Thursday, January 23, 2014

Clifton in Verse (Part One)

Ludlow Avenue, Looking East in the Business District (my brother Peter’s photo)

Dear George,
We moved to a Clifton apartment in 1972, then bought our house on Ludlow Avenue around 1976.  I’ve been increasingly enamored with our neighborhood since we moved here. Clifton, about two square miles in size and with a population of 8600, is just north of the university and about three miles north of downtown.  There are lots of university faculty, med center people, other professionals, artists and writers, and young families who make up the community.  It has a certain bohemian air about it.  The neighborhood business district along Ludlow Ave. draws people from around the city with its dozens of shops, restaurants, bars, and a 6-screen movie theater.  All this, it seems to me, calls for a poetic tribute, so I’ve been busy putting various highlights of our street to verse.  This is Part One.  It covers selected places on the south side of Ludlow Avenue, starting at our house and moving eastward down the street through the business district.  More to come soon.

Our House

We’ve lived in our house more than thirty-six years
The shops are right down from our corner
Our life’s more exciting than first appears
We get all our kicks from Time-Warner 

US Bank

US Bank was once called the First National Bank
Then the Star Bank and then the Sun
I guess they’ve been trying to be more swank
Though we only care for our mon

CVS Pharmacy

CVS has over a million pills
With Extra Rewards you can save
It’s not that their pills give us that many thrills
But they do keep us out of the grave

Hansa Guild

Hansa Guild features ethnic clothes
They’re designed by Latin designers
There are skirts and hats and multi-colored hose
They’re great on chic adults and minors

The Clifton Public Library

Our library’s just the busiest place
People sit there and use the computers
Some complain that it’s lacking in space
But it’s three times as cultured as Hooters

The Proud Rooster

We lunch at Proud Rooster two days a week
I order fried chicken and fries
This restaurant ekes of a forties mystique
I just pray that they don’t glamorize

The Post Office

Our post office is kind of a pint-sized box
They’re closing these very small branches
Everyone thinks that our postmistress rocks
That gives them false hope for our chances

Ludlow Wine Shop

We used to be members of Ludlow Wine
A new bottle every four weeks
We’d share a glass each time that we’d dine
And record in a book our critiques

Dan’s Clifton Barbers

I used to go to the barber a lot
They gave me my first brush cut
Now Donna trims my hair for nought
I only miss Dan’s somewhat

Clifton Plaza

They demolished this building on Ludlow
Then some dreamer dreamed up a plaza
Local donors supplied all the dough
It’s now an Italian piazza

Toku Baru

Toku Baru has a funny name
It’s where I get toys for the kiddies
I always look for a yo-yo or game
Something that gives them the giddies

The China Kitchen

The China Kitchen has splendid meals
Our favorite is General Tso
The menu is full of remarkable deals
Though the octopi are only so-so 

Om Café

The Om Café seems a little eerie
The goings-on there are mysterious
The people inside appear to be cheery
But, who knows, they could be delirious

Kellers’ IGA

Our grocery looks like a bleak ghost town
It’s long been shuttered and dead
When people pass by they grimace and frown
Where will they buy their bread?

Arlin’s Bar

Arlins caters to all of the ages
They serve more than eight beers on draft
Beer was my preference in younger life stages
But now just two mugs and I’m daft

The Fire Station

At the age of eight our son J lit a match
We feared that our house was on fire
The fire fighters came with dispatch
J was shocked by his parents’ ire


So that’s my picture of Clifton today
We hang out in all of these places
It’s a swell location for work and for play
I’ll be back soon to cover more bases

G-mail Comments
-Vicki L (1-3):  Dear David,  Loved this blog - you're quite the ditty man. I'd say....take it down to your local Clifton ... Walreen's/Kinko's/i.e.copy  shop....and they'll make this into a little book (pics and text) for L** and V** ($30?).  They'd love it! Soon maybe it'll show up in the indie Clifton bookstore under "Local Authors". You're on a roll. Love, Vicki
-Donna D (1-25): David, this is really great, very creative and fun!  Donna


  1. Great Fun! However, Ogden Nash's preeminence does not seem to be seriously at risk!

  2. I'd have to agree/And so would he!