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I was 7 years old when we move from Manhattan to Brooklyn, I remember the first day we moved in July 1962, I got in to a fist fight with two boys Eric and Ray who simply asked me What are you doing here who soon after became my best friends. im pretty sure in other hoods if u were a gang u stayed where u chilled.i was also surprised about how many gangs there were that guy wrote on top. The thing is there is no one leading the way to try and take the neighborhood back it all slipped away pretty sad. hi this is tommy i lived in bensonhurst 29 years now i live upstate not the same as home and never will be. it's what New York city is about, we are a hub/magnet for the next wave.We lived in Seth Low Park, playing Hand Ball, Softball and Basketball, stick ball in the school yard, at night under the lights playing Spud the loser would get asses up, Roller Hockey and touch football in the winter, the verity of things to do was endless. now its, (these are gangs that lasted for years) 2a(20 ave and 60's) bath ave boys 23rd ave 24 ave 85 st boys (85 and 20th) bay 46 bay 50 ave s ave u boys a.b.i(albanian boys inc.,seth low park) a.b.b(albanian bad boys) cropsey park kings highway boys bay pkwy boys and then u have all these other gangs by the west sides that i dont know are cuz i dont go there.i dont know anyone there. me i grew up around 86st all my life to bayparkway and 20th ave . America was built and partially only survives even now, on a wave of some kind of immigrant group every couple of decades because these immigrants take the bottom level jobs as 'we' the business owners have them as our workers.U & west 11th, west 5th streets, Ave S & west 12, 86th st & 20th ave parking lot, Cropsey Park just to name a few. As I drive through B'hurst, I can't find one street that has the 100 yds painted in the street to similate a football field. YOU CANT BRING EVERYTHING BACK JUST BE GLAD YOU WAS THERE WHEN ALL THE GOOD STUFF HAPPENED.... Florida is a great place in the winter but it has no tradition.I remember crusing up and down 86th st before they banned parking after 10pm. My children are on their way to college in the next 3 years and my husband and I are ready to come home. I was kind of young when Korvettes was around though. i hung out at the cropsey park with all the neighborhood gang.i also remember the hippies they were lots of fun to hang with.i remember getting all dolled up and going to 86 street with my girlfriend helen,the cars would beep at us like you could walk around and be pretty safe,today you could easily get raped or killed. The problem is that we never accounted for the loss of the things we loved. Someone from Dearborn, Michigan can leave his hometown - return 5 years later and not much has changed. I miss the neighborhood, the holidays and all those people I grew up with.
Years ago there were people hanging out everywhere. well i live up in albany now ,but lived in bensonhurst for 29 years bayparkway 86st like i said before its not the same as when i lived down there. Yes, I even visite the Spumoni Gardens and import their Sicilian pizza to upstate New York. Im sure if I really tried I may have been able to get something but its all timing.
People cranked up good music guys & girls would hang out then later go to Uncle Bobbys for bagels. Thats one thing you dont see anymore is people hanging out. Anyway, its always good to haer from someone that still remembers the good days. After years of hearing the pile driver bang away the kids rejoiced in the wide smooth sidewalks surrounding the bank - just perfect for roller skating! To reflect on the various reasons why most of the next generation of Italians left Hurst , my reason is the cost of buying a house, the homes on Staten Island were half the cost of homes in Hurst, beside the money you would need to upgrade the house and deal with the lack of parking.
I have to say i'am the young guy here lol 27 to be exact. My parents got us out of town and moved to Sarasota. Have fun you people are outta ur minds, im 20 and live on west 10th at just about the borderline of gravesend and bensonhurst. we're a young generation of ginnys filled with pride and gettin ready to settle our many families throughout the neighborhood. life in Japan as the world's 2nd largest economy... For the Chinese, your talking about a land mass ruled by Communism for 50yrs, some people from there do seek a better life.
The Gangs as I Remember: The Ave O Boys Seth Low Park Boys The Falcons- 20th Ave. Marboro Projects; (Everyone knew crazy Otto.) Bath Beach Boys Coney Island Boys The Guys from Cropsey Park There was nothing like Brooklyn in those days, I had over 150 friends within a 20 block radius, mostly Italians and Jews and a few Irish, every block had its own softball team 72nd street was playing West 11th in the tar field and 76th st. Chuck and Hairy Ronnie and play waffle ball or dodge ball. I remember the cliques loitering on the street corners drinking an 8 pack of nips, hijacking a pay phone to beep each other. Not that the Chinese are bad people, they keep to themselves. We are from the 70's,80's and early 90's we knew everyone !!!!! Anyway, I used to hang out in the 20th ave parking lot on 86th st. I also knew a few guys that hung out on Bay Pkwy & 86th in front on the news stand, and people from Cropsey park. WE TALK ABOUT US AND GROWING UP SOME WHERE YOU CAN BE PROUD OF AND GOOD MEMORIES AND PEOPLE HATE ON STRONG ITALIAN GUYS CAUSE WE STOOD TOGETHER ALWAYS STRONG.
After that get lunch at John and Petes green house in the park and eat hot bagel pretzels with mustard and drink sunny boys. Going to bay 8 in Brighton Beach, I can't remember, and bringing a cooler and a fat JVC ghetto blaster. They had lines for the evening shows, and most of the time were sold out. But the are everywhere, and they don't even speak english. i was born and raised in Bensonhurst, Bay Parkway girl and proud of it..still best friends with all the neighborhood girls, we're going on a 30 yr. write back someone..i was there like 2 months ago to visit.it has changed big time Dorinne I am more from the 80's. YA THERERS ALOT OF BAD APPLES, RATS DRUG USERS ECT... eat a slice and have an italian ice afterwards.(rainbow was my favorite)And how could I forget the 18th and 20th Ave Feasts. Now that I live in FL I can appreciate these simple things that made my childhood so great! Y 3 to 4 times a year because my family is still there. I know I can't go back because there's nothing left. No one hanging out on the corners..the memories of what it was. I go back to visit a lot - all it does it make me realize how everything is over even though I feel nostalgic. They only come to USA to shop and check out American culture. As much, I doubt there are very many poor, slum Italians dying to run from Italy the past 20yrs to make a new home in USA as was the influx 100yrs ago. 186 school yard playing handball and running around with the neighborhood kids. I used to go shopping on 18th ave or on 86th st and remember Ceasars Bay ( i loved it there) It was always packed with people...Mike's Pizza on 20th ave..always the best! Growing up with the same people, going to the same schools..was like one big family! i have been married for 24 years with 8 kids,boy did things change.i will always love brooklyn the sights smells and memories that will stay with me a lifetime.nobody makes pizza like lennys or frozen bananas and caramel apples like coney island or the real nathans hot dogs,i have a tear in my 200 ill remember you forever. This is not true for New Yorkers...especially people from Brooklyn/Bensonhurst. I hung out on 20th Ave., went to the clubs in Bay Ridge, played in Marine Park, loved Spumoni Gardens - you know the deal. I escaped all the things I thought I hated, but miss them everyday. Ex-New Yorkers are like refugees with no home to return to.My parents still live there and I visit them as much as I can taking the all the side streets where I used to play and hangout in stead of the more direct route remembering how simple life was and the dozens of friends Ill probably never see again. I remember there used to be people hanging out on every corner. Swapping ticket stubs in the bathroom to see other movies for free, or just straight up sneak in thru the fire exit. BUT THE HURST WAS A PLACE GRANDMA COULD WALK WITH OUT GETTING HER BAG ROBED BY CRACKS HEADS... BUT TODAY THEY LET ANYONE MOVE IN AND WALK AROUND.. I SIT UP AT NIGHT AND THINK OF THE PAST IM GLAD IM STILL ALIVE TO TALK TO OLD FRIENDS ABOUT THE GOOD TIMES WE HAD.