Reader Comment Of The Week: The Greenpoint Hotel
This afternoon I arrived home after savoring today’s lovely weather to find a rather lengthy comment awaiting my approval. Ordinarily I approach such lengthy tomes with a sense of dread: experience has taught me that anything over two paragraphs is usually a bit— shall I say— “cranky”. Fortunately this was not the case. In fact I found it so compelling I felt it merited its own post. Beverly writes (in regards to this post):
Having been born at home on January 20, 1951Â at 1116 Manhattan Avenue, I grew up across the street from this “hotel”.Â It was originally called the EDWARDS HOTEL, later on changed to the PRINCE EDWARDS HOTEL dubbed the PRINCE HOTEL which has now evolved to the GREENPOINT HOTEL.
This was a place where the downtrodden took up residence.Â Many were welfare recipients, some worked and others just existed there.
Having lived across the street and attending St Cyril & Methodius School, I had to pass there everyday.Â Yes, the men was scary and looked like the same men who would hang out down the Bowery who cleaned your car windows begging for some change.
Of course we were always told “never speak to strangers”, so passing the Hotel was no different.Â I recall as a child perhaps walking a little faster past there than I would elsewhere.Â However, in all the time I was growing up and walking past this place not once did I ever encounter a problem.
I am sure that if the walls and halls of that place could speak, they would tell stories both good and horrible.Â I remember when we still had Police Officers WALKING a beat, they were a constant visitor there for one reason or another keeping peace.Â But never do I remember anyone who had to pass by being bothered by it’s residents.Â The men who resided there kept to themselves and never bothered anyone who passed by either who worked in the area or who lived in the area.Â In fact, I think there was more “action” in JOE TAX’S BAR which was on the corner of Clay Street and Manhattan Avenue then there was in the hotel!
My Dad’s family owned a house on Clay Street (#38), which was directly next door to HARTE & COMPANY, and when we went down to Grandma’s House where my Aunt, Uncle and cousins lived too, we would have to pass what was termed “THE HOTEL ANNEX” which was directly on Clay Street.Â Again, these men would sit around on the stoops or in summer on the fire escapes, but never in all that time did they ever bother the handful of residents that lived down that street or all the factory workers.
I know of no one who would be “brave” enough to go inside there, but as a girl growing up I can honestly say that passing by this place was not as scary as many would have you think.Â In fact, a puppy once ran out onto Manhattan Avenue and I screamed and it was the men sitting in front of the Hotel who immediately stopped the traffic and ran to the puppy’s rescue so that the B-62 Bus coming from the Depot would not run it over.Â Turns out the puppy belonged to someone who was in JOE TAX’S BAR and the puppy ran out the door before they could catch it.
I know that sounds like a “warm and fuzzy” feeling to a place that housed so many troubled souls, but like anything else on this earth…..there are good and bad in every bunch and I think these men just found themselves in a situation many had no control over.
I have lived through many good times in Greenpoint and remember some of the bad things that happened there too.Â However, the Wonderful and Good memories far OUTWEIGH the bad ones!
No matter where I have traveled, no matter where I have moved to & without a doubt or a nanoseconds hesitation, I will ALWAYS call GREENPOINT HOME!!!!!!
I want to thank Beverly for sharing her experiences. It made my afternoon in a big, BIG way. Thanks!