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Memories of 46th Street

by Valerie (Lewis) Mankoff

Since receiving Lee Stonehill’s email two days ago about Eugene's experience as a young musician, Sunnyside has been prominent in my consciousness.

          I have such fond memories of Sunnyside and what it was like to grow up there.

          The Turitz family lived a few doors down from us. I can still vividly picture Zitha as a pretty young woman. Gene Turitz was the first boy who ever kissed me. We were playing spin the bottle at a birthday party in his house.  I think I was 12 years old. He was a talented musician even then and I remember him as playing the clarinet beautifully. 

          My parents were divorced, my mother had a career, and my home life was rather stressful.  But I had a wonderful life in the schools, streets and sidewalks of Sunnyside.  I would rush home to change clothes and go outside to ride my bike with all my friends on 46th street.  Jumping rope, playing Potsy, Hide and Seek, Trick or Treat, snowball fights, building snowmen, sledding , playing ball with a pink Spalding. We were allowed to stay out and play until dark.   We all grew up together, and all are indelible in my mind:  Peter Greenblatt, Eugene Turitz, Carly Zuckerman, Roanna Judelson, Amy Snider, Robert Silver, Danny Levy, Eric Fried, Bobby and Lee Stonehill, Suzanne Frank.   I thank you all for being my childhood friends.


Sunnyside Gardens 46th Street girls.jpg

Valerie is standing in the lower right hand corner of the photo.

Valerie was graduated from Barnard College in 1961 with a degree in English literature.  Married during her last semester, she immediately set up housekeeping and had three children.  Returning to school later on, first for a master’s degree, then for a PhD in psychology, followed by a certificate in psychoanalysis, she practiced privately as a psychologist/analyst in Morris County New Jersey for over 20 years, a career she found both challenging and gratifying.  Valerie retired several years ago to focus on her art (, as well as to have more time to spend with her six grandchildren. 

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