Lower East Side Vets in Boynton Beach Hold Annual Reunions
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Nabbed this one from the Sun Sentinel newspaper in south Florida. Apparently for the last eight years, aging Lower East Side transplants in Boynton Beach have been holding reunions to reminisce about the old country. Hundreds of alter-cockers (i.e. “old school chums) gather for the annual event, and for the opportunity to share their love for the neighborhood.
“When you lived in the Lower East Side, every neighborhood had the best deli,” says Lorraine Greenberg, who married Burt at 19. They joined the great migration to west of Boynton Beach in 2004.
[Natalie] Stein played Double Dutch with Natalie Ehrlich (297 Rivington) and Dussie Rowner (308 Rivington). In the winter, they shaped snow into fortresses and hurled snowballs. They played Johnny on a Pony, the New York City name for Buck Buck, a raucous children’s game.
Election day potatoes refers to one of the Lower East Side’s more inexplicable traditions. Honey Cuozzi, 75, described it:
“On election day, people would come out and put the garbage pails — we didn’t call them trash cans — in the middle of the gutter. And we would fill them with trash and sweet potatoes and light them and make big fires.”
The Lower East Side has changed drastically since then. Thirty-nine-dollar rent is $3,000 rent. Only the snowbirds watched the transformation. For the rest, the endless summer of their childhood has given way to the endless summer of Florida.