Places to Go in Bridgeport
Contributed by Ronald E. Rondyke Many people went to Pleasure Beach via the rickity old wooden bridge to go on the rides or use the beach. WICC had their antenna towers there. Some use to go Savin Rock in West Haven for the rides and the foods. Especially the Crinkle Cut potatoes in the paper cones. Others use to go to Jimmy's and watch the grill being loaded up with hot dogs being split and the rolls being toasted on the other grill. Many people use to also go to the Buglight or Contes for Dogs, hamburgers, Chow Mein Sandwiches or Lobster rolls. Whenever my dad and I needed a new suit for Easter, we use to go Levitt's on Main and Fairfield Avenues. I use to go to Thom McCan's on East Main Street for a pair of PF Flyer sneakers or US Keds. Most of the kids use to hang out at Jean's on East Main Street after school for a 'coke' or a ice cream sundae. Plus dance to the latest tunes on the juke box There were a lot of theaters in Bridgeport at one time; The Hippodrome, American Strand, Lyric,Globe,Capital,Rialto,Rivoli which were there long before the Beverly and the Hi Way! Among a lot of others like the Lowes Poli and the Majestic. Where everyone went for the very latest in new movies. We use to have the 'shoe shine stands' at the railroad station and the PAL use to have the school age kids set up on street corners to offer people a shine. Besides Howlands and Reads Department stores, there was also Woolworth's, Grants, Blinns craft and model car shop behind Howlands. The place to go for a really oversized sandwich was the Windmill Restaurant out in Stratford. One would also go out the 'Cricket' by the airport and grab a footlong hot dog. Or they could run out to Monroe to Jackies for a foot long. Many working people use to go Whites Diner up on Boston Avenue for a meal. Or out to the Hi Way Diner. Perhaps even over to the Howard Johnsons. In the Downtown area some would go to the 'Coney Island' and get a hotdog,etc. Then go next door to the Penny Arcade to play a few games. Others would go up to the 'Main Line Diner' on Main street for a meal. The 'old' Port Jefferson Ferry use to dock at Stratford Avenue Bridge and take people to "P.J." The 'old' Brickerhoff Ferry use to take people from there to Pleasure Beach Park,too! The U.I. was on the lower end of East Main Street and powered the city. Kozdeba's was on the corner of East Main Street and Stratford Avenue where many a person use to purchase their appliances. On East Main Street we use to have our own butcher, shoe repair and over on Pembroke Street was the chicken store. 'Doc Eddo's' was the place to go for the those who had paper routes to pick up their pile of papers and fold them before going on their rounds. Also to get 'penny candy!' Who could forget the Raybestos womens softball team or the Connecticut Yankees Drum and Bugle Corp? How about the 'Ice Cream Palor' out in Westport and the "Pig's Trough?" Then,too, the old Barnum Festival Parades, and the fireworks and the circus or the carnival. The guys use to tell the girls about taking them down to Seaside Park and show them the "Submarine Races" or they would show them HOWE standing up. Another 'hotdog stand ' I forgot to mention is Homa's at the end of Main Street.