A site dedicated to those who grew up in the old Washington Heights neighborhood. This site is an ongoing project and it is created by submissions from people who want to preserve the memories of old Washington Heights. Please feel free to submit your scanned photos and memories to: oldwashingtonheights@yahoo.com

Old Photos

Please Note: The following submissions were sent to a different site about old Washington Heights called "Personal memories of Growing up in the Heights" I reposted them in order to preserve the memories and photos. The original sites can be found at:


This site is an ongoing project and it is created by submissions from people who want to preserve the memories of old Washington Heights. Please feel free to submit your scanned photos and memories to: oldwashingtonheights@yahoo.com

-Thank You


Old trollies on 181st street

Raul (AL) Conde Riverdale New York

"I guess the best place to start telling you about my memories of Washington Heights should probably be from the beginning as I remember it. I was raised in the 1940's and 1950's, on 160th Street between Fort Washington Avenue and Riverside Drive. It was a beautiful place to grow up and my friends and I would congregate at a wall that stretched from 157th to 164th Streets, and it was known as the "Greenees". This special spot overlooked New Jersey where we could see Palisades Park, the George Washington Bridge, and of course, we always had access to some great adventures exploring the area at the "Little Red Light House" under the GW Bridge. During those hot and sweltering summer nights in the 1940's and 1950's, everyone would come together at the "Greenees" wall to enjoy conversation and try to catch a cool breeze from the river (there were no air conditioners in those days). During the long cold winter months, we would all enjoy great snow events by riding our sleds down the steep hills at the drive along the wall.

Most of us who were lucky enough to be raised in Washington Heights should remember the Lowe's Rio movie theater that was located on Broadway. In those days, not only could you see a feature movie, two or three serials, six cartoons and newsreels, and you would get ticket for a chance to win a prize which consisted of glasses or plates, all for the admission fee of twenty-five cents. In addition to the theater, a poolroom could be found on the second floor of the same building. Right next to the theater, was a great Mom and Pop candy store, where we looked forward to having ice cream sodas, chocolate egg creams, lime Ricky's, banana splits and at the same time were able to buy our hero comic books. At the end of this same block, you could always find friends gathering at E&G Luncheonette. This was a favorite gathering place of teenagers who would come together to talk about the next dance party, who was dating who, or what was happening at school, and this was usually done while eating a hamburger and drinking a coke.

When I attended grammar school (Saint Rose of Lima) located at 164th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, it was at lunchtime that we all looked forward to having our lunches at "White Tower", located on 165th Street and Broadway, across the street from Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. It was a wonderfully inexpensive way for us to gorge on hamburgers and soda. There was also a public school named "Stitt", which was a place that some of my friends and I, whose names you might recognize, Kenny Rankin, and Larry Khoury, who later took the name Tiny Tim, would gather. We hung out at this particular school to listen to the neighborhood singing groups practicing a new and exciting type of music, music they called "Rock And Roll". There was one particular group who had a lead singer named Frankie, and he seemed to have boundless energy, and an extremely high voice, . . . this group was called "Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers". I found myself loving this new sound in music, and just knew that I had to be a part of it.

It wasn't until I went to George Washington High School, that I was able to realize my dream by joining a singing group called the Spirals, and the first song we recorded was called "School Bells". The "Spirals" were mainly made up of my school friends, Larry Loeb, Larry Rizzo, Mike Cole, Paul Towey, and myself, Raul (Al) Conde. We would meet on weekends at Chat&Nibbles" Luncheonette on just across the street from the 175th and Broadway Lowe's Movie House.

We would practice our music near the park on Fort Washington Avenue, at an area we called the dead end. Because we all loved this new music, we were lucky enough to be able to enjoy it even more at our Saturday night dances at Saint Spyridon Greek Church. Following our dances, we would usually end our evening at "Bickfords" Restaurant on Broadway and 181st Street; at "Al's Diner" on 184th and Broadway; at Cinderella's at the corner of Wadsworth Avenue and 181st Street; or at "Falcaros Bowling Alley". "Falcaros" was located at the subway level on 181st Street and St. Nicholas Avenue. Speaking of subways, there was absolutely no place like the tunnels for practicing our musical harmony. It was a sure thing that the people coming in and out of the subways either loved or hated our music, . . . there was absolutely no in-between.

After leaving the Spirals, I joined a group called "The Chevrons", which included friends I had made on Nagle Avenue, Marty Trautman, Gary Giordan, Dennis Minoque aka Terry Cashman, and Frank Willams. We would practice at the YMHA on Nagle Avenue, and recorded several regional hits. Our first national hit was called "Lullabye ". In between all of the above, mostly everyone I knew enjoyed other great places where we would be entertained or have their food cravings satisfied. These were places like "Nick's Tea Room" on 181st Street, "Good Will Chinese Restaurant" (just across the street from the "RKO Coliseum movie house"), the "St. James Restaurant" (an elegant place in it's time), and of course, "Nedicks" for a quick hot dog and a orange drink. There were several movie houses in a row on 181st Street between St. Nicholas and Audubon Avenues, the "Lane", the "Gem" and the "Astral". Let's not forget about the "Heights" Movie Theater where the first foreign movies were seen! All of these were located within blocks of each other and all of these were always packed with movie lovers. There was great shopping on 181st Street where you could get anything and everything you needed at Wertheimer's Department Store! Some of us can remember spending our allowances in "Woolworth's", and we could get a great lunch at "Horn & Hardharts", which was probably one of the very first "fast food" and "fun places" to eat. We also had a "White Castle" on the corner Audubon Avenue on 181st Street, where a great hamburger experience could be had. If you were looking for a great potato knish or a corned beef sandwich on rye, you could find it Arnold's Deli on 181st Street between Broadway and Fort Washington Avenue, . . . and don't forget the sour pickle that you hand picked yourself from a barrel. Our parents would buy our school shoes from "Indian Walk"on 181st Street, we'd get our school supplies or toys at "Hobbyland" on 184th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, (has since moved to 181st Street and Broadway), and so on and so on! Last but not least, if it was Mother's Day and we needed flowers, they were bought at "Ft. Tryon Florists", on 181st Street and Broadway; and believe it or not, the original owner may be gone, but the flower shop and its name is still thriving.

We were all within walking distance of everything we needed including our Public, Jr. High or High Schools, and the only locks we depended on were those on the bathroom doors. We never could have imagined metal detectors or gated up stores. Washington Heights, . . . what a great place to live!

Washington Heights in the 40's and 50's was a wonderful time and place to grow up. I will always look back on these memories as a better way of life, a life that was filled with unequaled fun times.

I hope I have sparked memories of your own, of a wonderful place to grow up, a place we called "Washington Heights".

Olga NYC

"I was living in NC, but had to come back to NYC and take care of my parents. Who still reside on Bennett Ave. I am only 40yrs old and remember some of the stores mentioned her from 181st. Please keep this web page updated. I enjoy reading all about the heights. I grew up on 171st and Amsterdam Ave. Then moved to 186st and Bennett Ave.( I believe we were the 2nd hispanic family to move into that area.) I used to visit with Ms. Mary Dawson( she was the wife of the sports writer for the NY Times Jimmy Dawson) She would tell me stories of the heights , she had great picture too... Please if any one has pictures of Palisades Amusement Park, please post them. I tell my kids that it was just like Coney Island but better. I would like to ask a question for some reason I keep remembering that we used to swim in the Hudson River? when I used to go to the Palisades or am I confusing it with when I used to go to Coney Island?
(I also attended P.S 115 & P.S. 132 and JHS 143 as well as H.S GW). Aagain I can't express the joy I get from reading and looking at the pictures.
thank you very much for this site, it is such an enjoyment to read."

Marcy (Mishkin) Alvo Anandale, VA

"Hello, I was entranced by your web site as my family history is steeped in Washington Heights. Both sets of grandparents settled there from Europe. My father maintained a dental practice on 191st and Wadsworth Avenue his entire career. I myself was born at Jewish Memorial Hospital in 1950. My maternal grandparents had a Singer sewing machine store on 181st St. and my grandfather was well known in the neighborhood. I have some photos which I can send if you are interested.

Thanks for keeping old memories alive. I can't wait to share this website with my aunt and uncle."

Yvonne Hernandez San Juan, Puerto Rico

" What a wonderful site!!! I wish there were more photos from 1957 to 1965. I was born in 1952. My parents moved to 511 West 171st Street (we had High Bridge Park down the corner), when I was 5 years old. My mother gave birth to my brother at Columbia Presy Hospital in October of 1957. My father and uncles worked there in the laundry department. My sister graduated from PS 115 and GW. I went to PS 173 and was there till the new school was built, PS 128. I got to enjoy the new school for 2 years. Then I went on to Humbolt Jr High 115 when I graduated from 6th grade from PS 128. (Remember the autograph books we would get at graduation time??). I finished 7th grade at PS 115 when we were moved to the new JR High PS 143 Eleanor Roosevelt Jr. High. I finished 8th grade there before my parents decided to move back to Puerto Rico in 1965. I was happy and sad at the same time. I remember going to White Castle near Columbia Pres Hospital, buying comics at 5 cents, spalding balls and playing handball, playing checkers in the middle of the street, skating, throwing ballons filled with water from the roof, jump rope, trick or treating at Halloween as soon as I got home from school, going to church on Sundays at St. Rose of Lima, playing with my friends at play street where incarnation Church was located, going to confession on Saturday nights,having a cherry soda at Mr. Gregory's, going to the A& P, double features at RKO or Loews.

Someone asked about doll hospital on Broadway, I remember that place. I had my mom take my Shirley Temple and Barbie dolls for fixing up a few times. By the way, I still have the Shirley Temple and Little Miss Revlon dolls. Those were wonderful times that I constantly remember with watery eyes. I often tell my 3 sons how fortunate I was to have lived there. My husband was baptized a week earlier at the same church I was baptized (St. Rose of Lima), and guess what? He was raised in Brooklyn and didn't move to Puerto Rico with his parents until he was around 16. We met in 1975 and got married in 1977. Turns out my parents knew his uncles and aunts that had lived in Washington Heights. What a surprise we both got that evening at our wedding reception. Please continue to post updates. I will be looking forward to it."

Maureen L. Wertheim

"Having been born in Wadsworth Hospital in 1955, which my mother walked to from our apartment building on 192nd and Wadsworth Avenue, I attended PS 189 and have my original composition book where I learned the ABC's. My dad was a butcher for Bloch and Falk and I sledded down Snake Hill and took the subway up, one stop to warm up."

Susie Hirsch (now Spokany) from 56 Bennett Ave

I've been back to good old "Melvin Hall" several times since leaving in 1960. I remember endless nights in "Al's Diner", as a teen. I went to P.S.132, but then left the "neighborhood" to attend Hunter JHS, and then Music & Art. But I've stayed in touch with a few of my Washington

Heights friends, like Bobby Weber ( Ft. Washington Ave.) and Gracie Graupe, Dorothy Katz. I'd love to find Pearl Frisch from 56 Bennett Ave. and anyone else from the building, like Mike Einhorn, Or Lee and Marie Einhorn, Irene Krantz ( I visited with your Mom), or Joanie Krantz. I remember it all as if it were yesterday. I guess we all miss those simpler times. Who remembers the teachers from 132, like Miss Opisso, and Mrs. Klein, Mrs. Gordon....my oh my oh my. Soooo long ago.Let me hear from you."

Alan Berger St. Petersburg, Florida.

"It's great reading thru everyones memories of the heights. I lived at 900 W. 190th St., corner of 190 and Ft. Wash. Ave. from 1955 - 1970. Also attended PS 187. I remember Mr. Alter. Does anyone remember Ms. Marva Lucas, 6th grade teacher. She was one of the best teacher's I ever had. Also Mr. Orange 5th grade. First and second grade I went to the Barnard School for Girls ( only 2 grades with boys allowed ) on Ft. Wash Ave, and was bar mitzvahed at the Ft. Tryon Jewish Center. Does anyone remember Aunt Daisy's nursery school on Bennett Ave just of 187th St., or Abes cany store and newstand on 187th st. After 1970, we moved to Riverdale and I went to the Barnard School for Boys, but still went to the heights alot as I had several friends still living there.

I went back to NY for the first time about 2 years ago, and drove thru the old neighborhood. Boy have things changed. What ever happened to Gideons bakery ? I can still taste the baked goods from there in my memories. It's nice to have found a site dedicated to the heights. Keep up the good work"

Rose Zunz Sowadsky Alpharetta, Georgia

"What wonderful memories! Only people from Washington Heights can appreciate the way of life the area represented. This article was sent to me from my dearest friend. We met in the Heights when we were nine years old. Now we're both 70 and still the very best of friends. I attended P. S. 132, the School of Industrial Art and CCNY.My parents and I came to Washington Heights in 1938 from Germany. Our first apartment was on the corner of St. Nicholas Avenue and 177th street. We then moved to 181st street and I lived there until I got married in 1954. My husband and I then moved to Inwood. We had three children and lived there until 1969. We then moved to Atlanta, Georgia. We now live in Alpharetta, Georgia a town north of Atlanta.Does anyone remember the blizzard in the late 40's? The schools even closed! My friend lived on 183rd strret and we played stickball (with the boys) using sewers as bases. There was little traffic and we could play a long game before a car came by.

We loved going to Highbridge on Sunday's, Fort Tryon Park, Nick's, movies and so many simple things. It was a good life."

Andrew Colorado

"Hi, I grew up at 485 W. 187th which is between Amsterdam and Laurel Hill Terrace.My family and I lived there until 1963.I attended PS 189, JHS 52 and GW. My parents had also attended GW and they had met when they both lived as teens on 187th and Wadsworth.. Every time I visit NYC, ( I now live in Colorado) I go to the Heights and walk the streets with tears in my eyes, lost in visions of the past. I LOVE NYC and especially the Heights."

Lew Geiger Beaverton Oregon

" Lived in the Heights from l933-l942. Attrndrd PS l73,ll5 aand The High School of commerce. Hung around the famous meeting place, "The Wall" on 175th St and Ft. Washington Was a member of the Bulldogs Athletic Club. Played basketball at thr Broadway Temple and softball at PSl73. Some of the old gang that comes to mind, Stan Cohen,Sonny Schwartz, Jack Rucker,Hal Harris. If any of you guys or others are familiar with this gang, I would centeraly like hearing from you. I now live in Beaverton,Oregon. I can be reached at my e-mail lew3@verizon.net"

Carol Belleas

"I must say this is really a walk down memory lane. I has stirred my heights juices. I forgot to mention in my last article, that my name is Carol Belleas(nee Leslie) I was born in the University Heights Hospital in the Bronx (no longer there) June 22, 1938. I went to kindergarten at P.S 132 and to this day I am still friends with a classmate, John Campanelli. We often talk about the old neighborhood, and how it has changed. He still goes there every now and again to visit his mother-in-law. I went to 132 with him till the zones changed, and had to atttend P.S. 173 starting third grade. We met up again in P.S 115. After graduation, I went to George Washingto High and he went to Samuel Gumpers. I remember the trolly cars on 181st street and Bdway. I would see them on my way to school(132) It was a sad day when the RKO was torn down. Also a sad day to not be able to go to Loews to see a movie any more. I was an usherette there in the late 50's and got to know all the words and songs from Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. Thank you for the memories of Nick's tea room. I baby sat for a friend who worked there. Also remembering Wertheimers. I remember the uniformed man that sat out side on a little wooden stool, and kept an eye on all the baby carriages while the mothers shopped. The cafeteria that so many of you remember (corner of 181st St and St. Nick) was the old Horn n' Hardarts. I would stop there on my way home from George Washington to get the best baked beans I have ever tasted. You would put a quarter in the slot, lift up the little glass door, and pull out your beans. Wow!! I can still taste them. This site brings back so many good memories. Does anyone remember Albrechts store? And Cushmans bakery on the corner of 181st and Fort Washington Ave. Thank you so much for the great memories.!! Can't wait till the next installment."

Fred Madsen Long Beach, California

I am so happy to have come across this site. It never occurred to me that I could miss my old neighborhood so much. My family was one of the first, if not THE first, black family to move into the area. What an experience that was! PS187 was my very first school. I still remember my first grade teacher Mrs. Fink, followed by Mrs. Gisenburger, Mrs. Schindles, Mrs. Heller (who years later taught my nephew), Mrs. Douglas and finally, Mrs. Schwartz.

My family lived in the basement apartment at 180 Pinehurst Avenue until my last year of high school. As I write now, the memories of the cobble street leading down Pinehurst to 187th Street, the pizza place around the corner, the bakery, the butcher shop (where my mom used to buy the Kosher franks) and all of my friends come back, reminding me of the bext moments of my childhood. By the way, I saw a post by Wendy Packer. I wonder if you are the same Wendy who is the brother of Perry Packer, one of my PS187 classmates and one of my group of friends. If I remember correctly, the Packers lived in an apartment building across the street from PS187, and a little further south on Cabrini Blvd.

Diane (Rubinstein) Helfgott

I grew up on Pinehurst Avenue, between 180th and 181st Sts, and went to PS 132, JHS 115, and George Washington High School, graduating in 1960. My husband, Paul lived around the corner. We married in 1962 and have two children and five grandchildren. We often talk about those great times, where everyone watched out for everyone else, and all that we wanted was close by. I've been trying to catch up with old friends and classmates.

Grace F

We were there in the forties, right up to early fifties and going under the desks to escape atomic bombs, no kidding. Even then, I knew that was crazy. We had great teachers, and what happened to the kids? We were together from kindergarten or first grade, right through, and now there's no way to find each other. That was the IG class and in JHS 52, the SP classes which got us out in two years, rather than three. Maybe it was elite, but so is the basketball team for basketball players. (We never had basketball, anyway.) Fort Tryon park was a true wonder with rocks and a giant willow tree that was halved in a hurricane in the forties. We had blackouts during the war where the black shades were pulled down, and we had Ohav Sholaum near Jewish Memorial Hospital and Wadsworth Hospital was in the other direction. We were all Jews and a few Irish Catholics and one or two Presbyterians. We were lucky kids even if having a car was rare and we all rented apartments and did not have a house. We were in the country part of Manhattan.

Phil Bergman

Just by chance I've run into the Washington Heights web site. What a treat. When I get a chance I'll write some about growing up from about five years old to my late twenties on 160th and 161st, living on the 'Wall' with a dozen different languages from Europe, belonging to 'The Rajahs', headquarters in a back alley converted storeroom on 161st with ping pong table, music, dancing...hanging out at'The PX', dice against the Wall... how families used to have their special whistle from the fifth and sixth floors of the apartment buildings to call kids in to dinner from the streets where we played stickball. Later on, I moved from photographer for The Hatchet at GW High School, graduating in 1951, to the newspaper business as a re-writeman, reporter and editor...then TV writing and producing news programs at ABC-TV. My brother, Jules, was Science Editor and correspondent for ABC-TV for many years. There have been thousands of success stories, you have already put together so well.

Joni Basso) Pensack University Park Florida

This is a fabulous site. Thanks to all the contributors. I lived on the heights from baby-hood 1932-1953 when I was married. I have some wonderful Times shared with Friends the Tagliaferro family , the Mugavins , the Popalardos, and the Rossis. I lived on 185th st. and Audubon., and walked to PS 189 , I attended freshman year and half of sophmore year at an annex in the Inwood area. On to George Washington high school. We had such fun playing curb ball, "chinese handball", jump rope, Johnnie -on -the -pony, and I was the marble "ace" on the street. We went to the Lane every Saturday and spent the whole day there. Remember the "chapters'? I couldn't wait untill the next week to see what happened. Th Empress was on the same street as the Gem movie house also. Thanks to whoever started this , as it is such fun to go d own memory lane. My mother lived on the heights growing up and the family name was Giancotti. I remember the fun we had on 185th street between Audubon and Amsterdam Aves. We had a great group of kids various ages and backgrounds. I attended PS 189 and GW. lived there from 1932(baby) 'till 1953 when I married and moved to NJ. I , too remember the big snow storm during Christmas vacation 1947 ? We kid would hike up St Nick to 190th street and sled down. What great fun that was !! Does anyone remember the "serials" at the Lane theatre ? We would go on Saturday morn at 10 AM and see 2 films the news and the "chapter'. I was especially fond of "Wonder Woman" , she was my heroine. We had great teachers at both schools , Ms. and Mr. Draddy, Mrs. Samuels , Mr Gussow. and the principal, Mr Chaikin. I don't remember the names of my teachers at GW , but with the help of my Art and Math I applied to the Fashion Institute and won a scholarship. I will always be grateful to them.. Shopping on 181st in Miles and Becks also Grants the 5 & 10 and buying my Easter outfits every year. I attened St Elizabeth's on Tues and Thurs. afternoons for religious instruction. I guess we all could keep on and on . Those were wonderful and safe times. We were so innocent and so lucky to have grown up in such happy times.

Bob Gaines

Back in the years between 1931 until I left in 1963, I was Bob Ginsburg. We lived at 511 W. 186 Street. What memories this web site brings back. To me, the Heights was like a small town placed in one of the nicest parts of NYC. Oh how I treasured our entertainment center which included the Loews, the Uptown, the Audubon, the Bridge, the Coliseum, the Heights, the Gem, the Lane, and the lowly Empress (which on any given Saturday morning offered 3 movies and nine cartoons. I think the price was nine cents). There were other things as well, like the "Y" on Fort Washington Avenue where guys and girls would congregate (later it was replaced by the Bus Depot). And all those great kosher delis(on 181st, 187st (Epstein's on 189st which was the best). I also remember Bickford's cafeteria and the pizza downstairs in the 181st terminal next to Falcaro's Bowling Alley. Of course, I also remembered Arnie Portacarro who went onto the Philly A's. Terrific pitcher. In those days (circa 1947-1950) George Washington High School had a great baseball team. My choice, however, was always softball, which I did every weekend at the school yard of P.S. 189. My problem was that I had a hitch in my swing. But I could run 100 yards in 10.1 seconds. So anything I managed to hit on the ground was almost a guaranteed hit. My nickname was "Elmer" after Elmer Vallo right fielderof the A's. Why, because I usually wound up in right field (that's where the least valuable players were sent). However, there was a lot of talent on that school yard. Some of the guys went onto the minor leagues. And there were others that could have made it also. Does anyone remember Buster Hickey and his brother Tom? Or John Annacelli. Or Astor (sorry can't recall his first name)? There were many others who are faded memories now. Like Gilbert Price, Joe Hanoka, etc. Plus, there were also the crap games in the school yard. The police knew exactly when to drive their car in, scare the hell out of the players, pick up the money and ride off. Most of the girls I knew were in the 1953 GW grad class. Some of the names I remember were Marcia Mines (had a crush on her), Lois Kantor, Eve Gugenheim, Sandy Litchenstien, Donna Connor, Beverly Westrum and Rhoda Neidich (she was too good to pass up, so I married her. That was 50 years and 4 children ago. Incidentally, her family owned the Fashion Dress Shop across from the Coliseum for over 60 years) Ah yes, my memories of the Heights were sweet. But it is a different place now. The traffic on 181st is maddening. Gone are all the stores. Gone are all the people. Gone are all the memories. No longer is there a Caruso barbershop on 186th street. No longer is there a Yale (where there's always a sale) drug store. No longer is their a Woolworth. No longer is there a Grants. No longer is there a Wertheimers. My precious world no longer exists. Except here. Thank you, one and all.

Miguel Guerrero. Pittsburgh, Pa since 1999 and lived in Brooklyn (Ocean Avenue right across from Prospect Park) from 1993 until I moved. My fondest memories are of growing up in the Heights. My father was a doctor and we immigrated to the US and NYC in 1959 ( from the Dominican Republic) and lived on 176th between St Nick and Amsterdam from 1959 through 1961. In 1961 we moved to a much bigger apartment at 47 Ft Wash Ave on the corner of 161. The building is still there and my mother still lives in the same apartment. I attended Incarnation from 1st through 8th grade graduating in 1969. I can tell you that not many people even knew where the Dominican Republic was when we first moved to the US. If you were Spanish back then in NYC everyone thought you were Puerto Rican! I have fond memories of growing up in the Heights and going to the RKO and Lowe's as well as spending most summer days at Highbridge pool and buying penny candies across the street from the pool afterwards (although I can't remember the name of the candy store.). I was also witness (and part of) to the change in the people who lived in the Heights. When I started at Incarnation, it was a mix of Irish and Spanish and when I lived at 161st it was mostly Jewish with some Italian still there. Nothing will ever replace playing stickball in the summer and football in the winter on the street right in front of my apartment building. I remember the older folks sitting in chairs in front of the building worrying about us hitting them with the ball. Does anyone remember the game of "points"? Or how about stoop ball? We played them all including Johnny-ride-a-pony. I also noticed a lack of anyone talking about Van Cortland Park. I know it's in the Bronx but whenever you wanted to go to the real "outdoors" nothing beat a ride up on the #2 train (?) to the 242nd street station, last stop for the park. And for those of us who lived in the 161st through 164th street areas in the 60's and 70s who remembers Roger the Good Humor Man? Or how about Freddy's Record store on 165 and Broadway (or was it 166?) where you went to buy your 45s? I would like to see if any of the kids I grew up with see or use this web site. This would include Cookie and Frankie Weisbart ho lived across from us on 161. Johnny Ragonessim Frankie Lopez, Carlos, Tony, Suzanna, Alvin, Eugene, Bruce Barrera and Mark. I have a good number of pictures of growing up in the Heights. I'm trying to figure out how to get them scanned and downloaded on the site. I was referred to this site by a young lady who works for the same bank as I do. She came to a training session in Pittsburgh and in the obligatory introductions at the beginning realized we both grew up in nearby neighborhoods. She attended Good Shepard. I owe her a big thank you for turning me on to this web site. I look forward to being a regular contributor and reader!

Barry E. Nelson - Lancaster, California

Mr. Steve Voloshin Wappinger's description of Washington Heights brought memory induced tears to my eyes. His recollection of my old neighborhood took me back to a place that has seen many changes throughout the years, but continues to serve as a vestige of both old and new world New York. I am guessing that I am probably the youngest contributor on this site, but like the rest of you I too have found memories of the "Heights." From the age of eight I lived at 820 Riverside Drive and 158th Street in 1969. I too recall "The Wall" and its seemingly sprawling "snake like" concrete divider between the upper and lower Riverside Drive. Hornsteins Stationary store was the place were my mother would purchase birthday cards while I would droll over the newest Duncan yoyos or Hotwheel cars for sale. That store was one of my favorite places in the neighborhood to buy toys or gifts.

Speaking of my mother, She worked at the "Rexall" drug store as a counter waitress before the owner skipped town and they turned it into a Kentucky Fried Chicken. That newsstand in front of the drugstore was where I began my comic book collection. If any of you remember the Rexall drug store next to the IRT train station, my mother's name was Edythe and she worked there from 1969-1974. Many celebrities from my era would eat there daily. Tiny

Tim, Freddie Prinze, Geraldo Rivera, Garrett Morris, Charles Rangel, and many more future stars where served by my mother and other hard working waitresses at that establishment. From there, my mother worked as a waitress at Wilson's Bakery up on Amsterdam Avenue and 158th Street. It was also a pleasure to read that Mr. Wappniger remembers Ernie's Supermarket as I do. Boy, have supermarkets changed! I too graduated from P. S. 187.

Although, by the time I graduated it had became I. S. 187. The principal at the time was Sarah Mandel. She like other faculty members, where strict disciplinarians like Dr. Rulas who was the Vice Principal. However, I also remember teachers like; Ms. Lipsky, who, as a sign of the changing times,where very hip and free spirited. 181 street like so many others remember was the place to shop. It seemed like every Christmas season my motherwhisked me onto the #4 bus, which made its way up Fort Washington Avenue, to do our Christmas shopping on 181st street. I attended GW High School for one year and next year I was transferred downtown to the brand new Martin Luther King, Jr. High School on 66th Street across from Lincoln Center and Julliard. It seems that GW became too rough of a place to attempt to get a decent education so for my safety my mother had me transferred. In those days, my movie theater of choice was the San Juan theatre (next to the Audubon ballroom) Two movies and a cartoon was all the entertainment my friends and I ever needed. My life in Washington Heights was beautiful and joyous time for me, and I too will go to my grave with cherished memories of my ole upper Manhattan existence. benelson@earthlink.net

Peter Beck Pacifica California

I lived at 605 West 170th Street. I went to PS 173, JHS 115 and Stuyvesant HS. A group of us rode the A train to school every day. I was a member of Boy Scout Troop 718 that was located in the Broadway Temple Methodist Church on 173rd St and Broadway. We used to go to summer camp at the Ten Mile River Scout Camp in Narrowsburg, NY. I lived across the street from the Uptown Theater where we would sneak into the movies as often as we could. I also went to the Loew's 175th Street and was a member of an Irish gang called The Celtics. I was a refugee from Hitler's Germany but because of where I lived, most of my friends were Irish Catholics from St. Rose of Lima parish. I remember running in CYO track meets in the 169th Street armory and watching both roller derby and the 6 day bike races in that armory. We played basketball in the schoolyard of PS 173 and swam in Highbridge pool. I was a Lifeguard at Rockaway Beach 103rd Street for 2 summers then wound up going to Syracusre University. Made a career of the US Marine Corps. Visited the old neighborhood in the early 90's, thought I was back in Vietnam. Things changed a little. Tried to go into my old apartment building but it didn't look too friendly and since I had my wife with me, we opted to return downtown via the #5 bus. That was also quite an experience.I had great times in the Heights. I remember The Lakes of Sligo Inn on 169th Street and the Conemara Bar on Amsterdam Avenue. The Knights of Columbus and the Hibernians would hang out there after their meetings in full dress uniforms. Ah, those were the days. I am now retired in Pacifica, California, 10 miles south of San Francisco. I will always be a New Yorker. Thanks for this website.

Father Henry Beauchamp, C.Ss.R. Rome, Italy

Greetings from Rome, Italy. I only recently discovered this page through the alumni page of St. Elizabeth's elementary School. I am enclosing three photos. The first is of my dad Carmelo Beauchamp. He is pictured in his store C & G Luncheonette which was located on St. Nicholas Avenue between 189th and 190th St. The C and the G stood for Carl (my dad) and George Glamann, who were partners in this Stationary and luncheonette store from 1955-1966. I remember that the neighboring stores were a laundry and tailor service run by a gentlemen I only remember as Max and the other was a linoleum store run by the George Zerabrenic (not sure of spelling) family.

Carl behind the counter

The second picture is of my mom Dolores Beauchamp and my sister Amanda which everyone knew as Mandy. They are pictured in the Wadsworth Terrace park in 1946 sitting on the stone wall that overlooked the steps in that park that made it possible to get down to Broadway.

We lived in Washington Heights until I graduated from St. Elizabeth's School in 1966 and we moved to Puerto Rico. My dad passed away two years ago at the age of 87. My mom is still alive and lives with my sister. I only saw George and Blanche Glaman once, after they moved to Fort Lauderdale in the late 80´s since then, both have passed away. I have only driven through the old neighborhood twice (in the late 80's). It's been a very warm experience finding this page. Thank you for providing this very fine page of memories.

Alfred Lewis. I was born in 1922. I lived on Riverside Drive and 179 th Street, next to he George Washington bridge. I went to PS 132 and to George Washington High School. My freshman year was at Isham , then sophomore year was at Tryon and the third year we were in the main building at 191 st . It was a long walk to school but rich kids that had a nickel could take the subway. I played ball several blocks away on Haven Ave . We played softball and football on a small lot. I remember Carl Hubell who pitched for the New York Giants and who would visit us on the lot. One day he invited us to his apartment and served a dozen of us breakfast and then went thru his closet and gave us baseball equipment ( balls, bats ). At PS 132 Lou Gherig spoke to us as he went to ps 132 and also went to Columbia Univ. and was the famous New York Yankee ball player. We also had a former 132 student called Segar who was the writer and artist of the Popeye the Sailorman. He would draw on a 6ft roll of paper the Popeye and Olive OIL characters and gave me one of the drawings but one of my younger brothers tore it all up. I never forgot it. We used to have 4th of July fire works on the George Washington bridge, which I could watch from my bedroom window on the fifth floor of our apartment. The navy used to have ships stationed in the Hudson River and you could get free rides to the ships for tours. One of my friends was Lester who became a famous naval architect like his father. Another friend was Bobby Cannon whose father was an all American football star at Dartmouth College and he showed Bobby and I how to play football. Later on Bobby got a football scholarship to Notre Dame . Even though we were living during the depression we seemed to have fun and enjoy life.

Bob Mesibov Penguin, Tasmania

Interesting website! I lived in the Heights for 20 years from 1946. In 1973 I emigrated to Australia, where I've been ever since, so my memories haven't been refreshed in a long time! Our family lived on Pinehurst Avenue (no. 187?) until 1954, when we moved around the corner to 240 Cabrini Boulevard. I went to PS 187 when Mrs Froehlich (spelling?) was principal. Her favourite motto was "Just Enough Is Not Good Enough". We had excellent teachers, among them the wonderful but no-nonsense Devanny sisters. I left the neighbourhood on schooldays from 1958 to 1962 to attend Bronx HS of Science, and from 1962 to 1966 to go to the uptown campus of NYU.

Many contributors have remembered particular shops. I can remember many of the shops around 187th St and its junctions with Fort Washington Ave and Cabrini Blvd, and am amazed to think how like a little village it was, with drugstores, groceries, a barber shop, fruit and vegetable shop, liquor stores, bakery, Chinese laundry, laundromat, pizza shop, etc etc, and even an old Italian shoemaker. We were almost self-sufficient in retail! But it was always exciting to walk down 181st St to Broadway and beyond, to Woolworths and the bigger clothing outlets, and to see what films were on the "coming soon" boards outside the RKO Colosseum and Loews 175th. I remember a tradition of walking to the canvas-protected kiosk outside the IND subway entrance on Fort Washington Ave, opposite Bennett Park, very late on a Saturday night to pick up the next day's Sunday NY Times. I also remember a tradition of buying hot rolls and rye bread early on Sunday morning at the bakery at FWA and 187th St, close to "The Steps", which makes me wonder how much I could have slept on Saturday nights!

Like other contributors I have very fond memories of Fort Tryon Park and its gardens (and the Closters), both in the lush, bright green of summer and the pale light of winter (another sled nut from Suicide Hill here). Did the garden sign read "Let no one say/ and say it to your shame/ that all was beauty here/ until you came"? Sundays there were German immigrants, mainly, dressed up formally for a promenade through the gardens, and near the entrance was an old man with a magnificent parrot on a perch. The Sunday crowd was probably the highlight of the week for the squirrels and pigeons, who were fed peanuts (bought in little packets from the Park kiosk) by dozens of little kids.

Bennett Park was also pleasant and safe, partly thanks to the humble man in a green uniform (The Parkie) who kept us little kids in line in the 1950s. There was a plaque on a granite outcrop in the Park announcing that this was the highest point on Manhattan Island, and at the south end of the Park was a set of concrete playing tables where serious-faced European immigrants spent long hours at chess.

It was a nice ethnic mix in the neighbourhood then, with German and Russian Jews, Irish, Greek, Chinese, Hispanics - even a Japanese family, the Otanis, on Pinehurst Avenue. I learned the rudiments of Spanish on the street before I studied it in high school, and what a treat it was on a weekend to walk to Broadway for a family meal of (wait for it) Cuban Chinese food, from a menu in 3 languages. We seemed to be a pretty tolerant lot then, although it wasn't until my high school years that I noticed the black/white divide and realised I had to travel outside the neighbourhood to see black friends.

Before finding this website, I looked over the old neighbourhood on Google Earth, and could hardly believe how little the basic geography has changed in 50 years. The street trees are still there, only bigger. "The Lots", a wonderfully neglected woodland across Cabrini Boulevard from the Mother Cabrini complex, still looks as undeveloped as it did in the 1950s, and is probably still a nature playground for adventurous neighbourhood kids. I hope so! Hello,

Robert K. Jackson Arizona

Hi - Heights resident from 1933 - 1954. Born at St Elizabeth Hospital (now gone?), lived on Pinehurst Ave, then Fort Washington Ave and 178th St, was torn away from the Heights at age 21 by The Army. As the token WASP in the neighborhood, I attended PS 173 across from Jay Hood Wright Park, then JHS115 (Humboldt Junior High), then downtown to Stuyvesant High and NYU. Enjoyed the tennis courts under the GW Bridge, the pool halls around 181st and Broadway (that is until Rev. Poling from FW Collegiate Church chased us back to church).

The "rich kids" all lived in Hudson View Gardens or Castle Village. From a pub booth down 181st St and about Cabrini Blvd we used to see the baseball announcer Vin Scully who dropped in after a game on his way home to Castle Village. I could go on and on.

I have lived in Arizona for about 50 years. I had heard that the Heights now was all about slums, gangs and drugs. My granddaughter is visiting NYC this weekend. She called me from in front of my old flat at 400 Ft. Washington Ave, just yesterday. I asked her what it was like. She said fine -- older folk, young people, kids, clean and well-kept -- and we're not getting mugged Pappy. I was relieved and surprised. Thank you for your website.

Allen Fisher

I grew up on 173rd Street between Haven Ave. and Ft. Wash. opposite J. Hood Wright park. Went to 173, 115 and Stuyvesant. I'd like to get in touch with anyone and all from Mrs. Martin's sixth grade class in P S. 173 around 1944. (a/k/a. "The Martin Marauders". Some names I remember....Stuart Kaufman, Norman Klein, Norman Rosenfeld, Arthur Katz, Ari Kiev, Marjorie Farb, Francine Marcus, Maki Iwamoto, Lily Szoeke, Madeline Hollander, Barbara Werner, Jimmy Fatseas, Dorothy Olsen, Phyllis Kafka, Joan Oliner, Joan Schneller, Louie Edelman, Martin Darensoff, Violet Itkin, Jimmy Fisher,Martha Eigen, Leonard Cohen. How about a reunion! Email address: sweetnaomi@optonline.net

The sons of Washington Heights played a significant role in the creation of "Doo-Wop" music

and the development of Rock and Roll in the 1950's.

Washington Heights was called "Doo-Wop Central" by WINS disc jockey Alan Freed

Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers

Who can forget the groups of teenagers harmonizing in the hallways, subway stations,
and the street corners of the "Heights"?

A 1932 Nehring Brothers ad for Washington Heights Apartments

Mark Veasey Wilmington, Delaware

Wonderful website! I was born at Columbia Presbyterian in 1964 and raised on 160th & Broadway. The neighborhood was largely Dominican when I was there. I can still hear the congas and cow bells at night. Old men playing dominos on the corner. Playing handball down at the river. I went to school at Horace Mann in Riverdale. I love Washington Heights. Whenever I visit NYC I always stop by the old apartment building just to look around. We are so lucky to have been raised in this diverse environment! markveasey@comcast.net

Dr. Richard Silbertstein
Here's a class picture from JHS 115 (9SP2 1955)


Images of old Washington Heights


Ann Tsamas Bartol Phoenix, Arizona I lived at 247 Audubon Avenue on the ground floor, in the 1960's with my mom and older brother George. I remember a family that also lived on the ground floor with two daughters and possibly a younger brother and a great dane named Brandy. Linette, are you one of the sisters? The family moved to Freehold, New Jersey. In 1968 my brother got married and my mom and I moved to Ft. Washington Avenue. Washington Heights was a wonderful place to grow up in. It seemed like everyone knew everyone. The automat, Werthimer's, Nick's Luncheonette, Cinderella Coffee Shop, Bickford's, The Loewe's Theatre, the RKO Theatre.....what memories! My husband and I retired and moved to Arizona last year. Our oldest daughter and her family live in Arizona too. We are enjoying the wonderful weather here after living in New Jersey for 38 years.

Ken MacFadyen Maryland

I grew up ion the Heights in the 40s-50s. I lived on Fairview Ave. at the end of 193rd St. and St. Nicholas Ave. Fairview Ave. connected St. Nicholas Ave., and Broadway. I could see the Cloisters from my Apt. I went to PS 189 and the to GW from '54-'57. I was born in Woman's Hospital. In had non paralytic polio in 1947 and was cared for at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. I went to Ft. George Presbyterian Church and was a member of Scout Troop 724. I presently live in Maryland and have been practicing law in Maryland and DC for the last 43 years. I love this Board.

On the web site there is a picture of a plane that landed on St. Nicholas Ave. I was going to buy some cigarettes that morning and saw the plane.In a local Irish bar right on the end of 193rd St. the pilot bet that he could land a plane on St. Nich. He then went to an airport in NJ, stole an airplane and landed it. I believe that he got off rather lightly at the time. I'm told that he did it again and the second time he didn't get off so easily. The IRT 7th Ave. subway come out of the tunnel at 200th St. We used to climb over a fence at 200th and jump on top of the subway cars and ride them uptown toward Van Courtland Park. A kid named Jimmy Ryan, for whatever reason, rode the train downtown and got smashed as the train went into the tunnel. We used hitch rides on the back of trucks on Broadway and go up and down Broadway. On of my friends, hitched a truck on his bike and was killed.My Catholic friends used to go and read the List, which was published every week at St. Elizabeth's School and Church proscribing prohibited movies, and then we would go to see them. Some of the gangs that I recall The Gales Beacons, Enchanters, Fanwoods, Lucky Lords (I played football for them), Robins (a football team), Fordam Baldies, Egyptian Kings, they killed a guy in my neighborhood after I left. The murder made the papers, I believe that the killer was labeled the Cape Man. The state of Israel had just come into being and everywhere signed were posted "Guns For The Jews".

We had a lot of fathers who were WW 11 vets. Some of them were wounded and disabled for the rest of their lives. My best friend's father had a hip shattered in the battle of the bulge. He was an officer in the Fire Dept. When he came back he walked with a cain and drank too much. It took years for his hip to heal, and just as it did, he fell drunk, shattered it again, and ruined the rest of his life. My neighbor, right through the wall in the next apartment was of German extraction. When he was in basic training his eyes were damaged by a grenade. I remember his coming home and getting out of cab in uniform. A lot of the people in the neighborhood speculated that he had done it on purpose because he was suppose to have said that he would never go to war against his own people. In my neighborhood, we had a lot of Irish families living 6-7-8- to an apartment, some on relief, (welfare of the day) and usually with an alcoholic father. Later, we had a major Puerto Rican immigration and then Cuban immigration.

There was a couple the lived in the apartment above me. Johnny and Lorane Pie. He was Irish she was Jewish and they had twin girls. One day Johnny "slipped" off the roof and fell into the alley behind our apartment. Of course, everyone knew he had been thrown off the roof. There was a Williams family in my building. Mr. Williams used to get drunk and abuse his wife and children. One evening, the police came to our building and took him out. He was a handfull and by the time he reached the 34th precinct, we was dead. The police said that he "fell" but they had beaten him to death.

Some years ago I returned to the neighborhood and it had all changed. The entire area was Colombian. All the open air markets were still there but I didn't see any of the old bars and so on. Colombian flags were everywhere. I have to close now and get back to work. These are just a very few memories I thought you might find interesting. I intend to return to the Heights in the near future and look around.



The Coliseum or "Collie" as it was affectionately called by those living in the Heights was the center for entertainment for Heightsters during the golden era of Hollywood, and the dark days of the depression and World War 2. Located at 181st Street and Broadway it was the heart of Washington Heights. All the vaudeville greats performed there, and it was the place you could escape reality, and enjoy the movies. It was also the place to experience the new technology of air conditioning on a hot summer's day! Although long gone, it remains a fond memory of those who remember a simpler place in time!

Doug Anderson Palm Beach, FL

Born in 1943, my parents lived at 720 and then 730 Ft. Washington Avenue till 1963 when they moved "downtown" to 72nd Street and Park Avenue. Believe it or not, I was horrified. I'd gone to PS-187 thru 6th grade (I do remember M. Devany, Ms. Taylor, Mrs. Goldschein, Mrs. Wertheimer, Mr. Brainson) and lining up in the schoolyard and exercises before marching into the building. Then to JHS-115 for the "sps" and doing 7th, 8th and 9th grade in 2 years. Then to Barnard School for Boys (now part of Horace Mann) class of '59. Then Columbia College class of '63. I lived at home the whole time (all the way until I was 20) and commuted. As others have said, the neighborhood was yekke and totally focused on "core values" and education. It was in the air as was the need to win in the schoolyard and in the playground and to fearlessly go down suicide hill. I spent as much time in the Cloisters as in the schoolyard. I even read "Catcher in the Rye" in the outdoor courtyard of the Cloisters and studied 15th Century Flemish paintings and Tapestry there.........probably accounts for my Art History major at Columbia. My sister and I returned two years ago. We took the subway to 190th Street. Unfortunately, the "unique smell" was gone from the elevator but once outside (on a drizzly day) the air smelled as sweet as we'd remembered, Shrimpy was the same, and as we walked down to the Ft. Tryon Jewish Center for the Public Yiskur we almost cried from the nostalgia. Much has changed but nothing has changed. We were saddened by the condition of the schul that our parents had helped build. The roof leaks. There's no real rabbi (they have a rent-a-rabbi for the High Holidays) and so we made a gift as we left (never to return I guess). PS-187 was as good a school as any private school I know. Our daughters went to Dalton and Riverdale and they were great schools. But no better than PS-197 and JHS-115. Our grandkids go to public school in Armonk and at this time of year I hear them saying "I hope I don't get him next year......he's mean" and think back to saying the same thing 55 years ago. I guess some things really don't change very much.

My wife and I lead a very cosmopolitan life. We've been very lucky and, believe me, we give back. When I meet someone and we learn that we both grew up in Washington Heights in the 40's and 50's we give each other a knowing look and smile. One of my friends just married a guy who told me he'd gone to PS-187. He didn't know that I had and when I said "prove it", he was shocked. I started singing "we suggest it's the best" and he chimed in "you'll agree when you see" and I knew he was the real thing. We've become great friends.

Neil Fisch

I was born at Doctors hospital in 1958 and live at 900 W. 190th street and Fort Washington ave. I went to PS 187 when Mrs. Mendel was Principal and Dr. Ruler was Vice Principal. I have seen a post by Fred Madsen and was wondering if you are the brother of Jerry. I don't remember which ones grade I was in, but it was one of you guys I believe. I remember you guys used to mix it up with the Walsh brothers now and then. I used to hang out at Ft. Tryon park, the Cloisters and my boys (LOL, I was 6) used to clash with the boys at Bennet Park. I have been fortunate to talk (Email) Wendy Packer and to Evelyn Bick (My sweetheart) I can't picture Perry, but I'm sure I knew him. Madsen I remember as clear as yesterday.I remember the hippie lawn and the cafeteria in the park. The whole world was ours then. We roamed around like we owned the place. My grandparents lived at 720 and most of my friends lived at 730. Neighborhoods like ours don't exist today. It would be great to have a reunion. I would love to see everyone again. If anyone knows of a PS 187 reunion, please contact me at nm_f@comcast.net Nice hearing from you all.

Morelle/Lin, Woodstock, GA

I grew up in Washington Heights, lived at 600 West 169th St. until I got married and moved to L.I. Went to P.S. 173, JHS 115 and GW. Worked as a cashier at the Uptown Theatre all thru my high school years. My best friend was Joan Simson, she married Jack Cohen and they moved to Queens, have tried to find her for so long, have given up after all these years.. I was also friends with Ruthie Goldner, Judy Goldner, Sandy Feinstein, Edith Pfeiffer, Bev Muertz, Joan Weinstein, Judy Fields, Marilyn Goodman, Phyllis Hess, Yolande Motzer, Ann Hellines, Elaine Cramer, Vera Erdstein. The guys were JoJo Hetzer, George Hadgis, Henry Cohen, and so many more that I've forgotten the names of.

I remember Miramar, Highbridge, Silver Palm, Nelson's Deli, the corner candy stores, Mishkins Drug Store, Center Pharmacy. Was a member of the Girl Scouts at Broadway Temple with my neighbor, Hope Barrett and her sister, Sally. Loved to shop at Wertheimers, Becks Miles, and have hot dogs at Nedicks on the corner of 181st St. and Broadway. Anyone remember me? If so, email at LMagid@aol.com and let me know.Thanks for this site, it brings back wonderful memories of my youth.

Please send your personal memories AND your old photographs that show Heights neighborhoods, and landmarks. Pictures from old yearbooks are also great memory jolters! Photos may be scanned and sent as email attachments by clicking on the email link at the bottom of this web page. I will include them in future updates.

This web site is a cooperative effort of all of us, so please contribute your own memories and photos!

It may take a while for images to load. It's worth the wait.

JUNE 1959

The last eighth grade class to graduate from P.S. 189. Middle schools had arrived and were supposed to improve America's public

Schools. This class was the generation on the cusp of the baby boomers. The first generation to be influenced by television.

Howdy Doody,Superman, Uncle Miltie,the Mickey Mouse Club, Davy Crockett, and American Bandstand.

The Nixon Kennedy debates were 3 months away. The impending doom that haunted us throughout the 1950s exploded in 1963.

It wasn't the dreaded bomb, but the bullet that killed JFK. The world was never going to be the same again. This generation would soon

set off, their sense of self-importance magnified by television. Some would become the show. Several would die in a far off place

called Viet Nam. The vast majority of these boomers, weren't hippies or dropouts or antiwar activists. They would view the next decade

as a horror show. As the 1964 Dylan song predicted, 'the times they were a changing.'

Their generation was about to start questioning things, and start to change the world. They would take part in removing a President,

ending a war, raising environmental consciousness, developing new technologies and altering the world forever.

Six decades have passed since these 8th grade sons and daughters of Washington Heights posed with their teachers that morning,

to leave their picture for posterity. Let's hope that their children will also change the world.......for the better."

Fran Radburn, NYC "can't wait to send this to friends from the heights. That is my 8th grade graduating class from P.S. 189! Yes. There we were. Actually too old to be baby boomers and too young to be gray flannel suit people. I also wonder where everyone went and how they turned out. I am in touch with a few and it is great e-mailing them. Feels like time stood still. I would love to find Mrs. Gibson. I know she lived in Fort Lee at the time. A faraway place we once walked to over Easter vacation. We were the last 8th grade graduating class from PS 189. I think we had a lot of bright and talented people in our class. But then again, how would I know?

from Jim Coletti, Key West "I too was born and raised in Washington Heights in the 40's and 50's. We could see the NJ Palisades from our top floor window. I remember taking the Public Service bus from 168th and Bway--across from the hospital when we would go to Palisades I loved the pool. It seemed like the biggest pool in the world. The rides were terrific. You could have a whole day of fun for three dollars. Thanks for providing a place in cyberspace to return to our innocence."

From Peter J. Devito Orange County, New York " Reading about the "Heights" on this great website is one of the great wonders of this world we're lucky to be living in. Never imagined I'd ever be able to think, write, or see, any thing about the neighborhood in which I was born and lived in until I was 27;then moving to Orange County NY. Was born in a neighborhood of the Heights called "Fort George", named after the fort that once was located where GW is located. In fact one can see the wall of that old fort surrounding the huge pillars that supports the schools baseball/football field, from the Amsterdam Ave. side around to the Audubon Ave. side. It was then (the 30's) being rebuilt by a GW history teacher using WPA funds when I was a student there-about the same time as Henry Kissinger was roaming its halls. All those memories are now going into an autobiography that I started that I can leave for my family and friends.

My two sisters and I were born at home (yes, that's what they did then, with midwives) in apartment 11 of what was then 2515 Amsterdam Ave.; today the site of the new addition to the Yeshiva University Library. The "back" bedroom windows of that apartment faced the "dump" that ran alongside Knickerbocker Ice House down to Laurel Hill Terrace and, what I once thought was one of the most beautiful sights one could see, the Harlem River and the Bronx, Sedgewick Ave.trolleys running alongside it, and the four New York Central north/south tracks making me, as a little boy, think about all the wonderful places to go see in the world. The early part of my own memoires tells of my first visit to a movie house, the Majestic, at 185th and St. Nicholas Ave., which was then showing silent movies. Later it was the Empress at 181st and Audubon, the Gem just up the block, and the Heights on Wadsworth Ave. and finally, being old enough to go to the Coliseum, where there were movies and five acts of vaudeville every week for only 15 cents!! The other wonderful theater of the time was the Audubon, across from the Medical Center, which was then also a movie/vaudeville house. Saw the great movie " All Quiet On The Western Front" there, along with five acts of vaudeville. My mother carried one sister in free, it only cost a dime each for my other sister and myself!! Later came the magnificent Loews 175th, built for vaudeville but never used that way- then becoming the home of organ playing character named "Wild Oscar" who played before and after many of the great MGM pictures that were first shown there. That's only a little of what I remember. The Heights enabled us, a relatively poor family, to live unlike anything my own parents had experienced living in the "old country" (Italy in this case). Two blocks on the eastside of Amsterdam Ave., from 184th Street to 186th Street, the majority of which were full of Italian immigrant families just like ours. Above that, facing the then new Yeshiva University building was an empty lot, which they owned and in which all of us neighborhood kids were allowed to play, that is only with the exception of Saturday when it was closed. What an innocent and wonderful time that was to grow up in"

From Joaquin Da Costa Gomez Jr. New York "I was just emailed some of your pages on the Washington Heights.. I was brought up at 155 Audubon ave. All the theatres you talked about I went too, boy you talk about a flashback. My first job was at Glaubers Gift shop.. learned the tricks of the trade on how they fixed dents and scratches. Worked there in the summer of 1956. Went to GW, Miramar pool which was salt water, and Palisades Amusement park was always a fun place to go, But Coney Island and the was the place to spend the day for a few dollars. The Steeplechase, ride the horses around the track.... all the different slide and spinning turntables at the end.. Your article hit a nerve and brought back a lot of memories.. Hybridge Pool on amsterdam, I heard that it is still there. Flash back was great especially with what has happened recently.. Just wanted to remark and say thanks for the trip down memory lane. You forgot the trolley cars on Amsterdam avenue, the Polo Grounds, when the Giants were there, and what can I say I was a Dodger Fan, loyal and true. Ebbits Field was the place. Thanks again"

from Dorothy (Fiege) Goddard Wilmington, Delaware "Just finished my trip down memory lane and boy, did it bring back memories of Washington Heights, P.S.189, George Washington HS, the big shopping area at 181st Street ... I visited them all today! I remember the Saturday afternoon shopping trips looking for the "perfect" blouse to wear that night; or the $2.99 shoes at Miles (if you were flush, A.S. Beck had some beauties for $3.99). I grew up on 186th Street, just east of Audubon Avenue. I remember the Italian section on Amsterdam and the big block party we all had together on VJ Day ... my girlfriends and I marched all over the neighborhood singing patriotic songs until we couldn't do anything but croak. The adults were busy sampling the Italian wine, the Irish whiskey and the Jewish pastries that appeared on tables everywhere. What a grand day that was! I am looking forward to the 50th reunion of George Washington HS graduating class next year. And how simple life was in those days. Thanks again for the trip down memory lane!"

From Diana Gabriel DiFrancesco, Boston "What a wonderful gift! Thank you, thank you! It was amazing to find your web site and know that there are others out there that share the memories that I do. I graduated from GW in 1952 -- Dorothy Fiege Goddard was a classmate of mine. "My block" was 164th Street, between Bway and Ft. Washington Avenue. I have lived all over this marvelous country, but I am and always will be a New Yorker from Washington Heights. There are many beautiful cities in the USA and I have lived in quite a few. As a Navy family, we traveled from NYC to Seattle to San Diego to Lakehurst, NJ and to Boston. But there is nothing in the world like being a "New Yorker." When I finally connected with GW classmates last year, it was like the best Christmas present in the world. I went to the GW reunion at Shea Stadium and felt like 17 again.

From Fred Hartling, Charlottesville, Virginia "A very good friend of my brother's, Tommy Fitzpatrick, who lived in New Jersey and hung out at the bar and grill between 191st and 192nd street on St. Nicholas. One evening, on a dare and a bet, he went home back to New Jersey, stole a plane from Teterboro Airport, flew it over Washington Heights and landed it on St. Nicholas Avenue at about 3 a.m. in the morning. He parked it on 191st Street in front of the opening of the subway. The following day they came and dismantled it and drove it back to the airport. How he landed it through automobiles on both sides of the street was a miracle. He came over snake hill. Does anybody remember this? Does anybody remember that there was a gas explosion in the Italian section on Amsterdam Avenue between 184th and 185th Street? Lots of people got killed. Later on the whole street was purchased by the school."

From Dorothy (Fiege) Goddard, Wilmington, Delaware "Boy I sure do remember both those incidents that Fred Harting menioned... the plane landing on St. Nicholas Avenue and the building collapse. The collapse was caused by an explosion in the icehouse next to it. The rumor mill attributed the explosion to kids playing with matches in the abandoned building, causing the left over ammonia fumes to ignite. The icehouse came down and cut the building in half, front to back. It was horrible. When you looked at it from "the back road" all you could see were the walls of apartments on all five floors. It was like someone cut the building in half and you were looking into a dollhouse. I don't remember how many people were killed, but I do recall that among them was Old Joe, the not-so-humorous Good Humor Ice Cream Man who used to ride his refrigerated truck/bicycle around the neighborhood in those days. That accident happened just before Christmas but I don't remember the year. I also remember walking up St. Nicholas Ave. to see the plane but by the time we got there, the wings were off (or folded up) and they were moving it away. But we stopped in at Teiste's at 191st & St. Nicholas, for one of their yummy ice cream sodas so the walk up wasn't a total loss! It was a very exciting event in the neighborhood...Also wanted to thank Diana Gabriel DiFrancesco for that wonderful piece on "I Am A New Yorker" ... really enjoyed that one!

It's been a fabulous trip on this Heights Memories time machine".

From Galina Stafford Chandler, Bremerton, Washington "Just thanking you for a wonderful web site. I grew up on 164th between Broadway and Ft. Wash. Ave. Went to PS 169 (or was it 168). Memory lapse there. I know the school has since been torn down. Went to Stitt Jr. High in 1957 and then on GW. I did not graduate from there since I had to move. I have wonderful memories of the ole hood and I'm sure it has changed and evolved to a different kind of neighborhood. It's been 40 years since I lived there (I now live near Seattle), but it will always be home to me. In these unsettling and sad times, it's nice to think back on what seemed like simpler and safer times."

From From Chrysanne Page, Agoura Hills, California "This site is exquisite and so evoking of my early days in Washington Heights and since 9-11, I feel closer to the place than ever before. I grew up on 190th and Amsterdam Avenue. Our apartment overlooked Amsterdam Avenue where my sisters and I would watch the boats going up and down the Harlem River. And we could see all the way down to the Washington Bridge from our window. I remember how we cried when they took the trolley cars away and dug up the tracks for buses. And I remember looking down from our window to the men pouring coal into the furnace of our building. We loved to watch it pour and always yelled out to the men to sweep it all out and not miss a bit of it. Across Amsterdam was the playground, which stretched from 190th to 188th Street. In the winter the wading pool would freeze over and we could go ice-skating on it. Or we'd sled down the hill in the expanse of green directly across from our apt.

We went to St. Spyridon Church every Sunday and on the way home, my sister and I would always stop at the Horn & Hardart on 181st St. for some hot apple pie with vanilla sauce. And we loved Falcaro's pizza. I've never tasted a pizza like that since anywhere in the world. I could just go on and on with the joyous memories of Washington Heights. We were not wealthy, but we were rich with culture and affection for all ethnicities and religions. I feel so grateful that I came from this magical place. Thanks for this beautiful site!"

From Elliot, Plantation Florida "I grew up in two places in the Heights. The first was at 175th and Amsterdam. That was until I was 7 or 8. (I was born in 1947.) Then we moved to a "better neighborhood," on 173rd Street between Ft. Wash. and Bway. This was across from PS 173 and the schoolyard. I remember very little about the first place we lived. However, I do remember the "gang" activity and the "capeman" gang slaying. When we moved, I remember playing ball in the schoolyard. Spring, summers and early fall was for baseball. Football was for autumn and early winter. Sometimes we played basketball, but that was later on. Later on the park was fixed up and we played there as well, but most of the time we played in the schoolyard. I remember that there were softball games in the schoolyard on Saturday and Sunday mornings. They were played by the big kids/adults. They played for money. It was fast pitch, choose up. We picked up the bottles to get the 2 cents. I remember Mr. Corn who set up softball teams. This was in the late 50s or very early 60s. I moved to the West Bronx in 1965. Went to PS 173, JHS 115 and Stuyvesant. Met some good friends and fortunately recaptured some of them thru the net. I remember my times in High school when we hung out at "the wall," (before Pink Floyd). I remember hanging out with one of the friends that I just reconnected with at the Laundromat during that high school period. While I recognize that all the memories get somewhat jaundiced with age it seems that it sure was a good time. Thanks Washington Heights!"

From Harvey, Scottsdale, Arizona " I just read the latest entry from one of my childhood friends Elliot from Florida, so I thought I'd add a few lines as well. This web site is so cool, although the photos are a bit old even for me.I grew up on 175th Street between St. Nicholas and Audubon, on the same street as the Church of the Incarnation. Went to PS 173 JHS 115 and George Washington HS graduation in the class of January 1964.Went back to the old neighborhood (drove through and didn't stop) with my wife and son 2 years ago so they could see where I grew up. Bit different now than the 40's to mid 60's. Oh well, we all change right! We used to meet all our friends at "the wall" on Ft. Washington Avenue, it was unreal to think no one before Elliot wrote of "our wall"! I've been lucky to connect with several old friends from the Heights through 88 million names on CD ROM and Classmates. Com. What a neat way to meet old friends, who would have thought 30 plus years after the fact we'd meet over the net. We are now trying to setup a reunion for next fall (2002) possibly in sunny Florida among 5-6 of us. Anyway this has been fun and I hope others will write as well. Keep up the good work, it makes for good reading and reminiscing!

From Ellen (Chaim) Kracko :) "Thank you so much for the wonderful memories of "The Heights." What comes to mind, first and foremost, was "THE WALL." That's where we "teenagers" hung out. "The Wall" was the stone wall surrounding the J. Hood Wright Park on Ft. Washington Ave. "Our spot" was right across the street from P.S. 173. I can see it now, as if it were yesterday. Anytime we wanted to meet, we just told everyone "Meet you at the Wall." There was a whole group of us....boys and girls (Syl, Micki, Dean, Billy, Larry, Harvey, Joan, Richie, Ricky, Elliot, and later on more kids)...that hung out together. And in those days we walked all over the place....to 181 St. for ice cream, upstairs at The Tea Room.....to the 181 St. RKO to watch (in those days) two movies from the second balcony.....up Ft. Washington Ave. to Ft. Tryon Park where we hung out on the second lawn. When we got older, I remember walking across the George Washington Bridge to NJ and walking to Palisades Amusement Park. I also have memories of the old Horn and Hardart and The Tasty Pastry Shop (delicious danish) on Broadway around 178 St. I attended P.S. 173, J.H.S. 115, and GW (graduated l964). And I remember, during grade school at P.S. 173, going to, what was called in those days, "Summer School." But what it really was, was a form of camp for those of us who stayed home during the summer months. We played ping pong, knock-hocky, tag, outside games in the school yard, saw movies, went swimming in Highbridge Pool, had "talent day," and at the end of the summer all the city's schools got together at one of the schools for a huge "End of the Summer Festival." When I think back, I must admit.....growing up in Washington Heights was pretty good. I made alot of good friends, and I've recently started to re-connect with them via the internet. Actually, those were wonderful days.....carefree and stressfree. Thank you, again, for this great website."

From Carole Young Davidson "What a wonderful neighborhood Washington Heights was ! Do you remember the building on 188 or so that had nothing under it ? It was next to that park that went down to broadway. there was a great cobble stone drain that was good for sliding down on cardboard. calling for a friend meant standing under their windows and yelling their name. i just thought of those clothes driers in the kitchen , they were a metal frame with ropes going up and down to hang clothes on , and those little doors under the kitchen window, they were metal my parents kept oily rags in it. what did your parents put in yours ? It is fun to visit again in my head, be well god bless thanks for letting me post a message here."

From Renee Pipe Wallace, Maplewood, New Jersey "I spent my first twenty-two years in Washington Heights, initially on 173rd Street and Ft. Washington Avenue (right across the street from the park, as well as P.S. 173), later on 174th Street, between Wadsworth and St. Nicholas Avenues (we moved from a walk-up building to one with an elevator). My parents were European refugees, having escaped the Hitler onslaught, and having arrived in New York in 1940, with my brother in hand. Unfortunately, they left other family members behind, who were eventually murdered during the Holocaust. I was the first Yankee-Doodle-Dandy in the family (both on my mother's side as well as my father's side) to be born in the USA. Like so many immigrant families, my parents dreams rested squarely on the shoulders of their children. For as long as I can remember, the media has been griping about the quality of the education offered to New York's children. Based on the experiences of my friends and me, we got a quality education...in every respect. I went to P.S. 173. J.H.S. 115, George Washington H.S., and C.C.N.Y. Our teachers were dedicated and we were systematically taught how to think, how to behave, and how to contribute. Each of us, in his/her own right, came away from the New York City school system, the better for having been there. That certainly rang true for me. My most enduring memory of the Heights was the fact that children could meander through the streets with nary of thought that evil lurked behind dark alleys. Is it really possible that we went to the movies at the age of eight or nine, without our parents and we were safely watched over by the matrons in the RKO, the Lowe's (we called it the Lowies), or the compliment of small movie houses lining 181st Street or Wadsworth Avenue (right off 181st Street)? We played in the neighborhood parks, and our parents would check us from time to time, by merely looking out of their apartment windows, and whistling our family whistle. We took long walks, always to 181st Street (yes, Wertheimer's was a favorite stop), sometimes even further, to the Cloisters in Ft. Tryon Park. And we did this with our friends, and our parents weren't fearful to let us go. What innocent times those were. These days....can you imagine allowing six and seven year olds to play in a New York City park (even a suburban park), without adult supervision? We would be arrested for child neglect. But that's the way it was in the late '40s and early '50s in Washington Heights. And it was great."

From Steve Voloshin, Wappinger Falls New York "I lived in the Heights from my birth in 1943 till 1979. I first lived on 158th Street on Riverside Drive in the "red house" as they were called. Today the complex is a Co-op. We moved up to Fort George Hill in 1962, 1 year after I graduated from George Washington. I followed the normal path for kids in the HEIGHTS 169, Stitt and GW. Have great memories about growing up in Washington Heights, here are a few 25 cent Sat movies at the Loews Rio, great egg creams at Dave's on 158th street, great deli food at M and K on 162nd street. Going swimming in Highbridge or Miramar pools, walking to the Polo Grounds to see the Giants play. Seeing Alan Freed's show at the Loews 175th street. Hanging out at the wall on 161 street and Riverside drive and going sleigh ridding on Greenies. This ride usually landed you in the street with oncoming cars. Later on, getting my first legal drink at Maguires on 157th street and Broadway and later on some of the good bars along Broadway(Mullins, TGs Center and some more whose names I have forgotten) up into Inwood. Went back to the Heights about 4 years ago and walked from 157th street to 170th. It was an amazing trip to see how much things had changed and also trying to remember what stores use to be there."

Jim Neff from beautiful Vernon, Sussex Co. New Jersey. " Yes, I remember just about everything mentioned, from the Automat, to the 5 & 10 (Woolworths) &Five and Dime (Grants) to the fire on Easter Sunday, 1957 at Falcaros restaurant and bowling alley, that destroyed the entire northeast corner of 181st street, to the airplane up on 191st and St. Nick, ran out of St. Elizabeths church that Sunday morning to see it, I'm probably one of the kids in the photo! I especially remember that we did not need a car to do anything. everything was at our fingertips. A whole pizza pie was a buck, and life was good. The street you lived on was your "own little world" with your friends, and until you got older, you did everything right there. Went to 132, 115 and G Dub's, and had a ball. Thanks for great site.!!!!!!!!!"

Michael Bergman Rego Park Queens " just finished reading "personal memories of Washington Heights". that web site was sent to me as part of the G.W.class of 61 reunion mail. I lived in washington hts. from 1943 to 1967-went to both P.S.187 and George Washington H.S. and then on to CCNY in Harlem. I lived on Pinehurst ave between 181 st.and 183 st. this block was known as the "dead end " street as the road did not go through to 181 st. Instead there was a group of 3 flights of steps at the bottom of the pinehurst hill. This dead end street which was also a hill was great for winter sleigh riding and i have vivid memories of the big snow storm (I believe it was 1947-i was just 4 yrs. old). I remember Bennet park before it was remodeled. the ball field which was originally dirt now became paved over with some black gray asphalt surface. We played "Ring-a-leaveo"- this is my phonetic guess at the spelling. Other games included chicken fights , hiding go seek ,punch ball and last but not least skulzie with the bottle caps. We climbed the cliffs at fort tryon park, caught butterflies and grass hoppers in the vacant lot adjacent to p.s. 187 and looked for arrow heads and buried treasure in inwood park. Nedicks on 181 st. had the greatest hot dogs in the world. I remember the great times at Loews 175 st. There was a scale in that theater where you could get your weight for 1 penny and then you had a chance to win your penny back by playing a game on the scale. I remember the heights bowling ally and the colorful personalities that always were there. There was a guy named Homer who could always bowl great in a friendly game but who caved in all the time under pressure. Any way I could go on and on and if given the chance on future news letters i definitely will. One last note-that park on 173 street and fort washington ave was originally part of the Hood-Wright estate. I recently was able to buy many original photos of the heights from 1903-1925.they were taken by George Wheeler who was the city surveyor at that time. When I learn more about my newly acquired computer I will be glad to share those images.

Diana (Hopkins), Freehold, N.J. "Wow--what a find! Our years there: 1954-1963.. Until now, I could only share these memories with my sisters and brother...we all have a piece of the Heights and combine our various memories...Some of what I've read on the site is either not familiar or before my time. (I.E. V.J. day and the plane on 191st) But so much else evoked smiles and even laughter as my sister and I read together. For ex: The clothes dryers suspended from the kitchen ceiling...how about dumbwaiters that fetched the garbage and the "super" whose job it was. (At 247 Audubon, he was rather unfriendly and even a little scary) Instead of fishing for spauldines, fishing through grates to get the lost change below--with string and chewing gum! And yes we remember Mr. Pizza---a huge slice and a Coke for 25 cents. We also remember Grant's (Mom would make us wait while she shopped downstairs for curtains...torture!!) Albrecht's--a clothing store near Miles Shoe store...I remember shopping for "Angel blouses" and Ben Casey medical shirts. And nobody mentioned P.S. 132 across from Precinct 34. (Famous grad: Lou Gehrig) P.S. 115 diagonally across from our apt. building--boasted 52 nationalities amongst its student body. Our graduation ceremony was held at the RKO and we marched from 115 to the theater in caps and gowns. Class trips were made via the subway. One teacher and 32 kids on the subway (to the Museum of Natural History--every year it seemed.) And yet everything wasn't rosy--there were gangs-- "West Side Story" really resonated for us. We were insulated from it as best our parents could but it was there.

I can still remember watching the slightly older teens dancing the "Grind"---aptly named! We watched from the sidelines with mouths agape. And hearing them sing acapella doo-wop right outside our 1st floor window. ( Much to my father's dismay--he kept busy chasing them away.) And of course, the fire hydrant spraying into the streets till the cops came and turned it off--AGAIN!! One tense summer night, I watched the older boys running and retrieving sticks and other weapons from various hiding places as they set off for a fight somewhere--probably the "Rock Park" on Amsterdam Ave.

And does anybody remember the "Fordham Baldies"---I lived in mortal terror of these gang members who supposedly entered grade schools and cut off your hair??? Our grade school was rampant with rumors and inflamed imaginations and I was truly terrified for part of third grade. It was at least as real to me as the Taliban is today.

Another memory--Summer school and the "End of Summer Festival" Groups from all over the city participating in a dance where all the various groups snaked and zig-zagged around the playground of P.S. 173. Another:" R-A-T---T-L-E---S-N-A-K-E spells RATTLESNAKE-"-A sidewalk game we used to play--hands joined and singing and looping between the joined hands...Nobody has ever recalled this game...

Well---thanks for the opportunity to stroll down memory lane...I treasure so much the diversity of the Heights--Greeks, Chinese, Jewish, Black , Puerto Rican. It gave me such a good beginning and I believe it taught me to appreciate the differences between us all. Being a blend of Puerto Rican and "WASP" or "Wasp-a-Rican" as a friend called me I am happy to celebrate my diversity and everyone else's. Regards to fellow "Heightsters"

Linette, Wilmington Delaware "enjoyed reading all the great stories about an area of the city that I had such fond memories of. My family moved to 247 W. 177th Street in 1954. We left the city in 1963. The things that I remember best were, the hot summer days when the older boys would open up the fire hydrants and if you left your windows open (even on the higher floors) you would come home to a very wet apartment. They would cut both ends out of a can and direct the water toward their target. Snow Cones ! High Bridge park was near our apartment. We had a Great Dane and would take him there to get some exercise. My mother was from Puerto Rico and my dad was from Washington State. We always had a melting pot of family and friends in our apartment. In our building, on the corner was a drug store with a soda fountain. You could get Cherry Cokes and egg creams. Big lollipops were 5 cents. All the kids on our block played games like Johnny ride the pony, Freeze tag, Hide the belt, Red light - Green light and we tried to jump rope through the day and into the night. The first floor tenants usually put an end to that. The building that we lived in was a beautiful building with an elevator and marble hallways. There was a front entrance where at one time the doorman stood. Doormen were long gone when we lived there. The middle hallway was huge, with a faux fireplace in it and what used to be fancy lights. There was a third part to the entranceway that was 3 walls of mirrors. The stairs were great for sliding down and under them were the mailboxes. A great place for little girls to play. It is sad that they buildings ran down the way they did. It would be lovely to see someone come in and restore them to their original beauty. Did anyone have Mrs. Rowan, Mrs. Mainzer, Mrs. Goldstein, Mrs. Leshney (I am not sure of the spelling)? They were the teachers that I remember having. Especially Mrs. Rowan (tortured me) and Mrs. Goldstein (best teacher).

Jim Theobald, Riverdale Bronx "My family were Heights nomads, living in four different locations in the Heights. We first lived at 312 Haven Ave. between 179th and 180th street. We were forced to move due to the construction of the lower level of the George Washington Bridge. We moved temporarily to 664 West 179th street until we were asked to vacate that location for the same reason. We then moved to 238 Fort Washington Avenue, between 169th and 170th street. This all occurred in the span of about 18 months in 1958-1959.Around 1965 we were induced to relocate from the first floor to the sixth floor at 238 Ft.Wash because Columbia Presbyterian Hospital wanted to use the lower floors of the building for offices. I have fond memories of each location. My folks must have also loved the Heights to have endured so much uprooting and to have remained in the neighborhood. My three brothers and I all attended Incarnation School (I graduated in 1964) and went to the Day Camp. The "wall" that I knew was in Highbridge park down from 175th St. What a great neighborhood! At least 5 movie theaters, Como's pizza, Mr. Pizza, Cushman's bakery, Alpine bakery, Woolworth's, Wertheimer's, stickball, punchball, slug, curb ball, homemade scooters, clamp roller skates, roller hockey, the Incarnation Bazaar, the Good Humor Truck, Bungalow Bar, Highbridge pool, coal deliveries, etc. etc. I wish I could go back in time."

Renee, " I was born and raised at 516w184st . I had three brothers and one sister I remember Vassal's, candy store 183rd and Audubon. Paul's grocery, at 184th and Audubon. As a little girl I delivered groceries for Paul. I was a bit of a tomboy, it was great for tips. I would get a tip plus all the deposit bottles I could carry. I also remember Spotless Cleaners. Bodenstein's bakery, Yale drug store, and Bernie's candy store at 184st&St Nick the best egg creams...my email is renee.shee@verizon.net"

Lillian Ramirez Theophanis, Choconut, Pa. "I lived at 514 W. 177th St. during the mid-forties to 1964. I've been trying to reestablish a connection with the residents of Washington Heights for several years. I got as far as re-connecting with some of my graduation classmates at Cabrini High School through classmates.com. But the closest I got to 177th St. was a web site about the Library on 178th. The next time I visit this site, I will include some old neighborhood photos in my message, including some taken on "tar beach". Maybe some of my old friends will recognize the place, the time and the people. Who remembers the trolley tracks on Amsterdam Ave., the rock park that ran along Amsterdam Ave. for several blocks, the Italian restaurant on 181st St. where you could watch the pizza dough fly up in the air and back into the cook's hands as it became thinner and thinner. Who has ever tasted better pizza since then?" Or, how about the bridge to the Bronx where the Beacons had their garrison belt and zip-gun confrontations with the Bronx "social clubs", the stick ball games in the street, the doo-wop groups at the block party in front of Incarnation School or one of the little parks on the Heights, the Diablos on 176th St. And what about the tempting smell of black and white cookies, Napoleons and other baked delight,s as you passed the bakery, on the way home from Church. Some of the names I remember are: the Donovans (Lorraine and Eileen were the Irish beauties of the neighborhood) , the Koumparoulis' (their Dad was the Shoemaker on 178th St.), the Lietke's (Ruth was our Superintendent and Theresa was my best friend for a few years; I even visited her uncle's house which looked like the inside of a ship), the Hooks from across the street and the funny way those kids would give themselves "nouggies". One of them lost an eye trying to make a firebomb. I just remembered the way some of the wilder Beacons would go out on Halloween, build a fire across the width of the street to stop traffic, and drop a stuffed dummy they had hung from the lamp post just to scare the dickens out of drivers. That's it, for now. I've got enough memories to write a book."

James Nicholas, Dumont NJ "This is a wonderful web site. So many of us have scattered from our old neighborhood. It's good that we can come together at this site and remember what things were like in one of the best areas to grow up during the 1950's and earlier. I have some photographs of the Heights that I'm converting from slides to prints and hope to share with you. I have two which I can share now. I was born in Wadsworth hospital in 1943. It stood on the northside of 185 street between St. Nicholas Ave. and Wadsworth Ave. Later an A&P opened on the other side of the street. Luckily I took a photo before its demise years later.

I went to P.S. 189, George Washington H.S. and C.C.N.Y. I was a member of Fort George Presbyterian Church and had perfect attendance for 7 years in its Sunday School. I enclose a photo of its beautiful structure at the corner of 186 street and St. Nicholas Avenue. I remember going to Hobbyland at 182 street and St. Nicholas Ave. It had toys, and modeling kits of all kinds. I've always been a movie fan and the Heights had ample theaters to attend. Loew's 175th, the RKO Colosseum, the Lane and the Heights were movie theaters I remember. Hope to share more memories in the future.

Little James in 1945. St. Nicholas Ave. in the background. Only 3 cars between 186th & 191st street!

Shirley (Rosenthal) Renner New York " I am told by family members that was one of the last babies to have been born at Wadsworth Hospital on 185th Street between St. Nicholas and Wadsworth Avenues. The schools I attended were P. S. 173, JHS 143 (Eleanor Roosevelt) and George Washington High School It is a shame that the places that I and family members had frequented are no longer in business such as Nelson's Deli at 170th & Broadway, Tasty Pastry Bakery on Broadway, Greenspan's Luggage, Merit Farms and others. Remaining in Washington Heights after marriage was surprising to me but not regretted. Washington Heights was and still is the perfect place to live"

Fred Strauss New York I enjoyed your website and am pleased to attach some of my own memories of a great area.
















Thanks for putting this together to give us an opportunity to share memories."

Bob Cunningham Milford CT "Thanks for the memories! Anyone remember the Cunningham brothers:Bob, Larry and Gerard from 163rd and St. Nicholas Ave? Krugers ice cream parlor on l64th and Broadway - Kent House on l65th southwest corner. We played stickball on l64th St. by St.Rose of Lima School. On Sunday after church we went bowling at Falcaros. My wife Claire lived on l64th between Broadway and Fort Washington Ave. We were married in 1956 at St. Rose of Lima Church and now live in Milford, Ct. Love the website!"

Roxanne and Diana Gabriel "Thanks for a fantastic website! What memories I and my family have of Washington Heights from the 40's until the 60's. We all lived on 164th St. and B'way. Does anyone remember Mr. Lou's candy store, or PIGEON PARK? P.S. 169 and P.S. 128 were our schools and we were darn proud to be a part of them. How 'bout the famous doll hospital on Broadway and about 176th? Does anyone remember the name of the hospital? How about those cherry cokes at the corner candy store? Remember Exel Bakery on B'way and 164?? Any memories to share? We also loved Como's pizza on 169 and B'way? Did anyone play "Chinese School " or Potsy on the sidewalk ? Have you ever crossed that intersection between B'way and St. Nick, near Medical Center using the subway entrances to get to school??? How about "Ring -a-leev-ee-o"?

Ever share a pickle and pickle juice out of 25 cent plastic bags? And yes, we do remember the wax bottles of "toxic" liquid which was just fabulous. How 'bout Teresa Pharmacy with Mr. Newman, which still runs full throttle today? Anyone recall Christy, the bus driver who faithfully got us to P.S. 128? Ever sign autographs at grade school gradution?

My grandmother used to play BINGO at the Audobon Ballroom. What about the San Juan Spanish movie theater on 166th? Did you all know the late Freddie Prinze, Sr. grew up on 155th Street? He and I shared a pediatrician - Dr. Jim Farley. Another legendary - Tiny Tim - resided at 163rd and was always seen walking the Heights each evening, replete with ukelely tucked under his arm. Does anyone recall him dressed all in black, way ahead of his time -and humming all the while pleasantly humming and chatting with all who would listen.

Does anyone recall the large, old, red brick building which was the school for the deaf? It seemed it was right around the corner from us on Ft. Wash.? What about Mother Cabrini Hospital? These and so many other memories are a lifetime's worth of nostalgia we, as a family remember with wonderful and loving thoughts. If you went to PS 128/169 - or Stitt/Wadleigh, please respond. Any GW grads out there? St. Rose of Lima was another great landmark, and one school not yet mentioned in this site as of yet.

This was, by far, the greatest neighborhood in the country, bar none. Where else could you be assured of a trusted dumbwaiter in your kitchen???

Keep up the good work! Thank you! thank you!

Hank DeEsposito "I grew up In the Heights from the late 30s, to the early 50s. I lived at 819 West 180 St. Between, Cabrini Blvd. and Pinehurst ave, My grammar school was PS 132.

As I am writing this e-mail, we are putting together a reunion of the old group! If Nanny or Poppy see this, as well as Leslie Thomas, we are looking for you!!! Please get I touch with me ( casey4@ptd.net ) Or call me at ( 570-421-6646 ). Thank You! And Thank You for this great web site, and as the word gets around about It, I'm sure that you will fill the barrel!

My father had a butcher shop on St. Nicks & 178St. called " Bill's Market " from 1946 to about 1975. Whowould ever forget High Bridge Pool, with the changing benches and the wire baskets that we would put our clothes Into, and in exchange we got a rubber band and tag to put around our ankle, The good old days! I will write again, and look again to see If I see any one that I know, I found one, Richard O'Prey, But to be fair, he told me about this site!

Rebecca from Connecticut " I grew up on 173rd Street between St. Nick and Audubon Ave, I went to P.S. 173, Humbolt Jr. High 115 and for awhile to GW High, I then moved to California for awhile then back to the heights where I lived on 171st between Ft. Washington and Haven Ave and I worked at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, until my son was 10 and we moved to Connecticut. I have many friends from the Heights that I still keep in touch with, my friend Ada Ramirez and Gloria Roosov and Diane Malave. I have lost friends who I grew up with in the heights and I try and visit once a month. I have read many of you say, the Heights as we knew it is no longer there, it has changed considerably in many, many ways. For those of you who I know Hi and for those of you who I do not remember Hi anyway, my maiden name was Breisblatt and I lived in Washington Heights from 1946 until 1975 with a small foray to living on 76 th street in New York. rebeccadelio@earthlink.net"

Ann Chai Chan Ft Lauderdale Florida "What fond memories I have of "The Heights". I lived there from the early 30's to '46 when I got married. I used to live across the street from GWHigh. Then we moved to 709 W 178th St. between Ft. Washington Ave. and B'way. The Port of Authority built the bus terminal and my Mom and Dad had to move to 179th St. alongside the GW bridge, then they tore that down and they finally moved to Bennet Ave. near 190th St. I went to PS 173 and PS 115. My younger sister and brother went to Incarnation.

I remember all the names of the movie theaters in the neighborhood except one. It was on St. Nicholas Ave. near 176th St., just up the block from Incarnation. We used to get passes from the 34th Precinct and spend all day Sat. there watching movies...and Buck Rogers. There was a wonderul pastry shop near that theater, and a special treat was to get napoleons and eclairs. Someone said it was the Ogden, but I'm not sure.I remember Loew's, The Coliseum, The Heights, Lane, Gem, Empress, Uptown near the hospital on 168th St. and the Audubon Theater where they had the Andrews Sisters one week-end.
Summers were spent at the "Y" on Broadway where we learned crafts. Walks to the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park on Sundays, and sitting in the park overlooking the Hudson. We also walked across the GW bridge to Ft. Lee and back. There was always so much to do in "The Heights". I also remember taking the trolley on Broadway on a hot summer day with the cane seats and the sides open with a grille, and sitting on the top of the open bus that would go down Fort Washington Ave. to Fifth Ave. Only a nickel in those days. I remember when Orson Welles had that scary radio program about. I remember when Orson Welles had that scary radio program about aliens invading the country and landing near Palisades Park. We all went up to the roof to see if we could see them. My Dad laughed at us, he was the only one that was "onto" the whole show.

Shopping on 181st St. was the greatest with all the stores. I did all my Christmas gift shopping at Woolworth's. They used to sell those tiny bottles of perfume for a quarter. My Mom used to send me to Daitch's because they had the best milk with cream on top in glass bottles. I would go to either store, one on 181st or the one on Broadway near 168th if I wanted to "dawdle". The hot dogs at Nedicks on 181st and Broadway were the best, then there was a little shop next door to it on Broadway that sold Charlotte Russes. My sister met her future husband at the bowling alley down near the IRT on St. Nicholas and 181st St. Was it Cafaro's? My Mother should have known she went there !!! I would have been "grounded".
One of our greatest pastimes was to sit on the stoop and watch the cars come off the bridge and down our street on the holidays...the Fourth of July was the best. We would count all the cars with out of state plates. The super let us have the basement for our Halloween parties. We learned to dodge cars at an early age since the street was our playing ground aside from the park on 173rd St. It was a wonderful place to live and bring up kids. My Mother never locked the door 'til we were all in our beds for the night. I played with Italian, Greek, Irish and Jewish kids, never a fight, except with the boys who picked on the girls. We were told never to go to Amsterdam Ave., the kids were "too tough". My sister drove me through "The Heights" back in the 70's and I could have cried at seeing how my beautiful old neighborhood had changed. I couldn't get out of there fast enough....and I never went back."

Patsy Riordan Petridis, Spring Hill, Florida "Yes, I, too grew up in Washington Heights on 169th Street. We used to play in the street on 169 St. between Audubon & St. Nick. To close the street off from traffic - the school (OLD PS 169) had a sign cemented in a round ball that could be rolled out and in to keep the kids safe and stop the traffic during school days and hours. Well, that sign was rolled out, by us, even after school was out- to keep the cars from using the street. The street was our private roller derby street or stick ball street. Thanks for all the memories and pictures of the old neighborhood."

Bob Heller Washington DC . "I am 75 and a retired bureaucrat. My earliest years were at 1560 Amsterdam Ave and 137st where my father was Boy's Director of the Hebrew orphan Asylum across from the late Lewisohn Stadium which was part of CCNY. I attended PS 193 of which I have fond memories .
In 1940 my family consisting of my parents, myself and a younger brother moved to Ft. Washington Ave in the heights. I attended PS 187 of which the less said the better. However, from 1941 to 1945 I attended George Washington High School before enlisting in the naval reserve. I found the school to be a warm and stimulating place despite a few inept teachers . There were two good ones whose names come to mind. They were a Mr. Foley who taught English and inspired many. In addition there was a Ms. Gottesman who taught History . I worked on the school paper The Cherry Tree . The school principal in the main building was an intelligent woman who also wrote the school fight song as we had many teams . In the first year we went to the Ishem Annex near Inwood and later we went to the main building. I remember the following names Glenn, Fineberg, Robbins Schnieder , Berlin, Ethel Pendergast , Ilsa Kopf, Mickey Chernin , Joan Pollock

My fondest memories are that of Ft Tryon Park, The George Washington Bridge, tennis courts at Riverside Drive and the movies and arcade on 181 street. In the latter was a second hand book store where I first went to gaze at the lurid magazine covers . Later, the owner took an interest in me and loaned me Joyce's Ulysses, which became a life long passion that later took me to Dublin. After college at the universities of Illinois and Michigan I returned to NYC and lived in the Village. I am divorced with three daughters. My address is 2514 K. St NW , Washington DC 20037 and my number is 202 333 7419 - HLLR 93 @ AOL . Com".

"My mind is flooded with so many memories of Wash. Hts. back in the 40s and 50s. I lived there from the late 1930s until 1959. The WALL on upper Riverside Dr. between 161st and 162nd Sts. was where everyone congregated on those hot summer nights before anyone had air-conditioning. It was the focal point of our lives where boys met girls or boys argued
over baseball with the other guys. I went to PS 169, JHS 164 (Stitt) and GWHS where future major-leaguer Arnie Portocarrero pitched. I was strictly a sports nut and one of the few B'klyn Dodger fans living in the neighborhood for which I took a lot of flak. Soon to be famous people from the Height in those days included
Max Frankel, NY Times Editor; Jules Bergman, ABC-TV; Mannie Kirschheimer and Elliot Kastner of film fame; Tiny Tim (Herbert Khoury), Jacques D'Amboise, ballet; Abie Grossfeld, gymnast, Louis Kampf of MIT, and the Kalb brothers
of TV news fame...there were so many others that I can still remember and see. I was an observer on the scene in those days so maybe not many people would remember me. Hopefully, some of you out there will recognize my name and get in contact on this web-site. I'll write another day and add some more memories of days gone by."

Monte Florida and New York "Hi, I lived in Washington Heights from 1943-1968, and have all sorts of memories to share. I just discovered your website through my friend Henry Fromm. I lived on Riverside Drive at 159th Street (860 Riverside Drive) from about 1945 to 1965. I went
to PS 169, JHS 115 (which I later taught at), and George Washington HS.
Does anybody remember me? I remember everything you all spoke about!
Please contact me via mandagreen2000@yahoo.com, or I can be reached at (352) 751-0676 (Florida) until June 30, and then in New York at (631) 288-4524.

Dorothy (Fiege) Goddard, Wilmington, Delaware "Just got back home from attending the 50th Reunion of the June 1952 class at GW. It was wonderful. We had about 45 grads (about 10%) but since this was really our very first BIG reunion, that wasn't too bad. We all agreed that we were fortunate indeed to have received such a good education in New York City. The next day, four of us took a drive up to the old neighborhood. It was very crowded, very busy, very changed as far as the stores were concerned but it didn't look bad at all! I had heard horror stories about the changes but to me, it was still "The Heights". The high school, of course, is still one of the most beautiful in the city with its tall tower and marble lobby. Our PS 189 is still there and has grown. The huge schoolyard is gone now and has been replaced with an extension of the building. Fort George Church still has those bright red doors. The movies on 181st (the Lane, the Gem and the Empress) are gone but the Coliseum is now a multiplex. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. And, even though the street signs for St. Nicholas Avenue now share the poles with signs that say Jose Duarte Boulevard, they haven't been totally replaced. I received an email from a fellow graduate who advises us all to take a ride up to the Fort Tryon Park area. Apparently, the Generation X'ers have rediscovered the area and are turning it into a myriad of little shops and cafes and reconditioned buildings. Claims it will be well worth the trip! Just wanted to let you all know that our roots are still strong and The Heights is still there! Changed, yes. But still there! "What you are is where you were, when."

Dorothy {Bennett} Barry Schroon Lake, NY "The memories are so wonderful. I was raised on 567 west 186 St. There were the Kunzigs, Klines, Ternian, Tice, Middletons, Stano, so many more I can't remember them all. We had officer Joe to make sure we did nothing wrong. Talking about the Irish dances, and rockaway. Anyone remembers Miss Duffy from 189. Walking up those steps to Mother Cabrini, or that steep hill in the winter. How about Bodensteins bakery Sunday after mass. I used to work at the 5&dime 1952 to 1954. In the summer we would all go to orchard beach and pray we would get back in time to go to work. Anyone remember St. Elizabeth on the bottom of the hill. Then the fire .We used to take any thing we could find and slide down the hill just as the light changed. How about Fr. Wilde taking us from 189 to Sunday school".

Mike Spalding Seattle WA "What a great forum! I too grew up in post WW II Washington Heights and was happy to find this forum that brought back such fond memories of the old neighborhood. I was from Wadsworth Avenue near 189th Street, and went to PS 189, and George Washington HS. I guess, as we get older, we all yearn for the simpler times of our youth. It's great to find that there are others like myself.
Are there any out there that remember PS 189 in the 50's. Who remembers Mrs. Fleisher, Mr. Yungerman, Mrs. Gibson, Mrs. Curry, Mrs. Lucy, Mrs. Reich, Mrs Levy, Mrs. Horowitz, Mrs. Samuels, Mrs. Heiler, Mr. Wagner, Mr. Gross, Mr. Silver, and Mr. Curzon, ?? Teastie's ice cream parlor (remember the fat bookie who did his business from the phone booth)? Dave's delicatessen, Stahl's and Asbell's drugstore, the Farmery, Katz's cleaners, the Balkan Bakery. Karls candy store, Rosens Deli, Ralph's fresh vegetables and fruits. Franks Barbershop, Doctor Scheuer and his Abe Lincoln collection, the old bagelman who sold bagels to school children on the corner of Audobon avenue. I could go on and on..
Thanks to all of you for the memories you rekindled!"

Joe Katzenstein, Englewood NJ "I too lived at 155 and if Mr. Gomez mentioned earlier is the "jacky" gomez whom I used to play within the 1940s, glad to be reunited with u in cyberspace. Didn't u have a sister named Nelda? Directly opposite 155 was the convent for Incarnation Church on 175th & St.Nick. I remember one Friday, playing with johnny gunning who lived in 155. suddenly up the street comes a Sabrett frankfurter cart, yellow, red & blue with the umbrella covering the wagon, big wooden wheels. Johnny darts out to the cart, purchases a frank and says to me "stand in front of me", being hidden on one side by the "stoop", he crouches down and downs the "dog". He sheepishly, explains afterwards that he didn't want to be seen by the nuns, across the street, eating meat on friday. This little jewish boy was an accomplice in him committing a sin. On Audubon ave, from time to time, various peddlers, ringing bells, would ply their trade. there was the "knife-sharpening" man who carried his grinding wheel on his back. I remember a an organ grinder with a little dancing, monkey walking the street or a man soliciting old clothes and calling out "Pay cash too". On the first floor of our house (155), there lived an Italian family, who were in the ice business. Remember well the dad picking up large blocks of ice and grinding them in a chopping machine on the back of his truck. He supplied bars, fish stores, etc. I suppose there were people who still had good old ice boxes instead of refrigerators. One item sticks out clearly in my memory. Anyone else remember that there was a Jumel Laundry in lower Washington Heights which operated horse drawn wagons for delivery , still in the 1940s?

How about stick ball in the street - watch out for cops who were always at least 6 feet or more tall - toss the broomsticks under parked cars until they passed. Scooters made of 2 x 4s, apple or orange crates and roller skates. Who remembers sweet, colored liquids in wax containers which you would bite into and chug down. Flipping cards, baseball, newspaper repro cards against the stoop. Melting wax crayons into bottle caps and playing a sidewalk game with the "board" outlined in chalk.(forgot the name of the game) Playing and trading glass marbles- probably worth a fortune today on the collectors market. Here's another one from the memory bank. The ashes from the coal furnaces were spread on the streets in winter to help in traction. Went to the park on 173rd St and Ft. Wash quite often as my dad had a store on 174th & Broadway called Gift Center.

Recall now the kiosk in the back which sold ice cream, pretzel sticks (2/5c) & other sweets. Name of the park is J. Hood Wright. Actually met my wife there when we hung-around there in the late '50s & early '60s. She went to PS 173 and GWHS. We lived on Bennett Ave from 1963 until 1971, when we moved to Rockland County with 3 girls. In 1951 our family moved to 180th and St. Nick.

And who can forget 181st Street and Wertheimers. I remember that at Christmastime there was a store santa & for a quarter a parent or grandparent would pay, a child would get a small present from Santa. I also remember an elderly guard that wore a doormans uniform that watched the baby carriages outside the entrance. The above pics were taken on 181st Street in the mid-forties and show that trollies once ran on that street. It's been a fabulous trip on this Heights Memories time machine".

Arlene (Fried) Schlaeger Larchmont, NY "My memories of Washington Heights (173, The Wall, schoolyard, candy stores, and good friends) are some of the warmest and most wonderful in my life. It was a real neighborhood where almost everyone knew each other and saying hello to people on the street was commonplace. I can remember so many faces as if it were yesterday. I think about the Tea Room on 181st where we all would hang out after a date. I think of spending 3 hours in Woolworth's with my girlfriends, Evelyne Kellner, Stephanie Hamburg etc. browsing through records, "jewelry", makeup and having a ball. After that we would stop in the Pizza Parlor on 181 and St. Nick Ave. Mr. Werthheimer from the butcher store on 175 and bway would always wave to me as I walked by and tell me to smile. I remember when the supermarket on 175 by Loews was a car showroom. Evelyne Kellner Goldberger and I have found each other again after 30 years. We still sing the songs from our 6th grade operetta "Pirates of Penzance" and talk about what a beautiful voice Drora Plautt had. It was just yesterday.... wasn't it? Arlene Schlaeger R.J. Palmer 917.344.5390"

Janet Levy (Loewenberg) White Plains, NY "Growing up in the Heights from 1947 until I married and moved away in 1968 was a wonderful experience. I grew up on Bennett Avenue and went to P.S. 152, JHS 52, GW and CCNY. When I think of the Heights I see Fort Tryon Park where I spent a great deal of time playing with friends or climbing the rocks to get up to Ft Washington Ave to play in the playground. Sundays with family walking through the park and stopping for an afternoon treat at the restaurant. I think of lots of other children always available to play street games. Learning to ride my bike up and down Bennett. Playing ball when the street was closed to traffic from 191st to 190th near the little park on Bennett. Going to the movies on Saturday mornings at the RKO 181st St. I think of laughter, friends and feeling safe in the old neighborhood."

Lenny Roos, Long Island, NY "I grew up on Cabrini Blvd and attended P.S. 187 from 1960 onward. Then I went to J.H.S. 52. My memories of Washington Heights are very fond ones. It seems as though P.S.187 was much more like a private school today than a public school. We had to line up outside the building quietly before they let us in. I remember the pride we all shared during the "melody in may" performances we put on every year. We had a 5th and 6th grade orchestra which included violins, clarinets, flutes and piano. For 11 and 12 year olds we sure sounded good. Who can forget our teacher Mr. Jerry Alter. Our schoolyard was the center of my universe. We played stickball, softball, football and basketball there from dawn till dusk. Taking our sleds to Ft. Tryon park after a snowstorm to go down "suicide hill" was incredible. Most of our teachers at P.S. 187 were veteran strict "Irish" women. Mrs. Bohrer, Mrs. MsDermott and Mrs. Ryan just to name a few were tough on us but they were superior to most of the teachers my son has had during his school years. We were a busride away from Yankee Stadium. I remember my mother taking me to Ladies Day games where she paid only 50 cents to get in. When we went to J.H.S. 52 in Inwood on Dykman St. we felt like fish out of water even though it was only 20 blocks from our neighborhood. It truly was a time of innocence. After all these years thinking about it now still brings a smile to my face. If I could, I would get on the A Train, buy a and stickball bat and go to the schoolyard and choose up a game."

John Steffens Tucson Arizona "I went to Ft. George also. My mother was around the Heights when Ft. George was built. I was about 4 years old (1946) when we started going regularly. I went there until I went into the Army in 1962. Mr. Hubble (a relative of Carl Hubble) was the Sexton. Mrs. Cody got me my first real job. Mr. Lemke did the printing. Tom Moe taught us to play pool later at the Teen Canteen. Ben Smith was the Sunday

School Superintendent and also the Scoutmaster of Troop 724. I lived on 176th St (514) and joined Cub Pack 716 at Incarnation (Mr.Edmunds was the Cubmaster). About a year later Pack 724 started at Ft. George so I moved there. I don't remember all of the names from the Pack except for the Rojas family. Mr. Smith was the Scoutmaster and I remember most of the names from the Troop and my Patrol (Iroquios (sic) and Eagles). I am still in touch with Brian Molloy and have an e-mail address for Joey Martin. Bob Macomber married my sister Susan and Ricky Stickle married my other sister Judy. I married a Heights girl (Carol Guth) and we have 3 children and 4 grandchildren. I could name a whole bunch of the gang that hung out with the Scouts, Teen Canteen, Choir or Sunday School (but I won't unless asked).

Barbara I. Winter, Florida "I was born in 1941 and lived at 728 West 181st Street and attended P.S. 132. We moved to Long Beach, L.I. in September of 1951 when I was about to start 5th Grade and my sister was in 8th Grade. I was born in Wadsworth Hospital and our family doctor was Charles Popovitch whose office was in a Bldg on 184th Street. I lived up the hill from Bickfords, The Harlem River Savings Bank and across the street from the RKO Coliseum... I was only ten when we moved, but I certainly remember the Trolley Train and Tracks, and Mr. Greene in the Vegetable store on Broadway, and Mr. Roth in the record shop next to my building, 728 West 181st just below the subway entrance...and I especially remember playing with my cousins in the subway tunnel on Overlook Terrace...and walking to school with friends who lived on Bennett Ave...and Mr. Roberts in the Drug Store across the street from my building. And I just remembered huge "feet" being painted on the sidewalk on the way to the RKO in anticipation of the movie "The Thing"...I guess I could go on and on. like remembering one of the Rosenberg's son being in my class...those were such simple and good times...and then along came "West Side Story"..which changed everything. I was at a "Yiddish" concert today here in Florida and started talking to the women sitting next to me...Guess what? She grew up in the Heights and attended the "Y" and took tap, ballet and toe dancing. Thanks for bring back many, many old memories.

Diana Gabriel DiFrancesco Plymouth, Mass. "Just read the entry by Bob Cunningham of Milford, Ct. -- sounds like we're from the same "Block" and the same era. Yes, I remember Kruger's -- do you remember "Polo Pies?" I lived at 610 W. 164th St., between Bway and Ft. Washington from the early '40's to late 50's -- wonder if your wife Claire was a classmate of mine at GW? Also went to P.S. 169 (later 168, I believe). Do you remember a wonderful delicatessen on164th and Amsterdam? It was owned by my good friend's parents -- Herman and Anna Wacker. My friend's name was Irmgard. Did you or your wife know Kirby Warren or the Gardner family who lived at 618? This site is too good to be true. Feels like a big reunion every time I click on. Just keep those memories coming.

Any of you out there who would be interested in an All Class Reunion of GWHS graduates, please let me know. The Alumni Association of GW is trying desperately to raise funds to continue to support our school. Send me an email at "DGavrilis2@aol.com." Would love to hear from you!"

Steve Voloshin Wappinger Falls NY "Thanks for a great website. I had written in before but had lost the website address. In reading all the comments that everyone has written, there is one constant in all and that is the stores in Washington Heights. In almost every entry there is some mention of certain stores. Back in the 40s, 50s and 60s in the Heights stores had a unique identity partially because of what they sold and also because of the shopkeepers. In today's age every store seems the same, every mall is also the same, in fact all the employees in the stores also seem the same. The stores of our youth had identity.

I would like to mention some stores that I remember in Washington Heights. Since I was born and raised on 158th Street and Riverside Drive I will concentrate on stores in the 150s and 160s..See how many you can remember.

On 156th Street on the East side of Broadway was Hornsteins where you could buy bats balls and all the latest board games like all-star baseball..On 157th Street and the westside of Broadway was Rexall Drugs and the big newsstand on the corner. Going up the block was Ernies Supermarket before the days of the big Supermarkets. Imperial deli Lambos florist (whose daughter was a teacher at Stitt) . Around the corner on 157th Street was Dubins Cleaners where I worked delivering clothes. On 158th St. there was Venus Hosiery a store owned by my friends parents and Viim drug store. Going up to 160th St. was the Lowes Rio. On the Eastside of 162nd St. was Spectors and on the Westside was Slotkins Deli. On 164th Street Excell bakery, going to 165th there was Freddie's Record store and right next store was the Silver Palm. Across the street form the hospital by the bus station was White Tower (much better the White Castle) and right next to PS 169 was Rands who sold bags of greasy but great tasting French Fries. On the Westside was another restaurant called the GOLDEN AGE. Going up to 170th was Como Pizza and the Uptown Theater. All of theses establishments had a uniqueness about them form the owners to the merchandise. Another reason why it was great to grow up in Washington Heights."

Wolfgang "Johnny" Rauner Flushing NY "My family moved to 187th Street in September1941, just about 3 months after we arrived on these blessed shores, escaping from Hitler's Europe. We were one of the many refugee families who settled in Washington Heights, giving the community the popular nickname 'The Fourth Reich.' My parents were lucky enough to get a 3rd floor walkup apt.#36 in 572W187th St. right next to the Armenian Church. It was the beginning of the school year and I was put in class5a, with my teacher, Miss Willard. I was nearly 13yrs old, but spoke no English as yet. By 5b, the second half of the year, I was promoted to Mrs. Fulton's class. By now my English had improved enough for me to win 3rd place in the annual spelling Bee, against the 6th &7th grade. I still proudly show my bronze medal to my grandchildren. I remember that year we put on a class play about the Panama Canal in which I had the part of Col. WalterReed. I had to wear a pith helmet, and with my limited knowledge of English, the teacher had to convince me that pith was a perfectly acceptable word. Going on to 6th and 7th grade I had Miss Sugar, Mr.Cox and Miss Draddy. I don't remember in which order. In my last year I had Mr.Draddy her brother, who made us learn to remember all 32 presidents. He must have done a good job, I remember them still. Up till Roosevelt. The Principal at that time was Mr.Chenkin, a virtual god, whom you rarely saw. The Asst.Principal, Mr. Gussow, did all the dirty work. He was the terror. At least in my little refugee eyes.
These were the war years. We all were very patriotic. Every week those who could afford it brought in a quarter to buy a war stamp. They were pasted in a book and when the book was full you got a War Bond. I wasn't one of those who could afford that kind of money, so I contributed to the war effort in other ways. I still have the award certificate I got for collecting waste paper. I also collected scrap aluminum.

I was especially proud, because I had two older brothers who served in the army overseas. My parents proudly displayed our two star flag in the front window, for all
to see. Our patriotism was also shown in other ways. Samuel Davis, Henry
Stern and I were the artistic ones in the class, so we were given the project to paint a patriotic mural in the back of the classroom. I remember it well. My subject was of heroic American GI with one foot on the throat of a despised Jap and a bayonet sticking in his chest. My reward for that was one extra ticket to the graduation. Some of the kids in my class, some friends that I remember were the Greek kids from 189th and Audubon Ave. Andrew Andrews and Thucy Vagelos. Manos Kypar and Serge Suny from 187th st. Mostly I remember the pretty girls, the unreachable ones as far as I was concerned. Especially Aphie Lamdos the little Greek Aphrodite. There was Elliot Butler and Eugene Plant, Ruthelaine Macomber .AH, O so many, so many years ago. We were all so innocent then.

Graduation Day from P.S. 189 in June of 1943

Most went on to G.W. High school. I went on to School of Industrial Art, Henry Stern and Samuel Davis went to HS of Music and Art.
Every day we went home for lunch. No school lunches for us. Lunch was
a package of Yankee Doodles and a glass of milk. But the highlight of lunch hour was ''Big Sister'', on the radio followed by Kate Smith. Going home for lunch wasn't always easy for me. I frequently came home or returned to school with a bloody nose or a black eye, compliments of Johnny O'Brien and his gang who didn't take lightly to some foreign-speaking refugee kid invading his turf. Frequently the Armenian Priest'the Hyesoop, Father Simonian stood between me and major injury. While on that subject I might mention, even today I'm Johnny to my friends and family.I registered at school with the name John, to protect myself from the young patriots who might have found a German sounding name like Wolfgang too provocative during those years. It's 11:15 now. Perhaps some more memories another day. We'll talk about Gitlin's Pharmacy, Frishling dairy, Marmelstein's and Bodensteins Bakeries etc, etc, etc, GOOD NIGHT.

George Acropolis Central New Jersey "I graduated from George Washington High school in 1952 and lived in the Heights from the age of eight to around 20. It was a wonderful area with Irish, Greek, German and Jewish residents in the majority. I remember coming out of the RKO Coliseum theatre one winter and finding 27 inches of snow on the ground. I remember the movies at the Lane , and Uptown theaters. I remember the High Bridge Swimming Pool, and the catacombs under the GW High School stadium, and Arnold Portocarrero pitching for GW and winning 27 games over three seasons. He made it to the major leagues with the old Kansas City Athletics. I loved the bowling alley and pizza joint on 181 street and also eating at the Automat. I'll never forget the Heights. browns3449@aol.com)

Gail, Fort Lee, NJ "I have so many memories of Washington Heights. My grandparents lived at 569 W. 192nd and St. Nick. I remember the old
shoemaker shop, the corner grocery store (still there). But cannot remember
names except for the Butcher Boy. What is the name of the doll hospital on
Broadway? Does anyone out there know? What a wonderful memory. Going to the RKO theater. Shopping on 181st or was it 179th? Attending services at Yeshiva (and making a lot of noise with other kids).This is a wonderful website. Thanks for the memories."

Grisel, Orlando Florida "I lived in Washington Heights in the late 50's thru the early 70s. I lived @ 575 West 172nd Street and St. Nicholas Avenue. There was a big fire in our building in 1964 on St. Patrick's day. I loved it there and hold fond childhood memories. I use to attend Incarnation church and remember going ice skating with Father Johnson. He was great with kids. I remember going to 181st street, there was a store in the corner that would serve the best ice cream in town. I moved to New Jersey in 1971 and then to Orlando in 1977 until this day. It was great to hear all your stories and I must say, I am very impressed with your good memories."

Arnie Perlstien I lived in Washington Heights from birth in 1952 through 1964 when we made the move to Riverdale. We lived at 142 Laurel Hill Terrace (kitty corner across Amsterdam Ave from PS 189. I attended PS 189 from kindergarden through 6th grade) My older brother went to PS 189 as well, and also attended GW High School. I have some class photos in albums that I will dig up, but I wonder if any of my classmates might see this post. In 1989, I arranged a 25th reunion of our 6th grade class, and 7 people (out of about 35) actually showed up. I remember playing as a young child in that little playground across Amsterdam Ave. from PS 189, and also playing football after school down toward GW HS. I remember walking to the temple down the "big hill" for bar mitzvah lessons during 5th and 6th grades. I remember being taken to the Loew's down on 181 St. by my grandparents on Saturday evenings. And now I'm 50 and that world seems very far away.


Washington Heights classmates reunite after 63 years

Old classmates (from left) Wolfgang Rauner, Manos Kypar, Suzanne Kupfer,  Harriet Bloom Schor,  Elliott Butler,  Diran Deckmejian and David Roberts get together 63 years later.

Old classmates (from left) Wolfgang Rauner, Manos Kypar, Suzanne Kupfer, Harriet Bloom Schor, Elliott Butler, Diran Deckmejian and David Roberts get together 63 years later.

Wolfgang Rauner stood in front of a Washington Heights elementary school Monday with six of his former classmates, reverently clutching a small bronze medal.

"I didn't know a word of English that first day," said the 79-year-old Queens resident who escaped Nazi Germany in 1941. "But Ms. Miller [his teacher], she never made me feel ashamed."

Rauner's third-place award from the school's spelling bee was only one of the myriad memories he and six long-lost friends shared in their first reunion in 63 years. The former Washington Heights residents reconnected through a Web site devoted to memories of the neighborhood's past. Rauner typed his memories online three years ago, and other classmates slowly began to find one another as their names circulated on the Web.

"My daughter called me and said, 'Dad, you're on the Internet,'" said Manos Kypar, 76, who lived just across the street from the school at 189th St. and Amsterdam Ave. "I Googled myself, and I found all these people."

After reminiscing in front of Public School 189, the group clambered into two cars to tour their old stomping grounds.

They pointed out the supermarkets that had replaced the bakeries, fish and cheese shops that had lined St. Nicholas Ave. They pined for the Highbridge Pool on 175th St., where they played hooky and lamented the bowling alley at 181st St. that was no more.

Elliott Butler, 77, found his old apartment building at 189th St. "I lived right here," the Korean War veteran said, "but there were no air conditioners. I don't think I knew what one was."

Suzanne Kupfer, 77, said the neighborhood looked different than when she arrived at age 8, with many more people on the sidewalks and in the stores.

"The area has changed ethnically," said David Roberts, 76, who traveled from Beverley Hills to meet his old friends. "There are a lot of new immigrants here."

The Dominican enclave has transformed from the 1940s, when most of the residents were Armenian, Greek, Russian and German Jewish immigrants.

Kupfer, whose maiden name was Pollak, fled her home country of Czechoslovakia in 1938 after a family friend telegrammed her father and warned him to leave as soon as possible.

"I knew there was a war and that there was a Hitler who didn't like Jews," she said. The family was met at the port by members of the National Council of Jewish Women. Kupfer was later elected president of the Kew Gardens, Queens, section, where she now lives.

The only shop the group could find that they remembered from their youth was Asbell Pharmacy, on the corner of 190th St. and St. Nicholas.

They were convinced that if the trolley cars were still running, the air in the neighborhood would be much cleaner.

"That's progress for you," Kupfer said. "Sometimes something has to disappear before you appreciate it."