Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bronx Shots, 1960s

A reader sent in these lovely shots of "the Vanished Bronx in 1967-68." She writes, "The photographer's name is Steve Rowles. He was just a student, walking around with his camera." Today Mr. Rowles is a violin and guitar maker, who makes beautiful one-of-a-kind instruments.

The photographer describes this first shot: "You've just gotten off the train at the Burnside Avenue stop on the Lex Jerome #4 IRT, and you're looking right, to the east, before going down the steps from the El to the street."

"This grocery was on Fordham Road, University Heights. 'SE' stood for Sedgwick."


esquared™ said...

I grew up in Da Bronx, and I'm gonna comment with a quote, of course. Quotes, actually.

"Life, limping after imagination’s ten-league boots, saw them out of town a week later in a cheap but sparkling new roadster, saw them through the chaotic unintelligible Bronx, then over a wide murky district which alternated cheerless blue-green wastes with suburbs of tremendous and sordid activity. They left New York at eleven and it was well past a hot and beatific noon when they moved rakishly through Pelham.

“These aren’t towns,” said Gloria scornfully, “these are just city blocks plumped down coldly into waste acres. I imagine all the men here have their mustaches stained from drinking their coffee too quickly in the morning.”

“And play pinochle on the commuting trains.”

“What’s pinochle?”

“Don’t be so literal. How should I know? But it sounds as though they ought to play it.”
-- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and the Damned

"As I hovered ghost-like in the Plaza Red Room of a Saturday afternoon, or went to lush and liquid garden parties in the East Sixties or tippled with Princetonians in the Biltmore Bar I was haunted always by my other life–my drab room in the Bronx, my square foot of the subway, my fixation upon the day’s letter from Alabama–would it come and what would it say? — my shabby suits, my poverty, and love."
--F. Scott Fitzgerald, My Lost City

And a mention of the neighborhood where I grew up:
"As he combed and recombed his hair, he pictured himself strolling with Lucille in the gardens of 2645 Mosholu Parkway, an edifice he had never seen. From the grand sound of the words ‘Mosholu Parkway,’ he imagined it to be something like an English castle in the movies. There under arching old tress, amid the flower beds, deliciously alone, could Herbie and Lucille fail to come at last to the sweet mutual pledges of love?"
-- Herman Wouk, City Boy

Sedgwick was the birthplace of hip hop. Grandmaster Flash's The Message has good shots and a social commentary of 1980's Bronx/NYC.

"I was too much of a Bronx kid to read Emerson or Hawthorne."
--Don DeLillo, also was born and grew up in The Bronx.

Great find, nonetheless.

#BronxPride #DaBronx #shutupesquared #ThisIsntTwitterEsquared

Timothy Nolan said...

My parents' old neighborhood (in fact, that could be my dad in the convertible). Great shots, thanks for posting these.

Anonymous said...

Puerto Ricans and their Impalas
Somewhere there should be a statue
to both of them.

Anonymous said...

From what I hear, this area still sort of looks like itself and hasn't been sucked out yet by the process of tourism etc. Gotta get up there and take a look.

BabyDave said...

Very nice. Thanks to all concerned. (And the "Sedgwick" phone exchange tidbit was a nice bonus.)

Anonymous said...

I live on Sedgwick Ave. in the Bronx--4th generation. The place still looks like itself, the character's still here, and I hope it never, ever changes.

Anonymous said...

esquared--Outta sight!

Anonymous said...

I'm from the Italian Bronx (North East) aka Mob Country Club. Moved out year ago but it's still the same.

Gentrification Alert: South Bronx is becoming SoBro.

Paul in NJ said...

I'd love to see photos of Arthur Ave between E 181 and Oak Tree Place. My great-grandparents lived at 2140. As far as I can tell, that entire block (and others nearby) was demolished sometime in the 70s. Today it's a ball field.

Carl from morris pk,bronx said...

If anyone has photos or info on old PEPPINOS PIZZERIA (opp.Jacobi Hospital entrance at 1200morris park avenue,Bronx..circa 1959-61) or in its later in 1960s incarnation as THE TENDA TRAP BAR,please send me any photos or info as my 93yr old father worked there upon his arriving here in'58

Anonymous said...

every major city in the U.S.A. went down the toilette .
big business and even bigger government let the cities go down and the middle class sink.

open immigration and helping the world rather than helping the u.s.a. first and foremost put working people and housing in the place it is now..

those that lived in bronx shout the loudest but remember the entire country was
betrayed by big money .

Interpath said...

Similar to Carl's immediate request above, any photos of P.S. 75 on Faile Street, Simpson/Fox Street(s), precinct 41, north of Hunt's Point, or immediate area, circa 1948-1960 would be greatly appreciated. I'm considering writing an article about growing up in "Da Bronx" during that era...I left in 1960...I went on to become a physician, "a long way from my origins," but remain wedded to my formative roots. In anticipation, Thank You!

Jim O'Hare said...


Jim O'Hare said...

1958 to 1972 Does anyone have any pictures of street racing in the Bronx?
Any one remember Bronxdale Projects during that time? Thanks Jim O'