Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Garment Worker recalls

Mark Weiss writes to share this recollection of Dubrow's:

"I began my career in the garment center in 1980 when I started work at Heath Tex children's wear. On my very first day my new buddies took me to lunch round the corner at Dubrow's. I loved Dubrow's and the unique feel of the place. In this day of cold noisy chain restaurants that decorate to look like they understand the locale, Dubrow's needed no such decorations. It was New York."

Puts a personal touch on the image I have of the thousands of garment workers who enjoyed the Manhattan Dubrow's on their lunch break.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Eastern Parkway Dubrows, 1945

Reader Brian Merlis sent me this photo of Dubrow's on Eastern Parkway, circa about 1945. What a great find!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tracking Nathan Rappel

I got an email in recent weeks from Aileen Bordman, who writes: "my Grandfather Nathan Rappel worked at Dubrow's on Kings Highway for a zillion years of course that was a zillion years ago..I heard great stories growing up. You have such a lovely tribute to your family..."

I am wondering if Nathan Rappel is the same person that my aunt Ruthie referred to as "Nathan Make-a-Line" in this piece of oral history I recorded. I've never heard of another Nathan at Dubrow's.

Anyone else recall Nathan Rappel? Aileen would very much like to hear from you if you have.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Story about Benjamin Dubrow

This one comes from my mom, Bonnie Lyons, from our recent visit to Miami for Passover. Apparently, Benjamin Dubrow was famous for being evasive about his age, and would never tell people when he was born. At some point, he settled into being 62 years old, and never changed from that age. He was just 62, from then on. It got to the point where his son, George Dubrow, turned 59, and someone asked Benjamin about his age in light of this fact: "Pops, how can you be 62 if George is 59?" To which Benjamin, undeterred, replied "That's his problem."

EDIT: Of course, this just illustrates how family stories can play with actual facts.   Based on the actual lifespan of George Dubrow's life, he never lived to be 59 and would not have been 59 in Benjamin Dubrow's lifetime.  But it doesn't mean the spirit of the story isn't still true, right?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Photo from the nephew of a former employee

This photo comes from reader Richard Hackett, who writes "I have attached a photo of a tray that has been in my family for as long as I can remember. As you can see I still use it.It was given to us years ago by my uncle, Joe Hackett. I believe he worked for many years in the Manhattan Dubrow's."

Always great to hear about another Dubrow's employee. I've asked Mr. Hackett if he knew what his uncle did there. If anyone has recollections of Joe Hackett, post 'em here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Benjamin Dubrow's Passenger Manifest

Man, it has been a long time since I posted anything around here. I'm sorry about that. I've still got stuff to share just sitting on my hard drive.

Today, my mother sent me something she retrieved for me when she visited Ellis Island months ago.  It's the print out of information about Benjamin Dubrow upon his first arrival to this country.  It lists his full, Russian transliterated name as being Mowsoha Bencian Dubrowensky.  He was 36 when he came here on July 9, 1914, already married.  His last place of residence was Bolruik, Russia and his port of departure was Libau, Russia. I'm guessing "Bolruik" is related to "Belarus" which is the name of the country which didn't exist in 1914, but is the region of Russia from which Benjamin and his family came.

This is where it all began. He didn't want to come, but he came, and he stayed. And he wound up opening a successful chain of cafeterias for several decades.  It really is the American dream.