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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Article: All About Stoops-

   (Bay Ridge - photo by author)
        If you were born and raised in Brooklyn, especially prior to the seventies, you know about the 'stoop.'
        It was the typical hang out for most kids and teens alike. And adults too. The stoop was where we waited for friends to come calling in summer, and for the ice cream man after dinner.  The stoop was where we played 'stoop ball,' Barbies, and dinosaurs. It was also the place where many a prom, Easter, Christmas, and wedding photo was taken, and just get-together photos in general. Below is a pic of my aunt and mom with a neighbor.
                                             ( Above: yours truly in front of my grandparents stoop.)
       Our landlady used to prop a chair at the top of our stoop and knit there most nights after dinner, while having conversations with my mom and other neighbors.
       It was not uncommon to have 'stoop-to-stoop' conversations either. People gathered on various stoops on hot nights and would talk over to the folks on the stoop next to them.
       The stoop was also a popular place to 'people watch' and to hear the 'goings-on' of the neighbors when windows were open.
       In winter near Christmas most stoops gleamed with twinkling lights along the banisters and on the wreaths hung on the door.
         The funny thing about the stoop, is that we were never bored there. There was always a game to play, a song to listen to on the transistor radio, and a person to talk to. Sometimes, just eating Italian ices on the stoop with a friend was a happy preoccupation. Bringing back a bag full of penny candy to eat on the stoop  was another common activity. And it was usually always the place where friends gathered after Halloween Trick-Or-Treating to compare and assess the amount of candy we collected.
        Most Brooklynites take their stoop very seriously. Many display pots of flowers according to the season, and they are kept clean and neat.
        Even today, I see people sitting on their stoops, smoking cigarettes, talking on their cell phone, or hanging out talking with a friend or two. I am glad the 'stoop tradition' continues.
        The typical Brooklyn stoop represents wonderful times to me and sparks great memories.

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