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Author Topic: Madison Square Garden-- 53 years old.  (Read 388 times)
doctordoowop
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« on: September 11, 2021, 12:04:09 AM »

Hard to believe but the NEW garden is as old as the one we went to at 50th & 8th Ave. The new garden was opened in1968- 53 years ago. Old garden 1925-1968. 53 yrs old. Found this interesting fact while  doing other research.
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JoeC
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2021, 07:25:08 AM »

The first time I went to the "old MSG" was when I was 11 (1955); the last time was three years later in 1958.

The upper level had such a steep incline I thought I would fall out of it. Many flights of stairs to get to that seating. A lot of heart attacks for the elderly happened there. Even in the mid to late 1950s, it was sort of a ramshackle, run down place. Nobody cared about amenities back then though; just the chance to see a basketball or hockey game.

« Last Edit: September 11, 2021, 08:57:09 AM by JoeC » Logged
bklynmike101
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2021, 01:11:07 PM »

Many ballparks and stadiums that in my mind are "new" are in fact quite old, as old as the "old" venues of my youth. So it goes. My first visit to old MSG would be around 1962, and last on the last day of NYR hockey at old MSG around 1968. Very steep. One year, I had access to a "corporate" seat purchased from a private party with whom I worked who couldn't attend weekday (Wednesday usually) games because of a class he was attending. Our employer bought the Wednesday portion of the season pass, and designated me as controller - give outer. If I could not find any takers, i was entitled to go to the games myself. I saw lots of games  Grin. I think it was a way for my boss to throw me a bit of  reward for my work. Anyway, the seats were in the very top row. Most times, after game exits were via the outside fire escape all the way down. THAT was a trip!       
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doctordoowop
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2021, 04:28:41 PM »

I liked the Nedicks in the lobby. My 1st time in old garden was a field trip in 5th grade to  see thje circus--of course in top section. But I still remember the 'sideshow' that was on ground floor. My last time was Feb 1968-NBA All Star Game- because new garden wasnt ready yet.  Had a great seat uder the basket for  a fewbucks and HalGreer was MVP.  The players were all llegends.
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JoeC
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2021, 05:41:56 PM »

Doc, you mentioned the Nedick's at the old MSG entrance. I seem to recall them also sometimes being found in subway stations.

Nedick's high point was in the 1950s. They were everywhere in the city. Their famous non-carbonated Orange drink and hot dogs. Very sugary tasting drink. They shaved off the sides of their hot dog buns which made them sort of oddly shaped.

The swivel stools at their counters, the counter employees wearing ridiculous-looking white paper hats. Marty Glickman, doing Knicks games, would say on the radio after a made basket - "Good! Like Nedick's."



« Last Edit: September 11, 2021, 05:44:12 PM by JoeC » Logged
bklynmike101
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2021, 01:19:28 PM »

I was a big Nedick's fan - a great treat when I could get my folks to spring for something. Our Nedick's of predilection was the one near the Nevins Street IRT station in downtown Brooklyn.  Grape drink fan myself. But hated those cone shaped paper cups in the metal base from which I'd inevitably spill/droll all over the place before learning to "master the art" of drinking from said contraptions.

I had forgotten about my circus visits to old MSG which likely pre-dated my basketball and (later) hockey visits - probably back to circa 1960.   
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JoeC
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2021, 07:15:53 PM »

Mike, The Nevins St IRT Station in Brooklyn that you mention -- that was right near the Brooklyn Fox Theater, was it not? Site of many Alan Freed/MurrayThe K shows. The Nedick's location that sticks in my mind from a number of lunches there was the one at Herald Square, 34th & Broadway in Manhattan. After being dragged shopping with my mom at Macy's, Gimbel's, Saks, etc.

I loved walking around downtown Brooklyn. My first experience was with my Mom and younger brother in early 1952 when I was 8 yrs old. We were sailing across the Atlantic from the Brooklyn Navy Yard to join my military Dad, who was already in Germany. The embarcation date was not exact so we ended up staying for 10 days at the Hotel St. George, on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights. We walked all over the place, swam in the hotel's big indoor pool, etc. The hotel was so large the Clark Street IRT subway station was in its basement. I think the Brooklyn Dodgers' offices were very close by.

Later in life (1975-80), I often had business at what was then called the Polytechnic Institute of NY (at Tillery & Jay). If I had a break, I'd hit Korvette's and some small record stores over on Fulton.
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2021, 11:43:39 AM »

Joe - great memories.

The Fox was indeed nearby. I don't believe I ever went inside though. I also recall, however vaguely, the Nedick's at 34th & Bway. I, too, was dragged around "forever" by my mom for our downtown shopping sprees. But our downtown was Brooklyn - primarily May's, EJ Korvettes, and when willing to splurge, Abraham & Strauss (later, briefly, I was a duly paid A&S employee). A Nedicks drink or hot dog would be my occasional reward for 'surviving" the shopping expedition.

34th Street Macy's & Gimbel's were rare excursions - longer subway ride, probably more expensive. But not entirely unknown to my experience.

That Korvette store had an excellent record department. I still have some discount albums and 45's purchased there, many with that annoying hole punch. They charged $4 and sometimes $3 for albums when others charged $5.

As for the St. George, my dad talked about it with absolute reverence. He was a swimming enthusiast, and would reminisce about his swims in the mighty St. George pool. I recall him showing the hotel to me, but probably only from the outside...perhaps the lobby. And the Clark Street station affiliated with the hotel although  nobody ever seemed to get on or off at the station and the platform was invariably empty. Nevins Street, on the other hand, was always bustling.     

It was in May's piped in over the loudspeaker system, that I heard the radio broadcast of a certain Mazeroski HR off of Mr. Terry. Much crying ensued.  Grin 
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JoeC
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2021, 12:25:11 PM »

Mike, I never was inside the Brooklyn Fox either. I think I read once it had over 4000 seats! All those old baroque/art deco/rococo theaters had all that ornate gilded molding and backdrops. I never was inside the other "rock n roll show" theater -- the Brooklyn Paramount -- either. That was also in downtown, very close to the Fox, IIRC. It also had 4000 or so seats. Huge theaters, by today's standards.

The only reason we shopped (and that was very occasionally) in Herald Square was that we lived in Rockland County, just over the NY/NJ state line, off the Palisades Parkway (under construction then), 17 miles from Times Square via the GW Bridge. Going to Brooklyn would've been just that much further!

The pool at the St. George was -- for some unknown reason -- saltwater.
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Robb_K
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2021, 11:25:34 PM »

Mike, I never was inside the Brooklyn Fox either. I think I read once it had over 4000 seats! All those old baroque/art deco/rococo theaters had all that ornate gilded molding and backdrops. I never was inside the other "rock n roll show" theater -- the Brooklyn Paramount -- either. That was also in downtown, very close to the Fox, IIRC. It also had 4000 or so seats. Huge theaters, by today's standards.

The only reason we shopped (and that was very occasionally) in Herald Square was that we lived in Rockland County, just over the NY/NJ state line, off the Palisades Parkway (under construction then), 17 miles from Times Square via the GW Bridge. Going to Brooklyn would've been just that much further!

The pool at the St. George was -- for some unknown reason -- saltwater.

Because it was free, and fresh water costs money?
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2021, 12:26:35 AM »

Mike, I never was inside the Brooklyn Fox either. I think I read once it had over 4000 seats! All those old baroque/art deco/rococo theaters had all that ornate gilded molding and backdrops. I never was inside the other "rock n roll show" theater -- the Brooklyn Paramount -- either. That was also in downtown, very close to the Fox, IIRC. It also had 4000 or so seats. Huge theaters, by today's standards.

The only reason we shopped (and that was very occasionally) in Herald Square was that we lived in Rockland County, just over the NY/NJ state line, off the Palisades Parkway (under construction then), 17 miles from Times Square via the GW Bridge. Going to Brooklyn would've been just that much further!

The pool at the St. George was -- for some unknown reason -- saltwater.

Because it was free, and fresh water costs money?

Robb, Could be. Maybe that's why my dad liked it so much. He liked "free" very much.
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2021, 12:38:37 AM »

Mike, I never was inside the Brooklyn Fox either. I think I read once it had over 4000 seats! All those old baroque/art deco/rococo theaters had all that ornate gilded molding and backdrops. I never was inside the other "rock n roll show" theater -- the Brooklyn Paramount -- either. That was also in downtown, very close to the Fox, IIRC. It also had 4000 or so seats. Huge theaters, by today's standards.

The only reason we shopped (and that was very occasionally) in Herald Square was that we lived in Rockland County, just over the NY/NJ state line, off the Palisades Parkway (under construction then), 17 miles from Times Square via the GW Bridge. Going to Brooklyn would've been just that much further!

The pool at the St. George was -- for some unknown reason -- saltwater.

Joe, I don't know if I ever saw the inside of the Brooklyn Paramount. If so, it was to see a movie rather than a live show. My JHS graduation was at the old Pitkin Theatre on Pitkin Ave ("naturally" - said  Abbott to Costello), a crumbling vestige of an ornate and once beautiful theatre. Not too far from where I am now in LA, is the Warner Grand, first opened in 1931 and somewhat restored, but it has "only" 1500 seats. Of course I'm sure you've been to Radio City Music Hall, one of the biggest and bestest. There are some amazing art deco venues in Prague as well, but that's another story.
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JoeC
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2021, 07:15:27 AM »

In doing some internet research, appears the reason they went with saltwater was that in the days of yore when the pool was put in (and maybe today?) it was considered more healthy tghan a chlorinated pool. Had a "soft water" feel as well. Hotel advertising for the pool was along the lines of a "spa."

Truman Capote apparently went to the St George pool often when he was staying in Manhattan.

Some other clips:

"the hotel was famous for its 168,000 gallon salt-water Olympic-sized pool, with an enormous mirrored ceiling, a waterfall, mosaics, and art deco accents. As the decades passed, the pool was eventually opened up to outsiders for a fee and became a favorite among locals."

"by the end of the 1960s, the St. George’s prestige had begun to wane, and the hotel soon fell into disrepair. The pool was drained in 1974 and later removed."

"The huge hotel pool varied in depth from 3 feet to 10 feet, with a waterfall at the shallow end, three diving boards at the deep end, a 10-foot-high board in the center, and low boards on either side of it. The St. George pool was the place to go in the winter, when Coney Island and its adjacent beaches appealed only to members of the Polar Bear Club.


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bklynmike101
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2021, 11:40:37 AM »

Joe, Thanks for the St. George pool information - interesting stuff. I wax nostalgic for The Automat, Lindy's, Steepelchase (sp?), There Goes My Love (Fantastics), Earl Torgeson, and the 1951 Kaiser.  Smiley
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doctordoowop
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« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2021, 01:31:14 AM »

Salt water pools were popular in NYC area. Palisades park, and Jones Beach too. Scully used to say tickets were available at Dodger office at 215 Montague st. My roommate in medical school --his father an eye doctor-we used to have frequent dinners at his family home in Brooklyn Hts-- Right above the BQE with a ridiculous view of lower Manhattan.

No more Orange Julius either-that was a Calif original.
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2021, 12:25:42 PM »

Doc,

My very first eye doc was on Montague Street. Probably because my dad used him as he worked in the area for some 30 years (NYS Supreme Court - Kings County). later, I spent many  a lunch hour wandering around, as a 5 time summer employee of the NYCTA on 370 Jay. The "Heights" was and is, a top shelf neighborhood.
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Robb_K
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« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2021, 10:59:17 PM »

Doc,

My very first eye doc was on Montague Street. Probably because my dad used him as he worked in the area for some 30 years (NYS Supreme Court - Kings County). later, I spent many  a lunch hour wandering around, as a 5 time summer employee of the NYCTA on 370 Jay. The "Heights" was and is, a top shelf neighborhood.

Named after "The Magnificent One", no doubt!   Grin
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doctordoowop
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« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2021, 10:29:22 PM »

mike  --wasn't that on Schermerhorn St?

New York is definitely  different.  What every state calls Superior court, NY calls iSupreme court-- wrong use of word "supreme." Supreme means higher or superior to all others. 

What NY calls  Court of Appeals, every state & USA call Supreme Court.
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