--- Richard Nixon
An ode to the Brooklyn summer block party
Though summer block parties are often maligned here and in the printed press for their noise, trash and occasional late-night gunfire and violent ends, I want to praise the one on my block today -- Union Street between Franklin and Bedford. The day started early with 8am snap of red "No Parking" signs being staple-gunned to trees. As I walked for a morning coffee at the corner bodega, the grills and folding tables were coming out, trash was being swept and hoses drenched the sidewalks -- the urban red carpet being rolled out. By mid-day, the foil-covered heat trays of Caribbean food were being gently put in place as smoky grills ignited. The rental trucks backed down the street, unloading a 20 foot wall of speakers and two large inflatable bouncing contraptions for the kids. And, yeah, us older people were well-represented, but this was about the kids. Jumping and sweaty and soaked with water and riding beat-up scooters and dribbling semi-deflated balls -- the kids ruled the blocked-off streets while the Island-accented-women fussed over the rice and beans, macaroni and cheese, stews and greens, and the white t-shirted men tended the grills packed with burgers, hot dogs and chicken coated in a variety of time-honored sauces. I overheard my older son pointedly convincing a group of boys that, yes indeed, he did live on the block, despite his white chest bared against a sea of dark kids in the August sun. Balls were kicked, wrestling ensued in the garden hose soaking the one bouncing contraption dressed in Disney characters and bikes popped wheelies up and down the street. My youngest learned the ways of commanding a space in line against the other kids cutting and pushing for the next chance to climb and slide down wet colorful canvas pumped full of generator-powered air. I saw my older one chatting up a hispanic girl who caught his 10-year-old interest. I tossed the usual organic-focused rules out for the day, as the boys downed dogs, sugary juice and baked macaroni and cheese. My older one commented on how tasty his drumstick and rice was, and how unlike it was what he usually found at home. Ladies patiently took care of my "little ones" as people jockeyed for places in line at the tables, and I stood back seeing a truly Brooklyn experience opening up before their eyes. And then, by 7pm, the speakers which had blared reggae, ska, dancehall and hip hop all day were being loaded into the UHaul while men poked at the last of the meat on the grills. People picked up trash, hugged and swigged the last of their rum-laced punch in Styrofoam cups. My older son said it was one of his best days in Brooklyn ever and the younger beamed with how he had mastered the inflatable climbing wall. Tired, full, spent and happy, the block is gasping the last of its shouts now from the sidewalk out front and the final bits of music are fading from the last stereo down the street. Tomorrow, we'll be back to just another block in Brooklyn, but today, this was the best party in the world."The jawbone of an ass is just as dangerous a weapon today as in Sampson's time."
--- Richard Nixon
so glad you had a wonderful day. it sounds absolutely great.
You made gonzo proud.
Yeah well the a-holes that had a party in Elijah Stroud park yesterday left a pig sty, nice wake up for the neighbors. I have no objection to people having a good time, but clean up after yourselves.
The Parks Department has had eight people working in Stroud Park for the last hour or so, cleaning up after yesterday's party. This must be costing a pretty penny in overtime - money that would be better spent making improvements to the park system. If people would be respectful and clean up after themselves, we would not need to waste tax dollars on this sort of thing.
Sterling2000, great post. We have Flatbush shut down from Empire to Parkside for a street fair today, looking forward to hitting that with the kids. And there's also the National Night Out on Tuesday night. Our local 71st precinct one will be on Sterling Street (PLG, not Sterling Place in PH/CH) between Bedford and Rogers from 4p-8p: http://www.leffertsmanor.org/national-night-2010 Other precincts will be hosting in their neighborhoods, some of which are listed by precinct here: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/let_have_night_out_to_party_against_RUBsmxpp74affwcHNgQWxJ For example...and note the EARLIER 11AM TIME for Crown Heights one:
•77th Precinct (Prospect Heights, Crown Heights): The celebration will be earlier than most -— 11 am at Brower Park near the corner of Brooklyn Avenue and Park Placei extend my battery life by turning down the brightness
Dear 77th pct- Night out at 11 AM? Are we in Florida? Dear Sterling- Nice post.Join us for Festivus on Sunday, January 12, 2014 http://brooklynian.com/forum/the-lounge-random-stuff/save-the-date-dec-15-2013-the-9th-annual-brooklynian-festivus?replies=1#post-774296
Thank you so much for the well-written neighborhood scene post. I could see it with my eyes closed.If I don't quite understand you...well, that's all right...if you don't want to understand me...it really doesn't matter.... If we all try to understand each other, well now, just think of what might happen!
Great post, Sterling2000. Reminded me of the block party we had here in "The Sunset" Where my Pakistani neighbors enjoyed getting drenched in the hydrant' s spray while the Palestinian kids helped me lead a dog parade. And then there was the food...
Beautiful post man. Reminds me many a block party that I enjoyed as a yout'
Just over in PH, this block party is about to happen, and it reminded me of this long dormant thread.
Do readers know of upcoming Block Parties in CH?
Dean Street Block Party
When: Saturday, June 29, 1-6 pm
Where: Dean Street between 6th and Carlton Avenues
Food! Raffle! Games! Firehouse Tour! Face Painting! Music! Dance Contest!
Prospect Heights neighbors are invited to the Dean Street Block Party this Saturday. Come for a firehouse tour, games, face painting, music and a dance contest. Food will be provided by local businesses and an impressive array of gift certificates will be raffled off. To buy $1 raffle tickets contact [email protected]. Thank you to our neighborhood businesses for supporting this event!
RAFFLE PRIZES INCLUDE:
Maya Restaurant: gift certificate
Hawker Bar: $50 gift certificate
Kaz An Nou Restaurant: $60 gift certificate
Chuko: Dinner for 2 with reservations allowed
606 R&D Restaurant: $50 dollar gift certificate
Beast Restaurant: gift certificate
Stocked Restaurant: gift certificate
Wayne Agassi’s Spa: 1 gift certificate for a facial
Broccolino Restaurant: $25 gift certificate
Passage de la Fleur: $25 gift certificate
Milk Bar Restaurant: $25 gift certificate
The Usual Restaurant: $25 gift certificate
Branded Saloon Restaurant: 2 sets of gift certificates toward brunch or the bloody mary bar
Woodworks: $25 gift certificate
Ample Hills Ice Cream: $20 gift certificate
Le Gamin Restaurant: gift certificate
Cataldo's Restaurant: gift certificate
Weather Up Bar: gift certificate
Vinnie’s Clothing: 1 kid robot blue baseball hat
Wine Exchange : Multiple individual loose wines
Empire Mayonnaise Co.: multiple jars of gourmet flavored mayonnaise
Postal Mailing and Shipping: 1 book of stamps
Woodland Restaurant: $25 gift certificates for lunch service
Pequeña Restaurant: gift certificate
Christie’s Jamaican Patties: gift certificate
Join us for Festivus on Sunday, January 12, 2014 http://brooklynian.com/forum/the-lounge-random-stuff/save-the-date-dec-15-2013-the-9th-annual-brooklynian-festivus?replies=1#post-774296
I don't know if this has changed, but for the past couple of summers the precinct had been limiting the number of block party permits they were issuing. They were allowing street closures for things like health fairs and festivals, which end earlier (5-6pm vs. sundown).
Homeowner are you sure it's just the precinct? I swear I'm hearing about less block parties and street fairs happening around the city. Well the ones with permits anyway.WARNING: Poster may be sarcastic reader discretion is strongly advised.
The city changed the requirements for street fairs and parades last year to now charge for police presence, which has cut back significantly on the large-scale events like the Atlantic Antic, Feast of San Genaro, etc. With respect to the smaller single block parties, its usually up to the precinct. Under the previous Cmdr, the policy was if there was a history of disturbance complaints (fights, gunshots, general mayhem)probably weren't going to get a permit.
I think your block hasn't had a party in two summers or so.
Seems like a very reasonable policy to me.WARNING: Poster may be sarcastic reader discretion is strongly advised.