I was a mix of Tomboy and girlie, I loved basketball, went shoeshining with my cousin. played Scully’s, cracktop, baseball , you name it ,but at the same time i loved my dolls, and i loved boys and had a lot of boyfriends. I was a lil bit of cagney and a lil of lacey. I never outgrew doing the guys stuff I love homedepot and i love refurnishing stuff i find in fleamarkets and then selling them. But growing up i guess being a tomboy kept me out of trouble.
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.
yeah but the tops at toycrafters aren’t like the one’s we used to play with. As I recall we played with two different types of tops in the Harlem River Projects. We used to buy them at this store on Bradhurst Avenue called the “Peace Store”. None of the tops had any manufacturer’s markings on them and they were red, blue or green. I can’t remember if they came in yellow too. Anyway, most of the tops we played with had steel points. We also played with tops we called “Ball Bearings” because instead of a sharp steel point they had round points on the end. These ball bearing tops were also larger than the other steel point tops. I would be curious to know who actually made these two types of tops in the mid to late 60’s and early 70’s. I’ve seen some of the steel point tops around but I haven’t seen any of the ball bearing tops.
It’s nice to know there is this comraderie of being brought up in Da Bronx. My story might sound a little different. I grew up in the Classon Point area which is a several miles West and South of Castle Hill. There were no number named streets just Randall,Soundview,Beach,Commonwealth,and along with playing ringoleaveo,cracktop,skully,touch football,johnny on the pony,schoolyard basketball, I remember going to Worlds fair and “Freedomland” which was bigger than Disneyland and is now where co-op city is. I also remember going fishing for porgies,fluke,flounder,eels,blackfish,bluefish, stripers and went crabbing during the winter in the Bronx and East Rivers. We would throw them back and keep only the fish(Stripers) we caught further east on the sound.(I don’t know if any of this wildlife is there today.) We hunted pheasants with a bow and arrow(probably illegal) in the many open areas that were still wild in this area in the late fifties and early sixties. My neighbors were the best and consisted of the Archettis’LoContes’,Diazs’,Gorshoffs’Hodges’,Freemans’ to name a few and they were of Italian,Black,Puerto Rican,Irish, Columbian,Jewish, German heritages,a beautiful mix and everybody new each other and their kids. My mom would speak Spanish to our Italian speaking neighbor and they would understand each other. This is a part of the Bronx that had “Shorehaven”,Harding Park,Seven caves,Rubys, Genes’,Classon point yacht club, and the Beach Theater. Our wood frame houses on St. Lawrence ave. were in the area of several projects and one of the oldest sections in the area going back to farming days in the Bronx. We were right across the East River from Shea stadium and from my roof I could see the lights of the stadium as well as the Empire state building and the Twin towers when they were being built. I went to P.S. “69” which is built like a World War II memorial with gorgoyle heads of soldiers looking down at you. The school had painted over asphalt floors in the stairwells and ground floor that had years of high heel marks in them. It had a schoolyard perfect for pitch count stickball played with a chalked in strike zone against a wall. Can’t question a strike when the spaldeen has chalk on it!!
Yes Rich- I’m from the Soundview/Classon Point area of the Bronx and we played “cracktop” the same as “costy”. The intent was not only to get other colors on your wooden top but to crack the other tops. I can see why “costy” would be a name for this, a walk to the store for another 15(small) or 25(large)cent top was part of the game. They gave you a string with a wooden button along with the top but we usually tied a sliding knot loop onto the finger. We could really whip those tops!! This game was as cool as it gets!!
What’s up? My name is Kenya. I’m looking for instructions to a street-game we used to play called “SKELLEY”. I would appreciate it if someone would hook me up at this e-mail address. I used to live in the Rutland Plaza, on Rutland Rd., and I think it was East 95th St. I wasn’t that good but my friends Taurus, Telley, and Brian were. I’m trying to show my friends here in New Kensington, PA how to play. I know the basics; such as, shooting your top from box one to two, and so on, I need to know the actual rules, such as how does one get out of the middle once he is knocked in? ANYWAY THANKS………:)
Hey, I’m 43, and I taught my kids how to throw and spin a top. I told them all about crack top. We used to decorate the tops of the top which made pretty designs when it spun. You couldn’t get too carried away with designing, because they were quite disposable. You guys put nails in your tops!? Hell! No wonder you were killing my tops! Well that makes me feel prouder that I cracked my share without any modifications. Na na na na na.