tour de brooklyn 20 avril 2012

My cousin C cheerfully guided me around the neighborhood of our parents and grandparents. Cousin was born in Brooklyn and was highly qualified to give me the 50 cent tour. Good thing 'cause I didn't know east from west. We met some wonderful people along the way. Elizabeth welcomed us into her home, the former Farrell House on Sterling. Two women standing on the sidewalk, staring at her house, and taking photos didn't put her off. Amazing! Beautiful home in the historic landmark district of Prospect Heights.


We began the journey back in time at the Atlantic Ave Terminal. Cousin observed the future arena of the Nets with dismay and then off we went via the bus down (up?) Flatbush Ave to Grand Army Plaza.


                                     Soldiers and Sailors Arch

From the Plaza it was an easy walk to the Farrell house on Sterling and the Walsh apartment on Lincoln Pl.                                                                  
                                Lincoln Place now


                                                    and then.

Bridget Moloney Walsh and Mary Walsh Hopkins

Around the block on St. Johns Pl. we surreptitiously gained entry to the lobby of another Walsh abode.



We met wonderful youthful Wally. He has lived in the building for 50 years and happily shared his memories with us. I was a little surprised that he did not invite us to lunch.

Farther down and around the block we went, back to Sterling Pl. to an earlier Walsh residence circa 1933. No invites but a little parlez francais and directions given. Voila!



Next stop St. Teresa of Avila. Two wonderful women and three everyman(s) on the street were willing to help. Miss Willis gave the OK and Tameka graciously gave us the grand tour.

Hunger has set in by this time, think cousin was feeling it too. Miss Willis sent us off with her blessing when she heard we were going to Tom's Diner on Washington. BTW Washington Ave. has a great view of the city if you standing the middle of the street. Anyway, Tom's in earlier times was Lewnes, a favorite haunt of my Aunt C, cousin's mother, and probably my own mother. Cousin downed rather quickly a vanilla egg cream for dessert and away we went. First a pit stop at the Brooklyn Public Library, ran into Wally , (how easy it is to make friends) and headed over to Park Slope. We passed by bakeries,


                                      historic houses


and walked down Seventh Ave with the stroller brigade all the way to the Prospect Expy. Browsed a little (gotta get some shopping in) along the way and stopped off in this great shop  One more ancestral residence


624 11th St., home of my grandparents Catherine & Ben Hopkins ca. 1937. From this apartment  my grandmother sent two sons off to war. I can't imagine her heartbreak when just one returned. Too many Gold Star mothers, then and now.

Hopped the bus that went west, north, and east, that is the best I can muster! But the route took us by Red Hook's Ikea, and Fairway, and a great view of the city;  we got off in Cobble Hill. I loved the walk to Brooklyn Heights and Starbuck's on Montague, where I inhaled the best latte of all time. To top off the entire day we were joined by cousin's beautiful daughter V. Lots of laughs about living single in NY and luckily she gave me a little boost of youth so I could get myself back to the starting point, Atlantic Ave Terminal and finally home; the voices of Brooklyn past sated and quieting once again. Enjoy Philip Levine read his poem Two Voices,  


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