You haven’t lived in Eastwood if you ….

What do you remember or know about Eastwood that makes this place unique among all other neighborhoods in the world? Please use the comment function to add your thoughts to those you see here, sent from Karen who moved to Florida and writes to us in the Walkable Eastwood email group.

You haven’t lived in Eastwood if you…

Never got caught with your feet up on a seat in the Palace, and Frances shining her flashlight in your eye. Yelling “Feet down or get out”.

Never tried sneaking in the Palace from the side door emergency exits… Your friends would pay to get in then make a lot of noise in the girls room with flushing and running water. Frances would come in to yell, “That’s enough water! If you want a bath, go home!” While she was in there someone would open the side door and let you in……

Never hid in Cummings field after dark, used your parents camera flash to make street light shut off, then swung on parks swings till midnight…..

Never listened to the great Stan Collela Orchestra while “Dancin’ under the stars”

Never had to close your windows on a damp or humid day when the winds came out of the east……Penicillin and Bristol……

Never had a 10 cent cinnamon Hershey Popsicle at Chase’s cigar store…

Never met great men like the late Tom Shepardson…. A kind friendly comfort in your hour of need…..

Never saw the great parade of little hobgoblins march up Forest Hill Drive every year on Halloween from A.S Huntington School…..

Never knew the phone number of every payphone from Charney’s to Thompson Rd…..or who was calling and probably who they were looking for…

Never went for a walk after dark over Sunnycrest hill/Shotwell park watching all the lights of the cars going by on 690 , while the wind whispering in the trees was making creepy noises and scaring your pants off…..

Never bought “chum gum” for a penny at Mel and Vi Sayers’ market…..

Never ate awesome Fried Haddock at the Fish Cove in Shop City…(No haddock in Florida)…

Never smelled that crazy musty odor in McCrory’s while your Mom made you try on flip flops or bought toilet paper there…..

Never had fries and a burger at Grant’s dept store snack bar in Shop City….

Never spent all summer saving money to go to all the surrounding neighborhoods’ “field days”…..They used to do one in the “First Trust” bank parking lot (Key Bank corner of Collingwood /James)… How about the one in Lyncourt, down in the field where Court Street meets Teall just east of Syracuse China……..

Never had a “Elephant Ear ” or “hot cross bun” at Rasmussen’s bakery on James St.

Never had a headlight at Geddes Bakery…..

Never played pool at Cap’s…..

Never played the greased watermelon race at the pool days, outdoors at the Huntington pool……

Never made boondoggles, lemon ice or spin art with the rec dept at Huntington park….

Never wrote your initials on the wall outside Biasone’s bowling alley and got chased away…..

Never ate McDonald’s late night outside the Fotomat in Shop City…..

Never got to try nail polish on at the make-up counter in Mr. Wager’s pharmacy on James and North Ave….

Never walked down James St on a summer Sunday around 10:30 when the Catholics, Methodists and Baptists were all singing hymns with their doors open…..

Never took a cab ride with “Ace Eastwood Cab Company”… Louie Tenalglia, Louie Recaparo, Vic Bottina, Esther Blevins… To name of few of my cabby friends….

Never got out of BS school for lunch and had a RB on a Kaiser at Sid’s Steak and Sundae…

Never had a note along with 200 other kids for a “Dr appointment” on opening day at the Syracuse Chiefs…..

Never ran into Galloway’s Pharmacy to get out of the rain and grab a coke while doing your paper route on Paul, Peck, James, Teall and Rugby Rd….

Never got a really beautiful Christmas tree at the Evergreen Mart on Thompson Rd. Or beautiful annuals across the street at Barbagallo’s stand….

Never wondered if smelt were fish, why on earth did that factory on Thompson Rd smell like smoke and dirty metal?

Never were green with envy at the size of that awesome front yard at Shotwell and James St and GOBSMACKED how ya never saw any kids playing on it…..

and last but not least…

Never thought it was gonna be missed so very much when you left it behind…….

I left my heart in Eastwood….

To all

88 thoughts on “You haven’t lived in Eastwood if you ….”

  1. never peeking at the big home of the “Colonie Girls” on Stafford near the Palace
    Never rolling a giant snowball down the Sunnycrest hill to hit a bus on Shotwell
    Never having to share your “buddy bar” candy at Finney’s store.
    never having to march out to the street with music and drums from BS school
    never shooting rubber band paper wads from the Palace balcony.
    never getting lost in the woods behind Huntington pool
    never feeling the pride in making it up Northcliffe hill on your bike without stopping
    never going to the Eastwood Dairy after Boy Scouts and blowing wet straw covers to stick on the windows
    never rolling tires down the brick hill on Forest Hill Drive
    never getting candy and fudgecicles at Mel Sayres, Shanahans and Finney”s
    never knowing someone who lived in the “project”

  2. Thank you for this, Tom! I’m amazed an touched by the number of comments on this one blog post… and I didn’t even write it! :-) What wonderful warm memories people have of Eastwood!

  3. Lonnie, Wondering if You had any info on how much money was raised to help Lenora through All Saints Church. I am sure there was a pleasant responce after You mentioned it. Sincerely, John Kavanaugh (

  4. Dave P, we must know each other. P&C market always had the bread and baked goods sitting outside early early in the morning. Eating half moon cookies and headlights from Rasmussens, while waiting for papers at the paper station. Mr Chase lived on our block. My sister Debbie worked at tastee freeze. We skipped church at the bowling alley. Eastwood was a great place to grow up, even with the accidents I had growing up. Throwing snowballs from the top of sunnycrest through open bus windows, hopping cars, pitching nickels on the steps at Mel’s. Thank you people for posting great memories.

  5. Now I am thinking. Taft school through 2nd grade, then Huntington. What was the name of the pool hall on midler between sunnycrest and caleb? Tuesday, church school, or was it Wed? My mother used to send me to mcdonald’s with a note to buy beer, I kept some of those notes to re-use at a later date. Delivered the Eastwood Recorder for Mr. Kenifik, before delivering post standard. I will post again, old timers must be setting in.

  6. this is great – thank you all. JAF’s was the store on Tyson, going down the hill from Collingswood? I remember the penny candies and buying baseball cards there, on my way home walking from Nichols School to Rigi Ave … wow. Also saw somebody mention other little neighborhood groceries, there was one on Tyson and Lynwood that closed when I was 8 or so (1970-ish). And Eastwood Jr High, damn right! At least Henninger is still there. I played for the Ferguson’s Grocery rookie Little League team. Sigh… young love at the pool behind Huntington. Chase’s, the bowling alley. The creepy manufacturing buildings off of Lamson that me and my friends were sure had zombies in them. :-) Playing baseball in the Blessed Sacrament parking lot until (after after) the covers came off the balls. What was the little market by Nichol’s School? Someone mentioned, getting an ice cream at the corner of James and Midler – the FFA storefront, wondering where all the future farmers were in Eastwood.

    Great memories, thank you.

  7. Hi Marc B; read your post and remembered the Lamson Corp Plant…When I moved away from FHD we had several of their little wooden boxes and crates and they had some bizarre gears and heavy metal things in it that I gave to an auctioneer to get rid of. Ha should have probably kept them, who knew eBay was coming right? Must have had one of my relatives working their during WWII. I will have to dig out some of my old pictures of my beloved Eastwood to soothe my aching heart:(
    Thanks for your comments!

  8. Karen
    Thanks for this webpage I loved Eastwood and growing up there you brought back alot of memories wish that I could share this on Facebook

  9. Omg I went to Nichols School. Remember Frank Foranza the best 6Th grade teacher ever. went on 30 field trips a year! Walking home for lunch. Going to Essis Store. The big piles of snow in shop city parking lot. Hamburgs and fries at the bowling alleys on James st… The palace and the movie theater in shop city. The chug a mug 1.00 Pitchers . Norwood park… The pie factory! Omg I could go on and on…

  10. Karen nice to read about these Eastwood memories as I recall some myself. Grew up on the southside then moved near Eastwood while attending Henninger. In 2008 Mariann Porter and Post-Standards Sean Kirst established a similar web page called the “Elmwood Blog”. It grew to over 3000 responses and won some award. Hopefully this take off too. Here’s a few Henninger Hill after football games being dispersed by police on horses and helicopter. One dollar pitchers of some sort of bottom of the barrel mixed brew at the Barlycorn tavern. Of course we would frequent the Tip-a-Few as well at age sixteen. Arturo’s what’s that crawling across the table? 50 Cent pizza squares at Buttons Arcade. Radio bars Geddes bakery. Friendly’s fish-ma-jig and fribbles. Lincoln Park pool late on a hot summer night. Gaby(RIP) at Teale Ave Market. Thanks until the next time…

  11. Never lived in Eastwood if you didn’t cut through yards to make your trip shorter, throw snowballs at cars from sunnycrest hill down to shotwell, jump out second floor windows into snow, bowl in a league at eastwood sportcenter and torture the guy that worked there (sonny), tackle football in the road after a snow storm, kissed red on the lips for a free cheese pizza, deliver pizzas for dominos and make a fortune, try to hook with a catholic school chick, have gym class with Mr. Grosso at Eastwood Jr. High.

  12. Good Morning Lonnie;
    It seems like we have a lot of crickets lately…Where has everyone gone? Thanks for the update Lonnie, I actually go back to the post at least 2x a year when I am missing home and reread it. It just so happens that fall is when I am most homesick and wouldn’t you know a great thing happened, an old friend started a really cool page on Facebook and then invited about 500 people who joined in a week! These are mostly 40-55 yo who attended Huntington ES, Eastwood JHS, and Henniger HS in 1960-1990’s also some BS and BGHS classmates.
    We are having a great time reminiscing over all the wonderful things we did as youngsters that made our stomping grounds so wonderful.
    I have been busy directly people to your blog and telling them to join our group and read it! I have also been researching stores and history a little and have come up with some interesting stuff. I have also contacted Margaret McVicker’s and will be buying her 2 Eastwood books next week. I am very excited to get my hands on these!
    I would love to ask our email followers if they FACEBOOK because we would really love the insight and memories of some older citizens for comparisons to what we already have posted….

    If anyone does Facebook and would like to join , it is open but you must still click the join but and Laura Fiorenza will approves you

    If not, would you be kind enough to share here I would forward it to the group…

    Here is some history I found thru newspaper archives..

    from 1962 Fayetteville Bulletin; Local business adverts…

    Angela’ s Restaurant
    389 N. Midler Ave.
    HO 3-9381

    Wager’s ‘Pharmacy
    2401 James St.
    HO 3-8539

    Pastella, DiMarco
    & Leveen
    Public Accountants
    2407 James St.
    HO 3-9221

    Peters IGA Store
    2519 James St.
    HO 3-5221

    Anchor Room
    2531 james St.
    HO 3-9362

    Ace & Eastwood Taxi
    GR 1-7133 HO 3-0711
    E. Syracuse & Vets Taxi
    HA 9221

    Eastwood Sports Center
    2912 James Si.
    HO 3-0052

    Groceries & Meats
    3110 James St
    HO 3-1051

    James Street Lanes
    3537 James St.
    HO 3-5352

    Sheraton-Syracuse Inn
    Thompson Rd.
    HO 3*6601

    Gang Memorial Chapel
    Fordham Rd. at teal Ave.
    HO 3-6161

    Leonard K. Hoffmeister
    Plumbing & Heating
    743 Teal Ave.
    GR 9-834

    January 1956 from Post Standard
    Syracuse—Fire destroyed a two-story building and damaged seven stores yesterday
    in the heart of the Eastwood business section of this city….Unofficial sources placed the loss in the three-alarm fire at
    $500,000. There were no injuries, but scores of firemen were made ill by heavy smoke. Firemen battled the blaze more than two hours before bringing the flames under control. They
    were still pouring water into the ruins last night.
    Dense smoke, that hung close to the ground and seeped into nearby buildings, forced many
    merchants in the area to close their stores. More than 500 children attending a theatre across
    the street from the blaze were ordered out when the smoke seeped into the auditorium.
    The fire department said BERSANI’S AUTO SUPPLY, MUSINGO’s CARPETS, ANGELO’s SHOE REPAIR and the BEVERLY SHOP, a women’s wear store were heavily
    damaged. Three other stores had lesser damages.
    The fire destroyed Wager’s pharmacy where, firemen said, the blaze appeared to have originated in a cooling system.
    Occupants of two apartments on a second floor were evacuated. Ammunition stocked in Bersani’s store exploded during the blaze, forcing firemen to seek shelter behind buildings. Police moved spectators from the area. IT WAS THE #RD MAJOR FIRE IN THE EASTWOOD BUSINESS DISTRICT IN A YEAR. Fourteen city companies and three from neighboring villages
    battled the blaze. Other village departments were called in to man city fire stations.

    Wow 3 fires in a Year in EASTWOOD!!!!

    And on a sad note…Mr. Don Wager, Pharmacist extraordinaire and great friend of our family passed in 1987 with very little recognition for his career of keeping Eastwoodians laughing and healthy.

    from Syracuse Post Standard May 6, 1987…
    Unfortunately no one must have been around to give this man the credit he deserved! SO Terribly sad….

    graveside services former East Sy
    racuse resident Donald Wager, who died Jan. 31 in Riverview, Florida
    will be at 11 a.m. Thursday in Sheds Cemetery.
    A native of Cazenovia, Mr. Wager- lived in East Syracuse
    before, moving to Riverview. He owned a pharmacy in East Syracuse. His wife, the former Bernadette White, died Nov. 3.
    Mr. .Wager was a past exalted ruler of Syracuse Lodge 31 BPOE, and a member of the Onondaga County Pharmaceutical Association. He was an Army Air Corps
    veteran of World War II.
    Surviving are two cousins,
    Robert and Cecil Barrett, both of Sheds.
    Smith Funeral Home, Cazenovia-, has charge of arrangements

    I hope you all will help us post some wonderful memories to help keep Eastwood memories going and bridge our generation gap and help to share with our children all those wonderful qualities that made/ makes it the most wonderful place in the world to live and raise families!

    Peace and Blessings
    Mrs. Karen Casey-Wightman
    Perry, GA

  13. Glad to see this site with lots of activity. I was in Syracuse this past summer for the 50th reunion of the SJCA class of 1963. How did THAT happen…I don’t FEEL that old!

    I just applied to join the Eastwood Facebook Page. I lived at 116 Melrose Ave from birth until I went on active duty as an Air Force Officer in June 1968.

  14. I remember Shananhan’s grocery on Woodbine Av.walking to Huntington School , Unger’s Children’s Clothing store, the A/P, the Palace Theatre and seeing Ronald Reagan’s movie Bedtime for Bonzo.i remember deliverimg the standard on a freezing cold day. We walked everywhere. No obesity in those days. Thanks 268 Woodbine Ave. I loved playing in the sun room but only during the warmer months of course.

  15. I remember Eastwood through out the years and has not been there lately. I remembered Shop City was first converted into a mini-mall and the money drop on people! Oh how rude they were when I was a kid! They pushed me! Decided never again go to a money drop event. I do not think anybody did that ever again.

    Speaking of Shop City, I remember Chappell’s there. Right up to the final day they were open and all things were gone. Just a couple of clothing. It was a great store till stupid Key Bank seized the chain and sold to a oh hum chain called Bon Ton.

    Button’s Arcade where I used play for hours and made all the way up to 2.5 million points several times passing 100 boards on Bubble Bobble and meeting the females. In 1980’s I went there as late as 4 in morning to drop in tokens. A lot of fun! In fact, I painted a mural there till an ex-girlfriend was mad and ruined it all!! HMM!

    It was at Button’s that this female friend who was with Karen (still remembered her name whom I met at Sports-0-Rama on August 11, 1984 at the Dance Center. We were only 4 people there. My friend and I went in there and found only 2 females there. Karen and a friend. Since they wanted to dance.. Only I was the one danced with Karen. I got her number but forgot to take it out of my pocket. I was not expecting that my mom was washing the jeans next morning when I got up! It was ruined and too late! It was real special that she and I danced alone at the dance center.. I never had anything like it again with anybody at a night club type of place although this was at a skating rink! lol.

    Her friend told me the following year at Buttons that Karen moved to Florida. When I saw this.. I wonder.. if this was the same Karen. Oh well. If you are the same Karen, its me!! I had curly dark brown hair, thin, short (5′ 3″). Button down shirt with rolled up sleeve. Do you recall me? I tried to look for you back then!

    Anyway, I remember many places. Friendly’s, Scared Melody Store when it was huge Christian book store. It was good one compared to many others. Now.. not the same. Its a lot smaller.

    I remembered pizza shops changes.. the bookstores…. Charney’s where my mom took me when I was a boy and teenager for clothes. It was only place that had my size (many places still do not these days)!

    I had a girlfriend whom I was engaged but broke off due to her cheating… she lived right off James Street behind my father’s business. If any of you remembered, Falso Industries with that 50’s style awning over large windows and brick front facade on New Court St. Road. It was fun to hangout at the shop on Fridays when I had my father for the weekend (parents divorced).

    Oh the Steak n Sundae on corner of James and North Midler.. good!!! I liked the place. STILL have not gone to the new one yet. Was going to eat there but my group was large like 12 of us and they turned us back so I never went back there again! Hated it. I go to Stella’s or Gardenview now.

    I have not gone to Eastwood in ages. Maybe once in every few years. I live in Liverpool now so my life is on this side. Will be considering relocating elsewhere though. Out of State that is.

    But will never forget where I lived: first was Manlius, then Fayetteville, then East Syracuse so Eastwood was just right up the street from me.

    Oh James Street was something! All the shops and stores. :)

  16. ravinsyr,

    The pool tables are only ones had to be quarters, not tokens. 50 cents. To play games, usually you get 7 tokens for a dollar you insert the change machine. a game was worth about 13 cents each. Sometimes 2 tokens which was doubled the cost.

  17. I grew up in Eastwood in the 70’sUS and 80’s, memories to last a lifetime. I lived on S. Collingwood ave, one of the highlights of growing up in Eastwood were all the corner stores, especially McDonalds 2 blocks down the street. It was nice having a self contained safe community. Played football for Eastwood in Bears in 82-84 at cummings field. I used to clean for my grandmother whom would give me $$$, my friends and I would go straight to Buttons arcade were I spent years of my life playing the largest collection of games in CNY. 7 tokens for $1 and 40 for $5.00. I rode my bike more miles than I drove, biking was safe. Endless hours at Huntington pool, sneaking into the Palace, trying to avoid Francis, I think she was 100 years old in the 70’s. Bowling at Eastwood Sports Center. Sliding down henniger hill in the winter, playing football in the streets. Eastwood was the epitomy of clean fun and the last of the family values.

    only 12 lanes, but the best lanes anywere. Used to order pizza at Franks, Frank was a jerk, generations before

  18. Does anyone remember white tower or whittigs or the red baen on Burnet ave. How about Steves Barn on Burnet Ave for the fish dinners. Or Bills Bakery for ten cent slices of pizza. How about the Festivals behind Blessed Sarcrament Church Where the ferris wheel seemed big at the time. Greart times growing up in east wood.

  19. How about the corner store on Lynwood Ave (had 2 different owners)
    How about BS Church outside carnival?
    How about spending Saturdays at James St Lanes?
    Buying dounuts at Harrison Bakery in Eastwood Shopping Center
    Buy gifts from Dorothy Winslow gift shop same plaza
    Franks Pizza after a game
    Tasty Freeze ice cream

  20. Lived in Eastwood from 1962 to 1978
    Great site, lots of memories. Delivery the Post Standard
    Buying cigarets at Chases, I think for 25 cents pack
    Seeing Baron Damon (Mike Price) at Bob Kilburn Ranbler
    Spending many hours playing ball games in the backyards of two great families on Lynwood Ave.
    Pelting the Lamson Bus with snow balls from the snow piles at the telephone company lot. Watching the house move from James St & Lynwood Ave. to Midler Ave. I still look for it.

  21. I grew up in Eastwood from 1962 to 1978. I thought there was no place like it in Syracuse. As late as the 80’s, real astate was on the up side. Most houses seemed to sell overnight. Even though I live in Nedrow now, I miss Eastwood. Almost everything was in walking distance. Several grocery stores (A & P, Loblaws, Victory Market and several corner stores. Many private Drug stores, Harrison Bakery, 3 banks, Chappels, Rambler Dealer, several gas stations, Witicks diner, Tasty Freeze, 3 bowling alleys and much more. I deliverd the Post Standard around the Blessed Sacrament Church area. Remember the outdoor carnival’s at BSC? I drive by my old house when I am in the neighborhood. Finally, one of my fondest memories is the moving of the house on James & Lynwood to S Midler Ave to make room for expansion of the Dentist Office. Rapp & Glad?

  22. I remember Eastwood well and fondly… many great memories and so many many great people….somewhere somehow they are etched in all of our hearts…. [from my parent’s first and last Eastwood home, my family’s beginnings and on to our life’s journey] ….. Many blessings go out to all the Eastwood kids that I grew up with (who are now adults or we should be :) with the very best of well wishes … God Bless !!!


  23. Eastwood. I’ll be dipped ice cream corner of James and midler. Nojams on midler! Sliver star market across from Eastwood jr high. Smoke bombs at mcDonalds grocery.

  24. You haven’t lived in Eastwood if you never went toboggan- jumping off the sand traps on Sunnycrest Hill!

    You haven’t lived in Eastwood if you never raced slot cars on james St!

    You haven’t lived in Eastwood if you never sat on The Wall behind Eastwood Jr. High!

    You haven’t lived in Eastwood if you never hung out at the wall at corner of James and Grant Blvd.!

    You haven’t lived in Eastwood if you never shopped at Charney’s!

    You haven’t lived in Eastwood if you never bowled at the Sport Center!

    You haven’t lived in Eastwood if you never ate at Frank’s Pizza!

    You haven’t lived in Eastwood if you never ate at Arturo’s Restaurant!

    You haven’t lived in Eastwood if you never ate burgers at White Tower!

    You haven’t lived in Eastwood if you never swam at Huntington Pool!

    You haven’t lived in Eastwood if you never played _____ at Nichols park!

    FINALLY, If you haven’t lived in Eastwood, you never really LIVED!!!

  25. Friday nights at the 800 club! Weekends crashing seeing receptions… to lake shore to watch hear Jimmy Cavello! Fanny Brown!

  26. I’m just sitting reading all these posts and smiling and missing my childhood with a pain in my heart would go back to those days in Eastwood and Lyncourt in a heartbeat

  27. You never lived in Eastwood if you’ve never been in Noah’s Ark Store on James St. where you could find things to add to your Christmas list.

    You never lived in Eastwood if you’ve never grocery shopped at Market Basket that was on the corner of James St. & Grant Blvd., or at Loblaws where Rite Aid is now on the corner of James St. & Homecroft Rd.

    You’ve never lived in Eastwood if you never shopped at Daw’s Drug Store.

    You’ve never been in Eastwood if Nick of Eastwood Barber Shop never gave you a haircut as a kid.

    You never lived in Eastwood, attended Blessed Sacrament School, and neither Sister Mary Lucida, nor Sister Rose Alice, nor Sister Irene Joseph, nor Sister Oswald was one of your teachers. Oh, and let’s not forget our music teacher, Sister George.

    You never lived in Eastwood, attended Blessed Sacrament School, and did not attend one of the featured movies in the school’s auditorium, and purchased candy from your homeroom nun to eat at the movie.

    You never lived in Eastwood if you were a parishioner at Blessed Sacrament Church, and didn’t know Fathers Moore, Flavin, Haggerty, or Hearn, and Monsignor Dillon.

  28. Red at Frank’s Pizza was not an asshole.He was the most talented Smart ass.Sardino was a nice guy also.

  29. What a wonderful little corner of cyberspace I’ve stumbled upon here.

    I grew up in Eastwood from 3rd grade at Lincoln elementary to the beginning of the 10th grade at Henninger High school in 1978.

    Truly a magical time and place to grow up.

    I haven’t been back in many many years.

    All of that is set to change at the end of this month, as I’m traveling to Syracuse.

    I am so looking forward to visiting the “old neighbourhood”.

    To revisit the places of so many great childhood memories.

    Thank you for this blog, and to all of you who shared thoughts here, for bringing to mind many things I haven’t thought of in such a long time.

    I’ll be sure to check back in.


  30. Does anyone remember the name of the restaurant/bar on Teall Ave. across from CJ’s Seafood in the 1980’s and early 1990’s?

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