Above is quite an old photo of my father, Harry Silberman, who was a tailor from Romania.
The photo above shows Poppa (left) with one of his first bosses when he worked as a tailor in a factory loft in Brooklyn. Poppa later opened his own shop and dry cleaners in Bay Ridge.
But few people wear bespoke clothing anymore. Most people, well…
Joe the iceman came around our neighborhood in Bay Ridge with a big ice wagon. This was in the 1920s and early thirties when we had an icebox. Originally Joe had a horse and cart but afterward he had a truck. You would call down and say, “15 cents worth!”, or “25 cents worth!” He used a pick to cut off a block of ice then grab it with big tongs. He had a rubberized piece of material so he could carry the ice on his back and schlep it up the stairs. We were on the third floor. Joe was Italian and a very hard worker. But don’t worry that he lost his livelihood when refrigerators came along. Joe was the one who bought the building from my father.
I remember in the 1930s going to Coney Island in the summer. The subway ride was a nickel. Teenage boys would buy Eskimo Pies and ices and sell them on the beach out of big ice chests. They would go along the water’s edge where people bought ice cream. But the boys were competing with vendors who had stands on the boardwalk so the cops were forever chasing them away. The boys would run off, but when the coast was clear(!) they came back to sell more ice cream.