“THE STOOP” CHAT ROOM HANGOUT

image“The Stoop” is where friends should get together and reminisce about the “old days” in East Harlem. Perhaps you are looking to reconnect with a long lost friend, or just want to write a comment about your days in the old neighborhood. This is the place to do so! The weather’s always fine when you visit Italian Harlem’s, “The Stoop.” 🙂

Feel free to email me your vintage “stoop” photos from Italian Harlem. It would be my pleasure to post them here!

503 E. 118 The GodfatherMom and Margaret on stoop os 505 E. 118 c.1957.jpg

My mother, Margaret (aka “Margie”) on the stoop of 505 E. 118th St., with my sister, Margaret. Circa 1957. My mom passed in 2011. Riposa in Pace.philly's class-OLMC-columbia-2008 182

My Great Aunt, Columbia Pennino Altieri’s stoop, on Pleasant Avenue, between 116th and 117th Street. Columbia was born in East Harlem in 1922, and died in 2009. She was a life time East Harlemite! May she rest in peace. Riposa in Pace.


67 Comments on ““THE STOOP” CHAT ROOM HANGOUT”

  1. Nancee says:

    Wonderful site . Love reading all the stories and seeing all the old time photo”s

    Like

  2. Margaret Puco says:

    Funny before I even seen the picture of Mommy and me that’s the first thing I thought of how Mommy and me used to sit on the stoop and talk to neighbors passing by.I wish I could go back in time for just that day.❤️💕

    Like

  3. Rita says:

    I lived on 119th and Pleasant.

    Like

    • vincent casale says:

      RITA…..WERE YOU FRIENDS WITH DOLORES AND GERRY FROM 119ST….iF SO YOU MIGHT NOT REMEMBER ME VINNY CASALE aka (hoppy)

      Like

      • vincent casale says:

        Vin Casale here……also played football for Cardinal Hayes email if Rita: NE1410is@verizon.net

        Like

      • Debbie Rizzo says:

        i remember you hoppy as a child you hung out with my brother Anthony who was shot by BF high school He also hung out with Binky ! iwas only 9 but remember it all! He was killed on m moms bday sadly to say

        Like

    • Linda says:

      I just found this website and I am amazed when I read all of the comments…it brings back great memories of East Harlem. We moved when I was in the 2nd grade but my cousins continued to live there. I lived on 119th and Pleasant Avenue, also. Family last name Zambrano. My cousins last name was Simmons. Do you happen to know anyone with those last names?

      Like

      • Julie says:

        I grew up on 104 Street between 1st & 2nd Avenue. I went to St. Lucy’s grammar school.
        I knew the Lamonica boys Nick & I think Richard and they lived on 106 between 3rd & Lexington. That school yard right next store ais where they filmed the big fight in West Side story. We all use to hang out at Johnny Mungs candy store on Second Avenue between 105 & 106 Street. Anybody from this area?

        Like

    • eugene tripi . says:

      i lived on 119st pleasant down by east river drive.

      Like

  4. David Anthony Sautte says:

    Reminds me of the days that I only got a glimpsr of back in the 60’s. Our family (Sautte) lived for years on Arthur Ave. in the Bronx. I attended Roosevelt HS and lived in the area for a while. My dad Tony, Uncles Andrew, Mario & Dominick, Grandma Vinnie, and all their famiies gave me the opportunity to really feel Italian. Often heard of Cousin Philly Puco, but never got to meet him. Maybe will connect with Puco family on one of my trips to Florida:) Cousin, Dave Sautte

    Like

    • Angela Bella says:

      Hi David, do you live in New York? Most of the Puco’s live in New York, although some do live in Florida. Katie Puco was my dad’s mom. Your grandmother Vincie (Katie’s sister) was my dad’s aunt, and my great aunt. I guess that would make us 3rd cousins! Aunt Vincie’s kids were my father’s (Albert) first cousins. Who was your dad? I’m glad you stopped by to leave this message! How did you find my website? Angela 🙂

      Like

  5. Johnny Boy says:

    My great grandparents from Calabria settled in Italian Harlem around 1898 ( East 109 Street between 2nd & 3rd ). My great grandfather eventually bought the building – 226 East 110 Street between 2nd & 3rd Aves ). Everyone in this 8 family tenement were relatives. The building was adjacent to the schoolyard, where the opening scene of the movie West Side Story was filmed.
    Family surnames – Auriemma, Muscolino, Vecchio, Gaetano, Piri, Gregorio, Volpe.
    We were forced to move in 1960 when the City purchased the building ( eminent domain) to build an extension on to the public school. The family relocated to the Bronx, most moving to City Island.

    Like

    • Kathy Emchek says:

      Oh My God, My name is Kathy and I lived at 239 E 109th St. It was a beautiful building, and I certainly remember My Mom and I being kicked out of the building. Which was so horrible for us, We were one of the last to leave, and I was so scared to go into he building with the students that were there just hanging out in the vestibule. The Principle of the school came to visit my mother; he told her PLEASE get out They would have no problem with killing you!; My Father died when I was 2 years old. My Mothers Maiden name is Capolina. My Grandmother lived around the corner between 109th & 110th Street, on Second Ave. I had a Cousin Serafino there, who was mostly called Sony or Joe. Next door to my Grandma, we had Cousins May, Caesar and JoAnn Santorelli.. I remember the Deli across the street with Millie Cilento. I attended St. Ann’s School. and I remember the Pharmacy, Joe Calipos. After this we also moved to the Bronx, off Allerton Ave. and I attended St Lucy’s School and then went to Christopher Columbus where I graduated. Please Reply Back, I’d LOVE to here more

      Like

    • Julie Salerno says:

      I knew a Johnnie boy. He use to hang out at Johnny Mung’s store. He had a girlfriend by the name Joanie. Is that you?
      You must know the LaRocco boys – Nicky & Robert. Do you know them and have you kept in touch? I use to have a crush on Nicky!

      Like

      • John41ny@ icloud.com says:

        Julie….. I didn’t know the LaRocco’s . I lived on 110th Street ( 2nd & 3rd ) Moved in the Bronx in 1960 at the age of 11. Attended St Ann’s.

        Like

  6. Joan Quilter says:

    So glad to find this site. Much of my childhood was spent in E.Harlem, until NYC’s projects took over. I lived at 447 E. 122nd St. between First and Pleasant Avenues. Lived there from 1946 – ’53. Went to P.S. 80 and P.S. 159 (middle school). Enjoyed that part of my childhood.

    Like

    • Gerry Hoyt says:

      Hi Joan, I lived one street over from you , 409 E. 121st from 1945 until 1949, and went to PS 80 also. We might even have known one another , was in 5th grade in 1948. Spent most of my time on the streets roller skating and use to go over to the park under the bridge, ride my bike along the East River with my brother. My brother was Buddy, my sister Honey Lea, and I am Gerry. My mother was a Rutigliano, and had been bought up in the same area but on Pleasant Ave. where her Father who came from Italy had an Itlalian food store. Her Mother was an Angiulo and came from Italy.Have many happy memories of my childhood in Harlem, and feel sad that our apartment house was amongst those torn down to build the projects.

      Like

      • joan says:

        sorry it took so long to reply. I think that when you were in the 5th grade, I was in the 6th. My teacher’s name was Mrs Weiner. I remember a grocery store on Pleasant Ave. (between E. 122nd & E. 121st) – close to P.S. 80. I remember Mike was the name of the grocer, but I think he was from Malta.

        Like

  7. Tom marucci says:

    I used to stay at my grandparents every summer on 116th st and Pleasant Ave when I was a kid. Tommy cheesecake Urgitano was my grandfather. Angelo the Jet was my uncle. Great times there. Patsys pizza, Coppolas pizza, Raos, Hot Dogs for 20 cents each , Scottys store on 119th, The Chinese restaurant on 1st Ave, Manhatten Special Coffee Soda, The Social club on 116th street, Yipee, Weegee, Johnny Monkey, Frankie Hearts, Blackie, Zoola, Johnny Roast Beef, Petey neck, Iggy Moe ect ect. Hanging out on the stoop until 6am after the bar below the social club closed. Patsys and Raos open until 4am in those days. The delightful coffee shop open 24 hrs. Leaving the apartment door unlocked all the time. During Christmas Holiday have big dinners on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day with 25 people over for each day. There will never be times like that again.

    Like

    • Marty Dunetz says:

      Tommy’s wife Tessie was my great aunt

      Like

    • Lily Mischo says:

      Angelo the Jet was my grandfather’s cousin. My grandfather’s name was Carlo Borgia, his mother was Rose Borgia.

      Like

      • Angela Bella says:

        Angelo was a close friend of my dad’s. They grew up together in the neighborhood. I met him, back in the late 1980’s. He was a very nice man!

        Like

      • Lily says:

        Thanks Angela, that’s so amazing! What was your fathers name? I never got to meet Angelo but my mother and all her siblings knew him well!

        Like

    • Michael Lanza says:

      Hi Tom,
      I’m new to the site, and noticed you mentioned The Social Club on 116th Street. Frankie Harts was my mother’s cousin, and I remember as a young boy eating at Rao’s. I actually grew up in the Bronx, however my family lived in Italian Harlem and we visited it so often we might as well stayed there 🙂

      Like

  8. AC says:

    Looking for pictures of Lexington Ave and 126th Street from the 1920s or 1930s. My grandfather grew up there and I want to show him pictures. He’s 98 now!

    Like

  9. Louis says:

    Does anyone on here remember the Tagliaferro or Cecchio families? My grandfather was Louis, Louis the eel – i grew up hearing all the old stories and nicknames. He’s not around – but his best friend from the neighborhood is and just last month we got together to talk. He told me about the riots and how he met Sinatra. He was 16 and was at BFHS then – crazy stories – crazier nicknames – Sally Bloomers, Louis the Eel (or louis the nose), Sonny Check but his real name was Tony. It was a great day for me to hear everything. They were born in 1929. He said they used to call themselves the red wings, i think, which he said ended up getting really bad as he got older, married, and moved to the Bronx where we all grew up.

    Like

    • vincent casale says:

      I to am from the neighborhood lived a few doors away from the famous Rao’s Restaurant and although i did not go to BFHS …the Red Wings did turn out to be a pretty bunch of rough dudes in the neighborhood always in trouble…..

      Like

  10. J McIntyre says:

    Can’t believe the photo of Columbia Pennino Altieri’s stoop is where I used to play! I lived across the street at 311 Pleasant Ave in the 1970s. Thanks for sharing that photo.

    Like

  11. vincent casale says:

    did you know the DeStefano’s Beverly–Lucille

    Like

  12. Mary Ann says:

    My friend Annie lived in a beautiful building on pleasant avenue next to Rao restaurant. Spent so much of my youth on that wonderful stoop. Unfortunately it was sold to someone who did not appreciate its beauty and the stoop was removed, creating an ugly entrance, so sad…

    Like

  13. vincent casale says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more MAryAnn…I lived right around the corner from Rao’s on 114st only 2 buildings away…..Playing in front of Rao’s stoop when they were closed was fun…Never bring back those days..

    Like

  14. Marty Dunetz says:

    Tommy Cheesecake was my great uncle. He was married to
    My grandgathers sister tessie

    Like

  15. Hello everyone!

    My name is Kelli Goodman and I am the manager of Volunteer Initiatives at the Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF), a college access organization located in Central Harlem. HEAF provides an extended continuum of educational and youth development and leadership opportunities to high-potential, under-served students throughout the city. HEAF’s goal is to help students develop the intellectual curiosity, academic ability, social values, and personal resilience they need to ensure success in school, career, and life.

    As one of our electives for our 7th graders during our Summer Quest program this year, we are offering an Italian class and we thought that a tour of East Harlem’s Little Italy would be a perfect addition to the class. I am reaching out to see if anyone has any contacts who might be able to give a walking tour of East Harlem’s Little Italy and give the students a history of the neighborhood.

    There will be about 25 students in the class who would be on the tour, and usually visits take place between 2:30 and 3:30pm. We are hoping to have this trip on one of the following days:
    Wednesday, July 18
    Monday, July 23
    Wednesday, July 25

    I can be reached at kgoodman@heaf.org or via phone at 212-663-9732

    Best
    Kelli

    Like

    • Angela Bella says:

      Hi Kelli,
      Sorry, I just read your message. Unfortunately, I am unavailable next Wednesday, to take your class on a neighborhood tour. I have matinee tickets to take my family to see Wicked, on Broadway. Perhaps another time! Thanks for visiting my site!
      Best regards,
      Angela

      Like

      • Hi Angela. Thanks so much for your response. We are somewhat flexible in our dates for a tour. Would you be available on Monday, July 30th, Wednesday, August 1st or Monday, August 6th for a tour? Thank you again,
        Kelli

        Like

      • Debbie Rizzo says:

        Hi Angela is there anyway my dad (nickname) Alahambra aka Tony Rizzo We livd on first ave between 115and 116 for years from the 1940 until the 1980s then my dad passed and we moved to NJ
        I come in every summer for the feast and also for mt carmel too
        My brother Anthony was the 16 year old that was shot ad killed across from Raos in 1969 on my moms day on july 6 1969 i
        I was 8 years old and i know itwas in the newspaper but i cant find the story, ive been searching archives but nothing

        Like

  16. Julie says:

    Hi
    I grew up at 318 east shun 4th Street between first & secon Avenue. Any one out there from this part of Italian Harlem? I went to Saint Lucy’s School.

    Like

  17. Krista says:

    Hi Angela,

    My name is Krista and I am so happy I stumbled across your website! I am doing research on my relatives who lived on East 113th Street from the early 1900s. My great-great grandfather, Giuseppe Gargano, immigrated to America around 1895 and settled in the area with his wife, Margherita, who immigrated a couple years later. I’ve been so intrigued by the rich history of the area they lived, but have been unable to find any photos of East 113th Street. I was wondering if you may have any in your records, or could direct me somewhere that may?

    Thank you!
    Krista

    Like

  18. Joeyj says:

    I grew up on 112 St and 2nd Ave
    Live there till 1967 remember the hot jelly apple push cart and you can double dip for 5 cent
    Joey j

    Like

  19. Richard Ventola says:

    Great web site for those who lived there. Does any one have information on the Jefferson Park Fresh Air Home in Long Branch NJ. We would go there for 10 days in the summer months with mother and children, no fathers. If was sponsored by the Church on 114th street and 2nd Ave facing the Park.

    Like

  20. Joseph Linzalone says:

    Tomorrow is Columbus Day, The Giglio Society is having a street renaming ceremony on the corner of 115st and Pleasant Avenue, It will be renamed Giglio Way. I will be attending after church. It’s great that our heritage and the future of Italian Harlem is kept alive.

    Like

  21. Steven Oliveri says:

    My dad in top pic with white hat and little girl in front of him in The Godfather May 1971

    Like

  22. Vito Mennona says:

    I lived on 117th street between 1ave and pleasant. I was baptized at Our Lady of Mount Carmel.I remember the feast of Our Lady ofMount Carmela the parade down our street, what a great day and party

    Like

  23. Richard Ventola says:

    I was from 114 street between 2nd and 3rd Ave.
    I remember during the feast that their was a $100.00 bill pined to statue’s neck as it was carried by men. I those days a one hundred dollar bill was a big deal. My dad said the the “mafia” took care of the church. Lots of great times in Jefferson Park, pool And the “White House”
    Does any one remember the camp in NJ run by the Church on 114th Street across from Jefferson Park?

    Like

  24. Ed Fiorella says:

    I remember some of the people mentioned above. The Redwings were some rough guys.If you knew them they made great friends.. Since everyone had a street name if you weren’t related and didn’t go to the same schools we only new them by the street name. By the way the Redwings helped keep the neighborhood safe . Ed

    Like

    • RICHARD Ventola says:

      In addition to the Redwings there were the Italian Dukes and the girls had a group called the Italian Debs. The guys and girls had very colorful jackets. Your right about the gangs keeping the “hood” safe.

      Like

      • ed Fiorella says:

        Thanks for the comeback. If I remember the right group of Debs. One was Anna Mulengoni another was Theresa Aro Anna had a brother Johnny who was a hell of a baseball player. Stayed with yankee farm teams for a good while. The last name may be spelled wrong

        Like

  25. Love this site! I grew up on a hun18 between first and Pleasant. My parents still live there! I was a kid in the 70s and teen in 80s. I have been doing a Podcast for over a year- telling my stories about growing up East Harlem. Please take a listen! Its called THE STOOPS OF ATLANTIS. Here is an episode about movies made around The Avenue. https://www.buzzsprout.com/258528/1315387-episode-19-making-movies

    Like

  26. Ed you could be right about the names of the girls connected with the Red Wings and Italian Dukes. I don’t remember an of the names as we moved to the Bronx when I was 10. The on thing I remember about the older girls was a language call “Pig Latin” it seemed all of the older girls spoke it. Maybe it was to talk about the guys behind there backs.

    Some on posted that their grandfather purchased an apt building and may relatives live in it. That was similar to my grandfather Salvatore Distefano who purchased a building on 111th street between 2 and 3rd Ave, near the fire house on the opposite side of the street. The building was a cold water flat, no central heat except for a coal stove in each apt. He then purchase his second building at 243 E 114ths street. It was a higher end building, central heat and rugs on the stairs. It seemed that there were very few Italians on the block and most of the tenets moved out as the landlord was and Italian. He rented the apartments to Family and other Italians. So I guess one could say “he broke the block”. That’s the building I lived in. It was next to a vacant lot, with a concrete wall to keep people out. Great for hand ball, “off the wall” ball playing and the big guys would pitch coins.

    Like

  27. glenn zeccola says:

    My father vic Zeccola lived on E119. All his relatives also. They came from Muro Lucano Italy around 1900. Anyone know any Zeccola’s. He lived 103 yrs.

    Like

  28. Arnold Maggi says:

    The last picture, if you scroll to the top is 310 pleasant Ave. and that is where my family lived. My Grandfather made the Balcony.

    Like

    • Angela Bella says:

      Hi Arnold, that’s right! My great aunt Columbia Pennino Altieri, lived at 312 Pleasant Ave. I took this photo when I went to visit her. I’m sure that you must have known her, considering that your family lived next door. She was married to my dad’s uncle, Anthony “Titi” Altieri. It’s a small world! I wonder if you remember my great grandfather’s bread store? His name was Andrea Altieri. He, and his 2 sons, Titi and Jimmy, worked there. It was located on East 117th Street. Back in the 1930’s, it was located at 320 Pleasant Avenue. The banner photo on this website was taken at 320 Pleasant Avenue, in front of the bread store.
      Best regards,
      Angela

      Like

  29. Arnold Maggi says:

    We knew everyone in 312 but not the people you mentioned. A doctor lived on the 3rd. floor who use to make “house calls”, imagine that They use to make wine every year and then sell it by the glass. They had a backyard with tables and chairs with a covered awning for the men to sit and enjoy their wine.We sold our building(310) to a plumber and hie family in 1958.

    Like

    • Julie Salerno says:

      I think you are talking about Dr. Masitelli. I was good friends with LINDA WHO LIVED IN THAT BUILDING. They moved to the Bronx and they also had a house in Mt. Carmel. I think her last name was Saltorelli. Do you know them?
      Wasn’t 310 where Pace Funeral parlor was?

      Like

      • Arnold Maggi says:

        310 Pleasant Ave. was between 115 st. and 116 st.To the left of 312 was a BAR. To the right 308 was where the Gallos livedArnold

        Like

      • Julie says:

        Sorry, wrong street. I thought you were referring to 104th Street between 1 &2 avenue. Yes, Dr. DR.Masotelli’s office was on 104th Street.

        Like

    • vin ponz says:

      Arnold this is a great site…I am having a conversation with Vinny Casale from 114st. Remember him.

      Like

    • Richard Ventola says:

      Speaking about making wine and the wrapping of fig trees. The men would sit at a table near the fig tree and decide how they were going to wrap them for the winter. While they decide the how and what in wrapping of the tree they go through a few bottles of wine, Each man had his own wine to share with the others. I lived on 114th Street between 2nd and 3rd and Ave. We were next to a empty lot with cement blocks forming a wall so no one could easily get into the lot.

      My building was 243 East 114th street and from our side window I would watch the men fold each branch of the fig tree and wrapped in roofing tar paper and cap it with a empty 5 gallon can of roofing tar. It’s interesting what you remember as a young kid. My grandparents (DiStefano) owned the building until the city took it over to build the projects. An we mover to a project in the Bronx.

      Like

      • vincent casale says:

        my name vincent casale 433 east 114….3 doors from Rao’s on114…..My mother was a DeStefano……………Angelina…were was your building…..

        Like

  30. Frank Budano says:

    Debbie Rizzo I was a good friend of your brother Anthony and Grapes ,Jerry, Cozzi, and also liked Alex your other brother.May they R.I.P.

    Like

  31. Michael says:

    Does anyone remembers a Big Mike from Plasant Ave Palma Boys Social Club..he was very old man 20 years ago,amazing charisma.
    I tried to google him but not sure of his full name..

    Like

  32. Frank Eufemia says:

    Hi . My mother Rose (Nappi) and brothers grew up at 212e.117th st.. Dad Frank Eufemia and brothers and sister lived on116th st near Lexington ave. Mom Rose is getting a kick reading these comments. Thanks!

    Like

    • Dawn says:

      Hi
      I am so glad you mentioned your Mom. I am trying to track my GGM’s brother Antonio Nigro from 1st Ave and i keep getting confused. Did he marry a Rose Eufemia?

      Like

  33. Dawn says:

    Hi everyone! My family were the Grieco, Bitetta (later known as Bedetto) and Nigro families. The bulk of the family members lived on 113th St and 114th St and in the 1st Ave buildings. I know my mother lived on 110th St at some point. In trying to put the pieces together for our family history I found an incredible site and thought I should share (even though you probably know about it already)
    http://www.mountcarmelshrine.com/

    Like


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