The Bowery Boys / Los Chicos del Bowery

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

I FOUND THE above photo of my father and some of his friends and it made me laugh. What a crew. They remind me of the Bowery Boys (aka, the Dead End Kids and the Eastside Kids), a group of New York City film characters originating in the late 1930s and running through the 1950s.

The Bowery is the oldest street in Manhattan and was a Native American footpath before the Dutch settled the area in 1626. It’s also the name of the surrounding neighborhood on New York’s Lower East Side. I had an uncle who had a bar there, inherited from his father in the 1940s. It had already seen better days. Although I really don’t know what better days ever looked like on The Bowery.

My father labeled the photo:
“DAVE, SKULL, ACK, PINO, FISHER, TABRISKY. MARCH 3, 1944. ”
My father (Dave), top left, wasn’t yet 18.

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ENCONTRÉ LA FOTO de arriba de mi padre y algunos de sus amigos y me hizo reír. Qué tripulación. Me recuerdan a los Bowery Boys (también conocidos como East Side Kids y Dead End Kids), un grupo de personajes de las películas de la ciudad de Nueva York que se originaron a finales de los años 1930 y se prolongaron hasta la década de 1950.

El Bowery es la calle más antigua de Manhattan y fue un sendero nativo americano antes de que los holandeses se establecieran el área en 1626. También es el nombre del vecindario que rodea el Lower East Side de Nueva York. Tuve un tío que tenía un bar allí, heredado de su padre en la década de 1940. Ya había visto días mejores. Aunque realmente no sé qué días mejores se han visto en The Bowery.

Mi padre etiquetó la foto:
“DAVE, SKULL, ACK, PINO, FISHER, TABRISKY. MARCH 3, 1944. ”
Mi padre (Dave), arriba a la izquierda, aún no tenía 18 años.

The real Bowery Boys from the movies.
Los Bowery Boys reales de las peliculas.

My mother used to sing me this song!
¡Mi madre solía cantarme esta canción!

El Bowery! el Bowery!
Dicen tales cosas y hacen cosas extrañas.
En el Bowery! El Bowery!
Nunca más iré allí

A Striking Resemblance / Un Parecido Sorprendente

I CONTINUE TO go through old photos and came across images of my grandfather, my father, and myself. All taken on the beach. The photo of my grandfather was taken around 1921. My mother took the photo of my father in the summer of 1948. Both those photos were taken on Coney Island in Brooklyn. The one of me was at Oyster Bay, Long Island, in 1960. We had moved up in the world. Four years later, we were back at Coney Island. I know! It’s almost impossible to tell us apart. HINT: I’m the one in the baggy boxer shorts.

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SIGO REVISANDO FOTOS antiguas y encontré imágenes de mi abuelo, mi padre, y yo. Todas fueron tomadas en la playa. La foto de mi abuelo fue tomada alrededor de 1921. Mi madre tomó la foto de mi padre en el verano de 1948. Ambas fotos estaban en Coney Island en Brooklyn. La foto de mí estaba en Oyster Bay, Long Island, en 1960. Habíamos ascendido en el mundo. Cuatro años más tarde, estábamos de vuelta en Coney Island. ¡Yo sé! Es casi imposible distinguirnos. PISTA: Soy el de los calzoncillos holgados.

On Being Macho / Sobre Ser Macho

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

I KNOW. I know. You see the word “macho” and you immediately think this will be all about me. But, it’s all about my grandmother. She was a handsome woman.

I’ve been scanning photos from one of the old family albums and selected a number of images of my paternal grandmother in male drag. They were taken over a number of years in New York City in the 1920s and I’m assuming my grandparents were going to costume parties or just having fun at a photographer’s studio (click here for an earlier post), but we’ll never know. Oh, the stories we could make up.

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LO SÉ. LO sé. Ves la palabra “macho” e inmediatamente piensas que se trata de mí. Pero se trata de mi abuela. Ella era una mujer “guapo”.

He estado escaneando fotos de uno de los viejos álbumes de la familia y elegí unas imágenes de mi abuela paterna vestida como un hombre. Fueron tomadas durante varios años en la ciudad de Nueva York en la década de 1920 y asumo que mis abuelos iban a fiestas de disfraces o simplemente se estaban divirtiendo en el estudio de un fotógrafo (haz clic aquí para ver una entrada anterior), pero nunca lo sabremos. Oh, las historias que podríamos inventar.

A Couple Of Feet

So, the 36th anniversary of the death of Big Sister Dale has passed. San Geraldo honored her by buying a box of “galletas de rellena de naranja” (soft biscuits filled with orange jam and covered in chocolate). Dale introduced me to these in 1970. She usually bought Pim’s brand, but this Spanish version brought back the sweet memories just the same.

WE FINISHED THEM OFF IN ONE SITTING… JUST AS DALE WOULD HAVE DONE.
1954: LOOK AT MY EYES! MY REACTION TO THOSE CUSTOM FABRICS, PERHAPS?
OR MAYBE JUST MY SHOCK AT MISPLACING MY FEET.

Speaking of misplaced feet: Once Dale hit her teens, she began to train me in some basic social skills. For about a week before any party — wedding, bar mitzvah, school event — she’d drag me into her room every night, turn on her record player, and [try to] teach me to dance. The results weren’t exceptional but the lessons were a joy.

Dale taught me dancing in a hurry…

Supplier for Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, Funerals

While cleaning out My Mother The Dowager Duchess’s apartment in August, we had some surprises. She and my father purchased their massive bedroom furniture in 1950. I found the original receipt. I have no idea how they afforded it considering the fact that my mother always claimed they were poor. They paid $846 in 1950. In today’s money, that’s equivalent to $8,472.39.

We would have loved to have shipped it here, but it would have cost a fortune. Besides, our largest bedroom couldn’t fit it all. The two dressers together were about 7 feet long.

I found a bunch of doily-like items in black and white. They’re provided free for women to cover their heads at Jewish rites such as weddings, bar mitzvahs, and funerals. Black for funerals, obviously, and white for the happier occasions. Typical of my mother (“I might be able to use it for a project”) she kept every single one. One drawer of the side cabinet in a dresser was filled with them. I laughed when I tossed them all on the bed. But then I discovered that two more drawers were also filled. There were hundreds of them. I can’t imagine that my mother actually went to hundreds of events. I think she stole a lot of them. But, she would argue indignantly, “I didn’t steal them. They put them out for free. I only took some extras… just in case.”

(Click the images for the bigger picture.)

THE TWO DRESSERS THAT WERE STUFFED FULL.
TWO LARGE MIRRORS WERE MOUNTED ON THE SAME MAHOGANY.
THE HEADBOARD. THE ONLY PIECE OF FURNITURE THAT WAS EMPTY.
(EXCEPT FOR AN OLD, DEAD, LANDLINE TELEPHONE AND A BOX OF TISSUES).
A SAMPLING.
MY NEW BUSINESS: BULK ORDERS ONLY.
HIGHER RATES FOR THOSE WITH ADORNMENTS.