The only place I can start this post is to welcome Baby Singe, better known as Anna Elizabeth to the world. All the best to Egan, N-Po and baby Anna.
This weekend was the summer edition of our semi-annual "friends reunion". This edition was hosted by smokin' hot Anna and everybody's favorite Cuban boy in my hometown of Brooklyn, New York. What made this reunion more interesting and special was that there was a "block party" going on at the same time - which was a major blast from the past and also, there was another wonderful surprise that really made the night special.
First off, thanks Anna & Roberto for hosting the event. Now, to those of you who wonder what a "block party" is probably first need to have a bit of an idea about the nature of the neighborhoods that make up my hometown. The streets are basically made up of a long row of houses, attached on at least one side and in some cases, both. It laid the foundation for a community because you neighbors were really your neighbors. Everybody knew everybody else on the block along with all of their business and that's just the way it was. Many of the neighborhoods have changed over the years but Marine Park has managed to retain alot of what made growing up where I did special.
A "block party" is when the street gets closed to traffic and everyone that participates ("chips in") puts out tables and invites people over. The waft of neighboring grills fill the sticky summer air as amusement rides built onto trucks along with fire hydrants modified with a sprinkler head capture the attention of the children. A DJ plays crappy disco tunes while the dance floor is occupied by drunken dancers competing for who'll be talked about most for years to come.
Being at a block party last evening was fun because I was with all my friends, but it was special because it allowed me to relive a piece of my youth that had long been a distant memory for me. And right in the middle of all of it, while I was standing there, a familiar face came walking up the street. "Chris?" he said. "Joey, holy crap, how the heck are ya?" I replied. "What the hell are you doing here?" Joey said....Turns out that Joey's sister Maria lived on that block and his whole family was there. You see, the Rocca's live across the street from me, in fact, they still live in that house, at least Mr. and Mrs. Rocca along with Joey, still in their basement. Both of Joey's sisters. Maria and Christine have married and both are now parents.
Seeing Mr. and Mrs., Mario and Anna was nice. Seeing Christine, Joey, and Maria was nice as well but was also a visual reminder, a very visual reminder, of the passage of time. I have known all three since they were very young children. My sister used to baby sit for the girls and years later, they babysat for my nephew and niece. Sing them, all grown up - beautiful mature woman with children of their own really put a visual stamp on the just how fast the years pass.