Tag Archives: Brooklyn NY

Memories of a Time Past: Part 5

I grew up in Brooklyn NY (Yay!)  When an ice cream vendor turned onto our block, and we kids heard the bells, there was pandemonium on the street.  All the kids went running home to get money.  And, we were afraid that the truck would pass us all by, by the time we got back outside with ice cream money.  It was an ice cream frenzy going on!

There was Mister Softee;

Mr. Softee

There was the Good Humor man;

My favorites were the toasted almond bar and the one that had the real chocolate in the middle (can't remember what it was called).

My favorites were the toasted almond bar and the one that had the real chocolate in the middle (can’t remember what it was called).  I’m still a sucker for chocolate.

And then there was Eskimo Pie!

Eskimo Pie

Sometimes there was a guy who sold a non-descript ice cream and pedaled a three-wheeled bike with this huge freezer box on the front end (and sometimes it was an Eskimo Pie vendor).

ice cream bicycle

and Bungalow Bar!

bungalow bar

The Bungalow Bar truck was designed like a bungalow cottage with a roof and chimney, and a gate for a door. Even though I preferred the flavors of the Good Humor, I enjoyed the Bungalow Bar truck better, because it had more “character.”  The man was nice, too!


[images from bingdotcom]

Memories of A Time Past: Part 3

On Hoarded Ordinaries,  Lorianne DiSabato writes about a landscape architect named  .  Lorianne found out about him in a PBS documentary.  I had never heard of Olmsted, but certainly should have.  Anyway, thank you, Lorianne; if you didn’t post this blog, I wouldn’t have had the following memories stirred up.

I was born and brought up in Brooklyn NY.

One of the landmarks that put Brooklyn on the map.

One of the landmarks that put Brooklyn on the map.

My parents took me to Prospect Park many times when I was a young child, and before my sister was born.  Prospect Park was one of Olmsted’s earlier creations after designing Central Park in Manhattan.

One of my old stomping grounds.

One of my old stomping grounds as a young girl.

I spent many happy hours in Prospect Park as a young girl with my parents, walking along the paths, enjoying the grassy areas.  I remember my father loved taking photographs (please see “Memories of a Time Past:  Part 1“), and he took many when we were in the park.  I remember one picture he took of me holding up a fish, attached to a fishing line.  I didn’t catch it.  I think he “borrowed” it from someone who actually did the “catching,” so that he could take a photo (I searched all my old family photo albums, but couldn’t find it, but did a great organizing of my photo albums in the meantime!).  There was at least one lake in the park, and, in memory, it seemed to be a large one.  My memory doesn’t recall if there were others.

Unfortunately, as the years passed, the park fell into disrepair, and it became a destination that was not very welcoming.  In time, the city saw fit to “resurrect” it, and, with the re-gentrification of the Park Slope and surrounding areas, it again beckoned to the “city” folks to come and experience the beauty of Olmsted’s design.

Many years later, I strolled along the same hexagon-shaped concrete tiled paths with my own young children, that I had walked on when I was a child!

Couldn't find that path, but this is similar.

Here is an excellent example of the hexagon-shaped  tile as I remember it.


[images from bingdotcom]


Volunteering Has Its Own Rewards

When I was in high school, I decided that I was going to be a nurse because I always wanted to “take care of people who needed help and to bring some happiness into their lives.”  At that time, I hadn’t realized what a noble calling that was.

One of my nursing instructors looked just like this!

One of my nursing instructors looked just like this!

But I thought that perhaps I should “test” myself and see how I would feel and react to a hospital setting and experiencing being with people who were ill and/or disabled.  I was totally lacking in that sort of experience.

So, during my Junior year, and during the summer, I volunteered in the “Jewish Hospital for Chronic Diseases,” in Brooklyn, NY, a hospital/nursing home for chronically-ill and disabled patients, with room for hundreds.  (I don’t think it exists anymore.)  The setup was in very large wards, containing approximately 20-30 beds.  No private rooms.  This was a hospital for indigent patients.

The hospital building looked somewhat like this - really old.

The hospital building looked somewhat like this – really old.

Those who were able, participated in a patient-controlled and staff-approved social club, and they managed to arrange for their own entertainment.  They were making the best of their situation – some would be there for the rest of their lives (many were young people).  In all the time I spent in that facility, I hardly ever saw visitors for the patients, but they seemed to have accepted their lot in life and they seemed happy and joyous and capable of, yes, excitement.  (Remember, I’m thinking back to the time I was a young teenager, and trying to experience again, my feelings and perceptions.)

There was an organizer/leader – his name was Manny, and he had his “secretary” and “treasurer.”  Manny was the most social person you could ever imagine.  He was wheel-chair bound and was one of the most intelligent, jovial, thoughtful people I think I had ever, and have ever, met in my life.  He was suffering from MS.

man in wheelchair

If the patients smiled and laughed any harder, I swear their faces would split apart.

Manny immediately put me at ease and welcomed me so warmly.  I told him I was there as a volunteer and had scheduled myself to give at least 10 hours during the week and some on the weekend as well.  I made his day and many more.  During the summer, I devoted more.  Visitors were a treasured commodity.

I found myself feeling that I found a second home.  The best thing for me was the feeling of great joy that I felt, in the giving.  Yes, volunteering had its own, unexpected, rewards.

Volunteering is more than it's cracked up to be.

Volunteering is much more than it’s cracked up to be.

[All images from bingdotcom]