You Must be from Brooklyn Heights If…

We found the list of things  that you “associate yourself with” if you’re from Brooklyn Heights from the BH Facebook group quite interesting.   Items include “if you know Cobble Hill Cinema will let you in as a child even if you’re 40″, “If you’ve played suicide or handball in Love Lane” and “Nelson the Bum”.  Full list after the jump.

If you live in Brooklyn Heights, you must associate yourself with some of the following things:
1- If you lived here, live here, go to school here, work here,
or just know how awesome it is.
2- If you know where Joralemon street is,
3- If you know where Ho-Bags is,
4- If you know what the 2 step is (right near 142 Joralemon)
5- If you hang out on the promenade,
6- If you know that Court Street Stadium 12 is overpriced,
7- If you know Cobble Hill Cinema will let you in as a child,
even if your 40,
8- If you have no need to drive a car anywhere,
9- If you’ve ever read Motherless Brooklyn, and knew every street he mentioned.
10- If you’ve been to the floating pool,
11- If you either love/hate the old fashioned roads on certain blocks near the promenade.
12- If you go to Saint Anns, or Packer
13- If you know that St Anns and Packer hate each other,
14- If you know the St Anns Ice-cream man,
15- If you know that the Beastie Boys came from here,
(2 of them at least)
16- If you know the Packer store (also known as the underground deli) (ALSO known as Harrys), (ALSO ALSO known as the sunny deli)
17- If you constantly run into people you know,
18- If you’ve ever noticed groups of tourits traveling around in packs with a tour guide.
19- If you know that homeless guy with the beard that offers to clean up the leaves and snow for $10.
20- If you hate the astroturf at Cadman Plaza Park
21- If you can pronounce Montague, Joralemon, or Schermerhorn street
22- If you know that St. Charles burnt down
23- If one or more of your teachers lives near you
24- If you know about the Atlantic Antic
25- If you spend more time on your friends stoops then inside
26- If you’ve played suicide or handball in Love lane.
27- If you constantly take the A,C, R,M, 2,3,4,5, or F train
28- If you’ve ever noticed that the 50 (or 100?) year anniversary banner on St. Charles is nearly a decade old.
And they just took it down.
29- If you feel like you belong to this group
30- If you know where Squibb Hill is and hung out there on the grass with your friends all night long, watching traffic on the BQE for hours while drinking beer and arguing semantics.
31- If your grad party ended up under the Brooklyn Bridge.
32- If you know the secret spot under the Manhattan Bridge on the broken pier (where Charley made his film)
33- If you ever written in the sand under the Manhattan Bridge. That gross, gross sand.
34-Sydney Place hands down had the craziest residents in the neighborhood.
35-Garden Place was the best on Halloween. (Fried doughnuts, yummm)
36-Nelson the Bum
37-The old Hotel Bossert Bar.
38-The Dirty Deli
39-Queen Pizzaria when it was next to the XXX movie theater on Court Street.
40-The filming of Prizzi’s Honor
50-St. Ann’s theater on fire.
60-The Promenade Restaurant.
61-If you think fascatis is the best slice on earth.
62-Cammarerri Brothers Bakery as a character in Moonstruck.
63-Moonstruck a cinematic tour de force because it was filmed all over the Heights.
64-If you called Squibb Hill Suicide Hill too.
65-If you shoplifted from Silvers (or Joe Mels as some may call it)
66-If you ever hung out under the over.
had to add that one.
67-The most amazing ice cream place ever was Peters. Until it closed.
68-If you ever happened to walk all the way down Joralemon to that apartment complex thing, and done some stuff you probably shouldn’t have.
69-If you’ve ever walked over buildings via rooftops.
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  • nabeguy

    John, we must know each other somehow, if not by name then by face. By the way, my name is Philip Wilentz and I grew up on Middagh Street. I knew Gus and Chris (and yes, Helen was definitely a wow) in fact Gus’s son is now at P.S. 8 and I see him every morning when I drop my daughter off. Yes, I knew Melanie as well. How about Scott Walsh, the meterologist? And Harry Busk? BTW, wasn’t the Mexican place called OLD MEXICO, or was that the one on Pineapple Street that became a gay bar? And I too can say that I was in the old 84th sweating out the prospect of getting a “JD” card. Too bad McGrath’s isn’t around anymore; I’d treat you to a boilermaker.

  • John Wentling

    Nabeguy, I don’t think there’s any question we know each other. Name doesn’t ring a bell, but Melanie, Gus, Chris, myself and some others were all in the same group. We’d hang out by Melanie’s house at 87. I’m the kid who threw a dart that landed in Chris’s head – we were throwing darts at the door wall after they tore down the houses to build Cadman, and I let one fly when Chris went to retrieve another – never lived that down, but then I was about 6 I think. I grew up in the Margaret, did go to military school upstate (67-72) but spent summers and holidays at home. Remember a kid in his uniform? That’d be me. Went to PS8 for first grade, got expelled!! I was incorrigible, ergo, military school. LOL

    That’s it, “Old Mexico” – what was the hotel though? We stayed there very briefly before moving into the St. George, and then the Margaret. Last home was 132 Henry St, basement apt., I went to LaSalle Military in 72.

  • John Wentling


    McGraths! I got busted there – was tossing rocks over the fence into the hole (Cadman Plaza) and some nut who was “prospecting” came flying over the door fence, scared the bejeezus out of me and I ran straight into McGrath’s!

    That’s how I wound up in the dungeon for an hour.

    Maybe someday I’ll take you up on that boilermaker. I’ve been in Arizona since 82, love it to death, but frankly, The Heights will always be home.

  • nabeguy

    That “prospecting” nut, whose name escapes me now, was an urban archeologist long before it became fashionable. Being something of a junior digger myself, he used to show me the great things he’d find, like clay pipes and old wooden buttons.
    That’s a funny story about Chris. Were you with him the day he tried to go down the ramp to Squibb Park in a home-made go cart and broke both his legs? He was always know forever after as the Penguin because of the way his feet splayed out after the accident.
    Don’t know why I can’t remember you, other than I had the good sense to steer clear, even if I was a bit of an street arab myself. You make John Gargano sound like an alter boy!

  • lifer

    As far as Chinese goes, anyone remember China Palace? it was next to or became the Blarney Rose on Court st across from “Pandors’s Box” and Barneys , i think its where Bruno’s housewares is. The best (and only, cause I cant find it anymore ) paper wrap chicken.

  • John Wentling

    How was I supposed to know someone was digging down there? :)

    We made up later, he showed me his treasure finds as well. I was an egghead, albeit a bit, ahem, hyperactive.

    I remember when Chris did that – I also remember another of our buddies getting run over on the BQE, after sledding down the hill, over the field and into traffic – THEN they figured out that a fence might be a good idea. Didn’t matter, no one took the chance after that. We only had the one sled, it was his turn.

    Funny thing, there was always animosity after that incident with Chris – for Pete’s sake, I was like 5-6!!!!

    We know each other, no question of it. I was a bad one (relatively speaking), but on most given days when I wasn’t getting into everything (or raiding the payphone bank in the St. George lobby for change) I was reading everything on the shelf at the St. George newsstand – it was said they were my best babysitters (the books/comics, not the workers). Remember the deli in the St. George, Clark St. side? They carried exotic foods, like chocolate ants and the like. Broke my arm in the St. George gym, lived at the pool though.

    For what it’s worth, I eventually became an altar boy and star pupil. I’d have given my eye teeth to go to St. Charles, but I don’t think my mother could afford it at the time.

    So, were you with me and Gus when we decided to throw cherry bombs off the BQE overpass? Maybe when we explored the darkest regions of Plymouth Church, and the Underground Railroad passages to the East River? How about our friend, the Heights Rapist, who lived on Henry – name was Pisjockey or sumthin? No one would have EVER guessed, and he was only like 14/15 or so. Older brother was on junk?

    Got a hunch your recollection is better than mine.

  • John Wentling

    Sonofagun, NOW I remember you Philip!! We’d play stoop ball sometimes and if I’m not mistaken, stickball at the park down by the bridge? You remember the Brinkman boys?

  • melanie hope greenberg

    Is the Variety Mart the hardware store down the steps on Montague St? What was the street level hardware store that closed called? Was it the 5&10? I remember Mel from Jo-Mel’s working in the street level store with another man named Angel, who I still occasionally see in the Heights. I might have gotten the store names mixed up.

  • John Wentling

    I think it was down the stairs, and since you mention Angel, I remember him. Also a lady (wife?) who worked there. There was another variety store on Henry where I’d buy kites, Spaldings and balsam planes, across from the grocery/deli on Henry and Orange? If I’m not mistaken, the cashier’s name was Vera. Boy, can’t believe I remember that after 40+ years.

    Melanie? Not of 87 Cranberry St?? Say it’s so . . . :)

  • bornhere

    Melanie- That wasn’t Mel from Silver’s at the “other” hardware store. Mel was taller and, in an odd way, more user friendly. I loved that hardware store — especially the wood floors that never had been defiled by oodles of polyurethane (or anything more aggressive than a push broom).
    John – Now that you’re the go-to guy, can you recall there ever being an Associated on the Fascati’s side of Henry Street? Another BH blogger says there was, and I really can’t remember it. Bohack’s and Einhorn’s, yeah. But an Associated on the west side of Henry???? (And do you remember the pet store where the car service place is now?)

  • melanie hope greenberg

    Sowwy…not the Melanie you are looking for. Ok, I’ll take your word for it about Mel, my brain cells misfunction quite often. (Lot’s of Mels around here). Do you remember the children’s bookstore, Cousin Arthur’s, next to Teresa’s? I’d hang out there visiting Bob Tramonte early on in my career and attend cool grownup poetry readings some evenings.

  • John Wentling

    Hmmm, I remember Bohack on Henry and Love Ln. (CVS), but no, I don’t remember an Associated, but I’ll take the other blogger’s word for it. Could be, no clear recollection of it. I seem to recall a movie theater on Clark bet. Henry and Clinton? I was a toddler when they tore it down, the row and brownstones that became Cadman when I was perhaps 5 – 1961/2?

    The only pet store I remember was The Tailored Pet – Marty and Virginia’s place. Sorry to hear it’s going out of business after all of these years. Marty did a lot of acting, looked forward to seeing him on “Barney Miller” and other shows.

    Is BHB the successor, so to speak, of the Heights Press? I’m so happy I found you!!!

    Oh, Philip, you MAY know me as Corey – John is my first name but “family” has always called me Corey.

    Anyone is welcome to contact me directly at, love talking about The Heights.

  • Leefamsince WWII

    Baskin Robbins on the corner of Montague and Henry – where Ann Taylor Loft is. Nick and Joe’s Pizza on Court where a deli is now – Queen Pizzaria was the BEST – pizza-guy opened Fascati’s- his photo is on their wall. The back entrance to the library on Clinton – they closed it, but I used to use it after school cos it was “safer” than walking down Court/Cadman. St. Charles used to close Aiken Place for lunch break so the mid-grade kids could use the street to play. Christmas Bazaars at schools,.. sigh,.. I went to St. Charles and will always miss it.
    Mr. Butler – (5th grade teacher) was one of the best teachers I ever had.

  • Leefamsince WWII

    Hey John W. – Tailored Pet’s employees are negotiating to reopen it. (Serena-Owner passed away about a month ago.)
    They’re thinking of having a contest for a new name (they can’t use “Tailored Pet”)

    Oh yeah,..more memories – The Cobble Hill Fiveplex used to be called the Rex Cinema and showed mostly karate films.
    May Ying Restaurant across from the Rex
    Oh, and don’t you miss College Bakery?! They had the best cupcakes, gingerbreadman cookies, and birthday cakes!
    What was the name of that great bar/restaurant where the Thrift store on Montague is? and the small pizza place just around the corner on Henry?
    The Promenade restaurant where Heights Cafe is, was definitely more down-to-earth and neighbor friendly.
    I miss Barney’s on the corner of Livingston and Court! They had nearly everything!
    A & S, EJ Korvettes, Woolworth’s, Martins, McCrorys, Mays, Loews Metropolitan, The Duffield, Chock full O’Nuts, Bridge Trimming, Horn & Hardart(?), Fulton Street hasn’t been the same!
    Oh! Does anybody remember the REAL ice cream truck – The Good Humor Man, at the Pierrepont playground?!
    I looked forward to seeing him every summer! He was always so friendly!

  • John Wentling

    The Good Humor Man at Pierrepont playground – could set a watch to him, I’d hang out with the doorman at the building across the Promenade entrance waiting for him.

    As we got a little older and more rambunctious (and I’d SWEAR Philip was in the group), the liquor store on Hicks and State would sell us alcohol, we’d hang out in Pierrepont playground, OR go down to the docks and climb a rail car, and drink until we got sick. Colt .45, as I recall. Ick.

    Saw “The Odd Couple” at the Albee – could sit and watch a movie all day for 75 cents, a real relief when it was hot and humid. We’d venture deown to Red Hook Pool as well, before that became a suicide mission.

    As for “The Tailored Pet”, I’m glad to hear it, sorry they’ll lose the name though, it’s an institution and memorial of sorts to Marty and Virginia. Something eminently “Heights” would do nicely.

    Zum Zum on Court St? I think the Blimpies on Montague and Court was the original. There was a pizzeria on Montague at Henry as well, and my mother would send me to the “old ladies” clothing store down the block to pick up her britches. :)

    I bought more radios at the appliance/radio store on Montague and always ended up losing them.

    Yes, we (Chris, Gus, among others) shoplifted at Silvers – I admit it, youthful indiscretion(s)!!!

    My stepfather would send me to the Radio Shack off Livingston (?) to test TV tubes and buy a new one.

    What was the steak house on Henry (approx. 110) just down the block from Clarks (The Plymouth Coffeeshop), believe it was upstairs, had an awning out front? I’d pester my mother and she’d give me $10 (geez, like $100 now) to go get a steak dinner – I’d go there, or to Armandos.

    The Promenade Restaurant was Greek owned. Frequent customer in my early teens, spotted Dustin Hoffman walking down Montague and ran out to say hello. A classmate’s mother was wardrobe mistress on “The Landlord” which they partially filmed on Cranberry and Columbia Heights – got to meet Beau Bridges. Met a lot of celebrities in the Heights.

    One of my fondest memories was the smell of roasting coffee which permeated the neighborhood in the morning.

    Ah, who remembers the horsedrawn produce cart that came through a couple of times per week? So, I pilfered an apple now and then, so kill me. :)

    Oh, the Asian restaurant next to Clarks was a bar and grill, owned by the same guy that owned the Plymouth Coffeeshop.

  • John Wentling

    Philip, did you know Bodkin, who lived on Montague Street?

    Email me.

  • Anon

    The spelling was definitely “Meuniers” with no apostrophe (I have a jewelery box from there with a Meuniers label–it was at 140 Montague Street, in case you were wondering!)

    Also, I remember Crocus, and really liked it. Montague Street had more character in the 70’s.

    And the ice cream man at Pierrepont Playground was named Manny, wasn’t he? He was a nice guy.

  • John Wentling

    Does the Plymouth Church still have fairs?

    The whole neighborhood had more character in the 60’s and 70’s, and lots of characters, too. Lot to be said for local owner/operators versus chains, but such is “progress.”

    Don’t recall the Good Humor man’s name, but, when times were tough, I’d go change fishing in the grate at Bohack – ya know, stick with a piece of gum on the end, could usually clear a buck or so after an hour’s work. The grate’s gone I see.

    Either that, or collect bottles to return to the deli. Boy, some of the apt. supers sure gave me a hard time, guess I was horning in on their action. :)

  • Bill Woerner

    I’m really surprised nobody has mentioned Foffie’s son (the crazy dude with the huge afro who used to rant and rave up and down Montague. The rumor was always that he had a bad trip on acid and never recovered.

    I wonder if anyone remembers my family’s restaurant, Woerner’s (151 Remsen)? My great Grandfather started it as a deli down on Bridge St. back in 1938. It moved to 151 Remsen in 1971 and closed in 1994.

  • nabeguy

    I remember Kane ranting up and down Montague Street, and that definitely was due to one acid trip too many. He used to talk to the lampposts.

  • Brittany

    Does anybody else know anything about the Gargano family?

  • PineAppleStreet

    OLD MEXICO the best mexican food !! home made torillas… kick ass fajitas miss that spot!!! plymoth deli the only store with the old english forties and of course the cadman plaza diner came home drunk many times from the city to eat breakfast there 5 in the morning!!!wild fire! lol..being on montague 20 deep skating down montague to the circle..

  • nabeguy

    Brittany, what do you want to know? One of them is still in BH.

  • Richard Diehl

    Lived in the Heights 1977-84. Worked in all night deli in Clark St. arcade, remember it? Strippers from Wild Fyre club in and out of the place all night.