Posts in month: February, 2010
Baron Ambrosia Plays Handball
| 02/14/2010 | 2:52 pm | Bronx, fun, handball, video | No comments

Careful readers of this blog may remember an earlier post about Baron Ambrosia, whose brilliant food review TV series Bronx Flavor seems to be an on-again/off-again affair.  Well, I found recent signs of life from the elusive Baron on his YouTube Channel… and he’s no longer off-topic for us.  The video below depicts The Baron playing handball against what appears to a second coming of Divine from Pink Flamingos, watched by two old-school real handball players.

We have no idea of the context of this video–if it’s just for fun, or part of a past or future Bronx Flavor episode–but it’s great nonetheless.  If anyone involved in this video–from the “real” handball guys to Divine’s love child to even The Baron himself–reads this post, please contact us at Streetplay, if just to say hello, or even if you want us to help with any street-game-themed upcoming episodes of Bronx Flavor!

The Big Snow 2010
| 02/11/2010 | 2:10 am | slice of life, winter | No comments

Seated warmly by the computer
Occasionally glancing through the window
At the blustering white wind
I almost missed the snow
But when we walked out
My hand dipped down for a scoop
Impressed by the perfect texture
I caressed and compressed my creation
Then threw the white ball into the tree
And remembered old storms
When schools were closed
And we spent our days in cold play

We walked to the park
Squinting through the windy glare
Hearing the muffled laughter of children
In their playful dance with the cold
Merged with the frost
And breaded in bits of ice
Small bundles of color sliding down the hill
Then scrambling up for another ride
Further down the older boys
Dodged billowing gusts
In slowmo fantasy football runs
Joyfully trampling their soft white field

With dusk approaching
We walked into the wind
Leaving winter memories
To return to our comforts
No one called us to dinner
Or made sure our coats and wet boots
Remained by the door
But the warmth embraced us
And as the storm blew through the night
We stayed indoors
Playing cards with the kids
Sharing cookies and hot tea

Unstructured play: It’s not just nostalgia

Many of our loyal readers are directed toward Streetplay because of nostalgia, wanting to recapture memories of the good old days, the simpler times.  In fact, a lot of people adopt a crotchety, self-anointing attitude in this regard, a rejection of what “these kids today are doing” in terms of their personal time and entertainment.

A thought provoking piece was posted on yesterday that has some significance and overlap with these sentiments.  While mainly concerned with recent science and studies concerning the phenomenon of children who are bullied, a phrase stuck out in terms of Streetplay sensibility:

Unstructured playtime — that is, when children interact without the guidance of an authority figure — is when children experiment with the relationship styles they will have as adults.

Bullying is a serious issue that is becoming more apparent and reported in the mass media, and may actually reflect an increase in its occurrence in American society (instead of being the media’s “flavor of the day”).  It begs the question: is the combination of hysterical, overscheduling, overprotective parenting (witness Lenore Skenazy’s Free Range Kids blog, sane reportage of the problem), combined with the rampant, time-sucking, physically isolating use of electronic media (witness the Kaiser Family Foundation’s latest report on children’s media usage) a formula for creating socially dysfunctional, ready-to-be-bullied children?

All this just leads me to restate the Streetplay mantra: Get out and play.

Studies Reveal Why Kids Get Bullied and Rejected | LiveScience