The Great American (Bensonhurst) Block Party

Every summer, neighbors come together and plan block parties. It gives them a chance to hang out, form a camaraderie and celebrate the summer by truly owning the block.

Sunday, August 19, on West Street between Avenue U and Avenue V, the orange cones prevented any cars from going down the road. The kids danced and twirled their neon light necklaces and toys while the DJ played Michael Jackson. Their parents relaxed on folding chairs, knocking back cans of Coors Light.

From block to block, block party to block party, it doesn’t seem like there are many differences between the parties of now and 10 years ago. Well, that’s not exactly true.

“Don’t even get me started on the curfew,” said one of the moms in attendance. She is referring to the 9 p.m. mandatory shutdown time. In previous years, the curfew was later. No one recalled the exact time, but they all said it must have been around midnight.

The other issues that got people talking were the few cars that somehow managed to drive past the barricades and make it down the street filled with kids playing.

And finally, the biggest gripe was with neighbors who did not participate in the event. Whether it was because of financial concerns or otherwise, no one knew. However, most agreed that it dampened the efforts of the others.

“I just wish everyone acted like neighbors, not just people living near each other,” said another mom, before she dashed after her son.


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