Street Divide

michael - WPB, Florida
Entered on February 9, 2009
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: community, place

STREET DIVIDE, There is a street in Brooklyn named Eastern Parkway that intersects with another street named Utica Ave. On the south side was comprised mostly of a Jewish life style. where i was raised. To the opposite north side was the Catholic church of my faith. Never having any religious instruction in early and late adolesence led me closer to the Jewish life style.My only dealings with the Church was crossing over Eastern Parkway that in a way divided my Gemini twin personality. Just crossing from south to north changed my thought process. The Sunday mass and the impressions left from the sounds of this great gothic Cathedral left me with a form of a transformation of being. With the confusion WW2 and with little knowledge of religion I became curious about many aspects of the church. As a young man it appeared to me from the look and feel of a mostly an Irish parish, caused mixed emotions of youth, love, and, desire. Being an Italian American I felt i didn’t fit in since there was a gap between the two nationalities in the 40s, when I had little knowledge of religion. With heads bowed, hands clapsed kneeling in prayer,the Irish girls with their pure white lace gloves and veils covering a portion of there faces were most intriiguing.This was a constant reminder of what i thought was Americana. This led me to persue the Christian faith. The War films of the 40s were also instrumental in swaying my thoughts, as they were filled with rereligion. Judaism was also calling me back to the south side because, there was an indescribable depth to the Jewish life style which lingered on and remained. Eastern Parkway was a six lane Brooklyn throughfare seperated by a concrete island.It is lined with trees as far as you can see with an archway that could rival any french arc de trumph type monument. Unknowingly it actually seperated my life. On the south side of the parkway was a small candy store which sold mostly newspapers, and a concotion called an egg cream comprised of seltser water a dash of milk and choclate syurp. This and other little things like waiting for the arrival of various news papers was the a highlight of the evening. People mostly men just talked and waited for night edition news papers. Bundeled in twine the papers were thrown from trucks leaving a unique thud like sound that somehow eletricfied the night while delivering the unknown news.Newspaper communication was most important before the advent of tv. the area was so lit up it looked like a night baseball game. This was highlited by Dewbrows Cafeteria probably the most famous Cafeteria in Brooklyn in the 40s and 50s. This was a time not to be forgotton of just hanging out at night. All these random thoughts sometime come together that makes for dreams of days gone by.The Jewish south side of the street that divided my life still calls to me in thoughtful moments.