My husband and I grew up in Yorkville (now known as the Upper East Side.) We played marbles in the sewer covers, Points on the side of a building, Catch a Flyer Up, War, Cross over Cross Over, Old Mother Witch, Jacks, Rope including Double Dutch, Potsy, made our own Pusho (milk carton with a long stick that had old skates attached to it), stickball, handball, skating on four wheel skates that you had to attach to your shoe toe with a key, sliding down the snow in Central Park on cardboard or tops of garbage cans, swimming in the East River (not me, just my husband and his friends), Hide and Seek. And a myriad of other games whose names I don’t recall at the moment. Our playgrounds were concrete, our slides (sliding ponds), the metal swings were great and we often rode two at a time, one in front one in back and went as high as we could, and it is true some of the kids did jump off the wooden see-saws and left us hitting the ground. Ouch. In the summer the girls had a park lady who taught us how to make baskets. When it rained we went into the park building to play games. We lived near the *Farmer’s Feed Factory* and every day at 4:30 they would blow a whistle which was quitting time and all the kids would run home as it was suppertime. Who needed a watch. Many of the houses did not have steam heat so people would go down to the barges berthed in the East River and *borrow* some coal for their coal stoves. Oh, yes, another thing, we used to make *Hot Mickeys*. We would get a potato and make an *oven* out of coal, wood and leaves. Put the potato directly into the fire and cooked it until it was black. It tasted great! Everyone had their own little oven.
We also played potsy and punchball in the “playgrounds” – which were really just fenced in squares at the apartments at 215th street, near 47th and 48th Ave in Bayside. I always prefered a Spaldeen to a pensy-pinkie.
I grew up in Bayside, Queens,My Mom still lives in the same house.It was ringoleevio.I don’t remember thr rule. We also playe stickball with a broomhandle and a spaldeen.We also played punchball.skelly,boxball,stoopball and Chinesehandball The girls and sometimes th boys played Hop scotch,potsie?, jacks. Then there was Johnny on the Pony also known as Buc-Buc. I think all of this is almost gone
A quick note about a small story related to the Semi-Finals. The field was on Vanderbilt Ave, next to Grand Central Station. THere were pedestrians strolling in and out. I saw one lady, walking with a cane and told her that we might need it for a bat. She stopped and handed it to me, saying “take it.” I was stunned but she insisted, saying it was meant to be. We received the following note about it today – Thanks “Stamstar.” I showed & told a lot of people about it. – Mick so this is the story…slipped on an acorn going down the stairs outside my house and tore a ligament which required surgery. after four wonderful weeks of peace and quite my boss said get back to work or else. my doctor said take the cane. it will give you balance. since i live in commecticut and work in new york i must be unbalanced anyway. however the cane became a pain and was really getting i n my way when i saw your game being played. It brought back a bunch of memories of my old neighborhood on Loring Place in the Bronx. It was mostly the boys that played ball. Richie Hoffman had the best stoop. Girls played potsy or jump rope. we were pretty tame back then. Anyway it seemed that there was a calling from above for me to donate my cane to your cause. I hope by now it hase been used many times and given many people pleasure. sincerely, stamstar
Where I grew up (Dahill Road, Brooklyn), it was called Potsy–NEVER hopscotch–and I remember using wooden dixie-cup spoons to throw in. It was most definitely a girls’ game–boys wouldn’t be caught dead playing it!
I remember playing hopscotch with 8 boxes (no rounded top.) We used key chains to throw into each box but not to touch any of the lines or your turn is over. After you successfully hop thru all 8 boxes you continued back to the 1st box.Once that is completed we now played the 2nd half of the game called “potsy” which entailed hopping on 1 foot only! Also with the same rules of not steping on the lines. That’s how we played hopscotch in Bay Ridge Brooklyn in the 60’s.
I remember potsy. In Woodhaven, Queens – the game was hop scotch but the peice we played with was called a potsy. We made them by letting trucks and cars run over peice of metal. It was a treasure and you never let anyone get your potsy.
Hey, what about us girls?? You guys may consider our games wimpy, but we hung out and played on the streets and stoops too! My memories are hazy and I haven’t thought about those days lately, so I can only provide titles and brief descriptions — perhaps it will jog someone else’s memory: I moved away from Brooklyn when I was 7, so I played the following at a tender age: 1. Red Light, Green Light, One Two Three 2. Giant Steps 3. Statues I can’t recall, though, just what these games entailed! Anyone remember? Of course, our basic sidewalk game was Potsy. Although it is generally known as Hopscotch, in Borough Park, Brooklyn it was always Potsy. And it was still Potsy when we moved to Old Bethpage, Long Island (of course, many suburbanites had emigrated to Long Island from Brooklyn…) Girls were into Spalding balls too. We bounced ’em off stoops and against walls, and of course did the classic “A, my name is Alice, and my husband’s name is Andy, we come from Atlanta and we sell anchovies…” You were supposed to go through the whole alphabet, but I don’t think I ever did. And now, a confession: there were times when I could be the annoying kid sister: Sometimes when my older brother played stickball or wiffle ball in the backyard with his friends, if I felt mischievious, I’d skip across their playing field, calling out in a sing-song voice, “Interference! Interference!”