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How Can You Tell if Someone Grew Up in Your Town in NJ?

If you listen to my show you know that I’m very proud to have grown up in Union City New Jersey.  Everything that’s made me who I am comes from my time spent there and it’s something I look forward to passing on to my children.

New Exhibit Features Union City
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Whenever I talk about Union City on the radio or at a comedy club, I never fail to get calls or attract a crowd. Last Friday my friend Gene Nagel also a Union City native turned me onto a Facebook page called “I Grew Up In Union City.”  Here’s how I know I grew up in Union City (taken from their Facebook page) Have fun and enjoy the trip down memory lane  How do you know you grew up in your town?


YOU KNOW YOU GREW UP IN UNION CITY IF…

1. When you hear the name “Musto”, you think “Mayor”.

2. Your Mom bought all your new clothes on Bergenline Avenue. The rest were hand-me-downs!

3. You lived within a few blocks of both an ice cream parlor and a Catholic church.

4. Your parents had the Hudson Dispatch (aka the Hudson Disgrace) delivered-and you knew the “paper boy” or were a paper boy.

5. Every day, the milkman, the bread man and a slew of ice cream trucks made stops on your street.

6. Your parents forbade you to walk past the Hudson Burlesque.

7. Thanksgiving Day meant the Union Hill/Emerson game, and only THEN the turkey dinner.

8. You knew someone in the cast of The Passion Play or Veronica’s Veil or you were in the Play.

9. You went swimming at First Street Park and/or the pool (with surf!) at Palisades Park.

10. You remember the smell of the Hudson River when the wind blew from the east, and the smell of Secaucus when it came from the west.

11. You can recall the number of at least three Public Service busses and their destinations.

12. You had a family doctor, and he made house calls!

13. There was an embroidery factory in your neighborhood.

14. At least one “penny candy” store was on your route home from school.

15. Your street was home to a retinue of stray cats.

16. You know all the rules to street games such as Hide Go Seek, Stickball and Johnny On The Pony.

17. You had to go in when the streetlights came on.

18. You new you were close to home when you saw the top of the Monastery from the Turnpike.

20. There were only two ways to get into the Monastery. Either a whole underneath the fence which would be on every block or over the top.

21. Your block would have a Block Party and the street was closed down for the day.

22. In the summer kids would open up fire hydrants and that was how you cooled off.

24. You were in the Memorial Day Parade down Kennedy Boulevard.

25. The Best Pizza in town was either Christina’s or Summit Pizza

26. Your Favorite Bakery was Margie’s of course.

27. You went to P.A.L. in the summer

28. You hung out on your roof ( Tar Beach) to catch a Tan

29. You would go food shopping at the 8th street Shop-rite and all you could hear were the bowling balls above your head.

30. You would Play football with your friends in the monastery .

31. You knew how many times to run around the resevouir or the monastery that would equal a mile.

32. You knew who your neighbors were.

33. Roosevelt stadium was the place to go to. Concerts, Carnivals, Fire works.

34. The Bottom of the Barrel , The Spot, Johnny Bean’s and The Ichi Ban were familiar Watering Holes.

33. Your Mom use to take you to Mickey Finn’s and you use to make fun of the lady who would stand in this cubicle high in the middle store.

34. Having a treat is when you use to walk down to the Woolworth’s on summit ave. and have an Ice Cream Soda and a Hot Dog at the long counter with the swivel red seats.

35. Going to a big dept. store was going to “Two Guys”.

36. If you wanted a really good Hot Dog and car service you would go to Tippy’s in Jersey City.

37. Your Parents would pack all of the kids in the car and go to the Route 3 Drive In.

38. Some hang outs in Union City were, 1st Park, 17th st. Park, Gilmore School Yard, Pigeon Park, Acme Parking Lot, Corner of 14th and Central, The Monastery, Robert Waters.

39. Your Parents would have to rent a parking space in an outdoor garage because there were no driveways.

40. You can find the best Cuban food on Bergenline Ave.

41. A Sunday out would be taking your family to Hudson County Park, Playing Ball, Barbecuing , and of course renting the Paddle Boats.

42. Your Parents would take you to Holthausens ( The Union City Macy’s) to see Santa.

43. Uptown eateries for the High School kids were, The Blimpie Base, Hoagie House, Carvel and Termini’s and Dairy Queen by Emerson.

44. Downtown eateries for the High School kids were The Yellow Submarine, Marie’s Deli ( great Roast Beef) ,Dairy Queen and the Bodega on 17th and New York Ave. ($ 1.25 ham and cheese sandwich)

45. You had to at least attend one event at either the Italian Community Center, Chevals, or The Claradon.

46. Everybody who is anybody would either buy or receive engraved glasses from the glass blowers on 8th st. and Central Ave.

47. You had to at least attend one dance at Li Ceo Cubano.

48. You could not walk around St. Michael’s Monastery without stepping in Dog Crap.

49. The Recreation Dept. would close down 41st st for an Art’s and Crafts Fair and sometimes bring in rides like “The Whip”

50. No where on earth could you get better Italian Bread than Central Bakery.

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