This blog is mostly about myself and my family; but will also be about my childhood friends,and the old neighborhood where we grew up. I haven't been back to the old neighborhood in forty years! My how it has changed.
The old neighborhood extended between Rockaway Blvd and Idlewild Airport, from 155th St. to 159th St. On each street lived at least one of my childhood friends: Carol Broadbent lived on 155th St. Joe Shearer and Dorothy Polovoy lived on 156th St. Timmy Phelan, Frankie Dallas, Jimmy and Ann McHale, Freddy Hueur, Stephen and Kenny Anson, Kevin and Leo Smith, and Tony Induisi lived on 157th Street. Helen and Stephanie McCaffrey, Linda Salvato, Tommy Conlin, Dennis Werner, Arlene Shimko, Rose Scomello, and Bruce Katt lived on 158th St. Eddie Wade, Frankie Alberghini and Susan Tullo lived on 159th St. I should mention Michael Dyer, Linda's boyfriend, as well. Although he lived on the other side of Rockaway Blvd., Ekim spent most of his time in our old neighborhood. As for me, I lived on 157th St..
The old neighborhood used to be nothing but houses on the streets and local businesses on each side of Rockaway Blvd. Today, half of the houses are gone, replaced by freight warehouses. Likewise, the Sunoco gas station at the corner of Rockaway Blvd and 157th St. is gone, as is the Carvel stand on the corner of Rockaway Blvd. and 158th. St.. On the other side of Rockaway Blvd, from left to right, stood Joe's Barber Shop, an A&P Supermarket, Idlewild Rest Bar & Grill, a delicatessen, a dry cleaning business, a cafe, and Sam Flug's candy store. I believe most of these businesses are no longer there.
Perhaps the biggest change is that the old ball field at 159th St. and Rockaway Blvd. is gone. I remember that the Idlewild Rest sponsored two youth baseball teams and a men's softball team. The youth teams were called the Idlewild Bombers and the Idlewild Jets. The sotfball team was called the Idlewild Bombers. Today, a five-story building is located where baseballs used to fly high into the sky, blasted from the mighty bats of Bombers and Jets. It is now the location of the regional headquarters of the Federal Aviation Administration