Streams

Grand Concourse at 100

Friday, March 06, 2009

Holly Block, executive director of the Bronx Museum of the Arts, talks about their new exhibit celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Grand Concourse. Did you grow up around Grand Concourse? Do you live there now? Share your memories below!

Guests:

Holly Block

Comments [38]

Nancy Everett from Bronx

I grew up on University Ave. In the Bronx late 50's to early 60's. We would go to the Grand Concourse, Fordham rd. Occasionally go to Krums candy store when I could find empty soda bottles to get some cash. I remember getting lost at Alexander's one time and crying for my Mom. We always felt safe and had so much freedom back then as a kid. My family would never have to worry about us. It was a close neighborhood. I went to Holy Spirit School. Would love to connect with some of my childhood friends. My Mom remarried when I was ten and we moved to Connecticut. It was 1928 University ave.
Do you remember me?

Nancy Everett

Jul. 08 2014 04:45 PM
Bob Stein from Sacramento, CA

I grew up on Morris Ave closer to the corner of 170th Street. Spent a lot of time at the YMHA on the Grand Concourse at dances there. There was always a good crowd of kids at those dances too and it was great fun. We moved from the Bronx however to Forest Hills, Queens after my having been mugged and the ring my parents had given me for my birthday was stolen. I had just come outside of the Y with some other kids when a gang of black kids came running up the hill and towards us. Everyone panicked and ran except me. I stayed on the steps of the Y and one of the kids grabbed my hand with the ring, slid it off me and punched my eye and then ran. That was highly unusual because nothing like that had ever happened to any of us before and we felt very safe in the neighborhood. That was it. My mother refused to live there any more and insisted we move away and we did.

May. 15 2014 09:24 AM
jay rodgers from port st. lucie fl

I grew up at 760 Grand Concourse during the late 50's to mid 60's and went to JHS 22 & De Witt Clinton.

What great memories of the Earl Theatre, Addie Vallins and the Ym/YWHA.

Would love to hear from some of those from the old neighborhood.

Mar. 29 2014 12:08 AM
IVY FAHRER

Yup, I attended P.S.33 1955-1962
Mrs Friedman was one of my favorites, in 4th grade.
Mrs Ducker, in 2nd grade, Mrs Aronson in 6th......
Mrs Rosenberg stayed in touch, dropping by my store, Cebon Cosmetics for years afterward.........Great memories......
Ivy, Harrison NY

Feb. 24 2013 05:23 PM
harry marcus from florida

is there anyone out there who went to ps33 remember mrs schwartz, miss rosenberg , mrs berstein , miss friedman in the 1950s please write back

Aug. 08 2012 10:18 AM

hey my father is form the bronx and we have an elaine davis sklar in our family tree is there any way u are realted to us?

Jan. 22 2012 02:04 PM
Lois Bricker

I grew up on 182nd St and Morris Ave- Went to PS 79, JHS 115 and Walton HS (class of 1960.) Spent many, many years at the YMHA on the Grand Concourse. I still keep in touch with many of my school friends.

Nov. 02 2011 04:38 PM
STANLEY M from los angelas ca

east bronx socio economic stigma !
yes the east bronx was looked down upon by others as being the poorer part of bronx.
is that why those few stories that are written are always sent in by west bronx evacuties.. every one left bronx and most want to forget where they came from and do so.
east bronx is burried and long dead,no one wants to remenber a thing about the area .

Sep. 09 2010 04:45 PM
STANLEY M from LOS ANGELAS CA

THIS IS A REPEAT AND AUGMENTATION OF WHAT I STATED PREVIOUSLY.
I ATTEDNED P.S.6 AND JHS P.S. 44 IN THE EARLY 19555-1965 EREA .
ALL THE PEOPLE WHO LIVED AND WENT TO SCHOOL IN MY AREA ARE DEAD OR NOT ADMITTING TO ANY ONE THAT IS THERE HISTORY ..

FURTHERMORE . I HAVE INVESTAGEATED THE FEW WEB PAGES ABOUT BRONX AND HAVE CONCLUDED THAT FEW WHO WRITE HAVE BEEN ON ALL THE SITES AND THE REST ARE MUTE..

Aug. 04 2010 11:46 PM
Andrea from Florida

Bronx YMHA/YWHA...went there when I was 16, which would have been 1963. Looking for anyone who went there at that time. I remember Aaron being one of the men in charge of keeping on eye on us while we hung out. Saturday night dances were great times, among other things you could do there.

May. 11 2010 10:20 PM
a official bronxier from brooklyn

hey my father lived in the Bronx and is wondering if Elaine (Sklar) Davis is related because we are searching through our family tree and we have a Elaine Sklar Davis but dont have any connection to know who exactly she is and all we know is that she is from vermont

Apr. 21 2010 05:28 PM
STANLEY M from LOS ANGELAS CA

946 BRONX PARK SOUTH WAS MY ADDRESS FOR MY 14 YEARS OF MY LIFE.1949-63
THE SITE WAS RATHER PLESENT ADJACENT TO THE ZOO AND NEXT TO THE BRONX RIVER AND ITS DAMM.

AS TIME PROGRESSED THINGS GOT VERY UGLY IN THAT AREA. I NEED NOT EXPLAINE THE DETAILS BUT EVERYONE KNOWS THE SAD STORY.

WHAT IS SO SUPRISING TO ME IS I CANT FIND ANY ONE FROM MY AREA ..IS IT THERE PRIDE OR INDEPENDANCE TO REMAIN SILENT .
I CAME TO RELIZE THAT MANY OF MY NEIGHBORS HAD CHILDREN WHO MOVED OUT BEFORE I WAS BORN..
THAT MUST EXPLAIN WHY THERE WERE SO MANY OLD PEOPLE AND FEW SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN IN MY IMMEDIATE AREA..

IT IS A SAD OF SHAME THE
DE-EVOLUTION,DESTRUCTION AND DECAY OF BRONX..

WE SHOULD GIVE UP BEING POLITICLLY CORRECT AND SHOUT OUT THE REASONS WHY BRONX WENT DOWN!
KEEPING QUIET ONLY ALLOWS THE FAT BUROCRATES AND THERE ALLIES TO KEEP TAKING EVERY THING..

Mar. 07 2010 07:19 PM
lisse from Bronx

I never lived on the Concourse, but I did work there. I wasn't in any of the era's mentioned but I listhen to my brothers speak of these memories so often I feel as though I was there. I laughed about the shht, shht, shht sound of the Peragua man ( not spelled right) but pronounce P-rra-gua. Just the same it was always nice on a hot summer day.... I do however remember the last years of those great men who used to ride around on those bikes that could sharpen your knives lol.... I think when I was old enough to discover what that man was actually doing, he stopped coming around. God Bless them, Times have changed but thank God and you all for the memories.........
keep posting it makes me all warm inside. O! its so odd that times were hard for many back then, but life seemed to be so amazing just the same!

Oct. 22 2009 11:57 AM
Bob Mehler from California

LOved the Bronx. Lived on Echo Place, near Tremont and The Grand Concourse. Went to the Bronx YMHA on the Grand Concourse and am seeking information on members of that Y in the middle 1950's.

Sep. 26 2009 01:32 AM
K. Chan from Rego Park, Queens

From the age of four to six years old I lived at 1375 Grand Concourse. This was during the mid 1970's. My fondest memory occurred during the hot days of summer. I would see the gentlemen pushing the shaved ice cone "cart" with the colored syrups and that big block of ice. With the hand held ice scraper he would shave the ice block, pour the shavings into a cone and drizzle the syrup on top.

Nowadays I rarely see one of those carts, but just the memory of the shhht, shhht, shhht sound coming from the shaving of the ice puts a smile on my face.

Jun. 12 2009 09:26 AM
Megan Canning, Design Trust for Public Space from Manhattan

Calling all residents, artists, students, architects, designers, planners -- send in your ideas for how the Grand Concourse and the Bronx can evolve in coming decades to cope with pressing needs for housing, green space, and transportation. "Intersections: Grand Concourse Beyond 100" is an international ideas competition sponsored by The Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Design Trust for Public Space and all the information can be found here: http://grandconcourse100.org/

The registration deadline is April 24th and the submission deadline is May 1st - so it's not too late to submit your idea for the future of the Bronx! With the Concourse's 100th anniversary in 2009, we believe that now is the time to make sure that the Bronx’s omnipresent dynamism, occasional radicalism and enduring creativity find expression in the public realm.

Apr. 15 2009 11:58 AM
Dolores Ak Walker from New Jersey

I lived on the Grand Concourse from 1933 to 1951, south of 149th street which has since been demolished for The Bronx Community College. I am interested in locating a photo of P.S. 31 'Castle on the Hill". P.S. 31 was located on 144th street and Grand Concourse. The college has since engulfed the entire area, but I heard the 'castle' still stands because of its architecture. For the first half of the 20th century, this one block area (144th street to 149th street) was a mixture of many ethnic groups. Americans from other states and immigrants from many countries. PS 31 was the equalizer. It was truly an American experience. The area held its own unique history that may now be lost forever. It would be nice to hear from someone of that era. Just title it grand Concourse and send to dolor89716@aol.com

Apr. 14 2009 10:36 AM
Rae-Carole from Manhattan

As a child born in the Bronx and relocated to Westchester at age 5, your program and the written comments by listeners gave me wonderful word pictures of the life my parents and family's lived. It was a wonderful segment. Thank you.

Mar. 11 2009 08:45 AM
Gail Schneider from Glen Rock, NJ 07452

I'm an obsessive listener, but am never quick enough to submit a comment before the segment ends. I was born at Mt. Eden Hospital in the early 1950s and spent the first sixteen years of my life in the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx, until I was ripped from my native land and exiled to Queens, where, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, "there was no there there." I have some of the same wonderful memories of the
Loews Paradise, Krum's(for black and white ice cream sodas and rock candy), Alexander's, Nedick's hot dogs, etc. How about a segment on Pelham Parkway next? I'll be listening.

Mar. 10 2009 10:32 PM
Veronica from Florida

I am a kid from Brooklyn who married a kid from the Bronx. My husband, Phil tells such wonderful stories about his childhood on the Grand Concourse. You could find a stick ball or punch ball game in any direction you walked. The building he lived in on Walton Ave off the Concourse was a 5 floor walk up. He lived on the top floor. The building had a super named Mr. McCullough. The brass mailboxes and doorknobs where so shiny that you needed sunglasses to look at them.
Phil was one of the few non-Jewish kids in the neighborhood. Needless to say Rosh Hashanah were pretty lonely days in school. To this day he can recite the opening lines for the Bar Mitzvah service because everyone else kept repeating it on the playground becasue they had to memorize it. But he never felt left out or uninvited. Everyone just played together. His high school graduating class from Taft in 1961 had 4,000 kids.
My all time favorite story is about the Luxor Movie house. There would be dead silence and a kid named Sidney Moskowitz would let out the longest belch on records. The whole audience would yell "hey Sidney". This was a Saturday afternoon ritual. I can't tell you how many laughs I have gotten about Sidney over the years. We suspect he must be a brain surgeon today. Does anyone know?

Mar. 08 2009 01:55 PM
tim from Westchester

From 1960 to 1985 I worked at a lumber company at 2500 park ave 136th st- MONTEATH - we imported tropical hardwoods -2500 was the first address in the Bronx - next to the expressway- I was an outside sales rep -but whenever I left the home office I drove up GC - instead of the crowded Major Deegan - I loved looking at the wonderful apartment buildings - and the broad boulevard made the drive easy and probably faster than the MD - In the 60's we took good customers for lunch at GC hotel dining facility - Of course - we often skipped out to catch a Yankee afternoon game - will be sure to see the exhibit.

Mar. 07 2009 10:14 AM
Connie from Westchester

I grew up in Manhattan, first on Edgecombe Ave. and later on Riverside Drive at 156th Street. The "Concourse" as I remember it being called in my family was a beautiful promenade with elegant apartment houses. My parish church was on 153rd street and Amsterdam Ave. in Manhattan but we always had the annual Parish Dinner at the Concouse Plaza hotel on the Grand Concourse.

Great segment, Brian.

Mar. 07 2009 09:41 AM
Laurie Spiegel from Tribeca

Everyone with memories or info to share about the Bronx Concourse, there's a new social networking site where you can post comments, photos, sound files etc. about it, and you can see what others have posted there already about the Concourse:

http://treemuseum.ning.com/

It's part of the "Tree Museum" project, which is also a year long art project of the Bronx Museum, commissioned to celebrate the Concoure's 100th Anniversary being done by artist Katie Holten.

Mar. 07 2009 03:01 AM
Gail J. Levine (Bartels) from Los Angeles, Ca.

Born in The Bronx in 1939. Lived on Popham Ave. till 1954. My great uncle Dr. Jack Weiss brought me into this world and had his office and apt. at 910 Grand Concourse. Always thought of it as the dividing line between "my" west Bronx and the "others" in the east Bronx. And who can forget the gorgeous Loew's Paradise for the special Sat. night date. A step up from the Park Plaza

Mar. 06 2009 02:49 PM
Robin Evans from 166th St. Grand Concourse

Yes, indeed the Grand Concourse was truly Grand. Having lived at 165th Street since 1960 I do remember the best ot the Concourse. The Young Isreal Synagog stood at the location that the Bronx Musuem is now located at. My Girl Scout troop used to meet there. Joyce Killmer Park was also in its hey day. The Fountains were in working condition, and provided a nice spray in the breeze. Alexanders at Fordham Road, the Paradise, and the YMHA (Young Mens Hebrew Association) now the Girls Club - Citizen Advice Buereau all a part of the history

Mar. 06 2009 02:31 PM
Terese Rouge from Queens NY

One of the most impressive buildings on the
Grand Concourse to this day is Cardinal Hayes High School for boys. It was built in the 40s, has educated boys of several generations, has high scholastic merits, has enhanced the facility with specialty rooms for music, art and sports and is still in impecable condition. I visited the facility a few years ago with a former alumnus and was very impressed. Most of all the school spirit and loyalty of their graduates is very palpable and an indication of the fine education in action. They will be strutting their stuff in the StPatrick's Day parade, so give them a cheer.

Mar. 06 2009 01:39 PM
Elaine Sklar Davis from Stowe, Vermont

I spent my entire childhood in the Bronx. I spent the last 20 years writing a coming of age novel about the Grand Concourse. It takes place at 1268 Grand Concourse, and several surrounding streets including the fish building. I would like to publish this book. Can you suggest to whom, I could send it? Based on beginning chapters, (it is now complete), I was accepted into the prestigious Middlebury Breadloaf Writers Conference several years ago. My e-mail is esklar06807@yahoo.com and my cell is 203-249-8880. I am the past owner of The Greenwich Repertory Theatre and The Children's Theatre Workshop, and co- owner of Parties By Jayne and Elaine. I recently published a children's bilingual book. I give a large portion of all profits to abused children and children who have AIDS. I appreciate any suggestions regarding my novel.
Thank you.
Elaine

Mar. 06 2009 01:39 PM
Judith P. De Leo from Manhattan

A woman caller this morning talked of having her feet "x-rayed" as a child at a Buster Brown shoestore. I remember vividly being taken at age four (1945) to that store with my toddler sister to be fitted for new shoes. I could also see the bones in my feet by looking down through the viewer. I was very curious about that machine. The nice shoe salesman explained to me that the machine was called a flouroscope (spelling?) and that it enabled him and my mother to see the bones in my feet to be sure that my toes had enough wiggle room. After I had been fitted with my new shoes, to keep me out of mischief while my baby sister was being fitted for hers, I was allowed to play at the machine. I can recall very clearly standing there wiggling my toes and watching my little white foot-bones move. I was fascinated. I think there were other times, but that particular occasion stands out in my memory. I have never had any trouble whatsoever with my feet and suspect that like with modern x-ray equipment, there is far less danger to the occasional user than to the people working with the equipment. Someone might like to study the incidence of cancer among shoe salesmen of that era. By the way, I believe that many doctors of that era had flouroscopes in their offices.

Mar. 06 2009 01:15 PM
Phil from Stamford, Ct

I grew up in the Lewis Morris Building from the mid 1930s to the early fifties. It had 4 elevators with operators, doormen, secret staircases from the ground to the roof with no exits in between, entrances on the Gr Conc AND Walton Ave. It was filled with doctors and my father commuted to work from the 9th floor to the 2nd. As kids we played on the "rocks,"now the Cross Bronx Expressway, walked to shops and movies on Mt Eden Ave. I was in the Mt eden Theatre on Dec 7, 1941 when my dad picked my sisters and I up by car to tell us that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. I experienced blackouts, air raid drills, war bond and rubber and aluminum collections, in that building and neighborhood. Because it was tall, people came to commit suicide by jumping off, sometimes into its central huge air shaft. People congregated on the roof in good weather and on the benches in the square between the rocks and the south entrance of the building. The UN was founded at Hunter College and the diplomatic route was via the Gr Conc and their were UN signs posted along the route. Of course their were also many parades on the Gr Conc and the Lewis Morris was a great place to view them---13 --- stories high (imagine that!)

Mar. 06 2009 12:21 PM
bella hochberg from Riverdale, the Bronx

My husband, Marvin Hochberg, was the Executive Director of the Bronx Y.M.& Y. W. H.A., located on the Grand Concourse & started his professional career there in the 50`s.
Prior to becoming the director of the "Y", he worked with Teens,often hundreds of local teens in a variety of programs, many of whom he maintained contact with until his death.

Mar. 06 2009 12:14 PM
Jean from Queens

My family immigrated to the Bronx from Taiwan in 1972, couple years later my father and his partner opened the biggest Chinese restaurant on Grand Concourse, Peking Garden, right next to Alexanders. I still have the old menu from the restaurant, the most expensive dish was Shrimp with Lobster sauce for about $6.One of my assignment as a teenager was to spy on how the other Chinese restaurants were doing in the neighborhood, years later I discovered one of the other Chinese restaurant was owned by my high school friend's father.

Mar. 06 2009 12:08 PM
Ken from Soho

I grew up in the Bronx in the forties, in the area now known as East Tremont. My doctor had his office on the Concourse. The full name was the Grand Concourse and Boulevard.

Mar. 06 2009 11:56 AM
Jerry from Elmhurst, Queens

Sorry...the lewis morris

Mar. 06 2009 11:56 AM
Jerry from Elmhurst, Queens

favorite building:

The Robert Morris

Mar. 06 2009 11:50 AM
Eliza

I was just watching this short piece on streetflims.org about car-free sundays on Grand Concourse:

http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/car-free-sunday-on-the-grand-concourse/

Mar. 06 2009 11:48 AM
Dennis from Manhattan

I was 4 years old when we moved to the Bronx in 1955. I remember watching the Memorial Day parade on the Concourse. It seemed to go on forever. Of course, many WWII veterans from the neighborhood marched.
But I believe I recall that veterans from the Spanish-American War rode in convertibles. I was very young. Does anyone else remember this? 1958 would have been 60 years since that war.

Mar. 06 2009 11:42 AM
John Hahn from Glen Rock NJ

Wish I had seen it in its hey day. I know I missed something.

Mar. 06 2009 10:08 AM
Robert from NYC

I grew up about 8 blocks away from the Grand Concourse in the 50s and 60s. Ours was a blue collar neighborhood and the Grand Concourse were more of an upper middle class, professional and predominately Jewish neighborhood. It was to us kids in my area THE place to go. There were beautiful tree-lined promenade/divide in the middle of this wide boulevard with tree-lined sidewalks and quite beautiful art deco apartment buildings with doormen and concierges. As kids my friends and I used to just ride the bus (then the Bx #2) to the end of the line on Mosholu Pkwy near De Witt (Dimwit) Clinton (boooo! I went to Morris HS), then run across the street and take the same bus back home just for the ride along the Grand Concourse. Of course we also went to the Lowe's Paradise movie and Krumbs ice cream parlor and candy makers (mmmmm) and enjoyed all the shopping along that area around Fordham Road. It was like going to a another place on vacation. A really good memory in good times. Yes, I've come back to believing those were good times and Eisenhower was O-KAY. I think he too is coming back in history as a good president. Post WWII NYC, duh Bruhnx, aaaaah, the good ol'days. LOL. You made my day. Thank you.

Mar. 06 2009 09:42 AM

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