I am a former resident of Caldwell Avenue in Maspeth. I was born, grew up and married from the same house at 69-09 which is no longer there – but in its place are three 2 family homes. My parents sold the house and 2 adjoining lots in 1972 and moved to where I am living now to be closer to family.
The house was brick and had gardens on either side with a green iron spike fence that my grandfather (who was an ironworker) had made. It was the second house in from 69th Street.
I attended PS 73 for 6 years and then transferred to Resurrection Ascension School for 7th and 8th grade. Went to Mary Louis Academy in Jamaica and then came up here to Niagara University and graduated with a BS in Nursing.
After graduation I worked at the Horace Harding Hospital for 3 months and when I passed my State Boards I was activated as a Public Health Nurse by the New York City Department of Health, working out of the Ridgewood district office.
After marriage in 1961 we lived for a short time in Jackson Heights and then moved to 12th Street in Greenwich Village where we lived until 1966 when my husband finished his OB/GYN residency at St. Vincent’s Hospital.
After a 2 year stint with the Army in Fairbanks, Alaska we settled just north of Niagara Falls on the shore of Lake Ontario.
A close friend of my husband sent us your magazine and did we enjoy reading and seeing the old pictures – especially the January issue, changes on Grand Street.
There are some old time names and places like Weher’s Pharmacy at the corner of Grand and 69th Street. Koch’s Butcher Store, Lanzer’s Candy Store, Merkel’s Meat Market, Newman’s Hardware that evoked many, many old and very nice memories.
I especially remember Hoffman’s Market, they had a vegetable and fruit truck that went door to door and a son named David who loved to haggle over prices with my grandmother.
Another business was Tony the shoe maker on 69th Street just behind Weher’s Pharmacy. The smell of leather, the well oiled machines and the shoe polish always drew me in. But I guess I remember Tony because of his great- warm and friendly smile. Always in a jovial mood and always a ready wave and the famous grin.
On Caldwell Avenue and 69th Place there was a deli called Edelmann’s. I can still smell the fresh salads, cold cuts and especially the dill pickles in a jar on the counter.
It was a great place to grow up and in retrospect a very safe and nurturing community.
The biggest change came when the Long Island Expressway came through and bisected the neighborhoods. I lost many friends who moved away when their houses were torn down. It never seemed the same to me after that.