Roseville Tour, Part 2


I detoured over to Myrtle Avenue and entered Pigtail Alley, which I remembered as a cool, slightly mysterious little byway that was the only real alley in the neighborhood.  Today the access to Roseville Avenue was walled up, and as I rounded the corner to head to Sussex Avenue, I saw that it was now cut in half by Rte. 280.  The Roseville Avenue School is still to the left.  I retreated to the accompaniment of two yapping but fenced-in dogs.

Remember Grunings?  Well, hold on to the memory, because all that's left of it now is a lot suitable, apparently, only for parking and dumping.  How many memories of this remarkable soda fountain?  And I can still see Patti Kluss darting into the doorway and up to her apartment. To the left, Tilmes the stationer is long gone, apparently swallowed up by the expanded, renamed Roseville Deli.  To the right, the National Newark and Essex Bank is now an abandoned medical office.  Across the street the Rexall drug store is now a chicken & pizza joint.


The next block featured the fortress-like replacement for the elegant old Second Precinct.  And after Sixth Street, on the south side of Orange Street: Nothing.  I can't count all the businesses haunting that stretch: the hi-fi store; the German bakery; Reed's Confectionery; Vulcania's Restaurant; the pet shop; Belfiore's Grocery (Bubbles'); the hardware store at Third; the Esso station at Second; the Italian ice/Halloween store.  How great was our neighborhood?

On the north side, here's the corner of Orange and Third streets.  On the right is the old Rogol's Market.  Old Max always insisted that the many cats in his store never pissed on the bags stored under the produce stands, but of course they did.  To its left is the now walled-up site of Lucy's Luncheonette, where you could get a meatball sandwich and a plate of ziti for 75 cents, and for another 15 cents a six-ounce bottle of Coke for which Lucy gave you a little glass.  And further left was Frank's Barber Shop. Besides being a barber, word in the neighboorhood was that Frank was, um, a "friend of ours." 


I needed some cheering up, so I headed for Grandma Crowley's house, 204 No. Sixth Street.  I spent the best part of my youth here.  The balcony had been removed, and the same horrible vinyl siding addded (so prevalent through the neighborhood) but it still held innumerable great memories.  I hope I can buy it back some day.

Finally, I went across the park to Sacred Heart Cathedral, if only to remind myself that there is still great beauty in our old stamping grounds. 

So, can you go home again? 
Yes, but don't forget to squint.