how about winters, we couldn’t afford the sleds with runners so we found some large pieces of cardboard, or cloth potato sacks and slid down the “slopes” in Crotona(sic) Park in da bronx – the highest hill was near the swimming pool right across from PS (i can’t remember PS what) where i took a “special” class (called cardiac class – cause i had rheumatic fever and a heart murmur), we used to have to take a nap while the other kids were out playing… & in the summer we used to use cardboard or sacks and slide down the same grass covered hills… that was back in the late 30’s – a few years ago i took my son to show him the tenements, schools and park where i grew up as a youngster (before movin to Boyle Heights in Los Angeles) ((now know as East LA))… the school and apartments were all boarded up—i almost cried!!
Hey, isn’t anybody from Philly?! How about Tarken playground in Oxford Circle? And Solly Avenue? Tarken had the first “twisty slide–” and that’s where I got my first taste of pizza off a truck. It was so great– when Little League games were going on, the trucks would line up along the fence: Mr. Softee, pizza, water ice…. Speaking of which, does anyone remember The Whip (Hint: You rode it, not ate it!)?
Where I grew up there was this incredible playground. It was just a climbing place with sand under it. All different wooden and metal structures to climb. It was just between 2 tenement buildings. There were slides too. Then people started bringing in their dos and they finally closed it up. Kids couldn’t go in anymore. I haven’t gone by to see what it is now. Didn’t even think about it till now. But it was really a great place.
The PS/JHS 79 schoolyard in Da Bronx was the best place in the world when I was growing up. We had THREE fields in which to play stickball – one for fungo/running bases, two for pitching in. The fungo field became the football field in the fall and winter. We had two punchball areas, a full-court basketball area, a place to place off the point and 3 Steps to Germany… Two great candy stores, a great grocery store, two delis, a pizza place and the BEST luncheonette (the Village Green) all within a couple of blocks of the yard. What more could a kid want or need??
Back in my neighborhood in South Brooklyn, no one had a pool — not even the kiddie pool. The park in our neighboorhood, Carroll park, was divided into 3 sections and covered an entire block. One end section was the kiddie section — with kiddie swings, slides, and seesaws. There was a large rectangular section in the middle that was two steps down and surrounded by a wrought iron fence. At each end was a sprinkler. Everyone who didn’t hit the beaches in the hot weather, hit Carroll Park to play under the sprinklers and splash around. The easiest way to cool off if the johnny pumps weren’t open!!
On the lower east side we also used to stand on the swings and “pump”. Another thing was to “take someone up” where one would sit and the other one would stand and pump. I was a chicken so I usually was the one sitting, with my eyes closed. We called them sliding ponds too. How about the wooden see-saws?
Hey Joel – is that you? I still remember standing in the playground outside of Building 18 in Rochdale, your pinky pointing at me and trembling, thinking you’ll finally win one of those thousands of bets we made. But, posting as “Anonymous” – I guess you’re still not sure, after all these years.