EAST WILLIAMSBURG, briefly

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I was making my way through the merciless blazing sun in East Willliamsburg the other Sunday, on my way to a radio appearance on the Mike and Judy Show [archived here] heading east on Moore Street, which runs from Broadway and Lorimer east to Bushwick and then, from a bit further south on Bushwick east to Bogart, in a thick grid of tiny streets that otherwise have nothing to do with any other Brooklyn neighborhood and are entirely self-contained. There are worlds within worlds in these streets.

The Katz Drugs sign, Graham Avenue off Moore, was likely first installed when the area was largely Eastern European and Jewish. The population changed and became heavily Latino in the 1960s, and that’s likely when the “Farmacia” addendum was made to the bottom of the sign. Or has it been there all along?

On Moore Street, named for a long ago sieve manufacturer, you can get your shoes repaired, your keys made and your chickens slaughtered right next door to each other. And your smokes and newspaper too.

The exterior of Roberta’s on Moore just west of Bogart, is nothing to write home to Mother about, but on Sundays the waiting list for a table is two hours long for its gourmet pizza and other items on the menu, which are grown from local produce when possible. In fact, some of the vegetables come from the greenhouse next door, seen photo left.

There is also an outdoor patio with picnic tables (the inside is air conditioned) a beer garden, and most surprisingly, a radio shack, from whence radio shows such as Mike and Judy’s are broad- and pod-cast.

Evergreen Avenue, once part of the colonial-era Old Bushwick Road, is named for the Cemetery of the Evergreens, to which it strives toward, but cannot quite reach (it likely once did, but now ends at the LIRR Bay Rige branch and the cut for the BMT L train). Oddly, it runs one block north of Flushing Avenue (most of Bushwick’s southeast running avenues begin at Flushing Avenue) and the one block between Cook Street and Flushing Avenue has kept its old Belgian block pavement. Economy Stainless steel faces the avenue.

Page completed July 21, 2011





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