THE “AVE” THE BEST PLACED TO HAVE LIVED
Twenty Third Avenue, better known as the Ave was the best place in the world to have been raised.
We had it all, just like BOGART AND BECALL. There was many kinds of stores, you could have lived your whole life on this one block and never left it unless you needed a hospital which was five blocks away or a mortuary which was two blocks away.
From my front door it was one hundred feet to the transportation that would take you to downtown Oakland or to San Francisco. Everyone knew the beat cops, and about all they had to do was help someone who had over indulged.
Only a block and a half away was the school with grades from kindergarten through the ninth grade. The high school was about eight blocks away.
Butcher shops, grocery, hardware, hot dog stand, shoe store, bakery, dress shop, five and dime, bars, drug stores, Movie Theater, soda fountain and candy store, a magazine store with comic books, and many apartment houses and liquor stores all on this one block.
The district had so many other types of stores such as Bank of America, (known then as the Bank of Italy changed when WW2 started) florists, gas stations, used and new car dealers, pool hall, shoe repair cobbler, donut shops, Mexican cafes, chili bowl and so many more, all within three blocks.
The Montgomery Ward retail and catalog store was a short distance away and near Wards was the Art Rattan Furniture factory with the BIG wicker chair on the top of its roof.
It was just two blocks to the California cotton mills which employed a couple of hundred people. There were eight or so of railroad tracks that allowed for thru trains to fly by and also switch engines to load the products on spur lines.
In the short period of four years of WW2 this whole scene changed and was never again. Once the war was over the colorful older people began to pass on, the young adults moved to the suburbs and the Ave was no more, as it was in the past.
The street is still there, some buildings remain but the spirit, the life is no more.
For awhile I lived in the best place in the world. From time to time I still visit the old Ave in my memories.
http://www.city-data.com/forum/san-francisco/830406-historical-photographs-oakland.html Check out these amazing old photos !!