Back in the days when I was growing up in New York City, my old neighborhood in Washington Heights, there were so many places I could stop by and do some serious shopping, but nothing beat the ol' 5 and 10 cent store located at 181st Street between Wadsworth and St. Nicholas Avenue: I am talking about the ONE and ONLY Woolworth's which was a TRUE part of my youth, but there was more to this: Each location had a lunch counter and let me tell you, the food was AWESOME with a capital A and the milk shakes were top notch in more ways than one. It was also a vehicle to get acquainted with your neighbors which resonated very well.

Beautiful young lady eating a tasty burger at an outdoor cafe. Horizontal Shot.

I can't help but reminisce about The F.W. Woolworth Company which remained in business nationwide for over a century, a far cry when the aforementioned businessman opened his first store in Central New York (Utica to be exact) around 1880. The Berkshires were fortunate to share in this good fortune as a pair of locations were situated at North and Depot Streets in the city of Pittsfield and another store was anchored in the north country on Park Street (aka route 8) in Adams, Massachusetts.

This TRUE slice of Americana continued to thrive in western Massachusetts as the Pittsfield store closed it's doors back in 1973 leaving The Adams location as the sole survivor of this iconic chain until they also shut down two decades later. It was a dark day for yours truly when my beloved Washington Heights store shut down prior to when I relocated to Queens in the late 1970's. To me, a part of my youth left along with all the great shopping and dining that went with the experience.

I hope we jogged your memory to simpler times leaving the notion that I truly AM a guy who LIVES in the past (and will NOT change as these days keep me going in a world that is just NOT the same as I remember it, but I guess we forge ahead, if you want to see it that way). Now it's time for an old fashioned strawberry milk shake as I remember the tab translated into small change.

Happy girl looking at you drinking milkshake in the street

(Featured image courtesy of Martin Fortenzer//Getty Images)

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