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Annabel Short

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I love this website! My uncle moved to 31-62 29th in the mid 1940s, and my parents soon followed and moved into the mirror image building, 31-74. I attended PS 5, leaving in 1959. Four of us then went on to HCHS for junior high.
I have lots of stories about Asroria. I walked up Broadway to the BMT to go to school for 6 years. My area was mainly Italian (Sicilian), some Irish and several Jewish families. The was a synagogue on Crescent St. There was also a hill there on a vacant lot called Dead Man’s hill. We would sled on it when it snowed.
On Broadway there was several pizzerias, a deli and Walken’s bakery. My Dad was Paul Walken’s attorney. They made great Hungarian cheesecake (among other things yummy). He had 3 sons who modeled – one was named Christopher – he became a very well known actor.
There was a movie theatre also on Broadway where all the kids went Saturdays, a grocery store where I did the shopping for my Mom (A&P?) and a Woolworth that burned down in a massive 5 alarm blaze on a day I was home sick. I watched the whole thing from my bedroom window including when the roof caved in.
So many stories!!! Such a great place to grow up,

I was born in the Boulevard Hospital 1952, and grew up with my parents, then my Grandparents in two different Chinese Hand Laundry’s. 31st Ave,/ Newtown road?? and 31-07 31 Ave. They were great days of stickball and PS5 schoolyard strikebox. I want to post a couple of class pics from PS5,(1957-1964) hoping to reconnect with classmates. I went to PS 10,(1964-1966) then off to Brooklyn Tech.

Hmm, couldn’t paste?? Can I email to someone to post on the site. I FB on a few of the Astoria Groups.

Hi – please feel free to send photos for sharing on this website. My email is annabel (at) Many thanks for your comment! Annabel

Hello Annabel Short. I was born in 1950 and raised until I was 30 years old. My husband and I bought a house in Malverne, NY and lived there for 30 years. Eight years ago we sold our home and bought a home in Matthews, North Carolina.

I lived at 30-30 30th Street which was next door to PS 5’s boys schoolyard. I went to PS 5, JHS 126 and William Cullen Bryant HS. Up the block was Saint Demetrios Greek School and 30th Drive Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox School.

I miss my childhood in Astoria. We had Astoria Park, Astoria Pool, Steinway Street and many nice stores in those days. Parents would sit outside of the apartment buildings and watch each neighbors children. Everybody cared about everyone. Children played outside games and were always active. The good old days. Computers are good to have but not spend hours on them. Texting is good at times but people should use their voice.

What do you think about living in the United States of America after growing up in England?

I know Frankie from the neighborhood back in the 60’s & early 70’s. Just like him I’m a St Gab’s graduate class of 73. I appreciate his talent, he use to cut my brohter’s hair(RIP). I hope to see him soon!

Great project and good luck.

I moved to Astoria in 1996. On 30th avenue back then; “NYSC” at the corner in Steinway was a Loews movie theater. I saw “Titanic” there. “Grand Cafe” was a Greek restaurant. “Flo” was a few tiny stores – one sold beauty supplies. “Avenue Cafe” was an ethnic deli/market w/ blue/white/red stripes ran by elderly folks. “The Chicken Place” was a fruit/vegie stand. Where once was “Akit” was Lollypop Candy Store where I used to buy my metro cards. An indian couple was the owner and I sometimes see them walking about. “Ovelia” was a small hardware store. “Gowasabi” was a nail salon w/ wide arched windows. The newer building on 19 Newtown av. was a used car sales lot. “Rite Aid” on 32nd st was a Genovese and there was a huge fabric supplies store on that block. “Athens cafe” was the main weekend hang out. . I wish I had pictures. Please post if you have any..

When I lived at 31-15 30 Ave. in the 50’s there was a Genovese drug store right across the street. Is it still there? There was also a local bar (mostly Irish) on every corner. We used to play stickball at PS-5 and punch-ball with a “spaldeen” on 34th st. every day.

Hey Richard, I used to play punch ball and stick ball their too,
also under bridge that led to Astoria Park.
I went to P.S. 5 from 1946 to 1952, then went to J.H.S. 126 and
then William Cullen Bryant High School.

Thank you so much for these vivid memories of 30th Avenue. It seems the Loews movie theater was well-loved. If I get hold of photographs of 30th Avenue in the past I will certainly post them here.

When I was about the age of 10 or 11 my friends and I went to see “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” at the Loew’s Triboro Movie Theatre. The manager asked me and three girlfriends to stand in the lobby and welcome Bette Davis and Joan Crawford to the theatre. Then they stood onstage and answered any questions the audience had. It was exciting. Too sad that the theatre was torn down in the 1970’s. It was a beautiful, historical building.

The Brazilian guy who owns the wine shop next to the sushi place – the one that has frequent tastings, around 34th or 35th, on the right side of 30th Ave looking north.


I reccomend interviewing the owners of Bagelberry on 30th ave between 31st and 32nd st. This is one of my favorite places on 30th ave!

Thank you for creating this site, it is wonderful.

I really enjoyed visiting you site. I was born is Astoria in 1946 at Astoria General Hospital. I lived over the Army/Navy store on 30th Ave between 31st and 32nd Streets. It later became the “Big Bundle” laundry. I currenly live in NM but it’s fun to see 30th Ave. today. I lived in Astoria until 1967 or so. Thanks for the memories.

Hi Annabel,

I am a fellow Brit like you and am working on a similar project, but for 31st Avenue. I am also a member of GAHS and will be attending your presentation next month.

I am very impressed with your website and concept behind it, and hope that many more Avenues in Astoria and Queens will be covered in this way.

Annabel: Nice project you’ve got! Try interviewing the music store owner on the northside of 30th avenue between 35th and 36th streets. That location has been a music school seemingly forever. I took guitar lessons there when I was a kid in the ’50’s and later bouzouki lessons in the early ’70’s. You can still see the bouzoukis hanging in the store windows. Also, an interview with the bank people at First Central Savings on the same block as the music store. My parents banked there all the time for years and years. Have you ever gone inside? Now that’s the way a bank should look, feel, ear and smell like! Contact me for further info. Walter Karling

Great Blog!! I lived in Astoria for 30 years before we moved to florida..I remember Lollypop Candy Store, I saw Sam a few weeks ago and he still looks the same! Good Luck and hope you can track him down!!

Love your Site and the work that you do. I grew up in Astoria on 30th ave and moved away about 10 years ago. You bring back many many great memories…Someone I think you should interview would be Sam and Sammy, they were the nice Indian couple who owned Lollypop Candy Store on 35th street for so many years. I know that they are retired, but still around the block. They had the best corner store since the 80’s. Good Luck on your blog!

Thank you Margie, I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I’ll try tracking Sam and Sammy down!

Hi Annabel, I grew up in Astoria till 2001. I am now back in school and doing research about Astoria for a “Urban Sociology” class. I’ve been doing official research for my Final paper about Astoria for the last month. Let me know if you’re interested. Be Well.

I stopped by your website because I was researching some currents events in Queens. From the Daily News, I came across the title “Brit blogger tells the story of Astoria’s 30th Ave. one person at a time”, I clicked on the article headline and started reading it. I find it amazing how you’re doing this web page because people who have been living around Astoria (30 Av.) don’t know the wonderful things that are going on, but with your blogs and interviews people learn more about their community and begin to cherish it more. Thank you for your time and effort for these blogs! They are amazing!

the Bob Singleton interview is great,, he is so knowledgable,a true Astorian… I was just named the president of 30aba (30ave biz association) our next meeting will be March 15 at ERA lounge 630pm-745pm… call me anytime at Salon 1718 956 3366…

Good Luck with your latest journalistic venture! I look forward to my weekly read about life and lives on 30th Avenue.

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