Friday, March 14, 2014

Kings Highway at East 16th Street - Two Views (1929)

This corner may be one of the most photographed in Brooklyn, new York. This picture is of Kings Highway at East 16th Street looking eastward about 1929. The Avalon, a Century owned Movie Theater is visible on the right side of the street.  

Most likely it was taken from the BMT station at Kings Highway which was located right at Dubrow's, the cafeteria, and across the street diagonally  from the bank, which open in 1929 or '30. There was also a tiny little jewelry shop located under the station right where Armando's would someday be. The owner was a crippled veteran from the 2nd World War. At the time of this photo he would have been just a kid.

My mother was born the year that this photo was taken. The Depression didn't really hurt the middle class section of Kings Highway as much as if affected other areas. Mostly the inhabitants were clerical and somewhat educated, unlike the poorer areas which were disproportionately affected by factory layoffs, etc.

My mother's memories of the neighborhood were vivid and I was an avid listener. Kings Highway still has that feel to me; like it is a special place; not subject to the changes of time as much as other areas. of course I'm biased, and I have only been back there once in the past 14 years. It's easy to hold onto a dream.

But, I swear, the feeling I had walking down that stretch of Kings Highway from Ocean Avenue to Coney Island Avenue, was the biggest jolt of energy I have had in years. It was electric in nature and a balm for my soul. These photographs are a way of capturing my Mom's memories; as well as preserving my own.

The one at the top came from Facebook. It's an old postcard. The one below I really do not remember where I got it- but it's a photo of the same area looking East toward the Avalon and then enlarged on the right. Kind of fun to see if you can orient the two. No point to this post, just enjoy the old photos.

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