Block 19 – E1
67-54 78th Street
Shiowitz - Yonkowitz's House (Weiss - Wulwick - Bergman - Berenson (Markowitz/Gelb - Flatow Brother's Fruit Store)

This 3-story building was built in 1930. Originally, it consisted of several apartments, two stores and several garages.  It should be noted, however, that the NYC Department of Buildings shows that two “New Building Permits” were issued in 1916 and another in 1922.

According to the 1930 census (ED 41-123 – Page 14 – 15), the property was owned by Isaac Shiowitz (age 50) & his wife, Bertha (age 49), who lived there with their children, Frieda (age 22), Jack (age 21), Herman (age 19) and Jerome (age 4). All but the youngest son (Jerome) were born in Hungary. Mr. Shiowitz emigrated to the United States in 1914. His wife and their 3 oldest children emigrated in 1924.  Jack was born in New York.

Also living in the building were Moe Siegel (age 46) & his wife Carrie (age 40) and their children, Albert (age 17), Lester (age 9) and Jerome (age 6). Moe & Carrie were born in Russia. Moe emigrated to the United States in 1890 and Carrie in 1900.

According to the 1940 census (ED 41-358 – Page 3), living in one of the apartments were Leo Storch (age 23) and his wife, Deborah (age 22).

Living in another apartment were Israel Friedman (age 66) and his wife, Gissella (age 66).

Also, the census report reflects that the apartment around the corner was assigned an address of 75-42 67th Drive and that Mr. & Mrs. Shiowitz were still living there, with their son Jerome (now 14).

I (Spencer Wulwick) lived in the 2nd floor, front apartment, directly above the Fruit Store, with my mother, Beulah Weiss. We moved in, in 1944 and my mother lived there until 1998, when she required hospitalization and then went into a Nursing Home. (I had left in June, 1956 for the Army).


Spencer Wulwick - Age 17

Spencer Wulwick

Beulah Weiss Wulwick

  Beulah Weiss Wulwick


The second floor rear apartment was occupied by the Bergman family (Sidney & Miriam Bergman and their daughter, Audrey, who was a friend of mine).

Audrey Bergman

Audrey Bergman

The upstairs, front apartment was occupied by Mrs. Berenson and her son, Jack.


Sheila Schmulowitz

The upstairs rear apartment was first occupied by the Schmulowitz family (Tillie was the wife’s name), whose daughter, Sheila was a friend of mine.

I forgot the name of the woman who subsequently occupied one of the upstairs apartment’s; however, she was a friend of my mother’s and lived there for a number of years with her daughter.

Some time, later on, the building was subsequently managed (and the apartment replaced) by his children (Mr. & Mrs. Yonkowitz), who brought with them, their son (Joseph) who became a member of our “crowd” & daughter (Diane).

Dianne Yonkovitsh - Face

Dianne Yonkovitsh

Some time after 1952, when Abraham Brown (who had lived at 75-31 67th Drive), passed away, his wife, Ida Belinsky Brown and her son, Herbert Brown moved into this building.  (It was probably some time after 1956, when I (Spencer) went into the Army, because I don’t remember ever being aware that they were living in “my” building).

That brings us to the stores.

I’m told that in the 1930’s, probably from around 1934 or 1935 until around 1938 or 1939, this store was a butcher shop, owned by Sam Korblau who, in 1930, lived and owned a butcher shop at 75-37 67th Drive and subsequently bought (and opened another butcher shop at) 67-51 78th Street.

Next, his store became one  of Middle Village’s most fabulous Fruit Stores. The “owners” of the fruit store, first known to me were  Harry (& Faye) Gelb and Max (& Faye) Markowitz.  Harry was related to my uncle (William Gelb) who lived  across the street, next to the candy store. Max & Faye  Markowitz were the parents of Phyllis Markowitz, who was  a member of our “crowd.” At that time, the fruit store was  generally known as Max & Harry’s. Phyllis Markowitz
Phyllis Markowitz


Click-the-pic for a larger view

Click-the-pic for a larger view


The fruit store was next operated by Jerry & Murray Flatow, lovingly known to all as the “Flatow Brothers.”

In later years, the Flatow Brother’s Fruit Store was moved to Metropolitan Avenue and the “old” store was converted to an apartment, with an entrance on 78th Street.To read about where Murray & Jerry lived with their family, just click here.To read a “Now and Then” article that I wrote about the fruit store, just click here

Also, on the Wayne Street Side, (67th Drive), behind the downstairs apartment, there was another store that – for most of the time I can remember – was a “Fish” store run by “Benny.” I remember that my aunt used to buy several kinds of fish there that she would use to make yummy home-made gefilte fish. Beyond the fish store, there were 3 one-car garages. (I had rented one of them for a short time).

Based on Property Transaction Records, we know the following:

Some time prior to February 1999, this property was owned by Mary Vetrano and in February 1999, it was sold to Maria Caruso and Salvatore Caruso. In July 2008, it was sold to Milena Vasic, the current owner.

To see this building in the 1980’s, click here.

Flatow Brothers Fruit Store - Now and ThenClick-the-pic to find it on Google Maps

Click here to return to the Map!

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