20 August 2006

Block Party

I recently read somewhere about what someone from Brooklyn miss about the borough. One of things the writer mentioned was block party. I lived many years in Queens and almost ten years in Brooklyn, but I don't recall Queens not having block parties. I am almost sure I must have had bumped into these things some time in the past. Maybe the writer was wrong about block parties being unique to Brooklyn, but block parties are sure fun to have. In case you don't live in a big city like New York, a block party is a party taking place on the street. The streets in big cities are normally lined with parked cars because not everyone has a garage for their automobiles. A few years ago when I visited some suburb of Toronto, Canada and was told that it was illegal to park on the street overnight, I found it very weird. Likewise, when the people I visited in Toronto came to New York, they gawked at the sight of the street lined with cars. Anyway, as shown in the photo, for the block party, all cars were moved off the block's street. It's an unusual sight indeed. It was the only day so far when I could safely let my son run in the street. There was an inflatable bounce, snow-cones, a water-dunking game, and Mister Softee ice cream. The families with kids probably made the most out of it, but many families just brought out tables and chairs and had nice outdoor meals/snacks. The neighbors also took out balls, balloons, bubble blowers, etc. I first took out a wagon and a handtruck for the kids to play with, then I also brought out my bike and trailer. I have wanted one ever since I first saw some Teletubbies episode showing a father towing his son in a bike trailer. I got one some years back and the trailer has been a hit with my son, nieces, and nephew. For the block party, I gave rides to all the kids who asked for it. At first I stayed on the block, going from one end to the other, but later I even circled around the block to the right. One of the kids was so thrilled with the ride that she loudly declared if I was her dad, she would be so happy. I suspect her father was the typical unenlightened Chinese man who doesn't spend enough time with their kids.

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