Forgotten NY correspondent 

DURING the 17th and 18th centuries, Dutch farmers settled Newtown and Bushwick on the western end of Long Island. One of these farmers, Paulus Van Der Ende, built a house in Newtown in 1710. The restored farmhouse is located at the corner of what are today Flushing and Onderdonk Avenues; the latter street was named after the house’s second owner, Adrian Onderdonk, who moved there in 1831. More about this house can be found on FNY’s Flushing Avenue page.

A border dispute between Newtown and Bushwick lasted over a hundred years, into the period when the English were ruling and settling Long Island. A somewhat temporary resolution was the placement of three giant rocks (referenced on this FNY page) by a surveyor in 1769 – each labelled with a ‘B’ on one side and an ‘N’ on the other – to delineate what he determined to be the border between the two townships.

GOOGLE MAP: Ridgewood

In 1856, a reservoir was constructed on the Newtown-Bushwick border that supplied water to the City of Brooklyn. The water flowed through a series of canals and aqueducts across Jamaica, originating at the Ridgewood Ponds, in what is today the town of Wantagh in Nassau County. The body of water became known as Ridgewood’s Reservoir, after its eastern source.


The land in the vicinity of the reservoir was officially called South Williamsburgh at this time. Desiring a unique identity for their area, residents adopted the name of the reservoir for their town. When map printers applied the name ‘Ridgewood’ to an area larger than that of the town limits, the tight-knit community changed its name to ‘Evergreen,’ after the large nearby Cemetery of the Evergreens. In 1910, the name Ridgewood was officially bestowed upon the entire area nestled between Glendale and Bushwick. However, traces of the old Evergreen name still exist today.

The Evergreen Branch of the LIRR once passed through the area, and remains of it can still be found in Ridgewood if you look carefully.

Evergreen Avenue, once a part of ancient Bushwick Road (hence its slight twists and turns) leads right to Cemetery of the Evergreens. Evergreen Park sits adjacent to P.S. 68 at St. Felix and 75th Avenues.

“Evergreen,” or “EV,” was the predominate alphanumeric telephone exchange in Ridgewood and can still be found on display at some of the older businesses in the area, such as the one pictured at left.


(This 1873 map of Ridgewood was taken from the larger map of Newtown found on the Brooklyn Genealogy Information Page .)

The Kings-Queens border has been shifted several times over the years, and Ridgewood has always suffered somewhat of an identity crisis because of it. This map shows that back in 1873, the border was drawn as a diagonal line without regard to the streets, so technically one’s house could be in both counties at the same time. Further complicating matters, the northernmost part of the town on the Queens side was called ‘East Williamsburgh,’ as though it was an annex of the well-established Brooklyn neighborhood.

(Ed.: note also that the name Ridgewood was only applied to the eastern part of what’s now Ridgewood; in that light, the naming of Ridgewood Reservoir makes a bit more sense. It’s now in what’s now Cypress Hills.)

In the 1920’s, the border was redrawn as a zigzagging line down Menahan Street and Cypress, St. Nicholas, Gates, Wyckoff and Irving Avenues. The street grid here slants to the left and does not line up with that of the rest of Queens. As you approach the border, address numbering follows the Brooklyn system and the Queens hyphen seems to be optional.

For the longest time, Ridgewood and Glendale were served by the Bushwick post office, and therefore were assigned a Brooklyn zip code. Envelopes were addressed as “Ridgewood, Bklyn, NY 27.” Businesses in the area at the turn of the century preferred it that way, because at the time, the name of Brooklyn carried more prestige than that of any part of Queens.

After riots and looting devastated neighboring Bushwick during the Great Blackout of 1977 ,area residents actively sought to disassociate themselves from Brooklyn. In 1979, Ridgewood and Glendale finally received a Queens zip code: 11385.


Transportation Hub

Many horsecars, steam trains, electric trains, trolleys and buses have chugged their way through Ridgewood over the years. It became a hub for transportation in the early 20th century, and the extension of the Myrtle Avenue elevated line through the area was responsible for a housing boom which began prior to WWI.


One exit of the Fresh Pond Road Station leaves you practically on someone’s doorstep. All of the Queens stations on the M line are in Ridgewood, with the exception of Metropolitan Avenue, its terminus.


More bus lines start with a B than with a Q the closer you get to the Brooklyn border. The state-of-the-art Fresh Pond Depot off Fresh Pond Road is home for most of the area’s buses.

(Ed.: the bus terminal at Fresh Pond Road is a former trolley station)


The LIRR’s freight line, run now by NY & Atlantic Railway, creates somewhat of a physical border between Ridgewood and Glendale, its neighbor to the east.


Surrounded on two sides by rail tracks, Joseph Mafera (formerly Glenridge) Park is a true urban oasis. You might catch a glimpse of it while riding the M train, which rumbles along the north side of it. In this photo, a freight train crosses over the bridge at the Fresh Pond Railyard on the eastern side of the park while a baseball game is played below. Batters here can’t hold up their hands and call for time to allow the noise to pass, as the pros do out at Shea. The trains can take up to 15 minutes to go by.


The park is very busy on the weekends. This particular day, besides the rail action and baseball games, the playground and basketball courts were very active. A child tried unsuccessfully to make his kite defy gravity while a red-tailed hawk hovered above, demonstrating just how easy flight is. A vendor scooped Italian ice in the outfield and this junior Jeter was one satisfied customer.


Ye Olde Ridgewood

At the beginning of the 20th Century, Ridgewood was primarily made up of farms, small family businesses and factories. The two largest industries in the area were breweries and knitting mills. Below are photos of some of the structures from this period that have withstood the test of time.


The Meyerrose House was built on Forest Avenue in 1906 by the Sheriff of Queens County, Joseph Meyerrose. It subsequently served as a political clubhouse, a restaurant and a knitting mill. Today it is a Romanian church.


The Ridgewood Democratic Club building, on Putnam Avenue, dates back to about 1902. It was originally the office of Paul Stier, Ridgewood’s largest residential home builder. More on him later…


In May of 1908, the Bishop of Brooklyn was travelling to Rome via ocean liner when an idea came to him. He would build a church in Ridgewood and name it afterMatthias, one of the Apostles. (The Brooklyn Diocese oversees Kings and Queens Counties.)

In 1909, St. Matthias Church and School was built as an all-in-one building on Catalpa Avenue. The above postcard shows how it looked in 1915, after the new friary and convent were built, to the right of the main building.

By 1917, St. Matthias was overflowing with parishoners.


WWI delayed the construction of a new, larger church, which was finally completed in 1926. The school was then expanded to occupy the entire old building.

St. Matthias interior. See link at the bottom of the page for additional photos of the inside of the church, which is one of the most beautiful in all of NYC.


These buildings house J.& C. Platz, Inc. The Platz Brothers started selling painting supplies in 1909 from the smaller building on the left and in 1913 built the corner structure so they could expand their business to include hardware.


After almost 100 years, Platz Hardware is still in business. They remain at the same location, and now they also sometimes sell flowers. In 1909, they advertised on the side of a horse-drawn cart. Today they reach the masses viatheir website.


Moeschle’s Cafe stood at the corner of what is now 70th Avenue and 60th Street. The photo is from 1912.

Notice that they sold Rheingold beer, which was manufactured and bottled at a large brewery in Bushwick. Many Ridgewood residents worked in breweries on either side of the border.


Today, the building’s restaurant tradition continues, but the establishment is now called Cozy Corner.

Before the Prohibition era, there were 48 breweries in Brooklyn and Queens. Most closed in the 1970’s. The Brooklyn Brewery, which opened in 1996, is the only local (Williamsburg) brewery now.


The early members of the Ring family were farmers and lived in this house, which was built in 1860. In 1910, they sold the house and the land it sat on. As we will see shortly, selling their property wouldn’t put an end to the Ring family’s involvement in the development of their land.


The farmhouse was saved from demolition. It was purchased by a real estate dealer who moved it to its present location at Cypress Hills and 62nd Streets. Despite the alterations, the house still stands out among Ridgewood’s ubiquitous rowhouses.


This Greenpoint Bank was at one time a Childs Restaurant. You can always spot a Childs by the seahorse pattern that lines the tops of their former buildings.

Above the bank is a Navy recruiting office. This picture captured the sailors returning to their office after lunch. Instead of sailing the ocean blue on a big ship, these guys get to navigate through a sea of traffic in a blue sedan. It’s probably not what they had in mind when they signed up, but at least they get to save money on Dramamine.


The Ridgewood Theatre (1913) on Myrtle Avenue has been landmarked and saved from demolition.


The establishment pictured above was Kaspar Franz’s Saloon. It was located on Menahan Street. Above is a 1906 photo of Franz’s family.


Today, the same address is a Romanian Cultural Center named Banatul, which sponsors a soccer team. A peek inside reveals that the main room is still being used for its original purpose.


The housing boom

As mentioned previously, the subway extension into Ridgewood was primarily responsible for bringing new people to the neighborhood. Someone needed to give them a place to live. Four major builders were responsible for providing living space for the new residents, many of whom were German immigrants.

In this section, we will briefly describe who each man was and their contribution to the pre-WWI housing boom in Ridgewood. The four were: Paul Stier, Walter Ring, Gustave Matthews and Henry Meyer, Jr.



Stier Houses

Paul Stier built more than 750 houses in Ridgewood under his own name, and after he partnered with August Bauer, they together built 200 more. A short, dead end street off of Putnam Avenue and next to what was his office, is named Stier Place in his honor. The area bordered by Fresh Pond Road and 71st, Putnam and Forest Avenues had at one time been called ‘Stierville,’ since that is where many of his homes were built. He sold his single-family houses for $5,600.

In 1915, Stier won the election for Sheriff of Queens County. This new venture proved to be his downfall. The German immigrant, who came here with nothing and fulfilled his version of the American dream, was shot dead by a crazy man in Whitestone while attempting to execute a contempt-of-court warrant in 1916. He was 42 years old at the time of his death.



Ring-Gibson Houses

The Ring family was of the farming tradition, but farming began to die out in the early 1900’s, and they found themselves in a bit of a pickle. Part of their land had been condemned by the city to make way for P.S. 88. They then decided to have most of the rest of their land subdivided into 230 housing lots. 67th Ave, 68th Ave and 68th Road lie within this area.

One heir, Walter F. Ring, went out independently and found a partner, William R. Gibson. They formed the Ring-Gibson Company, whose forte was building multi-unit rowhouses with businesses at ground level.

They were very interested in developing the part of the Ring land that fronted Fresh Pond Road, but as it was still owned by the Ring heirs (of which Walter was one), they could not buy it directly. In a strange and legally questionable arrangement, they asked Paul Stier to buy the land, which Ring-Gibson then purchased from him for $1. Much of today’s Fresh Pond Road commercial district came about because of this deal.



Matthews Flats

Gustave Matthews mass-produced these multi-unit houses for about $8,000 and sold them for $11,000. They did not have central heating or hot water systems. The only heat came from coal in the stove and a kerosene heater in the living room. Despite this, the U.S. Government gave special recognition to Matthews’ concept in 1915 when an exhibit was opened at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. It showed the world how efficiently these type of apartments met housing needs for a surging population.



Ivanhoe Park

Henry W. Meyer was born in Germany in 1850. He came alone to America in 1866, when he was 16. He saved the money he made working as a grocery store clerk and eventually was able to purchase a failing tobacco store. He started making his own tobacco and turned the business around. His best selling brand was called “Ivanhoe.”

Before his death in 1898, Meyer amassed quite a bit of land in Ridgewood and Glendale by buying up pieces of other families’ estates. He called his estate “Ivanhoe Park.”

After his death, his son decided that housing development would be more profitable than the tobacco business. As a result, he built 104 rowhouses of cold-water flats, such as the ones pictured above on 64th Street, by 1921.

In 1959, New York City passed a law that called for conversion of cold-water flats into apartments with centralized heat and hot water systems.

The entire rowhome area of Ridgewood, all 2,980 buildings, comprises the largest National Historic District in the nation. All of the builders used Kreischer bricks, which give the buildings their golden appearance. Another spot in Ridgewood where Kreischer bricks are on display is Stockholm Street, a.k.a. “The Yellow Brick Road.”


Two banks named Ridgewood…


They say politics makes for strange bedfellows. It seems that the banking business does as well. Competing builders Paul Stier and Walter F. Ring, together with architect Louis Berger, founded the Ridgewood National Bank in 1909. In 1910, the bank moved into the building pictured above. The building is still there, albeit in an altered form, and is now a pharmacy – the inside of which retains some of the bank’s original charm.


A butcher, a baker, an undertaker, an attorney, a physician and nine other local residents were the founders of the ‘Savings Bank of Ridgewood,’ built at the corner of Forest Avenue and George Street in 1921.


Eight years later, the name of the bank was changed to ‘Ridgewood Savings Bank,’ which it is still known as today. A new main office was completed at Myrtle and Forest Avenues in 1929. Intricate exterior building details can be viewed in the photo gallery which is linked at the bottom of this page.


Memorials to Heroes

The Ridgewood Remembrance sits at the crossroads of Myrtle and Cypress Avenues and honors those who died in WWI.

It was dedicated on Memorial Day, 1923. The pillar is 11 feet high and contains 3 bas-reliefs of a soldier, a sailor and a pilot.

The soldier is accompanied by a woman with a torch, the sailor by Neptune, and the airman by an allegorical female figure.

[Near this location stood a building bearing the address 816 Cypress Avenue. This was where, in 1922, the WHN radio station held its first broadcast. At the time, it was one of only 30 stations in all of the United States, and the only one in Queens County. In 1923, WHN was sold to the Loew’s Theatre organization, which moved the operation to Times Square in Manhattan. The station changed owners, call letters, formats, broadcasting locations and frequencies many times over the years. Today, the station that traces its humble beginnings back to Ridgewood is1050AM ESPN radio.]

A spot named Korean Square at first seems a bit odd sitting in the middle of what is today a German, Spanish and Slavic neighborhood.

That is, until you realize that the name honors those who were killed in the Korean War.

The monument was placed on a triangle along Forest Avenue in May of 1955. A wreath-laying ceremony takes place here twice a year.


Venditti Square on Myrtle Avenue , home to this unique street clock, was named for NYPD Detective Anthony J. Venditti, who was gunned down on January 21, 1986 as he entered the diner pictured behind the clock. Venditti had been conducting surveillance of local mobsters. His partner was wounded, but survived, and managed to hit one of the suspects with return fire. Those responsible were apprehended, but were acquitted of murder. They later were sent up the river for racketeering.


Police Officer Ramon Suarez School, at Cypress Avenue and Weirfield Street, is dedicated to the memory of a transit cop who died on September 11, 2001. He was photographed aiding at least three people who escaped the World Trade Center with their lives. One of them was a pregnant woman, who two months later gave birth to a daughter. He died when he ran back into Tower 2 and it collapsed.


Close Call

At one time, Robert Moses, our favorite urban planner, proposed that a highway be built along the Brooklyn-Queens border, and across the southernmost part of Ridgewood. Interstate 78, or the Bushwick Expressway, thankfully never came to fruition.


Reservoir Redux





From a July 2004 mayoral press release:

“Ground was broken for the Ridgewood Reservoir on July 11, 1856 on the site of Snediker’s Cornfield.

“Water was first raised into the Reservoir on November 18, 1858 by two large pumps each with a capacity of 14 million gallons per day. [The 1859 lithograph above left, entitled, ” View of Brooklyn City Water Works and Cypress Hills from Ridgewood Reservoir, ” by F. Blumner and G. Kraetzer, celebrates the opening of the new water reserve.]

“By 1868, the Ridgewood Reservoir held an average of 154,400,000 gallons daily, enough to supply the City of Brooklyn for ten days at that time.

“The Ridgewood Reservoir remained in regular service until 1959.  From 1960 to 1989, the reservoir’s third basin was filled each summer with water from the City’s massive upstate reservoirs in the Catskill Mountains, and used sporadically as a backup supply for parts of Brooklyn and Queens.”

The entire complex was decommissioned by the city in 1990 and left to decay. Since that time, it has become a hotspot for urban explorers, such as those at Urbanlens, Netherworld Online and Dark Passage.

In 2004, Mayor Bloomberg and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe announced that the Reservoir would be cleaned up, opened for public use and managed by the city parks department.

Oh, and by the way, there is no longer an area called Ridgewood Ponds out east. Today, what was once the source of Brooklyn’s water supply is divided into Seaman, Wantagh and Mill Ponds. The only remaining clue that these bodies of water lent their original name to the Queens border town is the presence of tiny Ridgewood Drive to the east.

Forgotten Fan Sean Cornelis: The area where these lakes are located (now known as The Mill Pond Preserve and Twin Lakes Preserve) was at one time called Ridgewood, in fact the entire town of Wantagh was known as this during the early 1800s. When the Southern Railroad of LI (later became the Babylon Branch of the LIRR) came through here in 1867 the station was called Ridgewood and was known as that until 1891. The original Ridgewood station still exists but was moved to another location when the tracks were elevated. It’s currently home to the Wantagh Museum. Near Seaman Pond there are at least 3 Brooklyn Water Works buildings still standing.

Also, the “Ridgewood Drive” you mention is actually the Ridgewood Condominiums which have only existed for about 10 years. They were built on the property of Thomas Seaman (the namesake of the Pond) and the entire complex was actually modeled after the mid-1800s Seaman home that still stands on the property….so the name is new but still a tip of the cap to the old Ridgewood Ponds and Brooklyn Water Works system.




Brooklyn Genealogy Info Page

Times Newsweekly


NYC Parks Department

Snyder-Grenier, Ellen M.: Brooklyn! An Illustrated History. Temple University Press, 1996

BUY this book at Amazon.COM


Palmetto Street: July 4th, 1914 by artist Doug Leblang

The color photos above and in the photo gallery were taken on May 14th, 2005, and the page was completed on June 11th, 2005 by Forgotten NY correspondent Christina Wilkinson. The black-and-white photos are from the Times Newsweekly, except where noted.

©2005 Midnight Fish. erpietri”@”earthlink.net


But wait…there’s more!

Your webmaster accompanied Christina on her Ridgewood research. Here’s a couple of things she left out…


Former hay loft, Cypress Avenue and Menahan Street. Many NYC buildings are converted stables and haylofts.


“Ralph Street” sign at Cypress and Menahan Street, which Ralph Street later became. Christina proposes a theory that Ralph Avenue is a southern extension of Menahan Street, and a look at the map seems to support her: even though Menahan Street ends at Bushwick Avenue, Ralph Avenue begins at Broadway where Menahan would intersect if it continued through.

Ralph Avenue and its neighbor to the west in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Patchen Avenue, are likely named for early 1700s Kings County landowner Ralph Patchen.


Former US post office, Madison Street above Wyckoff Avenue.


Former RKO Madison Theater, Myrtle Avenue and Woodbine Street. The painted word “Madison” can barely be made out on the wall. The Madison opened in 1927 and showed its last film in 1978.

Cinematreasures has plenty of Madison reminiscences


Bleecker Street brownstones


Wyckoff Avenue, exterior date is 1897. According to Will Anderson’s book The Breweries of Brooklyn, it’s the office building of of Welz and Zerweck’s once mammoth brewery.

Thanks to Forgotten Fan Jack Termine.

OK, we’re done.

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164 Responses to RIDGEWOOD, Queens

  1. richard says:

    There is a single block Brooklyn enclave in the Lindenwood section of Howard Beach, Queens (78th street between 155th & 153rd Aves). This piece of Brooklyn is entirely surrounded by Queens. Nobody seems to know how it happened but lots of theories involve the residents of Lindenwood resisting Brooklynization because they were on the borderline of Ozone Park (Queens) & East NY (Brooklyn) & this none block not being able to fight it. The neighborhood has a Howard Beach zip code but is geographically remote from the main part of Howard beach.

  2. John Waldo says:

    Thanks! Useful early 20th Century pictures, which I’m researching.

  3. Pingback: Date Night: Joe’s Italian Restaurant | Ridgefood

  4. Bill Luhrs says:

    Hope all is well. Is there any info on a bar called the Hoffman Road House on the corner of Mrytle and Cooper? Or any info of the William Eich Association?
    Thanks and Take Care,

  5. maureen says:

    there is still a german rest &bar on mrytle &cooper named Von stammish Im not sure of the spelling

    • Deanna says:

      Maureen – Zum Stammtisch is the restaurant on Myrtle Ave. at the corner of 70th/Cooper Avenue. http://www.zumstammtisch.com
      There was another restaurant on Cooper Ave & 71st place, Von Westerhagen’s, which has been closed for a few years now.

      • Lotte says:

        Don’t forget Gebhardt’s Restaurant on Myrtle Avenue in Queens going towards Fresh Pond Rd. and Niederstein’s Restaurant in Middle Village. Also, Durow’s Restaurant. These were all German restaurants which have closed over the years. Had my confirmation dinner at Gebhardt’s many years ago.

        • Joan Reimann says:

          There was also Gotlieb’s on Myrtle Avenue near Wyckoff Avenue. My uncle owned the custard stand next door.

          • Robert Widmer says:

            Best custard I ever had!!! 15cents large cone. Played with Gottlieb’s Baseball Team.

          • Ed Pymm says:

            Jimmy’s Custard stand. .25 cent huge malteds pizza by the slice,15 cents. Had my first pastrami sandwich at Gottliebs. Lived around the corner on Woodbine. Thought it was Brooklyn but after this article maybe not. Great place to grow up either way.

          • Jerry Tisi says:

            I remember J-KAYS

        • Had my confirmation dinner at gebhardts

          • Joan Reimann-Stokes says:

            Jerry Tisi – I bet you would remember Jay Kay! You not only worked there for a short time, but you dated and lived with the Granddaughter of the owner for many years. 🙂 Hope you are well 🙂

          • Jerry Tisi says:

            Remember you well..hope you are also doing well. Live in Ohio now you?

      • ANNE MARIE KOSTNER says:


  6. Bridgette says:

    Wonderful article, Christina! I want to point out that the Ridgewood Theater has landmark status for the facade only. The interior is not landmarked. The community group: WeLoveRidgewoodTheater.org is interested in speaking with the new owners in order to communicate the desire of the community to have a mixed use arts and entertainment venue. Check out the website above and the Facebook page: Facebook.com/WeHeartRT. Viva El Teatro!

  7. Pingback: Is Woodward Ave. in Ridgewood a safe area? - Page 4 - City-Data Forum

  8. Laurel says:

    Would you happen to have any history on the building located at 336 St Nicholas Ave (across the street from the old Boxing Arena). We rent space in the warehouse, and my employees always speak of an appartition that moves through the warehouse. I am curious if a murder/killing occured here in it’s earlier days prior to its purchase by St Nicholas Realty.

  9. Jeanette says:

    Hi Maureen, the restaurant on Myrtle and Cooper Ave. is called Zum Stammtisch.

  10. Walter Abrams says:

    The park was always known as Farmer’s Oval. I was born in Williamsburg Gen. Hospital in 1949 – my family lived on Madison Street off Fresh Pond Rd. Everyone went to Farmer’s Oval – Garity Knights Pop Warner football team played there as did St. Matthias and PAL baseball teams.

    • Claudia Majetich says:

      Hello Walter–I think we went to St. Matthias together!

      You’re right about calling it Farmer’s Oval. I think it had an “official” other name, but no one in the neighborhood used it. The handball courts were very popular in the summertime; I spent many an evening there.

      • Ken Wiebke says:

        I recall there being two farmer’s ovals: Old and New
        The old farmers Oval is now occupied by Christ the King HS

      • john says:

        Spent some time at Farmers myself. Johnny on the pony against the handball walls next to the tracks, Knock Hockey in front of the park house, Bungalo Bar ice cream ( or good humor ), served from the back and side of step side converted pick up trucks (looking back, these trucks prob used dry ice as the only refrigeration). Above all, who could forget the Pizza Prince and their .15 slices and the long row of garages bordering the tracks on that street leading to the park. I always hung behind my older brother but I remember names like Howie, lived across the street, Cookie and Joanie , two tough gang war type of chicks” and others that time just fuzzes out. Wouldn’t trade these memories for anything. Kids today can’t even leave their house alone… we thrived on it. What happened????

        • David VP says:

          Hi John, thanks for your comment about Farmer’s Oval. Did you ever watch any semi-pro baseball games there? Way, way back, Ty Cobb supposedly played there with his team called the Bushwicks.



  11. marilyn witkecz jennings says:

    Thank you for putting this on the internet. I miss Ridgewood still…..food was fantastic and so were my Italian neighbors and best friends. :} It was the best of times.

  12. Marina says:

    I had family that lived in a large apartment building on Catalpa Avenue in the early or mid 1970s. I remember the area well. I was wondering if that building was part of the historic district, or one of them and can’t determine it from the historic district maps. I also remember way back when there was a well known store or factory that sold fine knit’s on the second floor of a building there in the immediate neighborhood. Does anyone remember the name of it? I am sure it was closed many many years now.

  13. born in RIDGEWOOD. have a sister still lives on60th place & gates. my granma lived across from the Ridgewood movie over Teddies dress store,next door was Ludwigs applicance store. she later moved over that store. I worked across the street in Kiddie fashions for 8 years. Lived on SENECa & weirfield, went to ps 77 & Grover clev

    aland hs. lived at afew of the streets & yes I still miss it.

    • John Dalessandro says:

      I lived at the corner of 60th Pl and Gates Ave till 1962 in the six family red brick building at 59-54 Gates… went to OLMM. I now live in San Diego and fondly remember my days in Ridgewood.

    • Jenny says:

      My Grandmother (Irene) worked in Kiddie Fashions many years and her co-worker and friends was Ruth.. I may be combining different memories, but I think Kiddie Fashions was the store that had these chairs that seemed to be high up (sort of like shoe shine chairs), and I loved going there. I would give anyting to turn back the hands of time and go back.

    • Eric says:

      Small world! I lived on Seneca and Center St a block away for 30 years until 1983. I went to PS 77 and PS 64 and then Ridgewood JHS. Went to Brooklyn Tech instead of “most holy Grover”. I inherited that building when my mother passed and still own it today.

      • Catherine Dilworth says:

        Hi, Eric – I remember that area quite well, though I moved from 930 Seneca Ave. in 1960, when I was 13. Do you remember the little store on the southwest corner of Seneca and Centre, Reiger’s? Husband and wife sold penny candy, bread, milk, groceries and Mrs. Reiger made some salads like potatoes, etc. They had a Coca Color cooler to the left as you entered the store and had to reach in with bare arms in the summer to fish for a favorite bottled soda. The ice often melted but the water was cool in the hot summer months. I remember that couple very well. They weren’t young in the 1950s. Mr. Reiger waited patiently as I made my candy selections. I had all the time in the world to make my selection – haha!

      • Marie Garner says:

        Hi Eric, are you Eric Farrell! Think you had a younger brother. I am Marie Garner, I lived at Center and Seneca over Mickeys candy store.

  14. Carol says:

    Enjoyed this site very much! My family were original Ridgewoodites, we owned our home on Grove St. between Forest Ave & 60th Pl. from I believe 1910 to the early 2000`s Ridgewood was a beautiful place to grow up, I went to PS 71 & Grover Cleveland HS. I revisited Ridgewood a few yrs. back and was sadly disappointed…..nothing stays the same:( But, my heart will always be in good ole’ Ridgewood.

    • Marilyn says:

      I too, grew up in Ridgewood. We lived on Linden Street, between 60th Place and Fresh Pond Rd. Went to PS 93 and Grover Cleveland H.S. Had my wedding reception at Durow’s Restaurant. The Good Old Days! I live in AZ now and do miss those wonderful times.

    • carol kennedy says:

      I am related to LUEHRS of of Brooklyn and Queens. Are you? Grove Street Yes.
      Friedrich and Julia Sauer – children: Julia, John M and Arthur. Are you related?

    • john says:

      I also lived my whole life in Ridgewood and consider myself lucky to have grown up in such a memorable neighborhood. Older German ladies scrubbing their stoops, wonderful ethnic restaurants, and who could forget our local theatres. The Madison, the Ridgewood and Oasis were actually each works of art. I’m brokenhearted just knowing they’ll never be appreciated again. By the way, what ever happened to going to a friends house and entering the vestibule, ringing the bell and waiting to be buzzed in. I guess you just wouldn’t know if you didn’t grow up here. At 92, my mom still lives on gates at 60th place and wouldn’t have it any other way. I visit quite often and consider myself lucky to find parking within two blocks (always had parking just outside of my door … bummer). Late 50’s &early 60’s found entire neighborhoods on their stoops at night avoiding the summertime heat in the house. You actually got to know who your neighbors were. I guess affordable AC ended that era. The area was riddled by knitting mills and yes, breweries at one time. Rheingold was a big locally brewed favorite. Does anyone remember voting with paper ballots for Miss Rheingold in your local deli??? 1950’s??? I’ve been gone for 45 yrs and don’t miss today’s Ridgewood at all for reasons I won’t post here. My heart is more like in a place that no longer exists.

      • Dick Santo says:

        Hey John you forgot the Majestic Theatre located on Seneca Ave. We called it “the dumps.” Fourteen cents for two features an six cartoons. It had a “sister” theatre called “The Grandview.” The Grandview was an outdoor movie (not a drive in.) I think we sat on long wooden benches. People who lived next to the movie theatre would sit on their fire escapes or lean out their windows and watch (and listen) to the movie. It was only open in the summer and only in the evening. I saw “The Thing” there. Oh yes I remember voting for Miss Rheingold in George’s Deli across the street.. Great days.

        • john says:

          hey Santo, in my years I remember the Majestic being closed. I particularly remember it because I always had a terrible urge to explore the inside. Of course I was prob only between 5-10 and never had the pleasure. Passed it very often as I had a cousin below (corner of Seneca??) and a cousin on woodward (6 family house bordering on the red school playground). must’ve been late 50’s. I also know the Grandview bldg. ( ridgewood chapels). I’d heard it was outdoor but never imagined that it had benches!!! My mom told me that she remembers movies being shown in the bldg. that now houses the chapels.

          • Dick Santo says:

            Don’t quote me on the benches. They might have been folding chairs, but definitely wood. It was a long long time ago.

      • Jerry Tisi says:

        Does anyone remember Hanks poolroom above thr Ridgewood movie theater

        • Dick Santo says:

          I played pool there. However, I remember it as “Cappies.” An old Italian guy who’s famous saying was “No free lunch.” This was around the mid-50’s. Perhaps he sold out after that and it became “Hanks.” Is that a possibility?.

        • Anonymous says:

          My late husband used to play pool at “Sals” on Freshpond Rd. & 68 Ave. Always made enough to take me to the movies, or across the street to Kedenburgs for a cherry coke!

        • Marie Garner says:

          Gary and bilbo went there!

    • john says:

      Hi you don’ know me but I had a friend that lived on your block, Frank Epich… You might have known him also. From 1964 I lived at gates and 60th . My name is john fink…. maybe we knew each other. I left around 1972 and never looked back. Just now realizing the “Magic” that I grew up with.

  15. george scharpf says:

    I grew up on 70th Ave down the street from the cozy corner in the 1940’s thru 1980″s. All the houses on the street were 2 family and most of them had 2 generations of the same family living in them . There was also a newspaper called he ridgewood imes written in German for the many german immigrants. The cozy corner and the bar under the Fresh Pond L station was the place to go

    • Edwin Bergmann says:

      Was the Ridgewood Times ever printed in German? Shortly after I was born in July 1940 at Boulevard Hosptial in Astoria, Queens, to parents who lived in Maspeth, they moved to Ridgewood (Woodbine Street between Seneca and Cypress Avenues to be exact), so I’m very much a historic Ridgewoodite. We read the Ridgewood Times with some frequency and my recollection is that it was always in English. The German-American newspaper that we read was the Stadts-Zeitung und Herold and I believe there was one other German language paper that German speakers in Ridgewood read at the time, though I don’t recall its name.

    • Paul Wolff says:

      I used to go to the cozy coner.Back in the 60s.Quite a bit.My friend David Marshell lived down the St.He had a pool table in his living room.We wound up in Raymond St. jail together back in the 60s.We were both 16 at the time.

    • Chris Muller says:

      I also grew up on 70th Ave, on the same block as Cozy Corner. Lived there from 1961, later got married and lived in the lower apartment in my parents’ house. Left in 1988. Attended PS 88, then JHS 93, and later Brooklyn Tech and York College in Jamaica. Also have some fond memories. I’ve lived (off and on) in Jersey City, San Francisco, London UK, and currently in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  16. Matthew Durbin says:

    I was just wondering if somebody could help me out. My grandma passed away in December and I’ve been trying to learn more about her past. She grew up in Ridgewood in one of the cold-water, railroad flats. All I have is a picture of her from a couple years ago of her in front of the door of her place in Ridgewood. The door is a big wooden door with most of it covered with a glass window. The house number on the door is 1280. I see that most of these flats are brick but this one has beige siding. Her name was Carol Baumann. She also went to Grover Cleveland High School.

  17. Matthew Durbin says:

    I was just wondering if somebody could help me out. My grandma passed away in December and I’ve been trying to learn more about her past. She grew up in Ridgewood in one of the cold-water, railroad flats. All I have is a picture of her from a couple years ago of her in front of the door of her place in Ridgewood. The door is a big wooden door with most of it covered with a glass window. The house number on the door is 1280. I see that most of these flats are brick but this one has beige siding. Her name was Carol Baumann. She also went to Grover Cleveland High School.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  18. Sandra says:

    I moved to Ridgewood in 1975 my son Joey went to Miraculas Medal on Bleeker St.
    We lived on Madison st the corner building across from a little grocery store we lived in the
    same apt for twenty years. I loved the neighborhood feeling and how clean it was kept lots
    of good memories there lots of good friends. I used to take the M train to work in the city.

  19. we lived right down the block from Joes Italian restaurant and they delivered what a great place
    to live and for my son to grow up

    • Scott says:

      I lived on the corner of 60th pl and Madison st until my first marriage 1985. I also went to PS88, JHS 93. Automotive HS

  20. Catherine Dilworth says:

    I would like to know the age and any information about the extremely old house on Cypress Ave., between Hancock and Wierfield Sts. in Ridgewood, NY. The house is near the corner of Hancock. I lived around the corner on Seneca when I was young and this house always intrigued me. I have since come to imagine that it was owned and occupied by a beer master because there was a brewery across the street for many years, starting sometime after the Civil War. The house in question is partially obscured from view on Google Maps street scene because of a fenced-in area.

  21. Bill Scharfenberg says:

    I’ve been in most of these buildings in this article on Ridgewood, Queens. I grew up in this area of Queens during the 1960’s and if I could turn back the time I would freeze things like the people, buildings, culture and the feelings people had during the holiday’s on Sunday’s after church. Life was different. People spoke of honor, respect, religion. Early in the morning you would see people washing the concrete steps of houses with buckets of water and scrub brushes. The bars set up home made food free of charge, most of which was fresh kill from hunting season. These were the days when people said hello to you on the streets and had pleasant coversations.

  22. Nancy Hollis says:

    Wonderful article. It brought back so many memories of my time in New York. We lived on Putnam Avenue and our relatives all lived within a few blocks. It was a wonderful childhood. We certainly frequented Myrtle Avenue often for shopping, movies and restaurants. I never knew the history of the area before so it was very interesting. Thank you.

  23. Julie Puttre says:

    Enjoyed reading all about Ridgewood and loved the pictures .Lived there most of my life My Grandmother owned the house on 71st Ave between Forest and Fresh Pond rd in fact it was right next to Hummels furniture store sold it in 1970.My Dad used to go to Cozycorner in fact had my wedding reception there and Mon and Dad had there 25 wedding anver there also ,I sure do miss Ridgewood

    • john says:

      Julie, you don’t know me but given your somewhat unusual last name, I do believe I knew and yes even worked with your dad. Could be wrong but was his name John and he retired upstate???

      • Julie says:

        Hi John;My Father name was John and no he never moved Upstate .My Dad owned a Butcher store with his 2 brothers.I went to St Matthiaas school and then Richomd H HS kater on worked at M&M french cleaners on Woodwood ave.

  24. Old-Timer Jack says:

    Compliments to you, Christina, for an informative and fascinating narrative about Ridgewood, with terrific pictures. I grew up on Myrtle Avenue near the Glenwood movie theater in the 1930s and 40s, before most of the correspondents writing to your blog lived there. Ridgewood has gone through different phases over the years, with trendy creative types now streaming in. My time in pre-WW II Ridgewood was a dark period. German immigrants were the vast majority, and just as in Germany the population overwhelmingly backed Nazism and virulent anti-Semitism, their brethren in Ridgewood did the same.

    There were regular street corner rallies run by the German-American Bund (I remember one at the intersection of Myrtle and Forest) where speakers cheered for Hitler’s victory throughout Europe. The Bund held its meetings at Schwaben Hall. On weekends, kids in my class at P.S. 77 went to a Nazi youth indoctrination center at Camp Siegfried in Yaphank, Long Island, to prepare for when the Aryan race subjugated all others. Stores on Myrtle Avenue run by Jewish shopkeepers, and the synagogue on Cornelia Street, were defaced repeatedly with ugly swastikas.

    It was reported that the notorious German spy, Kurt Frederick Ludwig, took a taxi directly to Fresh Pond Road to begin his notorious “Joe K” undercover operation—joining other spies and saboteurs who used Ridgewood as a base. A “general ‘Nazi feeling’ ” ran throughout the Ridgewood community, according to Peter Duffy in his book, Double Agent. It was a tidy, homogeneous, and reactionary neighborhood—hostile to blacks, browns, and even whites who didn’t have a light Northern European complexion. The exception was Italians, maybe because Mussolini was a junior partner in Hitler’s plan to conquer the world.

    All of this contrasts mightily with the fond and upbeat comments of the contributors to your blog. My experience doesn’t cancel out theirs, but it rounds out the picture by describing an earlier time in the story of Ridgewood. Just as you try to shine a light on “Hidden New York,” this shines a light on “Hidden Ridgewood.”

    • Catherine Dilworth says:

      Excellent reply, Jack. An historically accurate description of what some groups of residents in Ridgewood actually stood for, and applauded. Never again! You write very well.

    • Ruth says:

      The story helps me understand the evident anti Semitic in the area post wwIl. Very interesting. Thank you for tour entry.

  25. Old-Timer jack says:

    Compliments to you, Christina, for an informative and fascinating narrative about Ridgewood, with terrific pictures. I grew up on Myrtle Avenue near the Glenwood movie theater in the 1930s and 40s, before most of the correspondents writing to your blog lived there. Ridgewood has gone through different phases over the years, with trendy creative types now streaming in. My time in pre-WW II Ridgewood was a dark period. German immigrants were the vast majority, and just as in Germany the population overwhelmingly backed Nazism and virulent anti-Semitism, their brethren in Ridgewood did the same.

    There were regular street corner rallies run by the German-American Bund (I remember one at the intersection of Myrtle and Forest) where speakers cheered for Hitler’s victory throughout Europe. The Bund held its meetings at Schwaben Hall. On weekends, kids in my class at P.S. 77 went to a Nazi youth indoctrination center at Camp Siegfried in Yaphank, Long Island, to prepare for when the Aryan race subjugated all others. Stores on Myrtle Avenue run by Jewish shopkeepers, and the synagogue on Cornelia Street, were defaced repeatedly with ugly swastikas.

    It was reported that the notorious German spy, Kurt Frederick Ludwig, took a taxi directly to Fresh Pond Road to begin his notorious “Joe K” undercover operation—joining other spies and saboteurs who used Ridgewood as a base. A “general ‘Nazi feeling’ ” ran throughout the Ridgewood community, according to Peter Duffy in his book, Double Agent. It was a tidy, homogeneous, and reactionary neighborhood—hostile to blacks, browns, and even whites who didn’t have a light Northern European complexion. The exception was Italians, maybe because Mussolini was a junior partner in Hitler’s plan to conquer the world.

    All of this contrasts mightily with the fond and upbeat comments of the contributors to your blog. My experience doesn’t cancel out theirs, but it rounds out the picture by describing an earlier time in the story of Ridgewood. Just as you try to shine a light on “Forgotten New York,” this shines a light on “Forgotten Ridgewood.”

    • Michael Olikus says:


    • Patricia Gately Ryan says:

      I lived at 60-78 69th Ave, exactly one half block from Fresh Pond Rd. we knew it was the exact middle, because all of the homes on our side of the block had the high red stone steps, that changed the side the steps were on, from rt side of house to the left side in the middle of the block. I went to St Matthias for awhile and remember it as being a really long walk for a First Grader, then was able to go to PS 88, right around the corner, graduating from the eight grade in 1952. From what I remember, it was a great school. Sadly, I even remember the names of all of the teachers in the school. These were great years to just be a kid in Ridgewood. We played outside till the street lights went on, most times right on the block or in the school yard.Every Saturday, we went to either the Glenwood or Belvedere movies (theaters), when they opened around noon and stayed till 5pm.We were only renting the top floor but,these were the days when the home owners, mostly Italian, Polish or German, would scrub these red stone steps, at least 25, with buckets of soapy water and a scrub brush. My brothers friends, me and my friend spent many hours sitting on these steps talking, planning our “futures” and playing games. I look back with a lot of love and gratitude for those days.

    • Eric says:

      This was not my experience whatsoever. My father fled Germany to avoid Hitlers impending reign of horror. He served in the US Army and ultimately settled in Ridgewood . In 1952 my parents bought a house on Seneca Ave. We lived on the first floor and on the second floor lived a couple along with the woman’s mother that were my parents very best friends, more like family really.They were Jewish, the two women being concentration camp survivors. She was like a second mother to me as I grew. I have been to Schwaben Hall many times as a youth, spent lots of time with lots of Ridgewood Germans and never once heard or saw anything to corroborate your views. If I had I would have reacted strongly. Ridgewood was a great cultural melting pot and a terrific place to grow up. So many cultures respecting and embracing each other. That’s what I remember.

      • I lived in Ridgewood from 1937 until 1956. Of course I was young during WWII, but I don’t remember any anti-Semitism while I lived there. Our doctor, Dr. Brody, lived on our street (Linden, near Fresh Pond Rd.) and our family all were his patients, even my grandfather who lived on Himrod St. near Woodward Ave. and didn’t own a car, walked to his office when needed. Dr. Brody was Jewish. We were of German extraction. Dr. Body’s son, Michael, and I were playmates growing up. I attended P.S. 93 and Grover Cleveland, H.S. I lived on Long Island after that and moved to AZ in 1989. I loved Ridgewood best of anywhere that I’ve lived.

    • dick santo says:

      Hey old timer. Thanks for telling it like it was. My experience was different. I moved to Ridgewood in 1945 when I was six years old. The final “A Bomb” was dropped and the war was over. We used to play a game in the street called “I Declare War.” We’d draw a circle in the street with chalk. Then we’d draw sections in it like a pizza pie. We’d write down the names of European countries (Axis and Allies). Then we stand by our country and someone would take a ball (spalding) and bounce it into a box while saying “I Declare War on (whichever country you chose”). The kid representing that country would chase the ball and when he got it (here’s where I forget what happens next). If anyone remembers this game.or anything else about those days in Ridgewood, I’d love to hear from your

      • John Berthoty says:

        When the kid got the ball, he would yell “Freeze”. Everyone else would have to stop running and freeze where they were. The kid with the ball would then throw it and try to hit someone with it. That person would then be “it”. Is that how you remember it too? I grew up in Glendale on the “Horseshoe”, 62nd street, up the hill from Cooper Ave.

        • Dick Santo says:

          Hi John. Your description of the game sounds right. At the time we played those street games I lived on Woodward Ave. & Himrod St. Later on we moved to Norman Street near Cooper Ave. Still Ridgewood, but close to Glendale. There was a train tressel nearby. Sometimes at night I could hear the train whistle in the distance.

          • john says:

            OMG haven’t thought of that game in years. I declare war, skully, ace king queen, and not to forget the balls… stick, slap, and stoop.

          • Dick Santo says:

            As well as the other balls in Cleveland Park, ….hand, foot and soft. (base was played in the lots).

          • Dick Santo says:

            and one more: basket

  26. Reading this, brings back memories. I remember living on Mary St., in Maspeth. it was before the great depresssin of 1929. The street was dirt, horse drawn wagons were frequent, Fruit and vegetable peddlers would shout there wares, A horse drawn, hand cranked sort of Merry go round would offer youg children rides for a few pennies. I remember attending my first kindergarten school where Mom would walk us to school. I remember German OMM-PA groups of street musicians occasionally roaming the neighborhoods. Pop lost his job about that time and it was goodbye to Mary Street. We moved to flats, in the Brooklyn – Ridgewood section. WWII; marriage and family was another story. Now living in Missouri at age 90.

    • dick santo says:

      Hi Paul. Funny but things didn’t change all that much from your time to mine. In the late 40’s and early 50’s there were still horse drawn wagons selling fruits and veggies. “Hey-o peaches two pounds-a quarter”. Mrs. Brooks would always act shocked at his prices but would eventually give in and buy his stuff. Our oil and ice were delivered by horse and wagon. Three guys would come around and play music and sing for change that people would throw out of their windows. Some guys would go to the beer gardens and perform some kind of act, sometimes playing two spoons in each hand to a tune. On Saturday nights I would lay awake listening to the German Um-Pa-Pa in the beer garden across the street till about 2 a.m. (I had no choice). The singing got really loud around mid-night.

  27. Richard Zambrotta says:

    This history of Ridgewood was fascinating to read. Really brought back good memories. I was born in Ridgewood in 1951 and lived for fourteen years on Bleecker Street between Cypress and Seneca Avenues. Played ball everyday in the PS81 school yard which was right across the street. My family moved to “Upper Ridgewood” when I turned fifteen and we lived on Grandview Avenue. I attended Grover Cleveland H.S. I still own this house on Grandview Avenue where my son and sister live. I currently live in East Meadow, Long Island. Thanks for the memories.

    • Ellen Rassiger says:

      Can you tell me if you remember Arty’s Tavern at 485 Grandview Avenue, or any of the owners or people that worked there? My grandfather and grandmother owned it; there was a large party room in the back but they lived in the apartment above. Her kids are (my uncle) Kenny Stark and (my aunt) Barbara (Babs) Stark. If you have anything you can share with me, please feel free to call me at 631-423-1611? My name is Ellen.

      • dick santo says:

        To Ellen; I remember Arty’s in the 1950’s. I new a kid named Tony Barowitz who’s parents may have owned the place. As teenagers we hung out at Nutsbergers Candy Store on either Fairview or Grandview Ave.

        • Ellen Rassiger says:

          Yes, Anthony Borowitz (known as Tony or Tommy) was my father’s brother, and my godfather. Virginia and Arty Stark (my grandparents) owned Arty’s. My grandmother ran it for many years after he died. Sadly, Uncle Tony (and his wife, my Aunt Lee) moved to Ohio around 1970. Sadly, he passed away a few years ago.

          • dick santo says:

            Thanks for the feedback. I’m sorry to hear about Tony. As I recall, he was a good kid. I’ve lost track of most of my old friends (I’m in New Jersey since 1970). I have many fond memories of Ridgewood. Feel free to send another e-mail with questions about the old town anytime.

  28. Joan Reimann says:

    My grandparents (James and Edith Reimann) rented a house at 1113 Wyckoff Avenue (near Decatur) that was owned by Senator Martin J. Knorr. My aunt (Jennie Fremgen) owned a beautiful house with a wrap around porch next door that we believe had been a speak easy or other house of notorious ways, as it had a complete bar in one room, with a back staircase, and twin cellars (one could only be entered through a closet). The house has since had the front porch either removed or enclosed. A Mobile gas station was next door, and the Silvertop Diner was next to the gas station (which was partly owned by my Uncle Frank Evagelatos. My cousin owned the house across the street (Hummrich) which has a wrap around porch, and is Victorian looking. My parents owned a home at 1087 Cypress Avenue, which was built when the street was Smith Street. I’m not sure how old any of these homes were, but they were beautiful.

  29. anna says:

    I enjoyed reading about ridgewood.I I lived on palmetto street, went to p.s.116 also junior high 85, I also lived on st. Nicholas av. across the street from the ice cream parlor. Is the ice cream parlor still there? I remember Julie’s mom owned it. I used to go there all the time,lots of good friends and fun times, many good memories.I have been away from New York for many years.

    • Jim Farrell says:

      Wow! I taught at PS 116 from 1971 to 1977. My mother Elizabeth Farrell, for whom the school was renamed after, taught there from the early 1950’s til her passing in 1973. Henry Kash was the principal then.

  30. Annie says:

    Great job! If you read Stephen Solomita books, you will find some really important details of the streets and the culture of these neighborhoods as he knew it while he was working as a Taxi driver. I read his book Twist of a knife. Real good.

  31. Michael Olikus says:

    I lived on Fresh Pond Road, on the corner of Catalpa Ave. from 1947 – 1962. I went to Farmers Oval park often. I lived across the street from public school 88. And the Knights of Columbus building. I attended PS 88. My church was ST Mathias, about 6 blocks straight down Catalpa Ave from my house. I lived in a 6 room railroad flat, cold water and a “dumb Waiter”. I spent many a day playing in the old trolley barns, on Fresh Pond Rd. The # 13 bus stopped right in front of my house. The 104 Police Station was around the corner on Catapla Ave, as was the court house where ” the wrong man” starring Henry Fonda was filmed. The stores on my block or close by were Jay Rose, The ridge wood chemists, an Army and Navy store, candy store, butcher, Murray’s Laundermat, a grocery store owned by Barny and Morris, a fruit and veg store, “Merkle’s” moving company, Maggio’s Italian Restaurant and Naggengast hobby store. Just a few on the stores I remember on my block or across the street. There was an Italian shoe maker around the corner on Catalpa Ave and a barber shop owed by a guy named Gus. I am almost 70 now but I remember Soooo many things about my old home and neighborhood. I’m happy to answer any questions about the area you may have.

    • Memories of farmers oval park. Loved that place

    • Eileen H says:

      My Aunt and Uncle and I and eventually my son went to St. Mathias.

    • marianne kelly says:

      Hi Michael. Do you remember 2 ice cream parlors n fresh pond road – one was Kedenbergs (spelling) and Von Ron’s. Marianne

    • john says:

      Hey Michael, Of all of the businesses that you mentioned, you forgot my favorite one. On my way to Farmers I’d pass the Pizza Prince. I even assembled boxes for either a15 cent slice or a coke. It sure was good pizza. I remember watching Jack Merkel working on his hotrod in the garages bordering the tracks on the way to Farmers. I’m guessing I was 7 to 10 years old. Ultimately, I’d end up in the park playing knock hockey or whatever. Imagine kid that young out on his own today.

  32. Mark Herman-May says:

    I moved to Seneca and Myrtle in the 60’s. I remember seeing the Sound of Music at the Madison Theater and graduated fron JHS at the Ridgewood. Some of the stores I remember are Howard’s Men’s shop, Bohack, Trunz, Martin’s paint, Ronny’s luncheonette, Glendale bakery, Fair, Woolworths, Pants Pantry, We had a “head shop” across from our house call Headquarters One, owned by a great gay couple Vinny and John who were friends with my sister and gave me my fist bell bottoms. On Weirfield Street was a little china laundry who would starch my dads white shirts. The schoolyard gangs scarred me . I went to Conties (?) barber shop and may of us had our first beer at the Elco. Looking back we had a great childhood. I live in New England now and was able to get back to Ridgewood a few years ago to pick up a dog we rescued, the neighborhood looked great. I had coffee at Ronnnys and walk around seeing many of the sam stores. I went into Rudy’s to bring home cake for my dad who was in his 90’s at the time.

    • Eileen H says:

      I remember Rudy’s bake shop. They had great cheese cake, but the best cheese cake was Heinegan.s on Myrtle Ave.
      I worked for a short time at the Glendale Bakery.

      • Dawn says:

        My parents were born and raised in Ridgewood. After they moved to NJ, my Grandmother would always bring us the rum balls and black forest cake from Rudy’s. I have never had either that could compare to those!

      • Jerry Tisi says:

        Rudy’s best Black Forest cake around

    • dick santo says:

      I went to Conte’s Barber Shop. Originally, there were two brothers, then one of them sold out. The shop; was on Seneca Ave.

      • Catherine Dilworth says:

        930 Seneca Ave., to be exact, Dick Santo. Mr. Conte, his wife Rose, and their sons and daughters lived across the hall from me on the second floor of that address. That barber shop later became a law office. Mr. Conte set up his barber shop on Forest Ave. after closing the Seneca one. I write to his grandson on Facebook once in awhile. I remember Mr. Conte very well. He died in the mid 1950s while he was in his early 50s.

    • Catherine Dilworth says:

      Hi, Mark – Mr. Conte and his son, both barbers, lived across the hall from me and my family. The younger Conte, Willy, had a barber shop on Seneca and Weirfield many decades ago. The Elco was down the corner from me. I lived at 930 Seneca Ave, next to Bohack’s. I still remember the area quite well and visit it sometimes.

  33. dick santo says:

    My family moved to Ridgewood from Bed Sty in the summer of 1945 (Woodward Ave. & Himrod Street right across the street from George’s Delly. We did all our food shopping there until the Bohack super market was established in Ridgewood. We almost always bought our food on credit at George’s. We had a little book and George would make all the entries himself. Sometimes our bill would get really high. George and his wife were good business people but they trusted us and we always paid up. In the summer time we kids could walk into any Drug Store and ask for a glass of water and we’d get it. If we got hurt in the streets the Druggist would patch us up and send us on our way. One time I got hurt really bad so my friends took me to a Drug Store. The Druggist patched me up. I needed stitches in my head so he closed his store and drove me to Wycoff Heights Hospital where I got stitched up. All of this was free of course. Those were the days.

    • john says:

      Hey Dick, wasn’t there a small market on the bklyn side of Woodward called Dilbert’s .I was real young then. I so remember the smell on coffee beans that you’d grind right there… I guess that’s how they did it back then. I’m talking 1954-5. I do remember a deli on the queens side of Woodward that had rotisserie chicken that smelled wonderful. Woodward was quite a street to do your shopping.

      • Dick Santo says:

        Hi John. I do remember a Dilbert’s. I can’t remember where it was. I thought there was a Bohac’ks on Woodward Ave. but I’m probably wrong. When I lived on Woodward( between Stanhope and Himrod) we thought we lived in Brooklyn. Even my graduation book from St. Aloysius School has Brooklyn, N.Y. on the cover. I graduated in 1953. We had zone numbers then instead of zip codes. Our zone was “Brooklyn 37” The post office was on the Brooklyn side of Ridgewood and thus the confusion. I think the border line was Cypress Ave. I did not know that Woodward went from Brooklyn to Queens. I remember it went down to Flushing Ave. but I’m not sure about it being in both Brooklyn and Queens. Could you be thinking of Woodbine St.? That did cross the boarder.

        • john says:

          hey Dick, Don’t feel bad about the geographical confusion… seems like no one ,in those days, ever knew the actual Blkyn Queens border. I lived on woodward between harmon and himrod(???) till +/-1956. Then moved to cornelia st ( st matthias parish)… that was a 27 zone. Although it was all Ridgewood, the Brooklyn post office confused all issues. A technical factor could have been the 19xx house numbers till forest (bklyn) and the hyphenated 60-xx numbers after forest (queens) . But even they got it wrong. I’ve lived upstate over 30 years and have lived in a particular town with another town’s post office and yet another’s tax district, so I guess it’s not that unusual. go figure

          • Dick Santo says:

            Hold on John. We were neighbors. Did you know Billie Immel, Johnny Mayer, Robby Rabe or his brother Walter, Tommy Lippolt, Nicky Wolf, Billy Johnson (of Johnson’s candy store), Butchie Baher or John Francis? This would be a late 40’s early 50’s crowd. I lived on Woodward Ave. from 1945 to 1957.

  34. Jose' Pimentel says:

    Hi , it’s been very interesting reading and seeing pictures of buildings that I as a young boy wondered
    ” wonder what that was” the structures that were different or older looking than the flats we always rented .
    My parents arrived on the mainland from Puerto Rico in the late 1950s , living and working in Clinton Hills brownstowns divided into SRO’s and working local factories . As a family we lived near the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan bridge . From there in the mid 1960’s we moved to North Brooklyn , Knickerbocker Ave with all the Italian bakeries and numerous coffee shops with older Italian men playing cards . In those years we moved a few times Halsey St , Cornelia St …..etc we had a few landlords who were widows dressing in complete black every day , the fig trees , home made wine that I always tasted when my father would give me the money to go pay the rent .
    We shopped on Knickerbocker , Broadway , Graham , Myrtle ave depending on what was being bought . School clothes were bought on Delancey St and barter for cheaper prices with the semetic Jewish owned store owners . Loved going especially to go to the Jewish bakeries for pumpernickel bread , rye bread with caraway seeds so , so good .
    On a factory workers salary my father saved enough for a down payment for a 6 family row house on St Nicholas and Dekalb . He was tired of having to moving us around , fixing rental places up and then needing to move .
    I do agree with the gentlemen who mentioned the hostility found in the Ridgewood area , stares , followed till you walked off the block . Even on our block neighbors were primarily Italian and they were incensed at the local realtor who sold us the house . My father was very fair skinned as was my older sister who accompanied him . My mother was ” a light brown” as was my younger bother and me . The experiences that him and me had growing up in the “hood” were completely different than my three fair skinned siblings .
    Most of my youth we lived with diverse people , working class , renters , black , white , Latin , other
    especially on Halsey and Irving Ave during the late 60’s , 70’s .
    Now in my mid 50’s I’ve seen the the gentrification start even 25 years ago , riding the LL the first explorers were young , grungy and fearless moving to factory spaces around the Metropiltan ave stop . The original Dumbo pioneers , not for status but space to create and affordable I welcomed them .

    • Tony says:

      We lived and rented an apartment on Madisin street As the street began to Change we left as a result of gunshots on a quiet Sunday We first went to a real estate office and were immediately told. “Forget about ridgewood , Germans will not allow Italians in.

      • Catherine Dilworth says:

        Hi, Tony – I lived in Ridgewood from 1947 to 1960 with my family. The whole two floors were people of Italian ancestry, good neighbors I must say. The man across the hall from me had lived in that building on Seneca for decades before. His father had owned the building next door since the 1920s. Italian, from Italy. So Italians go a long way back in Ridgewood. Of course, Germans were the vast majority – they buillt Ridgewood – and excellently!

    • Dick Santo says:

      Hi Jose. I read your post two years ago and just now read it again. I just realized how good it was. You had quite an experience growing up. Not easy Your father was quite a guy. You must be proud of him. You covered a lot of ground and had many experiences. From pumpernickel bread (how I miss real pumpernickel) to dealing with the ignorance of some nasty people. Best wishes to you and your family.

  35. Sue Wendt says:

    My father grew up in Ridgewood, Brooklyn, where my great grandparents lived.

  36. Jack Taylor says:

    My family, the Taylor’s lived on Knickerbocker Ave. & Cornelia St. All the kids (6 of us) graduated from St. Martin of Tours. The boys, Ed, Don (deceased) Jack & Jerry all played softball in Putnam Playground. The girls Joan (deceased) & Ceil did their own thing. It was a great place to live. If anyone remembers us, it would be nice hearing from you.

  37. Any pics of the woolworths down ridgewood and the other at st pancras school site on myrtle ave?i am a Glendale girl raised and schooled there moved out as a teen

  38. Jim Stuhler says:

    Anyone who “hung” pout on Fresh Pond Road ice cream parlor Kedenburgs. From late 40s until early 50s. I joined the army in 1952 and now live in Alaska. Francis?

  39. Tony Costanzo says:

    My dad had a candy store on 67th ave. between Forest Ave. and Fresh Pond Rd.Across the street was Andrews Deli. I truly miss the area. My dad would close the store on Sundays at 2:00 in the afternoon and we had our Sunday dinner. Later in the day we went to the movies. It was one of three theaters either the Ridgewood, the Oasis or my favorite the Madison. My mother would go shopping on Saturday afternoons on Myrtle Ave.It’s great remembering those times.

  40. dick santo says:

    H I’m back. Lived on Woodward & Himrod from 1945 to 1957. Played baseball in the vacant lot between Himrod St. and Stanhope st. near Grover Cleveland Park. Played softball, handball, roller hocky, basket ball and football in Grover Cleveland Park. Played stickball, king-queen, Johnny on the pony, capture the white flag, skellsies, marbles, stoop-ball, slap-ball, ring-a-leriio, tag, you name it, mostly on himrod street next to the lots. Had water pistol season, putty blower season, played cards for comics, flipped baseball cards (now worth a fortune), played “I Declare War” (a popular WWII game), listened to Let’s Pretend, Buster Brown, Jack Benny, Our Miss Brooks, Life with Luigi, Mr. & Mrs. North, The Fat Man, The Shadow, Ellery Queen ,Inner Sanctum, Life of Riley, on the radio. Listened to Martin Bloc’s “Make Believe Ballroom” Oh yes, Saturday afternoons at the Majestic Theater on Seneca Ave. (two features and six cartoons) for fourteen cents. Whew! More later.

    • Eileen H says:

      I remember that vacant lot. We would catch butterfies there, There are houses built there since about 1970.
      I believe that the majestic theater is now a funeral home. How sad,

  41. Eileen H says:

    Did anyone know Diane Fitzgerald, Doreen Shuster (Daisy), Laura and Johanna Caritta,
    James Healy, Margaret O’Brian(MEG), Kathy O-Brien, Mr Munze, (liquor store owner)
    Mr. and Mrs Stoltz, and crazy George., Koch Pharmacy, Marty’s butcher shop, and.Kaufman’s grocery store, Grover Cleveland park, Cherry Valley, and Bohack market, I lived at 404 Seneca Ave. I graduated from St. Aloysius in 1962, and Grover Cleveland in 1966.

    • dick santo says:

      I knew Koch’s and Marty the butcher. My brother Tom made deliveries for marty in the early 50’s. I guess you saw the movie “Marty.” It was about a butcher in the Bronx named Marty. Maybe they got the idea for the movie from our Marty in Ridgewood. You never know.

    • tom frizzi says:

      There were two Cherry Valleys on Seneca Avenue one near Himrod St and one near Madison St. I lived on Himrod Street meet my wife of 40 years at the other Cherry Valley will my friend worked. Send me an email at tefrz@comcast.net and say hey if you were from either Himrod or Madison streets.

  42. Bob McNally says:

    Hi Jim. I wrote a lot but they apparently didn’t allow it. I’ll try another time. This is just a test. Sorry.

  43. David Levitt says:

    Great website! I have a photo from 1922 of a section of Wyckoff Ave that shows Mullins Ice Cream, a trolley that says “Wyckoff Ave” on the front, an old car (with a NY plate that says “1922”), and the cobblestone (and mud) street. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll forward a copy to you.

    – Dave Levitt

  44. Frank Marx says:

    I played baseball in the first year Ridgewood Little League in 1952. I played for the 104th police coordinating Council. We played at the than New Farmers oval which is now the home of Christ The King High School. I than went on to Play for the Ridgedale Hobos, a very successful team under the guidance of George Slats Leaning. The team consisted of many locals including, Joe Kepics, Bill Engesser, Dick Lallier, Bill Mertz, John Rossman, Carl Krolik, Dick Waltz, Fred Neuscheler and others. We played at what was called the Old Farmers Oval. If any of you may still be around and read this, please reply. I now live in Delaware with my wife Marie. We have four daughters and 12 grandchildren.

    Frank Marx

    • dick santo says:

      Hi Frank. I remember the old farmer’s oval. I played baseball in a vacant lot on Himrod St. There was a kid named Walter Heckle who’s father played baseball for the Brooklyn Dodger’s farm team. He often trained his son Walter in the lot. I was just wondering if you came across either of them in your baseball travels. Congrats on your family. Quite a brood.

      • Jack Donahue says:

        Dick santo ! Wow a name from the past . Of course I remember everyone you have talked about. Walter Rabe was my best friend. Wally heckle was in my class at St.A’s Johnny Maier was my next door neighbor Just recently been together with Bobby Immel billy’brother. To bad you move out in 57. It was great growing up there with everyone. I like you and though you were a cool guy. I think you hah an older brother who hung out with Robert Rabe! Johnny Reid an more .I just attended St. A’s 60th reunion.it was fun .Only one kid from 55 and me from 57. I went to grover Cleveland till 61. The best time in our neighborhood was Friday night dancing at the Silver Dollar Club on the third floor of the ridge wood theatre ,everyone was there. I just got this I pad it’s fun searching .but I don’t like typing. I still like voices. I hope we can connect and have some fun.. Who was the barber on the ground floor nest to you. Was it Tony’s ?

        • Dick Santo says:

          Jacky Donahue! Holy Toledo! I have corresponded with a lot of people from Ridgewood on this blog, but this is the first time I actually connected with someone I know. Yes my brother Tom hung out with R. Rabe. Sad what happened to Walter Rabe. Didn’t you have a Super-Man outfit when you were a little kid? I guess I forgot the Silver Dollar club was third floor. Did you ever shoot pool in Cappies? The barber on the ground floor was named Shwartz. Didn’t know his first name. Tony Penisi had a barber shop on Woodward Ave. around Green Ave. I think. Johnny Maier lives in Florida along with Bruce Van Aken and Billy Johnson (if still alive). You signed my graduation book in 1953 from St. A’s. Great to hear from you.

  45. Mary Haneman says:

    I was raised in Maspeth,but my family comes from Ridgewood. My maternal grandparents moved from Greenpoint in 1908. My grandfather built their house at 60-12 Madison St. He and his brothers dug foundation by hand and they moved in 1910. My mom’s best friend was Christina Caldroney Gaeta who lived two houses down. We went to Trinity Reformed Church and I graduated from Grover Cleveland in ’63. Had graduation at Ridgewood Theater. My father’s people, the Harms family, lived in Ridgewold since 1880’s and my cousins grew up in Ridgewood also. We did most of our cloths shopping in Ridgewood on Myrtle or Fresh Pond. My father would shop at Howard men’s clothing store. I remember Jay Rose. The food was the best. The bakeries, Forest Pork store. Karl Ehmers, the delis and of course Gebhardts and Durros. My aunt and uncle would have Sunday dinner and have a dance there on Sunday afternoons. Many of my childhood memories are rooted in the neighborhood. I’ve lived in Virginia since I married, but always think of Ridgewood as one of my homes..

  46. been there says:

    hello everyone .

    i am looking for data on a store called ‘ ridge furniture – myrtle ave and seneca ‘
    thats the general area .

    i was there 1973 .

    my uncles owned the place.

    say what you may know.

    • Mark L. says:

      In response to “been there” looking for info on Ridge Furniture … My father worked there on and off in the ’70’s and ’80s. He would have worked for your uncles and later one of their sons, I guess your cousin.

  47. Nancy Reising says:

    Mary if you Graduated from Grover Cleveland as I did in 1963 then you graduated from the Madison Theatre.
    I went to Grade school with Artie Harms at P.S.81.

    • Mary Haneman says:

      Hi Nancy, Artie was my cousin. His sisters are Carole and Lillian. They lived on Stanhope and then moved to Cypress then Long Island. Great memories.

  48. Don P. says:

    As a Social Studies teacher at PS 81 on Cypress Ave., I love this website and all of the comments. The hayloft/Ralph Street sign right across the street from school are signs of the past that have always intrigued me, as are the two heavy metal plates that are still at the top outside step of PS 81 that were used to scrape the mud off your boots when entering our school from unpaved Cypress Avenue at the turn of the century. I would welcome the opportunity to interview anyone who would be kind enough to indulge me so that I can learn more about your personal recollections about life in Ridgewood. I’d love to pass on what are clearly very fond and relevant memories of your experiences. Thank you.

    • dick santo says:

      Hi Don. No need to interview me. I have comments all over this website and on another one called “Growing up in Ridgewood Queens in the 1960’s.” However I will mention two more things that are strange and peculiar to Ridgewood.

      On Thanksgiving In the late 1940’s and early 50’s we kids would dress up like hobos and go through the back yards singing songs . People would throw money down to us or sometimes bags of goodies. We’d also ring doorbells and shout “Anything for Thanksgiving?” We got apples, money, etc. When Halloween came around we would fill nylon stockings with flour and hit each other with them, getting flour all over ourselves. We did other stuff with chalk and candle wax that I won’t mention. The thing is, we never even heard of “trick or treat.” The first time I heard of trick or treat was reading a Walt Disney comic with Porky Pig trick or treating.

      Another strange one is that we called firecrackers “salutes.” As far as I can determine only Ridgewoodites did this.

      In my travels I told these things is to people from Brooklyn, Manhattan, South Carolina, you name it. Nobody knew what I was talking about.

      Hope you enjoyed find this little bit of Ridgewood history.

      • Anna Voege Cella says:

        I remember thanksgiving going begging,people think I am crazy when I tell them about doing that.I guess it was a new York thing . I have lived on woodbine street also Palmetto Street also St Nicholas Av. Now I am a Californian.

      • I remember going begging at Thanksgiving, when I tell people about that they think I am crazy as they never heard of doing that.I grew up on woodbine street, then moved to palmetto street.remember my friend Marily Russo, Mary Medaglia ,I baby sat Mary Murphy’s children., then lived on St Nicholas av. remember the ice cream parlor across the street last owner was Julies Mom. I then moved to Connecticut, now I am a Californian for he last 47 years.

  49. Ellie says:

    In response to “been there” looking for info on Ridge Furniture store, I believe the showroom was on Seneca Avenue and Cornelia Street. They had a warehouse entrance on Putnam Avenue. My parents bought quite a bit of their furniture from Ridge. The owners were always pleasant to them. I lived there in the 60’s and 70’s….

  50. Annabelle Dice O'Neill says:

    I was born in Ridgewood in 1932 – and grew up there until my family
    managed to scrape together $500. for a down payment in a house in
    West Babylon, “out on” Long Island.

    During WWII I remember the effort put in to defeat the “AXIS” –
    saving newspapers, tin foil, food rationing, buying war stamps
    until you had enough to trade for a war bond. Kids used to sing:
    “Whistle while you work, Hitler is a jerk, Mussellini is a meanie and
    the Japs are worse!” Nobody I knew was sympathetic to Hitler.

    • dick santo says:

      I was born in 1939 but I remember that song word for word. As you probably know, the tune was from “Snow White.” I lived deep in the heart of Brooklyn during the war. Moved to Ridgewood in 1945.

  51. OMG We moved to Ridgewood, Madison Street in about 1933. My dad was Johnnies’s Meat Market on Madison Street. My sister and I went to PS 93. The bakery across the street from my dad’s store was called the Konditore. Yes, I remember everyone washing their front steps everyday. Playing in the streets in the summer while our parents sat on chairs outside my dad’s shop. We had a cany store right next to us and our nickle allowance was spent there. I remember sunday nights walking to the movies on Myrtle Ave. Please let me know if anyone remembers my dad’s shop.

  52. Anonymous says:

    The house on forest Ave off woodbine is really old. It has a porch.

  53. stephen m. says:

    none of these memories can ever be replaced. i worked as a kid at al’s candy store which was perry’s before al and terry took over, between madison & woodbine st. next to franks bar, also helped bob on the bungalow bar ice cream truck. this was all around mid to late 60’s. great times.

    • john says:

      Spent ,many a day in Al’s on fresh pond. Was a really great time hangin with the Madison park crowd.

  54. Howard Seyffer says:

    Thanks so much for the many posts from so many people. You have brought back many memories and caused me to want to share some of my own.
    I was born in 1938 at the Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn and lived in Ridgewood from 1939 when my parents bought a six family apartment building located at 2004 Woodbine Street between Fairview and Forest. We moved in 1956 to Middle Village. I’ve lived in New Jersey since 1964. My parents, Emil and Kate have passed away and are buried in the Methodist Cemetery on Onderdonk Ave across from Grover Cleveland HS.
    I can confirm much of what has been shared, especially by Dick Santos – dressing like hobos on the night before Halloween (we called it Goosie Night), begging on Thanksgiving and calling fireworks “salutes”.
    My parents owned a German Delicatessen at 267 Wyckoff Ave between Grove and Menahan. I played “Rack Ball” on Menahan with Lennie Magio and Ray Lonie (SP?), Tommy Sataruffo (SP?). While Ridgewood was mostly populated by people with a German background, there were many families of Italian heritage as witnessed by my Menahan St friends. I attended my first Brooklyn Dodger Baseball game at Ebbett’s Field with Lennie and his father in August 1950 – I remember because Gil Hodges hit four home runs and a single that night – True.
    I attended a German language school on Wyckoff Ave Saturday mornings. The school was a storefront and taught German history and culture. I remember the school having a Christmas tree that had real burning candles.
    My parents sold the store in 1956 after Bohack opened a supermarket across the street on Wyckoff and Menahan. Our store survived for some time because of the quality we offered, credit we extended and the deliveries I made to shut-ins with which Bohack didn’t compete. My father told me that everyone always paid the money they owed.
    I attended P.S. 93 which was up the street from our house on Woodbine St. If I remember correctly, boys used the Madison St entrance and the girls entered on Woodbine St. There was a library on Madison St near the school entrance. My mother worked for a while at one of Ridgewood’s knitting mills located on our corner next to our house at Woodbine and Fairview and there was a funeral parlor on Fairview between Woodbine and Madison. Sometime in the 1950s the City took the rest of the block in order to build another school (or was it a park?). My parents and the other owners sued the City in order to obtain fair compensation and won the case.
    Wyckoff Heights was our local hospital. My brother in law died there in the 1960s after being stabbed on Forest Avenue.
    MY long-time friend, Gary, grew up on Grove St and attended P.S. 81. We met, when I at the age of eleven joined a Boy Scout Troop (Gary was already a Scout), sponsored by the St. John’s Evangelical United Brethren Church on Gates Ave and Seneca (I think). We attended Stuyvesant HS together. Every few years we take a long walking tour of Ridgewood starting with our arrival at the Myrtle Ave station of what used to be called the Canarsie Line.
    I attended Ridgewood Methodist Church on Grove St. It’s now a Coptic Christian church. I met my first wife, Claire Gendreau and married her there in 1961. She lived on Linden St. (1912 I think) and attended Grover Cleveland HS graduating in 1957. I remember Phillip and George Schmidt, Joey Koestner, Marjorie and Gertrude Bronner, Virginia Steinkraus and Lillian Roos who also attended Ridgewood Methodist.
    As a young child, I often rode the trolley under the Myrtle Ave El from Forest Ave to Wyckoff Ave for 3 cents with my mother who paid the full fare of 5 cents.
    We had ice delivered to our ice box on Woodbine St from a horse-drawn wagon. The delivery man would place a piece of burlap on his shoulder and carry a block of ice up to our apartment on the second floor.
    Another horse-drawn wagon delivered produce to our street. “Whoa bunnies” was the peddler’s cry as he entered our street.
    I was too young to know of Nazi Bund meetings. I have been shown, however, where they reportedly took place on St Nicholas Ave. I have also been told by a reliable source that a neighbor was arrested and removed to an internment camp for Germans located somewhere in New Jersey. What I do personally remember was being questioned by the FBI in 1942 when I was 4 in my parents apartment on Woodbine St as to their activities (my mother was a US citizen, but my father was not yet naturalized). We were cleared and the agent commented that I didn’t have a German accent.
    Some random recollections: The Staat’s Zeitung und Herold was a German language newspaper sold in the neighborhood.
    Rudy’s Konditorei on Seneca Ave near Myrtle sold the best Swartzwalder Kirsch Torte (Black Forest Cherry Cake)
    In addition to Gottlieb’s and Durrows, the Bratwurst Glockle was a German Restaurant under the El down towards Schwaben Hall.
    The Grandview Theater did indeed show movies outdoors at night after the war. As mentioned before, the seats were long green benches.
    And finally, we went to the Ridgewood Grove for boxing and wrestling matches. It was one of two or three major venues in NYC along with Madison Square Garden and the St. Nicholas Arena in the late forties and early fifties.

    • Dick Santo says:

      Hi Howard. What a great post. So my memory did in fact serve me well regarding the benches at the Grandview Theater. And I have trouble remembering what day it is. Go figure. You mentioned a Joey Koestner. I’m thinking of a kid who lost an eye dueling with another kid with sticks. Was that him?

    • Dick Santo says:

      I saw my cousin Eddie Gaynor box for the Golden Gloves at the Ridgewood Grove around 1955. Three round events. Eddie went down in the first (he’d better not see this). There was a welter-weight named Danny Giovanello who lived across the street from me. He boxed at the Grove and the Garden. Fought some big names too.

    • Tasha says:

      Hi Howard,
      I was looking at a website http://80s.nyc/ wondering if i could find a shot of 267 Wyckoff because i lived in that building for a short time as a child. I was in the building when it burned down actually and rescued along with my mother by the local fire dept. I was hoping to find a shot of the building before it burned. I located this image instead which has a sot of the building behind where it used to be with the smoke residue from the fire. http://80s.nyc/#show/40.7012/-73.9137 Thanks for posting this my search continues.


  55. Dick Santo says:

    Way before the Worlds Fare came to Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, Flushing Meadows was a wide open semi-marshland. There was a swimming pool called the Aquacade. Cost nine cents to get in. Diving boards galore, up to 40 feet high. Anyone could use them (no lawsuits then). There was also a weekly show in the evening. It featured some serious professional diving. But the main attraction (at least for me) were the daredevil water clowns called the “Aqua-Zanies”. We travelled from Ridgewood via trolly-car. Eventually the busses took over (big mistake but that’s progress)

    We also went fishing on the lake (car antennas for fishing poles). Caught carp, red-carp, catfish, eels and sunfish. Took them home too (in buckets of water). There was an old dilapidated house next to the lake with water running through some of the rooms. We called it “the haunted house.” It was made into a boat house after the worlds fare closed down. We did this stuff in the late 40’s – early 50’s. I guess other kids carried the banner until 1964 when the Worlds fair came to New York for the second time.

  56. Howard Seyffer says:

    HI Dick. We have the same Joey Koestner in mind. He did, indeed, lose an eye very early in life in a stick fight. His parents had a second home in Comack on Long Island, where I once was a guest in the fifties.

    I just recalled having gone with my mother to a live poultry market on Myrtle Ave near the RKO Ridgewood Theater where they would slaughter chickens and turkeys. Sometime in the late forties I believe.

    Having read all your posts, I can’t believe you can’t remember what day it is.

  57. Howard Seyffer says:

    Johnny Breitenbrook lived on the corner of Menahan and Wyckoff. They said he was a middleweight contender and I saw him box a number of times at the Ridgewood Grove. I believe he quit boxing and became a cop.

  58. Natalie A Bulling says:

    There was a german bar kyusols ( cant spell it) i think in was on woodwood did any body ever go there?

  59. Dick Santo says:

    I remember the chickens. Hundreds of them in crates clucking away. Awful smell. My older brother Tom says we would pick up chicken claws that were scattered all over the place. I also remember a farm way down on Woodward Ave. (I think it was Woodward). We once sold a praying mantis to the farmer for fifty cents. We told him it would help control the insects on his farm. Thinking back I guess he was just being kind to us.

  60. I remember going begging people did not believe me when I told them about it. I have lived on woodbine street, Palmetto street, St. Nicholas av. I remember the ice cream parlor, Julies mom owned it . I remember friends from palmetto st. Marilyn Russo and Mary Megdalia and I baby sat Mary Murray’ s children.

  61. lots of good memmories

  62. Vicki Lane says:

    I wirked the old Gebbys off Fresh Pond Rd n Mrytle Ave n also Cozy Corner the clean very clean establishment Cozy had Pillars that looked like the Titanic bust of woman or Mermaid. Both severed food clean clean. It was my 1st taste of Jagermeister the Best medicine yes if u have cold it is potent cured whatever Great area so much history

  63. Dick Santo says:

    In addition to a pool room above the Ridgewood Theater there was a club called “The Silver Dollar Club” below the Ridgewood Theater in the 50’s. Anyone out there old enough to remember it?

  64. Rita says:

    I lived on Putnam Ave from 1946 to 1968 when I got married I attended St. Matthais till 1954 then went to PS77 Mr Walters was 8th grade History class then Grover Cleveland graduated ar the Madison Th in 1964 Those were the best years. I to went around any thing for Thanksgiving and got apples nuts candy and sometimes coins Now live in Fla.

  65. great website, I enjoy reading all the fun things that we grew up with.

  66. Mike Gildea says:

    We lived on Madison between Wyckoff and Myrtle I remember Movie stars pulling up to enter the rear doors of The Madison Theatre for Personal appearances.Myrtle Ave five and tens , the lights at Christmas . Walking to St Brigid’s for school Playing pool At the Grove as a teenager.My mother grew up during the war on Woodbine and would tell me stories of German sympathies in Ridgewood.My fathers parents lived on the corner of Madison and Seneca as a kid I would take the Beer pail down 3 flights of stairs cross Seneca go to Kioodles they would fill it up with Rheingold.Later on we moved to Fresh Pond Road above a bar across from Bohacks and I hung out at Madison St Park.And of course there was Grover Cleveland.

  67. Edward m says:

    Anyone remember, Stengers bakery. His daughter was a steady for a while. German mother, great cook

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