Category Archives: holidays

Gravesend’s ’70s Toyland

I’d been picking my brain to think of an appropriate Christmas post when I suddenly remembered I had this flyer for Taverna’s toy offerings from around 1979. You remember Taverna’s, I’m sure, with their two stores at 222 Avenue U (south side, between West 5th Street and Van Sicklen Street, where Tre Fontane Restaurant is today) and 229 Avenue U (at the northeast corner of West 4th Street, in the building that originally housed the post office and, most recently, Rite Aid). You could buy anything at Taverna’s, from lawn chairs to socks, but for those of us who were kids in the 1970s, their store at 229 Avenue U was the go-to place for toys. I hope these images will inspire as much nostalgia in you as the do for me. I’d love to hear if you had any of these toys. I still have my “Strolling Bowling,” in its original box! Happy holidays, my friends, and all the best for 2017.  — Joseph Ditta

(Click on each image, then scroll down to the lower right and click “view full size.”)


Copyright © 2016 by Joseph Ditta (webmaster@gravesendgazette.com)

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under holidays

Gelukkig Pasen!

That’s Dutch for Happy Easter! It’s a bit late in the day (I was busy stuffing myself at Gargiulo’s!), but I hope those who celebrate have had a wonderful holiday. Here’s a program from the Easter service at the Gravesend Reformed (Dutch) Church on April 17, 1892.


Copyright © 2016 by Joseph Ditta (webmaster@gravesendgazette.com)

Leave a comment

Filed under churches, Easter, Gravesend Reformed Dutch Church, holidays, Uncategorized

Erin go Bellwood!

Here’s the only remotely Irish thing in my vast trove of Gravesendiana: a souvenir journal from the fifth annual ball of the Bellwood Social Club of Gravesend, held at the Ulmer Park Casino (that was on the corner of Cropsey and 25th Avenues) on March 17, 1917, a mere ninety-nine years ago. I can’t find anything substantial about this organization. There are a handful of newspaper references to an early 20th-century “Bellwood Club” in Gravesend, but I’m not sure it’s the same one (read about it here, here, and here). Do the flags on the cover of the journal indicate it was an Irish-American patriotic group? (It couldn’t have been exclusively Irish: among the officers, the names “Ricci” and “Squillante” are obviously Italian!) Did they always meet on St. Patrick’s Day? Are some descendants of the club members reading this? Can you shed light on their activities? I would love to hear from you! Until then, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Copyright © 2016 by Joseph Ditta (webmaster@gravesendgazette.com)

1 Comment

Filed under holidays

Season’s Greetings from Gravesend!

Thank you for reading this blog throughout the year! I could make a public resolution about how I’m going to try to write more frequently in 2016 and beyond, but we all know what an unrepentant slug I am. Well, not really. It’s just that there aren’t enough days in the week for me to get to everything I think of doing. And then there’s that little thing called work that always manages to get in the way. But I promise I’ll keep posting about Gravesend, Brooklyn, if you promise to keep reading. And let me hear from you! I truly enjoy the comments and stories some of you have sent my way. Keep them coming.

Happy Holidays to all,

Joseph


Copyright © 2015 by Joseph Ditta (webmaster@gravesendgazette.com)

2 Comments

Filed under holidays

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, I dug, dug, dug through my vast hoard of Gravesendiana, but couldn’t find any ephemera explicitly related to Thanksgiving. Not one turkey. So, by way of compensation, here’s an image of a sweet little Victorian girl fleeing a menacing goose that’s just emerged from a cornucopia on back of an 1882 advertising card for Johnston Brothers, grocers (they had branches in the City of Brooklyn and in Gravesend). Enjoy the holiday, and avoid angry waterfowl!


Copyright © 2015 by Joseph Ditta (webmaster@gravesendgazette.com)

Leave a comment

Filed under holidays