I can’t believe I didn’t see anyone here from Queensbridge projects! The neighborhood next to the 3 smoke stacks of Con-Edison in Queens. We had 6 parks right in our neighborhood. We moved to RI in 1973 (I was 12) and they never heard of Spaldeens, never played double-dutch, never saw a stickball bat and had never eaten a knish! I went to this website because I’m going to teach my 10 year old daughter’s girl scout group here in California how to play all the games I knew, thanks for all the help in remembering, especially SPUD, I forgot that one!
i lived in a few places in brooklyn, we lived on lincoln place for a while, then we moved to the projects that were on what used to be ebbets field, over by bedford ave. But my most fondest memories come from when me and my mom lived in prospect heights, on Eastern parkway right across from the brooklyn museum and the botanical gardens. there was a park with a playground in it and a huge circular track around this big ass grass field! i remember it was big enough where the kids had 2 makeshift baseball diamonds on it and there was room for the jamaican and haitian cats to play soccer on it. the track was i guess just a big asphalt walkway but you could ride bikes on it and jog or whatever, the playground had two swingsets on it and 1 sliding board…(not much as far as playground stuff goes) but it had an old parks and recs maintenance house on it that we had two fast pitch stickball courts on, and a “self hit” or slow pitch one in the center of the playground. we did so much stuff… we used to play co-co leavio on bicycles!!! YOU TALK ABOUT AN INTENSE GAME WITH GREAT LANDSCAPE! we had swing races where you get 4 to 5 kids or so on a team, the first kid jumps on…standing up was the best way to do it…up pumped your swing until you were deemed “up” (past a certain height level) then you had to come down and hand off to the next person, this took daring sometimes because the most fearless would jump off the swing while it was up high then the next kid would catch the chain and keep the relay race going!!! those were some of the best times of my life and i will never forget them for as long as i live.
Hey, Loved playing Cracktop as a kid growing up in the Ravenswood projects on 21 st. and 35 ave. in Astoria It involved the use of small wooden tops. We would get in a circle and spin all of our tops at the same time. The first top to come to a stop on it’s side was the top that was put in the middle of our circle. Then each of us in turn would try to “Crack” the top in the middle by hitting it with our top as hard as we could as we threw it to spin it. If you hit the top in the middle on your throw and your top kept spinning, you were good till next turn. If you hit the top or missed and your top did not spin, it was your turn in the middle. But if you missed the top in the middle, as your top was spinning you could pick it up in the palm of your hand ( the top had to remain spinning all the while ) and drop it on the top in the middle, if yours kept spinning after that, you were good to go. We had hours of fun playing this game and we became quite adept at hitting and even Cracking the tops in the middle. We would show off the Paint of other tops that would rub off on ours after hitting them. We also had a name for hitting the top in the middle. I have no freakin idea where it came from, but we called it a ” Kosky ” LOL I have no clue what that means, but when we hit the top in the middle it was called a Kosky! Hope this brings back some good memories, it does for me.
I too am from the Ft Greene Projects born in Cumberland hopsital. I remember late spring/early summer was the season for Crack Top. I remember that we never played “stringies” you had to be able to pick the spinning top up in your hand and bring it over to the pot, if you missed the pot on the fly. Getting “color” from other tops on your top was a badge of honor.
Cypress Hills Projects, East New York Brooklyn. Born there in ’60 and left for the Rockaways in ’82. Used to go to 214, then 260 in Canarsie due to my art talent. Then back again to 218 for JHS. Memories were bittersweet, like most here. The days of penny candy were soon replaced with gang fights, then social unrest, then the drug wars. My kudos to any and all who survived it to relate it here.
If anyone knows the whereabout of my childhood and young adult friend Kelly Kevin Murphy, who used to live in the Cypress Hills projects of East New York Brooklyn, until a move to Drew St., his childhood best friend Eric Vaughan would love to hear from him before we all pass into shadows. I noticed at Classmates.com many of our small gang of friends have survived. I’d like to think he did as well.
We had several painted Skelly squares in our Cypress Hills projects back in East New York Brooklyn. Skelly, Boxball, HopSkotch, seemed every ten feet. I remember generations of us playing it back in the sixties, and waiting our turn to. It was always the older teens first, then they’d leave to go the the basketball courts, or the top circle. Then we’d get the chance. My favorite cap of use was the coke top or wine cap with wax, but like many, I longed for the cool glass ring of the Coke, Tab, Fresca, or beer bottle ring. Seems I remember the older teens (back in the sixties) used to fish them out of the trash cans, and proceed to skim the necks on the asphalt or stoop until you got the perfect ring.
Spaldeens. I was just telling my wife about Skelly, and how back in East New York Brooklyn Sutter Avenue projects we used to cram the everyday essentials into a pair of Lee or Wrangler jeans: Bazooka gum Baseball cards Wooden metal tipped top with string Skelly top (I preferred the wax filled cap, mostly due to the fact I could never skim the beer bottle neck just right to get the sweet glass cap.) Spaldeen Somewhere, back in NYC there has to be all the Spaldeens that were roofed, hit between building cracks, sewer bound, between the spokes of our old bikes, and those broken ones used by Mom and Dad to cover sharp objects and second as couch leg lifters. When I see a piece of Bazooka gum today, I think of how we used to break it in four, share the comic, chew up the gum, and place it on the end of a broken mop or broom handle and fish out the coins and subway tokens to buy penny candy. Fish enough coins, you got a new Spaldeen. Pensie-Pinkies were foamier, as I recall. When they got chipped, well, there went the homeruns of the punchball team.
I grew up in the East New York section of Brooklyn in the 1950’s. Remembered Playing skelly outside on the sidewalk in front of the blvd projects. We made skelly caps from soda caps with the cork still in it. While the crayon wax was still wet we would put a charm that would come out of a gumball machine in it. Loved the game .