Back in the late 1960's, early 1970's
The same stretch of Smith Street today
Though grainy, one can see that the four buildings have not changed much. This is no doubt due in part to the fact that #349, #351 and 353 fall within the Carroll Gardens Landmark district, the smallest in all of New York City.
What is more fascinating are the commercial spaces and the former businesses that occupied them then and now.
349 Smith Street
No doubt, many remember Joe's Superette and its famous prosciutto and rice balls. Sadly, after 50 years at the same location, the business closed in 2011 when second owner Leo Coladonato passed away.
Avlee, a new Greek restaurant just opened up there last month.
351 Smith Street
When I moved into the neighborhood in 1985, Venuti's, a small hardware store, was still open. Mr. Venuti, a heavy set elderly man, operated the business with his son and his daughter-in law. (I believe her name was Michelle, but I could be mistaken). I remember the owner most for his custom of pouring a shot of rather harsh brandy to all his customers at Christmas time. I must admit to leaving the store with quite a buzz once, when my mother and I stopped in to buy a few of the wooden ornaments Mr. Venuti had added to his inventory during the holidays.
I still have them.
Mr. Venuti and his son passed away one after the other just a few years later and the store closed.
Ting Hua, a Chinese restaurant, has been operating here for quite a few years.
353 Smith Street
When Frank's Italian Delicatessen opened two doors down from Joe's Superette, it created a bit of a stir because, from what I gathered from neighborhood old-timers, Frank at one time worked for Joe, Joe's wife Ann and their two sons, Joseph and Steven. When Frank opened his business so close to his former boss' place and competed with Joe's Superette, many were cross at him.
At one point, Frank's moved to the corner of Smith Street and 2nd Street, across from the subway station, where it is still to this day.
A Korean deli has occupied the storefront at number 353 for a very long time now. Though the deli has remained virtually unchanged for the last decades, the Korean owners have changed at least three times since I have moved here.
355 Smith Street
A laundromat has operated at this address for a number of years. I must admit that I don't really remember what was there before. It would appear that in the late 1960's, it was either an office or a social club.
Does anyone remember more about these stores? Its owners? I would love to hear your memories and stories about them and other businesses in the neighborhood.