Lost

Maybe I had too many cocktails with Ethel Fiddler at the Polish Day Parade roast last night, but I’m feeling nostalgic. The city seems to change so rapidly at times. In the last month, Joan Borushko resigned from the school board, and Betty Zwolak and Sean Kowalski moved out of town. I attended William Hood’s funeral, drank sliwowica with Dave Puls at Mark Swider’s retirement party, and witnessed the swearing in of two chiefs, Paul Wilk and Max Garbarino, in one 24-hour period. At the same time, there is another rush of people moving in, many just for the short term, and I often find myself on the other end of confusing conversations from 7+ years ago.

Nostalgia leads to looking through old photos, so below are some of our earliest, January through June of 2005.

The old Mother’s bar isn’t quite in the city, but I still tend to use the angel of Alfred E. Neuman as a reference point when giving directions in that area. Conant at Evaline, when Skipper’s was between being Cactus Pete’s and Chill and Mingle, Tri-State Karate was a Bollywood video rental, and the 8-Ball pool hall was a kabob shop.

Seroka Realty before Bengal Spice, Kenora Radio and Television repair before the sari shop, and Swifoto before Aladdin Cafe expanded.

White Star club and a fresh anarchist stencil across the alley from Polonia. (The last of these was painted over on the viaduct just last winter.)

Pope John Paul II bookstore on the day that John Paul passed away, and the stained-glass window of the restaurant he George Bush Sr ate at, Under the Eagle.

Brownie Rootbeer ad at one of the former Atlas buildings on Conant and Disneyland.

Genie’s Wienies and Salvador Deli

Shahi Tandoori/Bengal Masala/Al’s Corral and everyone’s favorite, Norwalk bar.

The end of the Holbrook ditch on Joseph Campau and Holbrook. (The old clock at People’s State bank is in the background.) A mural at Wafa grocery on the south end.

This corner lot was empty for 30 years before Royal Kabob. (The Johnson Creamery was on this corner until a fire in 1970, and older residents remember being able to watch bottles being filling in the front window.) An inspirational flier in Hannah’s Cafe advertising for a clean-up.

10 thoughts on “Lost

  1. Thanks for the nostalgic tour. I look at your website often for tidbits about the city my parents were raised in, my aunts and uncles operated bakeries in, and where I visited often to play with cousins decades ago. I am visiting St. Florian’s Strawberry Festival tonight, try to stop by paczki day and always come to buy kielbasa a few times a year, but those visits are different than visiting loved ones who have long been gone from Hamtramck. Hopefully the city gets back on track to become the wonderful city of my memories.

  2. Just a little correction, Johnsons Creamery was on the SE corner of Gallagher & Caniff. The original Dudek Foods was on the SW corner. Pope John Paul book shop was Mickeys Book Nook, that sold porn and sex toys along with various books. The Pope never ate or set foot in Under the Eagle Restaurant. All he did was say mass across the street. George Bush Sr. ate at the Eagle.

  3. I very much appreciate the comments, and I hope you’ll tell me more. About the creamery though, both corners were owned by Johnson’s at one point. The Johnson Dairy was on the SE corner and the Johnson Creamery was on the SW corner, before it was Dudek’s. This is according to 70+ year old women in the neighborhood. Younger people remember it exactly as you do.

    When George Bush ate at Under the Eagle, was this the same visit when he was pelted with broccoli at the Labor Day Parade and the FBI arrested a man who was planning to assassinate him during a speech at City Hall?

  4. Hillary, it was the same day but George was never hit. the broccoli got closest to Barbara his wife who was walking with him but I don’t recall if she was actually struck. I did see a piece hit then chief Alex Shulhan. Also a correction to a very old piece you did in 2011 about the history. Schimmel took over the city on Nov 17, 2000, my last day before retirement as Det/Sgt.

  5. Hillary, try this one out, Hamtramck Cycle. Two locations. Sure was nice to have the shop in town. Owner was a pretty nice guy. I guess he still is ! Guess what the second shop was ????

  6. Is that a reference to Bob Zwolak and the Hamtramck News? If memory serves, he started in one spot on Jos Campau north of Commor in the same building as an insurance agent, and the other was next door to the current Maine Street restaurant. I currently possess a full set of the newspapers. You, all of you, are welcome to meet me at Club Mazurek some time to look them over.

    I am searching for some info and would really appreciate help. Does anyone remember what the name of the other stores were on the corner of Sobieski and Commor? I heard that there was a hardware store (12000), a grocery (11758), a candy store (11759), and Club Mazurek (12001), a “beer garden”. The cafe must have had another name previously, maybe more than one.

  7. You got it, Bicycle Bob. Joe Ignaczyk and him were in the first place. Then he moved I’m quite sure to the old carwash bldg which was on the north side of Maine Street. Which is parking now. Yada Brothers (not sure of spelling) had candy store on Sobieski then moved to Conant and opened up a wholesale house with confectionaries. I think they called it J & S. There was also a Lee & Cady on Caniff at Sobieski, they too sold candy and goods wholesale. South side of Caniff, next to Mack Packing.

  8. what dairy was on rhe NE corner of Gallagher & Holbrook. I remembered getting milk shakes there or do I have a really bad memory?

  9. That was Daily Creamery. Owned and operated by the Lawrence brothers. I knew Leonard ( Lenny ) They had the best orange pineapple ice cream in the world along with whitehouse cherry. They also supplied milk to a lot of schools and institutions in the area. In fact I still have a bottle from there. Not full of course. I still can remember the nights we would go to Metro Bakery through the side door on Commor & Lumpkin and get warm fresh bread. We would always try to get the piece that had the union stamp stuck on it and wonder if someone had a job licking them and putting it on the loaf of bread.

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