
The Brooklyn Dodgers were part of your family.
Duke, the Scoonge, Pee Wee, Jackie, the Preacher, Campy, Junior, Clem,
Big Don, Gil.
were always in a lot of our conversations. Remember Ebbet's Field and
Happy Felton's Knothole club?
more about the 1955 World Series
a nickel, you got into Ebbet's Field and saw the Dodgers play. For
Brooklynites, it was -- and will always be -- a shrine.
32. You come from Brooklyn, but you don't think you have an accent. To
you, Long Island is one word which sounds like "Longuyland."
You played a lot of games as kids. Depending on whether you were a boy
or a girl, you could play:
ring-a-leaveo, Johnny on the Pony, Hide and Seek, three feet off
to Germany, red light-green light,
chase the white horse, kick the can, Buck, Buck, how many horns
are up?, war, hit the penny,
pussy-in-the-corner, jump rope, double-dutch, Stories, A-My Name
Is, box ball, stick ball, box baseball,
catch a fly, dodge ball, stoop ball, you're up, running bases,
iron tag, skelly, tops, punch ball, handball,
slap ball, whiffle ball, stick ball, poison ball, relay races,
softball, baseball, basketball, horse, 5-3-1,
around the world, foul shooting, knockout, arm wrestling,
Indian-wrestling. And then there were card games
like canasta, casino, hearts, pinochle, war and the unhappy game
of 52-card pickup.
You hung out on people's stoops or in the Courtyard.
35. You learned how to dance at some girl's backyard or house
36. You roller skated at Park Circle or Empire Blvd. skating rinks, in
skates with wooden wheels,
also had roller skates at home, with metal wheels, for using on the
you needed a skate key to tighten them around your shoes. Those metal
wheels on concrete were deafening!
when you got a new pair, the old ones became the wheels of a
scooter or soap
37. The big sneakers were Converse, P-F Flyers and Keds .
38. The guys wore Chino pants with a little buckle on the back, peg
pants, and the girls wore long wide dresses.
Remember gray wool skirts, with pink felt poodles on them?
The poodles had rhinestone eyes.
39. In the 50's, rock and roll started big teen styles for the first
40. Everyone went to a Bar Mitzvah, even if you weren't Jewish.
41 Everyone took their date to Plum Beach for the submarine races.
42 There were 3 main nationalities in Brooklyn in the 50's: Italians,
Irish and Jewish.
Then there was a sprinkling of everyone else. The Scandinavians
and Greeks in Bay Ridge,
the African Americans in Bedford Stuyvesant and the Polish of
43. The only way to get to Staten Island was by ferry, from the 67th
Street pier in Brooklyn .
It was a great ride
in the summer time for a dime.
In Brooklyn, a fire hydrant is a "Johnny pump"
45. Rides, on a truck, came to your neighborhood to give little kids a
ride for a dime.
The best one was the "whip," which spun you around a track.
got a little prize when you got off, sometimes a folding paper fan,
sometimes a straw
tube that you inserted two fingers into, that tightened as you tried to
pull your fingers out again.
46. As a kid, you hit people with water balloons from atop a building,
you shot linoleum projectiles
from a carpet gun, you shot dried peas from
pea shooters, and you shot paperclips at people, with a rubber band.
You shopped at EJ Korvettes, Robert Hall, Woolworth's, Mays, McCrory's,
Packers, A&P, Bohack, A&S.
Barney's was Barney's Boys Town back then, and not a luxury
You bought your shoes at National, Miles, Thom McAn,
and A S Beck.
When you got married, you bought your dishes at Fortunoff's under the "el".
48. NBC's main production studio was on Avenue M. and E.16 St. The Cosby
show was made there.
49. Everybody lived near a candy store and a grocery store.
50. The first mall comes to Brooklyn at Kings Plaza .
51. Bagel stores start popping up everywhere in the 60's.
52. Went to Jahn's Ice Cream Parlor with a big group and had the
If it was your birthday (you had to bring your birth
certificate), you could get a free sundae.
53. Everybody knew somebody who was a connected guy.
We used the word "swell
In the summer, we all waited for the Good Humor, Bungalow Bar, Mister
Freezer Fresh Man, to come into our neighborhood, to buy ice
cream. In the early to mid 50's,
the Good Humor man pushed a cart, instead of driving a truck.
Remember the bells? A pop was 15 cents. A large cup was 15 cents, a
small cup was a dime.
a sundae -- remember licking the chocolate off the back of the
cardboard top? -- was a quarter.
(Movie stars pictures were on the bottom of the Dixie cup lids).
kid growing up in the 1950's, we would spend our money on bubble gum
candy and ice cream. A pack of baseball cards (complete with a stick of
full-sized candy bars were 5 cents each, or six for a quarter.
In those days, there were lots of interesting coins still in
Dimes and quarters we still made of silver. The oldest Roosevelt dimes
were not yet 15 years old.
was not uncommon to find Mercury dimes or worn-out Standing Liberty
Buffalo or Indian Head nickels were common too. Most pennies were
didn't get the familiar Lincoln Memorial on the reverse until 1959.
luck, it was even possible to find an occasional Indian Head penny in
the most coveted find (for us kids, anyway) was the unusual 1943 steel
56. Many of us would sneak cigarettes and hide them when we got home.
57. When we talked about "the city", everyone knew we meant Manhattan .
58. The Mets in the 60's became our substitute for the Dodgers;
never did, and never will, make-up for the Dodgers leaving.
59. In the 60's, we were ready to drive and hit the night life scene.
With the car, came the girls
60. We are all in a select club...because we have roots in BROOKLYN .