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Astoria Houses: 1951

Astoria Houses: 1951

Sept. 22, 1951. "New York City Housing Authority. Astoria Houses, Queens. Exterior, East River park with children. Clarke, Rapuano & Holleran, landscape architects." 5x7 nitrate negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.

 

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Rubber

the rink skates I had in the 60's were made of wood.

Overlooked Technology...

In 1951 I was about the same age as the kids in the photo. In addition to the skate memories, I also remember the cart that the man is pulling along the sidewalk to take his grocery shopping home. What amazes me is with that technology in use in 1951 why did it take SO LONG to eventually put wheels on suitcases?

Skate buzz

The thing I remember most about the kind of skates you clamped onto your shoes is 1) You couldn't wear tennis shoes, you needed shoes with an actual leather sole, 2) after about an hour skating on rough sidewalks, when you'd take a break your feet and lower legs would be buzzing from the constant vibration, and 3) If you lost your skate key, it was almost impossible to tighten those things with a pair of pliers.

On The Waterfront

According to the NYC Housing Authority which owns and maintains the Astoria Houses the site has 22 Buildings, 1102 Apartments and 3,135 residents. Gentrification is full speed ahead on the Queens County East River Waterfront. This Public Housing project has views of Manhattan that people are paying millions of Dollars for in those new Condos on that shoreline.

Street skates vs rink skates

Street skates always had metal wheels. Rink skates always had (hard) rubber wheels.

I had a very nice hand me down 50's era skate key which not only worked the toe clips but had a couple wrench sizes to fit the wheels.

Yes, the leather ankle straps were the worst.

The bulges of tar that they filled the sidewalk cracks with were major hazards. We preferred skating in the basement which had a nice smooth concrete finish -- until Dad put down tile and paneled the walls.

Many a scraped knee

With those roller skates.I know that the leather strap would always be too long and my mom would loop it around my ankle -- very uncomfortable.

Looks like the kid is taking a break from skating. If I am correct, these are the ones that had metal, or very little rubber, on the wheels.

Casement Windows

Before air conditioning became available, adjustment of casement windows could catch a breeze and cool things down a bit. The present day view of this complex shows new windows, with many sporting air conditioners. But in 1951 some old habits died hard, as evidenced by the sheets or blankets hanging out of windows.

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