Re: Ginotti's Coal Company

02/04/08 - posted by Frank Dunnigan

Just as a post-script to Roy's recollection, that NW corner of 23rd and Vicente was occupied in the 1950s & 1960s by Vicente Begonia Gardens, with a low, very small, brownish wood structure set close to the curb, and at a 45-degree angle to the intersection. The majority of the property was devoted to growing their plants. This tiny neighborhood business was eventually replaced by the present 1970s-era apartment building. Kitty-corner across the street was Vicente Variety--aka "The Variety Store"--that sold everything from a needle to an anchor in a dark, tiny space on the corner. Right inside the door was the cashier and their penny candy selection, which was one of the best in the neighborhood, and I still remember those agonizing decisions about choosing one piece over another. At the back was a long-countered soda fountain, that looked as if it had been taken directly out of a 1920s film set. Opposite the Begonia Gardens on Vicente was Pinelake Market, and the twin-fronted Pinelake Meats, both of which would deliver your order within an hour or so. Mom and I would walk to all of these places from 18th & Vicente in the early 1950s, before she learned to drive. It's increasingly hard to recall just how livable the Sunset/Parkside area was in those days, and that there were businesses in the neighborhood that truly met the needs of stay-at-home Moms, many of whom did not drive.

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