Growing Up Levittown New York: The Way it WAS by Feng Shui Consultant Carole Provenzale

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Home Stager with Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island #888

Growing up Levittown New York...The Way it Was on Long island

I wondered how to write this post and figured I'd sit down and let it write itself.  It's hard to describe my childhood or what it was like to grow up in the famous (or infamous) Town of Levittown, Long Island NY.  It was, in a word Magical.  And it was sad that none of us really realized we had the "perfect" childhoods.

Maybe I can't describe it....Maybe I can SHOW you!

I can't speak for everyone of course but I have met and reconnected with SO many friends from the "old days."  We all agree we never realized just how lucky we were.  When my father got out of the service, he wrote to Mr. Levitt himself. The homes only came in two styles, Ranches or Capes.  The trees were tiny and Servicemen and their wives were moving out here in droves, mostly from Brooklyn or Queens.

Jones Beach Wantagh Long Island by Feng Shuo Long Island ConsultantHistoric Jones Beach, Wantagh NY

They loved it here.  They thought it a perfect place to raise children.  My father was a traveling man and didn't want to set down "roots" (my brother was born in San Antonio, TX and my sister was born in Louisiana)  but my mother refused to "waste" their money on rent.  They bought a ranch home in Wantagh, NY, along the border to Levittown.

Wantagh New York Feng Shui Long Island & New YorkThe Old Flower Farm, Circa 1961 Wantagh Long Island

Eisenhower Park Long Island by Feng Shui Long IslandEisenhower Park....Former name is Salisbury Park.  Across from the Lake is the Harry Chapin Theatre.

It was the days of stores being closed on Sundays and family getting together for dinner always followed by Poker :)   Mostly, they loved to get together at our house.  We didn't lock the doors because there was no reason to; our biggest thrills were The Levittown Pools, Carvel, Jolly Rogers/Nunley's and Cherrywood.   The Circle M Diner was for Pizza burgers and there was no place like Zorns for chicken.

Jones Beach Concert Venue The BEST Concert Venue Jones Beach Concerts--The BEST concert Venue anywhere says any Long Islander :)

Growing up Levittown New York by Feng Shui Long Island & NYCSimple Times

My dad would whistle for us (sometimes I swear I can still HEAR it!) and we never knew what treat was in store for us!  Putt Putt, Carvel, The Movies or Chinese Food were just a few things we'd get called for. If friends were over, they came along.  That's part of what Growing Up Levittown was.

levittown NY School House by Feng Shui Long Island & New YorkWe actually HAD a litte red School House in Levittown new York!  My first school...

Levittown NY School House Historic Site by Feng Shui Long IslandHard to read but it's official....The School House is Historic (and so am I : )

 My first school is still there, now preserved as an historical sight (ok, I'm old : )  In Junior High I made friends from ALL the elementary schools and had more fun then I'd ever imagined; it stayed that way all through High School at General Douglas Mac Arthur. 

General Douglas Mc Arthur High School Levittown Long Island NYLevittown Long Island New York--General Douglas Mc Arthur High School; It looked like a prison back then (sometimes it still does!)

There were no fences put up back then.  We didn't want "privacy" we wanted to play with our friends and run from house to house.  ALL the mothers would watch us!  Sand Hill Park was my childhood park until I got older-then it was Salisbury Park (now called Eisenhower Park). 

Wantagh State Park Long Island NY by Feng Shui Long IslandIn Memory of those children who lived, loved and laughed in our Community.  Wantagh Long Island New York State Park.

Wantagh Long Island NY Post Office by Feng Shui ManhattanOur Post Office!  Thank goodness they preserved it.

Wantagh Levittown Train Station by Feng Shui New York ConsultantAnd the old train station, now a museum.

Levittown/Wantagh Long Island New York by Carole Provenzale

I don't remember hearing once about MONEY issues, I just knew that when it was shoe time, my mother would only buy us Buster Browns (because they measured your feet so many different ways : )  Besides, I didn't want to walk around without that cute little dog inside my shoes.

Cherrywood Wantagh Long Island New York 1961Cherrywood Shopping Center, Wantagh Long Island New York Circa 1961.  It had Buster Brown Shoes and Pizza was 15 cents!

No one said a word about Health Care.  As a matter of fact, when I came down with Scarlet Fever, the doctor came to ME.  I was the only one in my family born on Long Island in a hospital that has since been torn down (I always wonder if that means anything).

We saved our Green Stamps and only shopped at stores that had them. We were a family and we were a community.  We all watched out for each other and we all helped each other.

 Jones Beach was for picnics and "being VERY careful" by the water and if you're a Long Islander, I don't have to tell you there is no better concert venue then the one at Jones Beach.  Period.  There were concerts here all the time.  At Roosevelt Raceway (which actually HAD been a raceway and then a giant flea market), at Nassau Coliseum (where I saw Led Zepplin in 1973 for a whopping $5.00) and at the Westbury Music Fair (where I just saw Huey Lewis and the News!).

There was no Road Rage, no Home Invasions, no gangs.  There was fun, friends and a feeling of safety.  Junior High and High School were a time of laughing more then studying, meeting at the "Candy Store" and later at the "Family Lounge."  What a perfect time to be a child in such a wonderful community.  We truly CARED about each other.

Carvel Long Island NY Circa 1961

Facebook is covered with Long Island sites and if you read them, I'm not the only one with great memories of a time that doesn't exist anymore.   We wouldn't DARE talk back to our parents although we could have anything we wanted---as long as WE bought it!                           

The name of my post comes from a group on Facebook.  There is another group called A Little Bit of Long Island and so many more.  I miss it; people have left and life somehow got complicated.  But I couldn't have asked for a better childhood and I don't believe I would have had it if it wasn't in Levittown, Long Island.

Wantagh--Levittown New YorkThe OLD St. Francis Church...before it burned down and they rebuilt it.

Pictures are from both Wantagh and Levittown as they bordered each other.  It didn't matter because ALL of us ‘Grew up Levittown.'

Jpnrs Beach Long Island New York by Feng Shui Long Island & New York

http://www.LongIslandFengShui.com

*Carole Provenzale is a Certified Feng Shui Consultant serving all of Long Island, New York City, Brooklyn and Queens for Feng Shui/Design Consultations.

http://www.TheFengShuiVoice.com

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Feng Shui Long Island and NYC nominated for best of LI

Laura Cerrano has been a certifed Feng Shui Expert for over 14 years. She is the CEO of Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island, a published author, Key note speaker on Feng Shui and Certified Reiki Practitioner. She specializes in connecting people to their environment and authentic self with the teachings of practical Feng Shui Ascension.

Mission statment: To provide each and every client with quality consultations that will give them new found knowledge and understanding of Feng Shui to empower themselves at a price everyone can afford.

 

 

  

 

 

 

                                              

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Rainmaker
1,508,528
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Authentic Feng Shui Expert

Inna, I loved my childhood...it was so carefree and easy!   This was the perfect contest for me.

Frank & Sharon, Weren't we lucky that we got to grow up in wonderful times...and places?  I feel so fortunate.

Pat, They were definitely happy times.  And SO carefree!

Gary, I just toured Eisenhower Park---stay tuned but it's probably very different then you remember.

Craig, That will always be my favorite concert venue...watching the water and stars and listening to some great music!

Carol, Write it with words, you always write SO beautifully!  I would love to read it and I'm sure many people would as well.  We had wonderful times, you need to share them with all of us!

Jul 31, 2009 09:08 PM #7
Ambassador
782,244
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise in NE Philadelphia & Bucks County

Carole..It is so funny we have a Levittown here in Bucks county,Pa..I guess they build them all over..I saw a documentary about these homes it was pretty amazing..Thanks I enjoyed the story

HELPFULHANNAH

Jul 31, 2009 11:03 PM #8
Rainmaker
1,508,528
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Authentic Feng Shui Expert

Hannah, I know you do...I do think the same Mr. Levitt built those as well.  When I do a search for Levittown  I have to remember to choose the state :)

Aug 01, 2009 12:54 PM #9
Ambassador
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Jo-Anne Smith, Sales Representative
Oakville, ON
Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga Region Real E

Carole,

What a heart-warming place to grow up in...I loved reading this account of your childhood memories and seeing the pictures....it really was a much simpler time.

Jo

Aug 02, 2009 10:49 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,508,528
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Authentic Feng Shui Expert

Jo, We had the BEST of times...we were very, very lucky.  I haven't met anyone that disagrees with me :)

Aug 02, 2009 06:19 PM #11
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LifeOhm
LifeOhm - Life Coaching for Real Estate Professionals - Portland, OR
Monica at LifeOhm

Wow, sounds like an amazing place to have grown up. The pictures really made it come to life! Thanks for sharing it. :)

Aug 02, 2009 07:57 PM #12
Rainmaker
531,769
Liz Moras
Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake - Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack Realtor, Garrison Crossing,Chilliwack, Abbotsford

Oh Carol Carol - I'm feeling so nostalgic - where did all the years go - how quick the moments pass and then they're all in retrospect.  Beautiful memories - thanks so much for sharing! :-)

Aug 09, 2009 10:51 AM #13
Rainmaker
247,578
Heather Chavez
Second Self Virtual Assistance - Caldwell, ID
Real Estate Virtual, Assistant (928) 692-3235

What beautiful memories you have, Carol.  And I love the photos you attached as well.  Thank you so much for sharing.

Aug 10, 2009 06:27 PM #14
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Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Carol - I love the photos, too!  Seeing that parking lot reminds me of visiting my grandmother as a kid.  There was a strip center in Corpus that looked almost identical.

Aug 12, 2009 12:58 PM #15
Rainmaker
1,508,528
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Authentic Feng Shui Expert

Kevin & Monica, It was a very special place during a very special time. 

Liz, The years go WAY too quickly.  I don't think we ever realized how fortunate we were!

Heather, Thank you for stopping in.  I'm feeling nostalgic with this post :)

Jason, It was such a great time and place to grow up....what wonderful memories to have!

Aug 13, 2009 07:59 AM #16
Anonymous
Anonymous
David

It was great to stumble upon your article -- and its all true. I'm Levittown Memorial, class of '60, worked three seasons at Jones Beach Field 9, and lived on Twin Lane South, nearly across from the nursery in your photo. It was Daunheim's Nursery, owned by August Daunheim, "The Poinsettia King". I remember walking down to St. Francis with my friend Mike so he could go to confession. I tried to spot Hefroes in the Cherrywood Shopping Center photo. All the kids loved it because they always had great novelties and things like magic tricks. Do you remember the "luncheonette" at the small King Kullen shopping center? Early one Sunday morning my friend Ronnie and I headed down there while it was still dark to assemble the Sunday papers. Daunheims house, across from Cherrywood was blazing away, and it was so cold that water shot up at the roof by firemen in the back hit us as little chuncks of ice as we stood in front watching.

Jan 17, 2010 11:46 PM #17
Rainmaker
1,508,528
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Authentic Feng Shui Expert

David, Thanks for more memories!  I remember Bohacks and Woolworths and always saving Green Stamps.  I also remember the Family Lounge and the "Candy Store" everyone hung out on on North Jerusalem Road. 

I DO remember a luncheonette that was open on Sundays on Wantagh Avenue.  And you were not far from me, I grew up in the W section.

Today there is a sign on Wantagh Avenue...I'll have to get a picture.  It says "Welcome to Levittown --  America's first community"  I'll get a shot of it.

Thanks for sharing your memories and I do remember the Nursery and all that precious land they owned!

Jan 18, 2010 12:24 AM #18
Rainmaker
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Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

Carol - It sounds like a wonderful, idyllic childhood.  If the homes had been on one acre lots, you wouldn't have had the same kind of interaction or closeness with friends and family.  You hear all the negatives about suburbia and conformity, but in so many ways the suburbs at that point in time was a great place for kids.  You had freedom and community, friends and family, comfort and excitement.  A perfect mix of experiences. 

Jan 21, 2010 09:20 PM #19
Rainmaker
1,508,528
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Authentic Feng Shui Expert

Gail, They just recently put up a sign that says Welcome to Levittown---America's First Community.  As children we never realized just how fortunate we were to have things with the idea of a Community in mind such as the Local pools, the Family restaurants, Carvel and "Happy Land."  It was really a wonderful childhood I wish I could have re-created for my own children.

Jan 24, 2010 07:41 PM #20
Anonymous
Anonymous
Louise Scandura

Carol- Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I'd seen photos from the old Levittown and Wantagh, but you really brought me back. Your synopsis brought tears to my eyes. I was there with you and I remember our friendship very well. It was fun to go to your house to play and be around your family. I have a vague recollection of the Candy Store. I wonder if anyone has a photo of that? Thanks again. It was all of the above and more. We always had a dog growing up. Our "Champ," used to be in the street and the lawns, playing with the kids. He always knew where to come home to at night- when the lights came on!

 

Feb 03, 2010 10:01 AM #21
Rainmaker
1,508,528
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Authentic Feng Shui Expert

Hi Louise!  I was so THRILLED to find you on Facebook!  It's funny that people don't really believe what a wonderful childhood we had there but it WAS.  I have never found ONE person who didn't love growing up there!  Dolly used to run The Candy Store where they had the BEST chocolate egg creams anywhere and I loved Jolly Rogers. 

My dog was Buff and everyone stopped on their way home to say hello to him :)  They just put up a new sign for Levittown (which is in my camera but not yet downloaded).  It says "Welcome to Levittown---America's FIRST Community" 

Quite an accurate description!  Please let me know if you're still on Long Island; I got all the way to Farmingdale :)

Feb 03, 2010 10:27 AM #22
Rainmaker
1,393,566
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Rest in Peace Carole.  We will miss you and treasure our memories of you.  Thank you for sharing your  Long Island memories with us.  Thank you for teaching us about Feng Shui.

May 20, 2010 06:52 AM #23
Anonymous
Anonymous
Butch Sayah

I grew up in Levittown and now live in Deltona Florida. Seeing these photos made my day. Don't ever remove them. Thank you for the trip down memory lane.

Aug 02, 2010 07:52 PM #24
Rainmaker
1,508,528
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Authentic Feng Shui Expert

Maureen, It is Laura Cerrano Thank you for your kind words :)

Butch, glad these photos helped you visit the memories of way back when :) they will always be up

Aug 02, 2010 08:17 PM #25
Rainer
438
Joe M
Arlington, VA
Thanks for remembering the Luncheonette on N Jerusalem with the green facade, which later became the rather raucus "Family Lounge". My family's first Levittown home (in fact the first home we ever owned) was on Haven Lane, just behind that mini-mall with Bohack, the laundromat and, of course, Frank's Dan-Dee Luncheonette. We moved there when I was only four years old, but in Levittown in the late 1960's/early 1970s, I could soon walk around the block (or hop the stockade fence if I were in a hurry) and spend my allowance on comic books and candy. And Frank had the best selection of both (or maybe I just never went to a bigger store). I'd walk in with 25 cents and pore my way through now-classic tales written by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Neal Adams and Carey Bates. The trick was to read through them fast when Frank's back was turned before he threatened to make me buy the next "funnybook" I laid my grubby fingers on. The way to REALLY get Frank mad was to do the Mad Magazine "fold-in". So I'd buy a 12 cent book and then gaze up at the marvelous huge sloped wall of candy, deciding how to blow the rest of my worldly estate. Maybe a pack of baseball cards or Wacky Packages for 7 cents, too. If you walked into Frank's with a dollar or 2, hoo-boy! Because Frank kept a spinner rack full of novelty items like trick gum, whoopie cishions, joy buzzers and jumping beans. And, in the back, for the big bucks, you could buy a Frisbee, a Duncan light-up butterfly yoyo or a tube of SuperElasticBubblePlastic. If you don't know, don't ask. Come to think of it, Frank really sold a SEBP knockoff product called "Blobo". Still cost more than a buck, though. I did buy a set of Monster Bubbles/Zillion Bubbles at Frank's, which kept me thoroughly entertained for a week or 2 when i was about 6 years old. Sometimes my mother and I would stop in Frank's while doing the laundry, or after shopping at Bohack. Frank would prepare the best egg cream in town, or a real banana split, served in a traditional clear glass dish. Even a plain coke served at that marvelous counter was delicious. Frank's was paradise; it was the first store I ever went into without my parents and I would even buy silly bric-a-brac there for holiday and family birthday gifts. I'll never forget the shop or it's gruff namesake proprietor, or his wife. I never knew her as Dolly, she was always Mrs Frank. Later, the store was converted to a loud bar, the "Family Lounge". After my dad ran outside to complain a few times, we could always count on a few broken bottles in our backyard in the morning. If he knew that, someday, I quaffed a few adult beverages in that old dive (it had a new name, though; Bubbles, maybe?) he would kill me! After 7 years in our modest, unimproved Cape Cod, we "moved up" to the area around the Library and Bluegrass Lane Pool, which was lifeguard HQ for everyone who worked at Town of Hempstead Pools. Our backyard was a little bigger, but it was still Levittown, the greatest place to live on the planet. I live in the DC suburbs now, but I miss Frank and the Roller Rink and Jahn's and the bike path every single day. Thanks again.
Sep 09, 2012 11:49 PM #26
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