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Silver Cup Bakery

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42-22 22nd street, queens, ny

We used to take trips to the Silvercup Bakery and back. The bakery used to be right under the Queensborough Bridge - now it's a movie studio, but they kept that same huge sign which you can see as you come over the bridge. I would run into [my friend Dennis Burn] on the way over, and we'd turn that into a kind of game. One thing I did, there was a metal rod on the ground, and I would drag it along the cement on the side of the building and it would spark. The Silvercup Bakery was really a bread factory; Long Island City was very industrial then. And Dennis told me that they gave bread samples, little breads, he called them. So I went with him and there were Black workers there, and he had nicknames for them. One was called "Eye" because he had something wrong with his eye, the other was called "Face," because he told us to "get out of my face." Once we did get the sample breads and Dennis, on the way home - true to his street-kid spirit - waited for the right car to come along and threw the bread right under. When the car flattened it, it made a pop. That was his long-awaited thing. Ah, the tales of Long Island City.

Credits: Don Feldman, from the book, "City Play," eds. Steve Zeitlin & Amanda Dargan