Didn’t see anyone here from my Brooklyn… I think that is cause most of the people are still there saying, “Yeah I live in Brooklyn, so F***ing What???” Since I was born (Brighton Beach 1968) till I left (Williamsburg 1999) I lived in Brooklyn all my life. Most of my childhood I lived in the Sheepshead Bay area, From Kings Highway to Graves End to the Bay. Man, it was hard, fun, wild, sad and wonderful. So much to say about it, for the things everyone remembers Wed. fireworks (think it was wed. or maybe Thurs.) at Coney, to the things people would like to forget, like seeing a black guy get his ass kicked, just because he was black or for that matter, me getting my ass kicked cause my friend had a big mouth. Learned a lot growing up there about people and life. I can’t see myself having grown up anywhere else. Miss being young there, skelly and Peas and butter, asses up, off the wall, Also, off the wall in mellet park, kick the can, ringaleavio, War, red rover, all the different tag games, the local drug store that sold the best eggcreams, Wonderful Mr. Iseman (hope I’m spelling it right) who used to run a few movies theaters in Brooklyn like the Kingsway and fortway, who used to let me in for nothing cause my brothers used to work there, to getting my first job that Joe’s Pizza on ave. U (that was a good slice), BLOCK PARTIES!!! Remember those?????? Wow… man… Halloween in Bklyn was always a blast, there was the house on AVE X and 15th or something and they alwasy put on a show, then you have 4th of July, where some blocks you couldn’t even get through because if the big fire in the middle of the street with the mats and block busters going off (got a few wax loads in my gut, from time to time). Anyone remember Sheepshead Bay Roller disco? How about Romeo and Juliet’s Disco? All the bars in Bay Ridge? Calm houses at the Bay? Spumoni Gardens? Man, I can go on and on. I’ll tell you, from 1974 when I was only 6 to about 1988 when I was 18, was some of the best times and the worst I have ever had and I miss it all.
I am the current President of The New York Emperor’s Stickball League, Inc. (NYESL) located in the Bronx. We have been in existence 16 years now where the Florida Kings with Barbara and the Pizzaroz boys; the San Diego Knights with Bobby and Paul Ortiz, Willie Blas, and Jim Strickland; the Puerto Rico Tainos with Pepin and Noble and the various other teams from the tri-state area have become and will always be considered extended family to me on a personal level and to the members of my organization on a competitive level. We are always trying to increase awareness of the game we have all grown to love so much. This summer, 2001, we will start, for the first time ever, the first organized children’s stickball league. With funding from the NYC Children’s Services and assistance from the Bronx YMCA and radio talk show host Curtis Sliwa and the volunteer efforts of the members of NYESL, the dream of reintroducing the game of stickball to a new generation will become a reality. Check out our website, www.nyesl.org, for updates on this and other events going on in the world of stickball.
I didn’t make a lot of prank calls, I was too scared the person might have caller ID or trace the call! My cousin, however, loved to make them. One she did a few times was she would call a random number and tell the person she was from Dominos and ask if they ordered some kind of pizza… When they said no, she’d say “Well then someone must be pranking you. This is the number they gave…” heh.
i grewup in queens rochdale village i remember many friday and sat.nites going downtown to the fillmoure east and seeing some of the best music of our times at the late show ill allso never forget comming home at 4 or 5;00 in the morning and waiting for the bus at parsons blvd.and having the best pizza i ever had.these were the best days of my life and i woulding change them for anything.i just want to thank all my freinds for making this possible.love wayne
Chinese Double-dutch. Any girls remember that? It was played at all the great melting pot schools in the working class areas…which is pretty much Brooklyn personified. My area was Ditmas Junior High (IS 62). And Chinese double-ddutch is a game played with two girls standing on either end, but instead of holding clothes line rope they’re inside of a long chain-link of sturdy rubberbands. The jumper must negotiate complex “Twister-like” contortions with torso and legs and always be able to jump outside of the rubber bands, both legs free and clear.For lunch a big mixture of kids would flock together to varying restaurants to eat anything from Kasha Varnishkas (spelled right?) Pizza, tandoori chicken, egg rolls, canolli… you have it. We even traded bagged lunches. My pastrami for your fried chicken… it always worked out. This was a cultural exchange between the Asian and the African sisters back in the early 70’s, where we found common ground despite the odds. Some of those kids I’ve seen through life in Paris, Frisco, and Miami. It’s a small big world in Brooklyn. PS: I found out the game was Skully, not Skelly… thanks.
To Anonymous who wrote in June: Charlie Never Returned on the Mta was a song by the Kingston Trio. It’s still played sometimes on WCBS-FM 101 in NYC. I remember only two lines from a song we used to sing: “Hotta, hotta, chocolata……. Square cake, round cake, pizza pound cake..” Anyone remember this?
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!)?
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??
My brothers John and Tim and I always played stickball in our native Canarsie, the center of Brooklyn and the world, to us. Charlie Stella always bragged about his ability to consistently whack a two sewer hit and was usually willing to back up the brag with a bet in which the loser had to spring for a slice of pizza and an Italian Ices at Joe’s Pizzeria. Now and then errant balls would hit cars and windows which would lead to the local beat cop ambling along. He’d collect our sticks and break them in half in the very sewer in which Charlie’s best shots would bounce off of. We would then resort to stoop ball, until we got our hands on more broomsticks and black tape. There wasn’t a house on our block that contained a broom that was more than two feet long!
I started taking ballet lessons. I lived in downtown Manhattan and I took my lessons on the upper East side of Manhattan. I got into the number 6 train on Canal Street and got out into a completely different world on 77 th Street. I walked the few blocks to 79th and 3rd and went into my classes and ate pizza on 76th and 3rd with my friend Luisa after class and before descending the stairs.