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Author Topic: Vanished Astoria  (Read 97676 times)

Offline judy

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #360 on: December 18, 2017, 08:52:04 AM »
I would love to find someone else who went to PS 6 on Steinway Street where I went to first grade in 1950!

Offline doctorb

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #361 on: September 12, 2018, 10:20:54 PM »
I had the yellow Eat Me at Phil's shirt too.  Wore it to play basketball in 1982 at Palms Jr. High in West LA.
Phil's was great in the '60s and into the '70s.  Excellent latkes, good dogs.  Demographics changed, service fell off the cliff, and it was always empty near the end.  It was really very sad but I suppose all things must pass.

Offline doctorb

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #362 on: September 12, 2018, 11:30:29 PM »
 Chris--

Yes, the bank on the corner of 32nd and Bway was originally a movie theatre.  I grew up across the street from it, my mom grew up in that apt as well, and indeed she still lives there (going on 70 years total my family's been in these rooms,) and I am looking out the window at it right now as I type this.  Saw my first movie ever there, "Hatari" with John Wayne.  I can still smell the must and dust from when they gutted it and I and the neighborhood kids descended down into the rubble.  Next door where the parking lot now is was an abandoned building occupied by a horde of feral cats, where the drunks from the Clover (now Gilbey's) sat out front and harassed passersby.  The drunks still congregate under my mom's window at 3-4am on a nightly basis to fight and scream and puke souvlaki.

The theatre was replaced by a Packer's supermarket, then a Bohack's.  They tore down the "cat-house" and built loading docks.  That lot was my childhood playground.  We played punchball and wiffleball, dove into the dumpsters for truly epic garbage fights, and that's where one of my friends knocked over an 8ft stack of iron milk crates, the top one falling corner-down to punch a hole in his crewcut skull.  White stuff oozed out the wound, no blood, just goo.  Ah, fun times...

Then a series of banks claimed the space, and eventually the food cart set up shop out front.

Throughout my entire life there has been one homeless derelict or another lying/dying in the street directly in front of my window.  (The photo attached presents a documentary portrait of the longest-tenured occupant of the position.  He lived in that doorway for maybe 15 years but recently disappeared.  Perhaps he finally retired to Florida?  Who knows?  Over time his accumulated bodily fluids actually corroded through the steel of the door!  Also attached is a fun photo taken out my mom's front window of city personnel interviewing some raving drunk guy who threw himself to the sidewalk in the heat of mid-day.  And while they were talking to him-- and this is the God's Honest Truth, I could not make up anything quite this sordid!-- ANOTHER raving drunk guy steps between the parked cars about twenty feet from the depicted tableau, pull down his pants, sits down on a truck bumper, and takes a gigantic splattering dump, and seeing my camera screams up at me "Whaddaya think this is, a movie?!!"  He ran off so quickly I didn't get a good shot of him in the act but I did get a nice close-up of the organic parcel he left behind, which in the interests of decorum I have not posted here.  Here he is however sleeping in the street later that month...)

Ah, to wax nostalgic...  Astoria stories, yep, I've got a million of 'em...
 

Offline doctorb

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #363 on: September 15, 2018, 05:03:08 AM »
Clarification: In a prior post I mentioned wearing a Phil's t-shirt in LA in '82 and in a subsequent post talk about how my family has been in their apt at 32nd & Bway for 70 years.  This is actually correct.  I did not attend Palms Jr. High; I was already an adult living in that neighborhood and played hoops on their outdoor courts. 

My grandparents had a general goods store and lived above it on Bway between 33rd and 34th until the end of WW2, then moved to 32nd.  My mom was a teenager at the time; she went to PS5, I believe, then 166, and eventually Bryant.  (I'm not sure whether 126 may have been in that sequence as well?)  When she married she moved to Astoria Blvd and 14th and when my dad disappeared moved back in with her parents in 1960 and has lived there ever since.  I've lived just about everywhere in the US but resurface in Astoria every few years, and I am sitting in what used to be my grandparents' bedroom right now.
At 4:30am there is a car playing hip-hop at maximum volume (with an obviously augmented stereo designed just for this purpose) right under my window.  For the past half hour or so, every few minutes they turn it up, blast away until they can be sure everyone in this building has been awakened, then turn it down again before people can call in the noise compliant to the police.  A few minutes later, they do it again.  Rinse and repeat.  The best part of it is that this pattern of behavior makes it clear they are not just sitting in the car listening to loud music as they gobble souvlaki, but rather deliberately doing this for the primary purpose of annoying the neighbors.  I can't see them from this vantage but I bet they're having a great laugh...
And actually I'm having a good laugh at it too as I'm always up and around all night so personally it's not really bothering me but I bet everyone else in this building is tearing their hair out!   :laugh:

Offline therebels

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Re: Vanished Astoria
« Reply #364 on: September 19, 2018, 09:58:49 PM »
More stories, Doc. Please!


 

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