Hi, I’m currently helping someone do some research into childhood street culture and games played. If anyone could email me with details of games played, locations or amusing stories it would be appreciated. This web site is also a fanstastic starting point for the research. Many thanks Jo email jfurlong [at] supanet [dot] com
I’ve been trying in vain to find my best friends from childhood. I’ve tried classmates and various Brooklyn boards over the past 10 years but nary a sole has turned up there. If any of you are out there,post a message here: Marty Leffler,Nina Schwartz,Saulie Schwartz,Bernie Keiler,Bernie Halpern,Louis Levine and Seymour Ackerman. We were friends in the early to late 40’s.
I grew up in the 60’s, and used to play at a place called Branchport Park in Long Branch, NJ (it was one of the places with grass or dirt under the rides; everywhere else was asphalt or concrete). Anyway, there were the usual: huge, wooden-seat swings (don’t you hate the strap ones that cut into your hips?), see-saws where many young men got the pain of their life, a merry-go-round thing that you would run around, then jump on and hold on for dear life. But there was one piece that I don’t know the name of (we called it a pull-around). Basically, it had 4 seats in a cross, and you’d sit across from somebody else and pull a handlebar while pushing a big foot bar, and the ride would spin around. Kind of set up like the old EZ Rider exercise machine. Does anyone know what that was called? Also, does anyone know the name(s) of any of the old playground equipment makers? (Pre-“safety” era, I mean). Thanks!
A-h-h !! Growin up in Richmond Hill,Queens..where does one begin!!! Skelly in the streets, stoop baseball (my house was “the stoop”), slapball, wiffleball, and everyones favorite S&M game Hot Beans & Butter!! Roller hockey in the steets, the rivalries..113th St. -vs- The World!!! Naturally any playground as part of a school was called “the schoolyard” and you never used P.S. you just said you were going to 62 to play stickball. There was the progressive growth of where you hung out and played ball. For us it was 62, Hill (H.S.),108,Smokey Park, 88th St. Park (on Atlantic Ave.), and of coarse as was stated before …”Mecca”- Victory Field !!! The playing fields where we left patches of our dungarees and flesh from sliding on the asphalt! Inner city fast pitch Softball on asphalt, there was nothing like it in the world!! Fast and furious!! “..those memories come back to haunt me…” So much fun so little time!!!!
Definitely a sliding pond..and there was a huge fountain in the center of all the concrete and it had a circular seating area (of concrete) and that was our ‘pool’.. Nok-Hockey (Toys R Us has the wooden one, with the wooden puck).. a ‘sandy beach area’ to play with your shovel and pail and a circular track so you could skate..with the metal skates that had the key, and fastened onto your shoes, and you could make them bigger as your feet grew, and tighten them.. Snedicker Ave. park in East New York (Bklyn) and Bradford St. park in East New York… I’d ride my little trike
While we all played and had fun all year long, the Summer months usually brought special memeories. What are some of yours? I remember the distinct smell when it rained on a hot summers day – rain, and concrete and asphalt was a unique experience of the senses that one couldn’t experience anywhere else but in NYC. Remember the steam coming up from the streets? I also remember going to Yankee and Met games with the local PAL…I think we had to pay a buck which included transportation, lunch, and the ticket! I also remember the moths and bugs swirling around the street lights on a steamy, hot, Summer’s night…and Mr. Softee music and the light from its truck in the background. Banana boats were under a buck…wow! I also remember making genies by emptying the gunpowder from leftover firecrackers from the night before on the 4th of July…we called it the 4th. I also remember eating those freeze pops in the plasic sleeves…may favorite was blue ice, what was yours?….not to mention the chocolate eclair or creamsicles from the Good Humor man or Bungalow Bar. And what about jamming ourselves in the boys and girls entrances in the schoolyard until the rain was over….one last powerful Queens memory….going to Weiss’s and Lenny’s clam bar on the way back from Rockaway beach. Oh, Summer in NYC, I wish I could have just one day back again!
PS 66 in Richmond Hill Queens had everything from punchball, stickball, slapball (“Slap”). basketball, off the wall, asses up, ringelevio, coco-monster, chinese, handball, whiffleball, errors, 5 boxes, hit the penny, strikeouts, to softball. I even remember the “non athletic” kids playing checkers, chess, or cards off in some corner. Out in the street were skelly games, I Declare War, Tops, and kids doing unbelievable things with yo-yos. Soemtimes we would use nearby Forest park fo ringelevio…and of course one of the Queens meccas, Victory Field. What memories. This experience of playing led me to my wonderful profession – a Physical Educator.
I grew up in Queens (Sunnyside, then Jackson Heights). It was always a “sliding pond.” When there was a parkie at the school playground (PS 149)we would get a Nok-Hockey set. I bought one for my oldest son some years back and we still have it in the basement and play it occasionally. The pucks are now plastic instead of wood. No splinters.
I am interested in games that we can paint on the black top of our schools playground. I have enjoyed reading some of the memories of playgrounds of the past. I,too, remember the big slides (which in western Pennsylvania we just called slides!) and the names on the steps. I remember underducks and being dropped to the ground from the high side of the see-saw!! Our kids today don’t seemto know how to play like we did. They just want to run, knock each other down, and wrestle. I would like to share some of the games that we used to enjoy. Right now we only have 4-square blocks and basketball hoops (and they are’t up every day!!) Can anybody help? Email me at bobobollingerb5 [at] hotmail [dot] com Thanks