Canarsie reunion brings folks back to the old neighborhood • Brooklyn Paper

Canarsie reunion brings folks back to the old neighborhood

Blast from the past: Mike Liebowitz and his wife Rita Baker Liebowitz smile alongside Paul Levine, who hasn’t seen the couple in 40 years, at a reunion for area baby boomers in Marine Park on Aug. 17.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

They’re so Brooklyn, they remember Canarsie before it was Canarsie.

A group of about 40 Canarsie baby boomers, who referred to the neighborhood they grew up in as Futurama Homes, gathered together for a reunion on Aug. 17. The classmates from Canarsie High School and South Shore High School — many now no longer living in the area — gathered in Marine Park and laughed and reminisced about their cherished memories of barbecuing in the snow, eating Chinese food on Sundays, and smelling fresh bagels from bakeries that no longer exist.

The reunions started in 2010 and Paul Levine, who said this is the last reunion he will organize, said he doesn’t stress about preparing for the get-together, because it is the memories that matter most.

“You don’t need some catering — throw some hotdogs and beer in the back of the truck and everyone comes,” said Levine, who now lives in Flatlands.

All together now: The gang gathers together for a picture to add to their collection.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

For this reunion, though, there was plenty of prepared food — flank steak, Swedish meatballs, rigatoni with sausage and broccoli, and potato pie — all from classmate Dino Piarulli’s catering company, Dino’s Delights.

Though Piarulli lives out on Long Island now, he said the classmates have an unbreakable bond.

“The Canarsie people are very tight,” said Piarulli.

One classmate said the gang went through hard times while growing up, but they all got by with a little help from their friends.

Picturing the past: Fred Lubarsky reminisces with Sheera Glass about the good old days.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

“We stayed friends all these years,” said Jesse Eisenpress, who now lives in Virginia. “We shared together — good and bad.”

Levine said while he was growing up, everyone hung out on the street — and no one was distracted by the technology that today’s teenagers use.

“You had anywhere from 200 to 300 kids,” said Levine. “That’s where people gathered before there were cell phones, beepers.”

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at vogle‌@cngl‌ocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow her attwitter.com/oglevanessa.
Special shirt: Neil Eisenman shows off his shirt that lists key Canarsie places from the past.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

More from Around New York