1950 - 1959

Memories of growing up at Bensonhurst's Termini's Bakery and riding Coney Island's Astroland Rocket
Richard Termini's earliest memories are of playing under the El on New Utrecht Avenue in Bensonhurst, where his family operated Termini's Bakery. Founded by his grandfather Giuseppe 'Joe' Termini in Manhattan in the early years of the 20th century,...
Content type: Oral History Item
Children enjoying cotton candy in the cool shade below the Boardwalk, 1950s. The space below the Boardwalk served as a shaded refuge to beachgoers until 1994, when sand was pumped below to serve as a storm surge barrier.
Content type: Collection Item
A balloon salesman on the corner of Stillwell Avenue and Surf Avenue, 1950s.
Content type: Collection Item
Brooklynite who posed for a now iconic 1950's NY Daily News pin-up photo on Coney Island Beach
In 1954, Lois McLohon posed for a Daily News photographer as a bathing beauty against the backdrop of Coney Island beach and its famous skyline.  When the photo appeared as a "cheesecake photo" in the paper's centerfold,  she and her friends thought...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of working a bread route on Coney Island's Mermaid Avenue in the 1950's and '60s
Charles Guariglia's father, Frank, was a "bread man" who delivered Stuhmer's kosher bread to the Jewish delicatessens and shops along Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island from 1947 to 1973. From age 9 until he was a freshman in college, Charles...
Content type: Oral History Item
Artist who grew up in Coney Island and whose artwork celebrates his Mohawk iron worker ancestry
Born in 1942 and raised in Coney Island, Native American artist Richard Glazer-Danay is of Kahnawake (Caughnawaga) Mohawk and Jewish descent. His family first came to Coney Island with circuses and Wild West shows in the late 1800's and early 1900's...
Content type: Oral History Item
Reflections on running Wilensky Hardware, a 100-year-old family business on Mermaid Avenue
Wilensky Hardware on Mermaid Avenue is an anchor of the community and the oldest family-owned business in Coney Island. The store survived a century of urban renewal, arson, hurricanes, crime waves, and the civic neglect that led to the closing of...
Content type: Oral History Item
Collector of 1950's and '60s memorabilia whose Bensonhurst home is known as the Statue House
Steve Campanella is the owner of what's known as "The Bensonhurst Statue House" on 85th Street in Brooklyn.  The private home is locally famous for his collection of "life size personalities" outside as well as collectibles inside the home and...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of riding the Steeplechase Horses, Human Roulette Wheel and Parachute Jump 70 years ago
Born and raised in Astoria, Queens, Chris Cuomo, 78, shares memories of going to Steeplechase Park in the late 1940's and early '50s.  "Every summer, my mom would take us and half the neighborhood down on the train to Coney Island, and she'd pack a...
Content type: Oral History Item
Calligrapher recounts his artistic journey from China's Guangdong Province to Brooklyn's Bensonhurst
This interview was conducted and recorded in Cantonese Chinese by (Sylvia) Ching Man Wong. Transcription by Ching Man Wong and Keenan Yutai Chen with English translation by Keenan Yutai Chen. Read the transcript and translation below:...
Content type: Oral History Item