The Abandoned Mailbox of Parkway North

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Sometimes you simply stroll by something in Yonkers and if you are not already hardened and cynical by the City’s underbelly, you can appreciate things for what they are and not really question anything else about your observations.

Case and point, Parkway North, a clean east to west boundary line for Yonkers and the Bronx running from Kimball Ave. to the Thruway, you don’t expect to find something like this in the northern woods of Van Cortlandt Park…

Mailbox3A lone mailbox, sealed shut and who knows how far away from its permanent home.  Moreover, how can the U.S. Postal Service lose track of a mailbox?

Mailbox2I feel bad for this lil guy…

IMG_3514Perhaps he gave it the office and retired some years ago, but I imagine his retirement dreams after a career as a letter carrier were more situated in the Florida sunshine or even somewhere along the Hudson River as a place for seagulls to rest their wings on a sunny day.

Mailbox1Whatever the case, if you find yourself on Parkway North at the corner of Old Jerome Ave, pay a visit to this lonely guy and if any of you have a truck and a saw, feel free to give him a lift to perhaps a more fitting retirement home.  I’m pretty sure once the mailboxes are no longer in use it is not a federal offense to move one…

—Josh

 

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Hello Again!

IMG_3464Being the curator of this website, I’ve found in the last 5 years that its taken on the characteristics of a relationship, with highs and lows and even falling outs.  Still though, like any good relationship, I’m still here and so are you!

Just as when I began MyYonkers, I still love this city as if it were a person.

And while I’ve moved around a bit, living in Arizona in 2013 and currently residing 5 blocks south of McLean Ave. in the Woodlawn section of the Bronx, Yonkers will always keep its magic and wonder in my eyes, despite gentrification, segregation, litigation, legislation and any other “tions” I may have missed there.

I look forward to expanding the “Outside of MyYonkers” section of this site in 2015, as well as profiling more individuals in the MyYonkers Conversations Section and as always, covering the ins and outs of the city through my own unique lens.

I missed writing on here in 2014 and also, despite the site being dark for a year, I received dozens of email inquiries about former articles, was asked about the site countless number of times and our social media presence even increased, meaning people were “liking” a facebook page for a website that no longer existed.

So to really fire things back up on here, I will be publishing 12 NEW articles in the month of April!

Please know that I look upon this site as an extension of a great community, past and present and the overwhelming number of memories and comments shared over the years have simply been a testament to how great a City Yonkers truly is.

Thank you for continuing to come back to MyYonkers to read the articles and I hope that my ideas and words can create a positive emotional response in your heart and that you can have continue enjoyment on MyYonkers!

—Josh

 

Nathan’s Comeback in Yonkers

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Last week saw the re-establishment of the Yonkers emblem of meat in tube-form as Nathan’s Hot Dogs on Central Ave. reopened their new doors, thisIMG_0050 time on the north facing side of a complex of stores consisting of a CVS and 2 stores to be named later.

What can I say?

The scars and memories of the original Nathan’s are still fresh inside all of our heads who lost one of our go-to spots for a quick lunch on a Saturday.

The new Nathan’s as expected, leaves much to be desired, no arcade games and no history of any kind, I don’t care how often they post signage of the year “1916” around the inside and outside of the place.

No stained glass mirrors, no fun chicken, nothing really of the Nathan’s of my youth.

Here’s a quick tour:

The drive thru is still around and I’ll give them points for improving things in this regard although it’s really six of one, half a dozen of the other.

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The same green and red neon lights still greet customers as they enter but obviously nothing close to the original signage.

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The inside is well…what can you say.  If you traded a few hot dogs and crinkle cut fries for some golden arches and the Cheeseburglar, you’d pretty much have a mickey D’s.

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One of the nicer or cooler parts though are the giant murals of Nathan’s Coney Island past and kuddos to the details of food, rides and people.

IMG_0062Nathan’s Seafood?

IMG_0061More Nathan’s happy customers…

IMG_0060Very dated bathing suits…

IMG_0058I like this kid…

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They also have framed pictures of the good times at the Coney Island landmark…

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IMG_0066With the centennial anniversary approaching, I am sure Nathan’s will be going all out nationwide let alone here in the NY area to commemorate their place in Hot Dog history and rightfully so.

Still though, despite Nathan’s being a universe unto itself, I think the place should have paid some homage to the old Nathan’s of Central Ave., even if it was just a mural or portrait of the bright lights guiding the way for the cars that passed by along Central Ave.

While I rarely advocate things of this nature, my suggestion is to extend the extra effort and time and catch a D Train, make your way out to Coney Island, and fulfill your craving with the real thing.  The remodel and renovation of the original Nathan’s has been complete for some time now and it’s just as good and packed as always out on Coney Island.

I hate to not patronize a Yonkers business and give into my nostalgic obstinance but it may take another 100 years before Nathan’s on Central Ave. gives me the satisfaction that its predecessor gave me time and time again.  Your Thoughts?

—Josh

Peek-A-Boo Stop Sign in Yonkers

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Normally, Yonkers DPW would be all over this one like a mountain lion on a baby Javelina but I suppose the stop sign at the corner of Ardell Rd. and Wildway Rd. in Yonkers was overlooked.

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Walking past this overgrown shrub, I thought about calling someone…someone perhaps at DPW to alert them of the issue but to be honest, I did not want to throw off their schedule as the guys do have to perform their required 20 hours a week of overtime along with hourly breaks and other contractual obligations regarding scheduling.

Or perhaps Yonkers police, giving the boys at the 2nd precinct something to do in the middle of a beautiful summer afternoon.

Or of course, there’s always the Mayor’s office too.

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In the end, I left it alone, but I must say that if you were ever cited for running this stop sign, the judge would certainly be hard-pressed to uphold the charge as from any angle, this thing is pretty obstructed to say the least.

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So the lesson of the day…Yonkers…only in Yonkers will you find such a contrast in good and evil, morality and corruption, and in this case, road signs that are clearly visible and ones that are being swallowed up by giant bushes.

—Josh

Beta Gamma Your Alpha Donuts – Woodside, Queens

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Pardon the play on the Greek Alphabet but after toiling for over an hour over a cool and creative title for this post, my sense of humor got the better of me.

Sure, other appropriate titles could have included but were not limited to:

  • 1975 Called and They Want Their Donuts Back
  • Alpha Donuts in Omega Queens
  • Excuse Me Sir but my French Cruller Has a Fly on It!

I felt I was hitting my stride with that last one but opted for the title you see above.

IMG_1855Well this place in Queens is simply a treasure and one that needs to be patronized 24/7, which happens to be their hours so if you find yourself in the five boroughs and it’s late and you say, “hmmm…where can I go at this hour for a donut, or an omelette, or a sandwich, or something that must be cooked on a greasy griddle?”

Look no further than Alpha Donuts in Woodside Queens!

A quick trip on the 7 Train from midtown Manhattan, this place has not changed in 40 years and upon my research, I was unable to even nail down a date as to when it opened.

Known for their French Crullers and greasy menu options, this place is certainly a throw back and for those of us who were not around to see the gritty, Taxi Driver days of New York, Alpha offers a rare glimpse into the city’s checkered past.

You even may have recently seen this place in a movie Robert De Niro shot here titled Being Flynn, an artistic tale of a relationship between father and son and two lives that are seemingly headed in opposite directions.  De Niro’s character has a major fall from grace to say the least and finds refuge on cold nights here, sitting at the counter, having a good ol fashioned cup of Joe and a sandwich!

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One of my favorite parts of the place, besides the fact that my sister and I would frequent the donut shop for breakfast, are the signature S-shaped counters, a thing of the past in New York and in most places as 21st Century diners enjoy having their own personal space.  At Alpha, you have to make friends and you definitely will encounter some characters at the counter from the wall street banker to the roaming hobo.

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The old-school menu still exists and while the prices have changed…they haven’t changed all that much…One of my personal faves is your standard Grilled Cheese and Fries, which only sets you back about $6.00 plus tip.

You can get Breakfast anytime and I highly recommend the potatoes, with or without peppers and onions, depending on your preference and psychosomatic anxiety, an immaculate alignment of the planets occurs with the potatoes having just enough grease, salt, pepper, and whatever else may have found its way into the heaping pile of potatoes, to satisfy even the pickiest of appetites.

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One of the best parts of the place is of course, watching your food and the food of the other patrons being prepared by the master chef himself.  It may not meet the standards of the Culinary Institute of America, but it does meet the standard of greasy goodness, lumped together on the same griddle with everyone else’s greasy goodness.

So what if your omelette taste like a cheeseburger and who cares if your tuna melt some how got a little pastrami mixed in?  At Alpha, everything on the grill is family.

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The only real suspect thing I ever saw at the place was their CPR kit…or lack thereof.  I’m not a medical doctor but this thing looks like it was used back during Mayor Abe Beame’s administration. You’re telling me no one has passed out in this place in 40 years?  Not too shabby a track record if you ask me!

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Even still, Alpha is a place with a heart and if your heart lies in the gritty 70’s of New York, you really should take a trip out here before it is too late and Alpha Donuts becomes another Dunkin Donut/Baskin Robbins combo.  When did they decide that Ice Cream and Donuts go together and did anyone tell the American Heart Association about this?

Simply take the 7 Train to the 40th St. Station and head down the platform to the south side of Queens Boulevard and you’ll see Alpha’s giant yellow sign.  Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner, packed or empty, De Niro or no De Niro, Alpha does not disappoint.

IMG_1852—Josh

The Coolest Job in Yonkers

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A few months ago, I happen to be at Empire City Casino early in the morning to put down $5K on Roley Poley in the third and as I approached the raceway, I noticed what I determined to be the coolest job in Yonkers! These guys get paid to wash this!

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Their squeegees extend out over 100 feet and as I mentioned about 3 times already, this is by far the coolest job in Yonkers!

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It reaches all the way to the top!!!

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Did I mention how cool this job is?  I wanted to ask if I could try it out but I figured these guys are professionals and need not be distracted by ignorance or youthful inquisitions.

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There you have it, all done!  Sparkling clean and ready for another day of racing action at Yonkers Race….I mean Empire City Casino!

IMG_2101–Josh

Top Make-Out Spots in Yonkers

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Cutlass_11This is a post I have been wanting to compile, examine and share for sometime but other areas of my life needed more of my attention.

Now that I have fulfilled obligations, been responsible; now that I have done what needed to be done, now ladies and gentlemen, the real work begins!

Certainly, I am sure everyone has a favorite make-out spot from their adolescence, Yonkers or not.

Heck, some people I know who grew up in Yonkers would be fine in the stairwell of their apartment building, let alone a dark and lonely stretch of road, deserted school parking lot or some dead-end street on the south side of town.

I figured this post would be more fun with audience participation so I’ll get the ball rolling on our favorite make-out spots in Yonkers and then if you would, please leave your favorite place in the comments section below!

Why you may ask…because inquiring minds want to know!!!

  • 1304 Midland Ave – Front Lawn

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOk ok, so maybe this is TMI for those who know me best and read this but let’s face it, when you are 14 and unable to drive, you need to improvise when wanting some alone time with a girl.

Now mind you, this may also be one of the dumbest make-out spots in Yonkers and I only recommend this place as a last resort to those teenagers who have gotten kicked out of at least 10 other places around the city and keep getting harassed by the cops at the 2nd precinct.

And no, I don’t know that from experience, why do you ask?

The main and most obvious reason this is a foolish place to make-out with a girl has…oh I dunno….something to do with the fact that there are about 200 windows surrounding you and with an audience that could total in the hundreds, you might as well charge admission or as others would say, “get a room!”.

Again, this was not my location of choice but it got the job done on occasion. ( I can hear a collective sigh from women across America…)

IMG00248-20101016-1013Merely a stones throw away from the exhibitionist style hill I mentioned before is the more secluded but yet dangerous parking lot of Cross County.

I use the word danger because at any time, you really do run the risk of getting pinched by one of Cross County’s finest.

These security guys are ex LAPD and when the batons come out and the badge numbers come off, you know it’s time to throw it in drive and try your luck somewhere else.

Still though, there used to be very sleepy areas of the parking lot where you could buy yourself an hour or so.

Nowadays, not so much, sorry kiddos.

IMG00983-20120210-1615Many of you may see a running theme here but again, growing up in this area of Yonkers, I had to utilize the natural landscape in which I was surrounded by.

Now this location was and still is a great location for getting some alone time with your significant other.

Cops rarely frequent the area so you should find some privacy here and if someone does knock on your car window, it’s probably just one of the harmless and friendly feral mud people who inhabit the woods surrounding the school.

Ok I kid, but as I stated earlier, this is still a good option at last check and an added bonus will be the soothing sounds of the Cross County Parkway to your south, always a mood setter.

These and other places around the city truly serve as haunting and in some cases bittersweet memories of our youth.  Our misguided, misspent, often rushed, youth.  I have other places I could name but I’m interested in YOUR places around the city and surrounding area.

Please leave the name of the street or cross streets and or how to get there.  My goal is that a new generation of hormone driven teenagers will use this article as a resource and as if they were researching how to enrich plutonium, they too can learn that the city of Yonkers, under the cover of darkness, can offer much more than just mischief and mayhem.

—Josh