Hello everyone. I departed the Brownsville/Ocean Hill section in 1950 to enter the US Air Force and have not returned since. That's a long time to carry memories. Will someone volunteer to tell us what the OLL neighborhood is like today? I graduated from OLL in January 1946 and lived at 113 Liberty Avenue (between Christopher and Sachman), 281 Stone Avenue (between Liberty and Glenmore) and finally at 25 Stewart Street (Broadway and Eastern Parkway). I have been a California resident since the late '50s. I'm hoping some of my classmates at Our Lady of Loreto will see this and be willing to communicate. In the meantime anyone willing to tell me of the current environment in which OLL is in, please feel free to post here or contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks in advance.
Joe Di Mento
Hi Joe...............we moved to enyork from manhattan in 1957 and moved away in 1964............I graduated from OLLoreto and then went to St. Michael's.
All I can say is that the people were the neighborhood, the school and church made up the neighborhood...........the merchants were the neighborhood, Carlucci's and Tex's pizza were the neighborhood, Marino's Grocery store, Pep's Restaurant on Stone Avenue and Dean Street..........once everyone departed, things were not the same...............it took me some time to get used to enyork, but then I loved it, made some new friends, etc........loved the bazaars at OLLoreto, I could hear the doo-wop songs being played from the school office, from my window on pacific street........the cadets were special to me too.......I could hear them rehearsing on Tuesday nights I believe, from my window..............they all were very talented...................hope you've enjoyed a trip down memory lane.............
Thanks for your reply. Yes. I understand your sentiments about the people making the neighborhood. Most of the things you mentioned took place after my departure from Brooklyn.Doo-wop was unheard of, although the Ink Spots and the MIlls Brothers were everyone's favorites. Our Italian festa took place every year. They built a temporary band stand up against the school. Every night there would be Italian music and singers performing and food carts up and down the street. We had a little bit of Italy at those feasts in the '30s and '40s. We kids were listening to a new kid from New Jersey (Frank Sinatra) sing some songs that made the girls swoon. The big bands were going strong and the movies were trying to make us forget the Great Depression as well as WWII. What a time that was. Frightened one moment, happy the next. I hope more people on this site chime in. I'm approaching my 80th year on this earth and most memories of the old neighborhood are pleasant.
Joe Di Mento
Joe, I graduated OLL in 1957. My family lived there until Dec. 1978. I have been back there many times over the years and it is very desolate now. I passed through their just this past Sunday and nothing is the same. I would love to see the neighborhood revitalized. They look like the brownstones that are all over Manhattan. It's sad looking, but it has so many wonderful memories for most of us. It was a joy growing up in a place where everyone looked out for and cared for each other.
Reading your posted message, I sense how you feel. I guess it's true; "you can never go back." At times, I search Google Earth for the neighborhoods I lived in while attending Our Lady of Loreto and am not shocked that two of the three tenement buildings we lived in no longer exist. Oh well! they were run down when we lived there in the '30s and '40s. They were due to be cleared out when we lived there. In fact most of the homes on Liberty Avenue (between Christopher and Sackman) have been torn down. I keep hearing about the gentrification that some sections of Brooklyn are going through. It would be nice if someone went in there and started a rehabilitation. I'm afraid, from what I've seen of low cost housing projects, that kind of thing won't do it. The Church has been saved; if only the neighborhood may also be saved.
The people made our neighborhood, the church, the school, the merchants................broke my heart to see where carlucci's restaurant was all the buildings were boarded up..................this was on april 5th when I went to the rally.............let us keep our memories close to our hearts and continue them through this great website.............we can still stroll down memory lane, if only electronically........