Monday, May 16, 2011

Where The Streets Have Two Names

Bensonhurst Brooklyn is proud of their natives. In my old part of the hood one of the most notable residents was actor Vincent Gardenia


You would find him early in the morning getting bagels and coffee and walking his dog.
If you honked your car horn or called out to him you were always greeted with a smile and a wave.
If you stopped him to engage in a bit of conversation he was always gracious and friendly.




There are some really lovely homes around Mr. Gardenia's boulevard




A few blocks over is a street named for (in my opinion) a much less worthy person. There was a bit of a battle over honoring Columbus considering his less than humane treatment of just about everyone but in the end the old timers won. I take pleasure in the fact that his street is mostly commercial and far from pretty.


In fact it's mostly known for being impossible to navigate. You might as well try with three ships and a prayer from the Queen. I got caught up on Cris's street. The truck on the right is double parked. The truck in the middle is trying to squeeze through. The car coming in the opposite direction is oblivious (a well known way of driving in Brooklyn) and just kept coming. Lots of honking and middle finger exercises later we all proceeded on our merry way.


If only someone would discover a new route to the bakery.

33 comments:

Jackie said...

I saw the picture and knew I knew him from somewhere - it's Mr Mushnik! Little Shop of Horrors is one of my favourite favourite films ever!

The blue sky in the bottom photo is amazing - so beautiful. And those blossoms! I want to see them, I need more colour in my life (it's very grey here at the moment).

Sylvia K said...

Fun, interesting captures for the day, Dianne! And Jackie is right, that intense blue sky is awesome! Have a great week! Hugs to Hope!!

Sylvia

Mike said...

The St. Louis area has been doing the 'extra street name thing' for awhile. Add that to the fact that street names do get changed offically and old people (like me) still refer to streets by their former names and things can get real confusing.

Tracy said...

Interesting...all for a street name? Umm, not certain I'd want a street named after me!
The blossom trees are beautiful!

Ron said...

Well, being the star-struck person that I am, I'm LOVIN' this post, Dianne!

OH WOW....Vincent Gardenia??????

HOW faaaaaaabulous! And you're not going to believe this, but a few weeks ago I rewatched the movie Moonstruck, with non other than VG!!! He and Olympia were my two favorite actors in the film. I may be mistaken, but I think Moonstruck was his last film. And a brilliant film it was!

*slap* "SNAP OUT OF IT!"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Wonderful photos, dear lady! And what a beautiful neighborhood you grew up in!

Thanks for sharing....X

Pagan Sphinx said...

Hahaha. You always make me laugh! I LOVED this post. Vincent was obviously very much at home in his neighborhood.

xxoo
Gina

Hilary said...

I love how the streets worked out to suit the characters for which they're named. It sounds like Mr. Gardenia was a warm sort who appreciated his fans. Nice to know.

Kay L. Davies said...

How delightful about Vincent Gardenia. There's nothing worse than people who let their jobs go to their heads. LOL
And it looks like Columbus got the street his personality deserved.
My youngest brother was born when my parents were contemplating retirement, so he grew up spending winters with them in a Mexican fishing village. He wasn't very old when he came home from school one day and told them "Christopher Columbus discovered North America in three shrimp-boats."
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

HermanTurnip said...

I could never live in a crowded city. It's just not in my DNA. I'm not wired for such places and would quickly go bonkers. It's neat to look at, but at the same time it makes me squirm. Weird... Heh.

Linda Reeder said...

Love your descriptions of the hood.

Grayquill said...

Did you make it to the bakery? I hope so. I love bakeries way too much.

ladyfi said...

That last road looks congested! Lovely view of your neighbourhood.

Cloudia said...

nice east coast post-



Warm Aloha from Waikiki

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Kay Dennison said...

Wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy cool!!!!

Matt-Man said...

Ha. Nicely done contrast. Thanks for calling in yesterday hot stuff. Cheers Di!!

Shrinky said...

Ooh, what a vibrant place to live, I'd love to take a stroll along those streets!

jabblog said...

It sounds as though you have to be tough and strong-willed to drive in Brooklyn:-)

Jay said...

I remember that dude from the "Death Wish" movies.

Trisha said...

I think the double names could be a bit confusing to non-natives! At least they have both names posted. Around here, the highways have names and numbers and usually the only thing posted is the number. That makes finding things a bit difficult!

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

ah yes, the honoring of people with street names...

Daryl said...

Love it ... I cant wait til you come visit me ... I will expect a follow up post with clever photos like these!

CrystalChick said...

I was just watching old episodes of 'All in the Family' on t.v. and one of them was when Irene and Frank Lorenzo moved next door to the Bunkers. And I adore 'Moonstruck'!

Hope the treats at the bakery were worth the wait!

Reb said...

Named roads are a pain. Especially when your city keeps changing them. Great photos.

Linda said...

Aren't cursing and middle finger exercises the most popular form of communication in Brooklyn??

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I first met Vince when I was an appentice in Summer Stock...We did a play together--T. Williams, "A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE". He was a youngish Character Actor then----and Sooo Good! A "natural", as they say, and a dear man. Then, he played Betty's husband on "ALL IN THE FAMILY", a little more than 20 years later....He wasn't that happy doing a sit-com. I think he would have preferred doing Broadway or a Drama Series, if he had had more to do. I LOVE that he was a neighbor of yours. A Good Guy, for sure! How GREAT that they named a street after him!

Life Ramblings said...

you've such a beautiful neighbourhood. i love those blossom trees.

Eden said...

Beautiful photos and thank you for sharing info about the place.

Have a nice day.

Micky-T said...

We had a "Mr. Powell" in our neighborhood that was always working on his yard and always had a cheery hello.

I was the lucky neighbor he lived next to me.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I had to link to the wiki on Vincent Gardenia, but when I read his filmography I remembered him.

I do remember good old Cristofer! The first time we RVed to the East (in the fall to Vermont to do the leaf-peeping thing) we were quite surprised at the huge celebrations, school closures, and family parties on Columbus Day. It is not a big deal on the West Coast at all, just comes and goes. When I was in grade school we did something in school on that day, but they don't even do that anymore, rightly so as you point out.

nitebyrd said...

*sigh* Love your pictures, they remind me of home!

christopher said...

You are always so funny.

I'd love to see your follow up if you ever try driving down the narrow streets of Greenpoint, in Brooklyn, one day.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I know this neighborhood well!

Mare said...

Columbus was a barbarian, and it is overdue to recall his celebration day.
Amen, sister!!