Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ode to a Candy Store

My tribute to Fred and Rudy's, the favorite hangout of my early years, has just gone up on the website Mr. Beller's Neighborhood. The site, run by writer Thomas Beller, features nonfiction writing about New York City, and stories are keyed to an interactive map. The latest batch of tales also includes a piece by my good friend Peter Wortsman.

The candy store of which I write was not the kind of place you went to for chocolate truffles or Whitman Samplers. In New York, for many years, the candy store meant the local luncheonette/newsstand. When the Shangri-Las, three girls from Queens, sang "I met him at the candy store," this was the kind of place they were talking about. I don't know how widespread the term "candy store" was outside of the New York metro area. In some places the equivalent institution was known as the soda fountain or soda shop.

In other Cherches literary news, elimae has just published a teeny-tiny piece from a series-in-progress. Also in this issue are pieces by old friends Mike Topp and Bonnie ZoBell.


I Left My Youth at Fred & Rudy's Candy Store

from Trio Bagatelles


Blogger Richard said...

Very good piece.

It is sad that classic New York candy stores are gone.

As a real little kid, my favorite was on the corner of Church Avenue and East 43rd St. in East Flatbush, where my grandparents lived. It was run by Mrs. Mogg, who had one arm and whose brother was married to my grandfather's aunt so she curtailed her usual meanness with me.

On "avenue" streets like Avenue N there was pretty much a candy store every 3 blocks or so.

I mostly trolled them for comic books.

My great-great-grandparents had one on Stone Avenue in Brownsville in the 1920s and 1930s that was still in business (not with them, of course) by the time I was driving a car.

My friend's son lives on Avenue H and East 9th Street. Is Fred & Rudy's now that junky Chinese takeout place?

12:59 PM  

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