Summers in Brooklyn

Summer always brings me back to my childhood in Brooklyn.   After dinnertime, my brother and I would race outside and join all the other children so that we could play and play and play.  My sister, four years older than me, would immediately leave until her curfew, much too cool to hang out with her little brother and sister.

Mom and Dad would pull up their folding chairs, relax outside the house and chatter along with the other parents of the neighborhood.  Their friends would come by, sit, smoke cigarettes, and laugh while the condensation on their glasses of camparis & soda glistened in the summer humidity.

My parents did not need to pay too close of attention, as all the littles were under the watchful eye of the neighborhood.  Our little safe haven on 23rd Street- strangers were quickly vetted (and usually kicked out), any cut or scrape was cleaned at whomever's house you happened to be in front of at the time you fell, and if you dropped your money for the ice cream truck, someone always had extra for you.

We caught lightning bugs, we played tag, we jumped rope, we made up stories, we ate popsicles, we laughed, we ran and we played for hours.  As the night grew darker, one by one, we were called in for the night to bathe away our dirt, grime and sticky popsicle fingers.  Of course, we each begged for more time; the effort was futile, every night we were told No and had to come in...  but childhood wistfulness and persistence ensured we at least tried.

I miss the long, lazy days of summer from my childhood.  Now that we have Kalia, I am excited to experience again the long nights- to pull up a chair with my love, have a drink, maybe even enjoy a campari and soda for my parents- but most of all I will enjoy watching our children play together- carefree and safe.



Sister, me, & brother in front of out home in Brooklyn, New York circa 1989 - you can see her "too cool" look here, lol
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17 comments :

  1. He made Blue Margaritas ,Stingers, Singapore Slings, and Blue Whales. I was the only one who drank Rat's Ass....

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    1. Maybe i only remember compari and soda, cuz u were made so much fun for drinking it?

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  2. Ahhh. Love summer. I have similar memories, even though I grew up in a rural southern town. Funny how things can be so similar.

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  3. Like yesterday.... Some of the best summers of my life... Watching you guys all grow up.. Makes me a proud brother... You 3 & Theresa,too... You guys are all very special to me & always will be.....

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  4. Ahh...really good stuff here :) Happy summer to your family!

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    1. Thank you Meredith- to yours as well!!

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  5. Gorgeous picture, Laurel! Childhood summers are the best - there's nothing to worry about, we just kicked back and relaxed!

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    1. Thank you for dropping in! Oh, the summers of childhood, so carefree!!

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  6. Great post, Laurel! Makes me wistful for those times too! And for summer. It just keeps raining here.

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    1. Thank you! I am sorry about the rain! We had bad storms for a bit, but they are over with now thankfully!

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  7. I'm all nostalgic now! I had more of those carefree summers later as a teenager. I get to watch my kids enjoy those summers of popsicles and sticky fingers and dirty feet. I don't know what it is, but I love those little summer feet.
    What a lovely post.

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    1. Thank you Heidi! I cannot wait to watch my little girl and any future littles enjoy summer, I will check out their summer feet too, lol!

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  8. Oh that picture! Big Sis is WAAAAAY too cool to be with you guys (although she probably remembers it equally fondly). I love how your summer evenings resonate with my image of summer afternoons! In Michigan we would chase fireflies, play tag in the woods until it was dark and scary (although none of us ever admitted it)...childhood. Was it really as good as we remember it, or is it that we're old now and feeling way too far away from those evenings?

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    1. LOL, yes big sister was! Childhood is peppered with lots of good and bad, but the summer nights for me, were wonderfully blissful. But I am old and want that carefreeness again, so maybe it is a rose colored memory.

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  9. I remember us all sitting outside discussing The Babysitter Club books. That and going down to Mary's store and getting snacks that were so bad for us. Most of my time "on the block" though was spent on 18th street, my grandparents' house. Occasionally, the boys came to visit us... but mostly it was my cousins and I.

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