Memories: Coffey Street

Remembrances of life on Coffey and other streets in Red Hook.

"Hello all you Red Hookers!!! My good friend… still lives on Coffey St. I live at Dikeman St. Graduated Visitation school June of 1949. We done most of our dancing in Sam's Bar on Beard St. and Gabe's, Barry’s and Bomford's, The Ocean Cove, White Rose, and hung out in lots of candy stores on Richard St. Went to the Pioneer Movies on Friday nights. Also the Clinton.… Remember all the dances at Visitation Hall. My mother Nellie Greeley played the piano. I have 3 sisters… and 1 brother Jake Greeley, he was a long shoreman just like my father John (Stump) Greeley." Pat (Greeley) Schubert Sunday, November 10, 2002

"… Red Hook was a very nice place to live in, when I first moved here in 1955. There were many stores here that supported the people that lived here so that they did not have to go out of the area to shop. Bakeries, clothing, hardware, drug stores, fruit stands & the people that came around in trucks to sell things door to door. Too bad it would not go back to the way it was. You never had to lock your door or worry about walking home at night. The people in Red Hook were the friendliest, always sitting out & would visit with who ever came by. It is slowly coming back, but will never be like it was. The new Pier on Coffey St. is good to go fishing on or to just sit & enjoy the cool breeze & the water…." E. ( Mel ) Melton February 11, 2003

"… Lived at 186 Coffey Street from 1960 until 1977 when I left the nest. One of my lasting memories is the sounds of Governor's Island. During the early 60's and until the Army left you could hear taps played every night at sundown and reveille every morning... " Eddie Donohue Jr. June 16, 2003 "… It was election night 1932 (wow - really giving away my age now). I have a vivid memory of walking around the corner to Coffey Street, down to the docks, holding my Pop's hand. There was a huge bonfire in the middle of Coffey St., between Conover and Van Brunt. As people added more fuel, they would shout "Hoover's in the fire!!. I still remember the huge blaze, and the fact that my father first took the precaution of removing the wooden gate from our house. People who did not sometimes found that their gate was added to the blaze. It was all in good fun. Many good Red Hook memories. Regards to all. My father." Eleanor Creegan October 20, 2004

"Here are some of my memories of people, places & things growing up in 'the Point':'Rockin’ Root' on Van Brunt St… Swimming off Coffey St dock … the rhyme 'King Sullivan told Walcott to tell Dikeman to spill Coffey all over Van Dyke’s Beard & Reed”' … Mikey DeFelice … the Ramseys … the Mortensens … 65 cent large 'bitzio' at Tony’s … the ice man’s truck … the 3-fingered ice cream man with his pushcart… the scary hardware store on Van Brunt bet Beard & Reed (?) that only opened when you called at the window… the Navy ships that docked at pier 44 & the guard sailor who played guitar & sang 'Wake Up Irene' … sitting on the docks painting pictures of the beautiful sunsets… " Pat Rowan (nee Ratajczyk) February 08, 2004

"There was also a store near Coffey Street that sold birthday cakes …I remember the holiday parties and the parades and the docks." Georgette June 02, 2003 "… We knew all of our neighbors in Red Hook. My parents insisted that we sweep, shovel snow and do chores for the elders. It's how we connected initially with our neighbors. Over time, they would call my dad Joe for every emergency situation in their homes and in return they spied on his kids to walk a straight line. It took time to figure out how dad knew every move we made. We were always sneaking over to the shipyards, soda factories, piers and every spot they told us not to visit." Maria Corrales March 22, 2003

"My grandmother passed away recently and in her will she requested that her ashes be spread on Van Brunt St. starting at Coffey St. and all the way down the water. She said that she wanted to haunt the place. My brothers and I didn’t want to do it but it was her last request and we felt we had no choice. Seemed kind of silly to be honest with you. I felt kind of bad because the neighborhood was a little torn up. We left Grandma there anyway. …" Betty Fantana December 10, 2002

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