What I miss is the old 1960’s and 1970’s “Block Party”. When you’d be able to get a few of the old blue Police blockade wooden horse, and from dusk to midnight, there would be music to dance to, plenty of food, plenty of soda, water, coffee, beer, and wine, and everyone spent a few hours in just getting along. There would be dancing in the streets, as well as the fire escapes. Nowadays, I can only get a brief touch of that feeling when I see the music video for Carlos Santana’s and Rob Thomas’ “Smooth”.
We lived on 169th St. The old P.S. 168 had a pole that was cast in a roll away concrete heavy bottom. That was used to close the street to traffic and that street was considered a “play street” but only when school was in session. We used to roll that sign out AFTER SCHOOL to close the street for our variety of games, stick ball or roller derby. People were so considerate then—people driving cars never rolled the sign away so we had the whole street to ourselves. Fun, fun, fun.
Around my neighborhood they would block off the streets and turn ON THE fire hydrants so we could all cool off. Way before Air Conditioners. They would put a hollowed out garbage can…bottom knocked out…over the hydrant and it would raise into a spray. They did this so the little kids wouldn’t be picked up by the water pressure and deposited on their heads. Guess this is my problem, since lots of times I hit the ground when I got too close to the mouth of the hydrant. Those were the good old days. Later on in the years that followed…this was not permitted by the Fire Department, and a permit was needed to turn on the water and then only a trickle would immerge. By that time, the good old days were over.
anyone remember our dads blocking off the streets so we could play … boys and girls… high point of the after school day… unstructured and everyone’s parents were involved by sitting on the stoops and on the chairs in the street…. Knew we were part of a community… we belonged and because of that we learned to care about ourselves and other people…Lots of that is missing today for young people…. Our dads used to block off the street so we could play Stoop Ball and Ringalevio…. and yes, the lamp posts were the goals and some of the stoops were safe places… We all looked forward to coming home from school and “going out to play”…boys and girls together… first dating experiences came out of those games…. fun times