Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In 1966, The Carroll Gardens Fish Market Was...




It is amazing how much information about Carroll Gardens' past one can be extracted from a 1966 parish 'souvenir journal.'
Joe Alameda of Perfect Corner was kind enough to lend me his copy of a St. Stephens' journal, commemorating its 100th birthday on April 23rd, 1966.
On the last few pages, there are wonderful congratulatory messages, some from local stores.
Above is the one from Sal Cusimano's Fish Store at 359 Court Street. Well, the storefront is still home to a fish market, though Mr. Cusimano is long gone.
Does anyone remember him? When did he sell the business? Can any native Carroll Gardener give us some more information.

There are many other such ads in the journal, so in the next few weeks, I will match them up with photos of what the stores look like today, 43 years later.

Thanks, Joe, for letting me borrow this great document. I'll take good care of it.

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Maryann B. said...

Hi Katia,
My mother used to buy fish at Sal's three times a week when I a child, and I remember him well. He was a friendly, jolly man, and he always told me that I should eat fish because it was "brain food" and it would make me very smart. His wife worked in the store with him. Sal sold a wide variety of different types of fish & seafood, and it was always the freshest, cleanest fish you could buy without catching it yourself...something that is hard to come by these days. (This was during the heyday of the Fulton Fish Market in lower Manhattan.) I especially remember going to Sal's with my mother or father the day before Christmas Eve to buy all sorts of seafood...he had everything you would want for the traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner. He also sold (I don't know why) little booklets on the Lives of the Saints which were lined up against the wall over the seafood displays! I seem to remember that Sal might have had some health issues, and the store was closed at some point during the 60s (he had owned the store for decades). Sadly, the fish store that occupies the space today doesn't live up to Sal's freshness standards, so I don't shop there.

Anonymous said...

I am not a fish expert but I do buy it once a week from the Carroll Garden Fish Market and cook it myself. I find it generally really good. The shop is very clean, even if you look behind the counters ECT. The owners seem to have great pride in what they sell. I find them open about telling me what I want to know about freshness and they have fish clearly labebel "wild" and "farmed". I try to buy wild varieties and get good reviews from those who I serve it to. Prices have even come down in the last few weeks. I buy salomon, blue fish, bass, cod,various sole and more with great results.

Kelly said...

Maryann B.
I knew I could count on you to give us some great story about Mr. Sal. A big thank you!

The owner seems to have changed recently and the store has improved vastly. I agree. It is very clean and I have started going back there in the last few months.
Just bought mussels in there on Friday for a dinner party.
They were great.

Unknown said...

Sal was my husband's uncle. Sal died in 1988. I used to walk my son by uncle Sal, 2 or 3 times a week. He was always cooking something delicious in the back of the store. He was the kindest and gentle man.