A Horse In Brooklyn?

Discussion in 'Other Reminiscences' started by Tony Page, Mar 7, 2021.

  1. Tony Page

    Tony Page Well-Known Member
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    Brooklyn on some weekends I'd hear that familiar song " tomatoes ten cents a pound , potatoes , apples " it meant the fruit & vegetable man is on the street with his horse-drawn cart. The women would rush out of there Apartments to get the best pick. I would rush downstairs from our second floor apartment to see clapper a name me and my friends gave the horse. Imagine how exciting it was for us kids 2 touch and pet a horse. This happened in the 50s , when Clapper died "how could it be" he was so big, so strong. I would never see him plodding along again. He was never replaced I wondered what the vegetable man did for a living now.
     
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  2. John Brunner

    John Brunner Veteran Member
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    It boggles the modern mind to think of a horse in the middle of a city. Where was it kept? Were there stables for the critters of such vendors? For those who used them as transportation (pulling carriages), one would think they would be housed at home; otherwise, they would lose their value as transportation.

    And think of all the professions that have come and gone over the years/decades/centuries. Many times one profession dependent on another, and when one of them goes, others fall like dominoes, being replaced by fresh and new opportunities.

    Economists call this "Creative destruction." No industry is immune.
     
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  3. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    Back in the early 1950’s, a lot of people had a backyard barn, and either had a horse, a milk cow, or maybe some pigs and chickens, and every yard had a vegetable garden and fruit trees. Even after keeping livestock was no longer allowed, people who already had the livestock were “grandfathered in”, and could keep whatever they had until they sold the property.
    This was only a smaller town where I lived, but if the vegetable seller in Brooklyn was growing his own veggies to sell, he had to live somewhere that he had enough land for a small vegetable farm and room for a horse and maybe a milk cow.
     
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  4. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Veteran Member
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    Although I grew up in a small town, there was on old livery stable around the corner of an alley near where I lived. It was collapsing and rotten, but as boys we explored it and no one was ever really injured. I assume the same thing existed in larger cities, where horses in particular could be kept and fed.
     
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  5. Tony Page

    Tony Page Well-Known Member
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    I was just thinking I remember reading a while ago that they spotted coyotes in New York City Parks.
    Maybe we can call it the cement and brick Forest.
     
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  6. Tony Page

    Tony Page Well-Known Member
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    I'm sure there are Stables, New York City has policeman on horses especially in Central Park.
     
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  7. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    I remember the horse drawn wagons peddling fruits and vegetables, whatever was in season
    but this was much earlier back in the late thirties and forties. I think by the fifties the man had
    retired or died. I don't remember his name but I walked to school with his son. I remember a
    couple of occasions I rode with he and his son on a Saturday and we packed up small crates
    of tomatoes and Okra and green beans onions. He grew tomatoes and onions but much of his
    produce he bought wholesale from people who hauled it from the Rio Grande valley. He never
    paid me anything for helping and I was surprised how late he worked. Sometime it was after
    sundown and in the fall it would be after dark when he came home and parked his wagon and
    took care of his horse. Although he lived simply and lived in a neighborhood that was getting
    older, I suspect because that was an area where he could keep his horse. He was a wealthy
    man and in that day and time and in that day and time a couple of million dollars was indeed
    wealthy.
     
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  8. Tony Page

    Tony Page Well-Known Member
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    I lived in Williamsburg do you know if he covers that area?
     
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  9. Boris Boddenov

    Boris Boddenov Well-Known Member
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    1950s Baltimore (population just under a million at that time) there were several horse "farms" within city limits including one near the harbor. Produce vendors and rag collectors hooked-up their wagons to them and went thru the alleys to conduct their business. I assume that the wagons were kept at the farms too.
     
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  10. John Brunner

    John Brunner Veteran Member
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    We are so spoiled (at least many of us are), much to our own detriment.
     
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