Remembering a white working class neighborhood of the mid twentieth century
A commenter at The Thinking Housewife tells of a reunion of people who grew up in a St. Louis working class neighborhood in the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s. He describes a way of life that is now vanished:
Grocery stores, bakeries, meat markets, confectionaries, drug stores, a farmer’s market, clothing stores, hat shops, jewelry stores, medical and dental offices, barber shops, beauty shops, hardware stores, corner taverns, city parks, a swimming pool, a library, churches, schools, movie theatres, and places of employment all stood within those neighborhoods. Virtually everything they needed could be found within walking distance from where they lived. Everyone walked everywhere.
A reader writes:
I was struck by this very same thing this weekend. I grew up for half of my childhood in Forest Hills, Queens, NY. I moved there with my family in 1977 when I was ten years old and left in 1987 when I was twenty. I hadn’t been back until this weekend for twenty-five years. While on its face the old neighborhood has not changed too much, the demographics and the “vibe” has changed considerably. When I was growing up, Forest Hills was predominantly Jewish with more working class Italians, Irish and German as you moved outwards away from the wealthier sections of Forest Hills Gardens. It is now heavily, heavily Asian. And when I say Asian I don’t just mean Chinese and such. But tons of Indians, Indonesians and a sprinkling of Hispanics. What white people are left is a few old Jewish holdouts whose homes will no doubt be bought by Asians and soon as they die off.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 27, 2012 04:32 PM | Send