Posts Tagged ‘Flatbush Avenue’

“Flatbush Avenue and Nevins Street,” 1918

December 5, 2011

Early 20th century Brooklyn offered lots of ways to get around: elevated trains, trolley cars, and automobiles, as this postcard, stamped 1918, shows.

Is this another view of the same intersection circa 1925? It’s from the Brooklyn Historical Society’s wonderful blog.

The lawless district of Pigtown, Brooklyn

December 8, 2010

All Brooklyn neighborhoods should have as colorful a name as Pigtown.

This poor part of Flatbush seems to have been centered south of Empire Boulevard between Prospect Park and New York Avenue, where Prospect Lefferts Gardens and East Flatbush are today.

A lowland of roaming pigs, goats, and shanties, Pigtown had a lot of crime. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle archive (where the story above comes from) has clip after clip of arrests made there in the late 19th century.

The New York Times archive contains some gruesome stories of gangster murders in Pigtown, which was populated by Italian immigrants.

Like so many other rough neighborhoods in New York, Pigtown was cleaned up as the 20th century progressed.

[Above photo, from the NYPL digital collection: Flatbush Avenue and Maple Avenue, about 1920, after Pigtown was smoothed over]

One family who remained there until the 1950s: the Giulianis. Yep, Rudy lived the first years of his life in what was once Pigtown until his parents decamped to Long Island.

Nineteenth century Manhattan had a Pigtown too—a hardscrabble neighborhood known as the Piggery District.

Was Alfred E. Neuman from Brooklyn?

October 31, 2008

This goofy, big-eared kid sure looks like the Mad magazine mascot. According to Completely Mad, the kid’s mug was commonly used in ads across the U.S. in the early 1900s. Mad’s founders made the image their own in 1954, a year after the magazine was born.

The Ritter Painless Dental Co. stood at Flatbush and Third Avenue in Brooklyn. This photo looks like it was taken around 1910.