I would like to think that my block, East 106th, hosted the best block party in Brooklyn. I mean, you can believe whatever you want, but I have evidence to prove my point: Inflatable castle, strictly reggae/dancehall, Nathan’s hot dogs, 50 cent popsicles, slip’n’slides, and bike races. You name it, we had it.

I didn’t care for cameras back then, so I don’t have any photos to show you, but if you can imagine Spike Lee’s ‘Crooklyn’ on a smaller, non-fictitious scale, then you get the picture. There was a certain seriousness added to it once the two ends of the street itself were blocked by massive trucks, that alone eluded we meant business. Block parties went on from 9 in the morning, until the food ran out, and legs were restless. They were so highly anticipated, and locally appreciated, that they soon disappeared like none ever imagined.

I would limit myself to my perimeter but still enjoy every bit of sound, BBQ grilling and amusement our block party always offered. When I rode my bike, I’d go up and down the block without even glancing at anyone or anything. I had serious eye-contact fear, but the beauty of the block party was the ability to fit in without mingling. Another great thing about block parties is that they brought people out from their usual habitat. I was floored when I saw kids coming out of the house next to mine, as I had been pretty convinced they never saw the light of day. I also remember the need to avoid these really sassy girls that were having a ball playing with their jump-rope and glaring at me. So un-com-for-table. But you go on, give the “Whateva” hand gesture, and ride your bike, sip your soda, with your one piece under your dress casually passing by the busted fire-hydrant to cool down.

(What happened to us? We were sooo good to each other)

It’s been a whopping six years since my block hosted a party.  That could be the economy’s fault, a lack of enthusiasm, or good ol’ lazyness, but for all they’re worth, they were the jewel of my summer days. So it’s a shame to think that apparently, people would rather stay secluded in their own homes and host their own fiascos without sharing.

Exhibit A) I have a friend who lives two blocks away from me and had to witness three of her neighbors throw three different parties simultaneously, just last week. The blasting sound systems from each different house was enough to shatter her front door windows, and mine.

Now the kids on my block won’t even bust open the fire-hydrant and it is hot as fuck around here. I heard that even Flatbush doesn’t host any block parties, and for all I know, Flatbush is the mecca of block parties. No matter how territorial block parties get, it’s quite easy to sneak in, and get away as a youngin’. I’m almost two decades old and I’m yearning for what was once the apple of my neighborhood’s eye.

THIS, is what a Block Party in Brooklyn consists of nowadays. I’m still trying to figure out if it’s a win or lose: