Abraham Lincoln High School

Memories of growing up in Coney Island in the 1930s and '40s and moving to Luna Park Houses in 1962
Born in 1930 in Coney Island, Frieda Schwelke and her family lived on West 36th, West 29th, and West 32nd Streets.  In February 1962, she moved with her husband and son to Luna Park Houses when it first opened, and lived there through 1970. Schwelke...
Content type: Oral History Item
Bus driver for 35 years on the B36 route and the shuttle bus inside Sea Gate
Born in 1953, Fred Stern recalls growing up on West 32nd Street in Coney Island, in a house next to Sam's Knishes, and going to the beach and spookhouses in the amusement area. In 1964, his family moved to neighboring Bath Beach, where he still...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up in Coney Island Houses in the 1950s and early '60s
Alan Kirschenbaum grew up in Coney Island Houses, where he was among the original tenants of Coney’s first superblock high-rise housing project.  "Growing up in Coney Island Houses and in Coney Island was a really wonderful experience" he says. "And...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up in Brighton Beach in the 1950s and '60s
Rena Stutman Rice shares stories of growing up in Brighton Beach in the 1950s and 60s. Born in 1946, she lived on Brightwater Court and later on Ocean Parkway. A clip from her father's home movie of her as a baby appears in the documentary The Boys...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of living in Luna Park Houses in the 1960s and '70s
Arlene Oken Straus shares memories of living in Luna Park Houses as a teen in the 1960s and as a young wife and mother in the 1970s. Her family moved to the Mitchell Lama co-op from the Bronx and was among the original tenants in 1962. The complex...
Content type: Oral History Item
Groundbreaking filmmaker grew up in Sea Gate and on Mermaid Avenue
Filmmaker Joyce Chopra grew up in Coney Island and Sea Gate in the 1930s and ‘40s. Her grandparents were the owners of Kalina's Baths on Surf Avenue at West 33rd Street. Chopra describes how she got the acting bug at Lincoln High School while...
Content type: Oral History Item
Mother of professional boxing star Nikita Ababiy
Olga Martynchuk is the mother of 22-year-old American professional boxing star, Nikita Ababiy, whose nickname is White Chocolate. She talks about raising a boxing champion whose pro record is an amazing 10-0, with 6 KO's. Nikita attended PS 100, IS...
Content type: Oral History Item
Lifelong Brighton Beach resident shares stories of Brighton Beach then and now
Born in New York City, Amparo Garcia, 66, has lived in Brighton Beach all her life. Her parents emigrated from Spain in 1949 and because her father loved the beaches of his native Cádiz, he decided the place to live in New York was Brighton Beach. ...
Content type: Oral History Item
Longtime Sea Gate resident and watercolor artist who teaches at Seaside Innovative Senior Center
Jeffrey Berman, 77, is a Coney Island native who has lived in Sea Gate since establishing his first artist's studio here when he was in his 30s. He recounts how he got interested in art and studied drawing at the Art Students League for 2-1/2 years...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up a block from the ocean and being head of Lincoln High School's Art Squad
Sheila Levrant de Bretteville is a graphic designer, artist and educator who graduated in 1959 from Lincoln High School, where she was mentored by Leon Friend, the much lauded chair of Lincoln's art department. She recalls her work as head of the...
Content type: Oral History Item