Where I grew up in Queens we did the same thing. The building I lived in was one of a group which formed a circle around a courtyard. They were only three stories high (they seemed like skyscrapers), and it was commonplace to call up to mom to throw down some ice cream money or a ball and glove or just call up to friends either to get them to come down and play or just to have a conversation, window to pavement. Moms also used to call to their kids to come up for dinner. I don’t remember anyone ever complaining! Everyone did it.
Original author: babs