I’m returning to my childhood and seeing what my tired brain can remember. It won’t give me the teachers’ names from grade school since I have always been lousy with names, but I remember the names of my classmates.

I spent kindergarten one block from my house at the local public school, which is now called P.S. 209 Margaret Mead School. I played paddle ball in the schoolyard when I was older, but the courts are gone, replaced by fake grass and running paths. My memories include the smell of Elmer’s Glue, construction paper, and the sound of kids’ voices echoing in the long hallways. Happy memories twirl around in my brain. I see flashes of my mother walking me to school, and it might have been possible that she saw enough at that age to accompany me.

For first grade, my parents sent me to Yeshiva of Brooklyn. A depressing school consisting of two houses linked by a courtyard on Ocean Parkway. We played on the strip of land between the busy street of cars and the sidewalk of houses.

Ocean Parkway was where I rode my bike when I was older. Getting back to first grade, I hated the school. They taught us English, Hebrew, and Yiddish. The teachers and students were much more religious than my family, and I felt like an outsider. I refused to learn Hebrew and Yiddish, and my parents and the school assumed I had a learning disability. It was a preview of how stubborn I can be if something goes against what I want or what is right. One teacher was so mean to me that I had nightmares of her wig getting caught on the hook above the blackboard, like a fish caught by a hook. My parents removed me from this hellhole, and I was sent to Yeshivah Ohel Moshe.

I found this picture on Google, and Ohel Moshe hasn’t changed.

I see a traffic light has been installed. A good idea since I had to run across the busy street to catch the public bus. Did I mention I had to take two buses each way for 6 days a week? We had Sunday school. I waited forever for the buses in the rain and snow, and the commute took over an hour. We had school buses through 4th grade and then public transportation. I was proud of my bus pass. Yes, I’m one of those parents who told their children about their long trek when they complained about walking a few blocks to school.

“Yeshiva Ohel Moshe is a Bensonhurst-based, Orthodox elementary school that was opened in 1927. Under the leadership of the late Rabbi Eliyahu Machlis, Yeshivah Ohel Moshe was known for its “Open Door” policy when accepting students and congregants alike.” Wikipedia

I guess its open-door policy allowed me to attend. As soon as I switched schools, I did well and was at the top of my class, where I competed with the cute boy I liked. Our classes were small; we had 12 gives and close to 20 boys. The size fluctuated each year. We gained students after a public school strike, and many kids stayed after the strike finished. The school was religious but more lenient than the other school.

There was little bullying, except for one boy who looked dirty all the time, so people called him Shmutz, which means dirt in Yiddish. I refused to bully anyone and stood up to anyone poking fun at someone. I refused to call him Shmutz, even to my friends, until he got angry one day when I tagged him out in punch ball, ramming me into the fence. My finger got big and swollen. When I found out it was broken, Shmutz got in trouble. He never apologized but gave me ‘dirty’ looks, deserving the nickname.

My high school years were spent at Yeshivah University H.S. for Girls. I didn’t want to attend a girls’ school, but Yeshiva of Flatbush was too expensive, even though I got in. I met the snobby girls who later moved to Long Island and didn’t bother to acknowledge me. Not all the girls thought the world revolved around them, and I made good friends.

Do I see any of these friends? No. It wasn’t easy going to Yeshivah with all the restrictions, and I was happy to graduate and begin my life. I attended Boston University for a year, then switched to New York University, where I graduated. Later, I received an M.B.A. in Finance from Baruch College. I didn’t enjoy learning until my college years. I’ve always loved reading, but college opened new doors for me.

New York University is a quaint college in a bustling city. I had to commute by train, but it was worth the trip.


My earliest memory is trying to reach the window sill in the living room and saying that one day I’ll be tall enough. My next memory is when I was a few years old, maybe 3 or 4, and playing with my Barbie doll, using the radiator as her house. I always wanted a Ken doll, so Barbie had a friend, but my parents never bought me a second doll. I assumed it was too much money and better spent on clothing for my brother and me. I Googled old heating radiators but couldn’t find one with a door on the front, and I used the door as the door to Barbie’s house.

I remember my parents taking me to Marine Park, near Kings Plaza Shopping Center, where I later loved to shop with my friends. My mother sat on her folding chair at the park while I played with my father. I don’t remember what I did, but I loved my egg carton where I placed my little toys. Yes, a regular egg carton after we used the eggs. I’ve included a picture of Marine Park from 1965 since I found a few small albums in my drawer today.

I found a picture of my mother and me standing by the water in Sheepshead Bay. And yes, I had to wear those funny glasses for a few years to correct my left eye from drifting sideways. Thankfully, the eyeglasses were off by the time I began kindergarten.

I have few memories of my brother, who was 11 years older than me, but I remember loving him and hanging out with him in our apartment. If I couldn’t finish my food, he would take my leftovers. Since the apartment had two bedrooms, Neil slept in the foyer and gave me his bedroom after I was born. Later, I would paint this bedroom pink to match the dark pink carpeting. Now I know why pink isn’t my favorite color.

Below is a picture of Neil at the bay in 1966. He was a great photographer but not the person who had taken the picture.

The following picture is of me in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

My mother standing in front of our apartment building.

This photo shows my mother in front of the two-family house used for our temple and a glimpse of the next picture in the album of me in the living room.

I have one picture of my father munching on his breakfast.

The last picture is my grandfather, who had deserted my mother when he came to the U.S. I was afraid of him, and he still looks a bit scary.

Thank you for joining me on my journey down memory lane. These pictures were in a tiny album, and I hope to remember more after opening the other albums.


I’ve decided to search back through my memories and see what I remember of my childhood. I’ve spoken about my family and shared the most dramatic events on my blog. I will start at the beginning, at least as far back as my memories will take me.

First, I’d like to tell you about the neighborhood where I was born, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. “Sheepshead Bay was named for the sheepshead, an edible fish found in the bay’s waters. Originally an extension of the town of Gravesend to the west, Sheepshead Bay was a secluded fishing and farming community early in its history.” Google comes in handy.

Sheepshead Bay was a peaceful place to live. I loved watching the fishing boats return in the afternoon with their catch, displaying the fish on the ground near their ships, the smell of fish wafting in the air. Swans and ducks filled the outlet between Sheepshead Bay and the other side leading to Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach. Countless times I crossed the footbridge to reach Manhattan Beach, a much smaller beach than Brighton Beach, but I found it much prettier.

Lundy’s Restaurant is the most famous landmark in the neighborhood. “Lundy’s was founded in 1926 by Irving Lundy as a restaurant on the waterfront of Sheepshead Bay; five years later, the original building was condemned to make way for a redevelopment of the bay. The present building opened in 1934 or 1935 and closed in 1979.” It is now replaced by a mini shopping mall and restaurants.

Shopping malls and condos have replaced the small stores and restaurants, taking away the neighborhood’s unique and quaint look. But nothing has taken away from the beauty of the bay and fishing boats. Although small cruise shops now line up along the water searching for people to take day trips around the bay.

My last picture shows how the neighborhood has changed, where you can see the taller buildings encroaching on the original shops. You can’t stop progress since it finally finds the forgotten areas.

Thank you for joining my blogging challenge. Please visit my fellow RRBC bloggers at https://ravereviewsbookclub.wordpress.com/rrbc-member-chat/




The river flows black.
The sky lights up.
Red, orange, and yellow bursts.
Then I hear the explosion.
Loud and deafening. 
My ears ring.
The bridge is in flames.
The beautiful Brooklyn Bridge.
Pieces of metal land in the water.
Cries fill the cold air. 
I’m lost in the frightened crowd.
Someone takes my hand.
I’m pulled to a building.
The door is locked and bolted.
I follow him from building to building.
Until we find an unlocked door.
Sounds of sirens follow us inside.
The door slams shut behind us.
Lines of cars face us.
I look up to see his face.
He turns away.
He leads me down a ramp.
I dig in my heels.
I must see his face.
He turns to me…
I wake up.
I still wonder…about his face.