Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Lions of Hudson Street

May 17, 2008

My correspondent from the previous post described the house Sinatra bought for his mother on Hudson Street -- the most prestigious address in Hoboken -- as having two lions in front of it. I live in the shabby middle of a block a bit down the street, but my eyes lit up anyway.There are two lions in front of the house next door! They have clearly seen better days, but they are good guard-cats, and even better as a One of the lions next door
landmark when I need to tell someone which house I live in.

And two other lions at the top of the stoop of the house one door up from that!

I set out to find Sinatra's house by seeking lions in front of a house on the 900 block of the street. Bobby said the house was on the east side -- where the mansions are -- yet somehow I wouldn't have thought Sinatra would have bought his mother a mansion, no matter how high in the chips he was. But I took Bobby's word for it and went lion hunting with my camera.
On the mansion side of the street, in the 900 block, the only house with lions was this one. It really looked a bit magnificent to have been the place in which a young band singer would have ensconced his maternal parental unit, but it did have a pair of fierce little lions guarding the front yard.

The post script of the lions' tale is that Bobby said, no, that wasn't the house. It was a plain brick one on the other side of the street. Ah, well, I had a safe little safari up Hudson Street, and bagged some game I'd never even noticed before.


Anonymous said...

Close, but not quite close enough, the lions on that house came from an old mansion up on Castle Pt Terr. that was torn down years ago. Frank bought his mother 909 Hudson and there have never been lions there. It is a very beautiful home. I grew up on the block and Dolly was a contempary of my Grandmother. Love your blog keep up the great work! B&R

Mary Lois said...

I'm thinking the lions Bobby remembers were on the house on Garden Street. He says he grew up a few blocks up the street from the Sinatra house, and he lived on the 900 block of Garden. The Sinatra family lived on Garden Street, at least for a time, at 841, and, according to a brochure I have from the Hoboken Historical Museum, he bought 837 Garden St. for them when he made it as a band singer.

I have read that he bought Dolly 909 I'll go check that one out when I go to hear a book talk about the mythology of Frank Sinatra at the Museum.

Lots of lore about the man around here...I'll post more as I go along.

mr slezak said...

The mention of my name, Bobby or Bob ..will draw no interest ..BUT Mr.Slezak might?? Mr .Walter Slezak, the famed Hollywood actor and the name SINATRA will always pique an the way. my dad’s name is Walter Slezak. He was born on the site of the World Trade Center in 1908...although he was not that actor, he received in the mail all his bills ...there are a very few people with the name I would think ADSHEAD is not a common name either. It sounds like British, I think ??

Finding the lions...I never realized there were so many.

Mary Lois said...

You're right about the name Adshead, Mr. Slezak. Most people don't get that it's English. It's my married name.

My maiden name, which I also use as a pen name, is Timbes, also a little difficult. Probably English or of origin in the British Isles, anyway.

mellow drama said...

I can't help but notice that a blog on the "Boken seems to be picking up fans more easily than a blog on Fairhope. It's all conjecture, but maybe a fallen utopia isn't as bright a star as a has-been getting its second wind. Kudos to you for chronicling both arcs. I notice your whole blog demeanor is more buoyant. Pictures, local music...what next: ML's mutz reviews on youtube?

Mary Lois said...

Yeah, it's a lot more fun over here than at my old blog about a little town losing its luster. Hoboken is a happy place for me.

Anonymous said...

Miss you in Fairhope but I'm enjoying learning about Hoboken and glad you're having such fun adventures there.

Anonymous said...

i live at 909 Hudson. yes franks mom used to live here and the rat pack and frankie himself used to hang out here when they played shows in the area. and no theres no lions here.

Mary Lois said...

There are lions on Hudson St., second anonymous person. However, you are correct, they were not on the house at 909. There were lions on the Sinatras' house on Garden Street. Glad this old blog post is still getting read. You'll notice it was posted almost two years ago.

Anonymous said...

I lived in the garden apartment of 909 Hudson Street back in the 90s. I was there for 8 years. I don't remember lions, but the exterior of the house had some lovely stone work. I used to tell people I lived in Sinatra's mother's house. Now I'm back in Tennesse. I still miss Hoboken and the lovely Hudson Street. What a great place.