Sunday, November 2, 2014

It's a small world- another Queensbridge tale.

Last night I picked this couple up in Deep Brooklyn and I took them to Long Island City. Now, the new Long Island City - the trendy part - is only about a third or less of the historical Long Island City (LIC). The real LIC extends all the way to Astoria and it includes Queensbridge and Ravenswood projects. I spent my growing up years in those two places.
We got to talking and I mentioned that I grew up in LIC, Queensbrige, to be exact. The guy told me that his 90 year old grandfather once told him a story from long ago, sixty years or so - when he drove a truck for his family's business out of Arthur Avenue - his truck got hit with a brick thrown by a group of delinquent boys, but thank God no one got hurt.

I've written a bit about my growing up in Queensbridge. There were some white families there and even a few Jews.. A boy who had been named Adolf Hitler by his father lived a few floors above me. ( See " I knew Adolf Hitler".and my posts about Camp Clearpool and Queensbridge for more.) Next door to me lived the French Canadian brothers Peter and Alfred Michel (sp?) . Leo Kline (sp?) lived upstairs. While my best friends and allies were Black, Peter and Alfred and Leo ( but not Adolf Hitler a/k/a Teddy Mittel (sp?)) were frenemies. Both from being Jewish and from having two publily pro-Communist parents (Search Weixel vs NYC Housing) I'd catch hell from these kids at times (like Easter) while at other times they'd be my buddies (not Adolf Hitler). On one of these amicable days the Michelle (sp?) boys and I went up to a rooftop overlooking 21st Street. I think it was me who put the rock in a snowball and threw it at a passing truck. I'm pretty sure Peter and Alfred were my accomplices but this was @ 60 years ago so this could be wrong. You can see that the apartment buildings in Queensbridge .are arranged in groups. The adjacent buildings are 1 or 2 or maybe 3 feet apart. 

The trucker hit the brakes and ran right towards the building, something or other in hand as I recall. We jumped to the next building and the next one after that and scrambled down the stairs. We had made our get away.

The trucker was told about some of this today I guess  Good thing he wasn't hurt and good thing we got away. He's 90 now and still going strong. He haled from Arthur Avenue whicb has its own notariety.