Friday, June 7, 2024

Before I was born


That's my great-grandfather. Charles Ring. He smiling and standing in front of his fruit stand in front of 136 Avenue C on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Now they call it Alphabet City.


The picture is probably about 100 years old.

Below is the Google Street View of the same place. If I did everything correctly it is not the most current street view because that has a truck parked across the street.It's the second newest street view which shows that the building diagonally across the street from my great grandfather is still there


a couple of weeks ago I took a walk over there. I stood in the same spot my great-grandfather stood a century ago.



A friendly police officer took my picture while I held up the picture of my great-grandfather


I took this selfie.


And this is the building he might have been looking at while he was selling that fruit and posing for that picture.

Charles was naturalized as a US citizen on June 7th, 1960 exactly 3 years before the day I was born.

It's hard to say what my great-grandfathers immigration status was until he became a citizen. But I do know that when he first attempted to immigrate from Poland because of extreme poverty and prejudice he was denied entry into the United States. Eventually he was permitted to settle the United States with my grandfather and then my father was born.
my father's family. circa 1940

My grandfather and father didn't just sell fruit They sold all sorts of stuff. Their descendants became doctors and lawyers and professors. The American Dream.

Till the left is a really old family picture. That's my dad in the middle. Behind him the guy in the dark suit is my great-grandfather Charles. And off to the right a little bit more in the lighter suit is my grandfather David.

My descendants came to the United States because they were living on dirt floors in Poland and they probably would have been exterminated by the Nazis if they would have stayed. They came to America because it's the land of opportunity. But not just opportunity it was a chance to live. That hasn't changed too much Millions of people are coming here every year because the alternative is a horrible life or none at all. I remember how my family got here every time I get in a taxi and the driver hardly speaks English. I am always nice to them because I know that their children are going to be my children's doctors and lawyers.

Also, I walked home from the subway. I walked one block out of my way to pass 45 plaza street. I took a picture of the doorway. 60 years ago today the obstetrician that delivered me signed my birth certificate. His office was at 45 Plaza Street


1 comment:

You do not have to be nice!

This is not me

This is not me
Not me.

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