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Streetplay: The Blog » Hugh McNally
Posts by author: Hugh McNally
So, what’s “tag”?

This routine from actor/comedian Jeff Lewis may be, simultaneously, the reason for the existence of Streetplay.com and our choice for “video of the century.”  As Rod Serling would say, “submitted for your approval”…

It is like the Twilight Zone, isn’t it?  No further comment from us other than, “Get out and play.”  Thanks again to the ever perspicacious Lenore Skenazy for bringing this video to our attention.

In memoriam: Steve Mercado, FDNY

Steve was a good man and a friend to Streetplay. His absence is still sorely missed.  His name and memory lives in our hearts and minds at Streetplay as well as legions of people in the NYC stickball community.

Steve Mercado plays stickball on the National Mall, 2001

Steve Mercado plays stickball on the National Mall, 2001

Dennis Hopper, RIP
| 05/29/2010 | 6:53 pm | handball, rest in peace | No comments

We were sad to hear of today’s passing of Dennis Hopper.  Dennis and Streetplay crossed paths in 1999 during the filming of Knockaround Guys, which featured a scene where he and John Malkovich played handball (see our coverage of behind-the-scenes action).  Here’s the film trailer:

This wasn’t Hopper’s crowning cinematic achievement (they waited until 2002 to even release the picture), but we still have fond memories of seeing him chasing a little blue ball around the court.

Perhaps more memorable in Hopper’s connection to sport was his popular series of Nike advertisements playing the paranoid, unhinged character Stanley.  Here’s a memorable ad, a 1995 Super Bowl commercial:

Also not to be forgotten is Hopper’s portrayal of the down-and-out “Shooter” in the film Hoosiers.  Here’s a scene featuring a temporarily rehabilitated Shooter:

Rest in peace.

Adults playing with kids

We’ve mentioned Lenore Skenazy more than once here on our blog; here’s a video of her positing the idea that parents don’t necessarily need to get involved and drive their kids’ play, suggesting that it may actually be detrimental.  After Lenore, a bunch of mothers you’ve never heard of chime in, agreeing or disagreeing based on their own experiences.

It would have been preposterous, at least for me or anyone I ever knew as a child, for parents to hunker down with us as we played stickball, skully, or anything else outside.  That time was referred to as “going out to play” by parents and kids alike.  We figured things out on our own, learned basics of fair play, wrote our own script for the day.  And had fun.

I did play board games like Scrabble enough with my parents, but that’s not what I remember as “play.”  What do you all think?

Ambrosia Beats Q of W: Bronx Retains City Island
| 04/21/2010 | 6:44 pm | Bronx, fun, handball, video | No comments

Careful readers of this blog may remember our last post about Baron Ambrosia, the host of Bronxnet’s show Bronx Flavor, and a YouTube clip showing him playing handball against someone dressed like Divine’s character in Pink Flamingos. The Baron has explained it all in his recently released episode: he’s playing for the Bronx against the evil “Queen of Westchester” to determine the ownership of City Island:

Baron Ambrosia plays handball

Baron Ambrosia plays handball-click to watch the episode on BronxFlavor.com

The Baron doesn’t provide an embed code for us to plant the show in our blog–and it’s not on YouTube–so click through Web 1.0 style and enjoy the contest! By the way: I’ve seen The Queen of Westchester many a time lurking through the Galleria in White Plains.

Double Dutch Divas: Remastered
| 04/13/2010 | 12:24 pm | jumprope, site news, video | 1 Comment

Way back in August 2000, we put 4 short videos of the Double Dutch Divas on Streetplay, part of our jump rope coverage.  Well, some 10 years later, we fixed them up a little (putting them all together, for one thing) and posted them on our new YouTube channel.

The video quality may not be great like Hulu, but the message of fun still shines through after a decade has passed.

Malaysian Skully?
| 04/12/2010 | 10:25 am | skully, video, world games | No comments

So as we’re putting together our Streetplay YouTube channel, we stumbled across this video of people playing a “Traditional Malaysian game” with bottlecaps on a round tabletop.  Looks like fun!

If anyone has more information on what the heck this game is called or how it’s played, let us know in the comments section of this post!  Until we find out, we’re going to call it “Malaysian skully“–kind of like “Chinese handball” but hopefully without the racist overtones.

Streetplay on YouTube
| 04/12/2010 | 10:00 am | site news, video | No comments

We had videos on Streetplay way before there was a YouTube, but we have to admit, those guys have done it a little better than us.  So, in the “if you can’t beat ’em, use ’em” kind of way, we’ve added our own channel on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/streetplaycom

If you know of a great YouTube video that depicts what we’re about, drop us a note in the comments.

Malcolm McLaren, RIP (“Double Dutch”)

Perhaps better known as the impresario of the Sex Pistols, Malcolm McLaren had a hit with “Double Dutch” in 1983 (a follow-up on “Buffalo Gals,” his take on what we called rap back then).

He definitely helped shape a lot of the music scene back then, mixing and matching genres.  Sadly, he died today at the age of 64.

Recess coaches?

The latest thing in children’s play?  The recess coach!  This is a great listen from NPR’s Tell Me More program, featuring Jill Vialet (president and founder of Playworks), and NYC’s own Free Range Kids evangelist, Lenore Skenazy.  Even Lenore, who scoffed at the idea at first (we’re guilty on that one too), sees some benefit beyond the knee-jerk “harumpfing.” This is mainly because no one is teaching kids any “actual reality” games to play anymore; the traditional way that kids learn games–from older kids–is going away because the older kids don’t know the games nowadays either!

Listen and decide for yourself… and remember that Streetplay’s Rulesheets are always there if you want: print them out and give them to your kids.





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