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Joan Rivers’ memory lives on in Brooklyn neighborhood where she grew up

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiSam Costanza for new york daily news This is 135 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, where Joan Rivers lived when she was a child.

Crown Heights doorman Ivan Perez lit up Friday after learning that Joan Rivers once wandered through the lobby where he works.

“This is a beautiful building,” said Perez, 60, who has 15 years at 135 Eastern Parkway. “I’m glad she lived here . . . I think she was a nice, beautiful girl.”

Rivers, who died Thursday at age 81, left her native Brooklyn long ago for suburban married life, then the high life of Manhattan and the bright lights of Hollywood.

But a day after her death, the folks in her old neighborhood celebrated Rivers for retaining her outer-borough attitude on her way to global success.

“She didn’t bite her tongue,” said Patricia B., as she set up a book-selling stand opposite the old Rivers family homestead. “And she was funny. That she grew up in the building is great.”

Rivers, her parents and her older sister lived in Apartment 107 inside the 16-story Art Deco building, which was built opposite the Brooklyn Botanic Garden during the Roaring Twenties.

Their monthly rent: a mere $140. It’s now known as the Turner Tower, and it went co-op in 1980. The apartments were all renumbered, so it’s unclear which one was home to the Molinskys, Rivers’ birth name.

Ivan Perez 60, is a doorman (15 years) at 135 Eastern Parkway where Joan Rivers lived when she was a child. Sam Costanza for new york daily news Ivan Perez 60, is a doorman (15 years) at 135 Eastern Parkway where Joan Rivers lived when she was a child. Enlarge
This is135 Eastern Parkway where Joan Rivers lived when she was a child. Sam Costanza for new york daily news This is135 Eastern Parkway where Joan Rivers lived when she was a child. Enlarge

Ivan Perez, a 60-year-old doorman in the Crown Heights building, was delighted to hear Joan Rivers once lived there.

“She was fantastic, a real legend,” said a man walking into the building Friday. “She was definitely taken too soon. It’s nice to hear we have a part of her here.”

Back when she was a kid, the heavily Jewish neighborhood was known as “Doctor’s Row.” The nabe has changed over the decades, and is now about 70% black and 15% Hispanic.

But the mere mention of Rivers’ name is still enough to elicit a smile on the streets of her youth.

“She was brave and did what she wanted to do . . . and she was still generous and kind while being wildly caustic and humorous,” said Beth Anderson-Harold, taking a dog-walking break to chat about the late comic.

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View Gallery Remembering the life and career of Joan Rivers

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