Posts Tagged ‘searching for the past’

Just back from a trip to Michigan, Ontario, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.

Now I know hubby and I are getting older because we tried to find his “roots” in Queens in NYC. We tracked down his school, P.S. 83, which was part of the Ravenswood area of what he thinks of as Astoria and what appears on some documents as Long Island City (they are adjacent). The old brown brick school, which was built in 1902, has been demolished and replaced by a new building.

The old school looked like this:

The new building (photo thanks to Google maps) looks like this:

From brown brick to . . . brown brick. According to Google, a residential treatment center called Phoenix House has its main location here, but I can’t confirm this for sure. The address numbers are quite confusing.

Rainey Park is next to the property. Hubby doesn’t remember the park, but rather a big playground. I wonder what it looked like when he went there. Today it is clearly a park. I looked up the history, and the park was acquired and named by the city in 1912! Maybe it seemed to extend the playground? Or maybe they used it as a playground?

I took this pic of the park looking out of the car window.

According to Google, as you look across the park you are looking across the East River to Roosevelt Island and beyond to Manhattan.

Hubby first attended school at PS 83 in 1960 and was only there a few years before his family moved to Michigan.

The more he saw places and thought about his childhood, the more my husband remembered. I started to wonder if it’s easier to remember your childhood if you lived in the same town for your whole childhood than if you experienced one or more dramatic moves. Or the other way around.

Hubby always said he grew up in a project, which was not something I saw growing up in Kalamazoo, so he wanted to see where the buildings were located. Lo and behold, they are still there–and people still live in the buildings.

There are 31 buildings of 6 and 7 stories. From here, hubby used to walk to school at PS 83 with the “big kids.” They stopped for candy on the way home at a little store.

If anybody knows anything about the history of the area, Ravenswood Houses, or P.S. 83, I would love to hear about it!


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