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October 30th, 2010

More Halloween Memories

2cbw9280_1This post was written in October 2005

In 2005 my daughter took it upon herself to decorate our building, an 8-unit limestone, with handmade Halloween decorations.

The first week of October, she made numerous drawings — wonderful ghouls, howling dogs, witches, and devils — and taped them on the walls of  the public hallway.

Earlier in the the week at Little Things, we found a soft Dracula candy holder she couldn’t live without. I picked up some candy corn and Halloween signs at Save-on-Fifth. And the Food Coop had some of the most beautifully patterned gourds I have ever seen.

Ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching.  (that’s the sound of an old fashioned cash register).

Last night, everything came together: we made a make-shift table out of grocery boxes and used a sparkly silver fabric as a tablecloth. We put it in the hallway by our front door and filled Dracula with candy corn and M&Ms, and little plastic pumpkins.

Voila. I think we’re done. For now.

The sweet sweetness of the candy corn is already getting to me. The chaps for my daughter’s cowgirl costume are at the dry cleaners getting hemmed. My son hasn’t even mentioned his pirate costume (I guess at 14 you don’t need to involve your parents anymore). We’ve got a heinously busy weekend planned.

Take a deep breath and get ready for Halloween.


Posted in Smartmom, Stoopendous | Comments Off on More Halloween Memories

June 24th, 2007


The All-Slope-Solstice-Shout-Out really happened. On Third Street adults and children made noise: pots and pans, wine bottles, a singing bowl, whistles, horns...

We watched our watches and at the strike of 8:31 pm, the joyful noise began. It went on for five minutes or so.

The sky was beautiful.

The kids walked around the block, a noisemaker's parade. "The best part of Stoopendous," OSFO reported.

Such fun.

Posted in Stoopendous | Comments Off on ALL SLOPE SOLSTICE SHOUT OUT: IT HAPPENED

June 24th, 2007


Sorry for the email formatting. This is an email from the woman that had a sound healer/shaman. Sounds like it was great.

We just sent the last guest home at about 1:00 a.m.!

> We had 15 people in the solid core crew of the party and several
> others who stayed briefly.  Many people stayed until Midnight. There
> was a second crew of teenagers at just about that time --  and two
> party guests stayed on for a long conversation in the kitchen.  A
> neighbor dropped in after an event in Manhattan and connected with one
> of the kitchen conversers to discover that they had some shared
> history.  Another guest walked my next-door-neighbor Millie home and
> discovered that they both grew up in the same neighborhood in
> Brooklyn.  Millie can just walk 1/2 block with her PT -- she is in her
> eighties -- yet she walked over to our party by herself looking like a
> million bucks!  Nelly and her husband joined us as well and were
> wonderful guests.

> We used little white lights to set the mood.  Along with a nice circle
> of seating we had a rustic wooden table and small baker's rack -- the
> rack had a floral bouquet (one sunflower, plus everything else from my
> garden -- pink roses, black-eyed susans, pink and yellow columbines,
> tiny wild daisies, various kinds of greenery, some with pretty yellow
> and green leaves) and the table had lemonades and teas:  organic
> strawberry lemonade, organic lemonade, iced blueberry tea, iced
> "normal" tea  (we could all use some normalty!) and iced decaf green. 

> We also offered Arnold Palmers -- half tea and half lemonade.  The
> food included focaccia with mozzarella, pale pink glass plates of
> fruit, one with sunburst-arrayed raspberries and thin slices of
> grapefruit, and another similarly arranged with organic plums,
> apricots, and nectarines.  Curried cashews.  Very chewy brownies. 
> Guests brought beautiful finger sandwiches, fresh vegetables and dip,
> do-it-yourself cannolis (lots of fun!), homemade hummus and baba
> ganoush.  There were candles on the bottom shelves of the baker's rack
> and the light reflected beautifully through the fruit slices, making
> them jewel toned.  There was a basket of kazoos and noisemakers, too.
> Our shout-out was awesome! One guest brought musical instruments, and
> Michele led us and we beat on pans, played all kinds of shakers,
> harmonicas, rattles, bells, guitars, etc. etc...we whooped and
> hollered so much, we drowned out the ability to hear anyone else!  So
> it's very exciting to know that we were heard!  Lots of guitar playing
> and singing on our stoop, including my husband, who sounded pretty
> nice...and at one point, vocal jazz improv coming in from a neighbor
> on the sidewalk!   The stars were amazingly brilliant tonight, the
> moon outshone itself, and the heavenly scent I mentioned last night --
> which is actually from a nearly TREE -- I'm wrong about the
> honeysuckle -- gently found its way to us with every breeze. 
> Everybody was up and having fun.

> It was a lovely evening -- I enjoyed every minute of it, and guests
> reported that they did as well!  For years, I had been meaning to do a
> solstice party, and now I got to do a STOOPendous party!  Thank you
> all my fellow STOOPers and now, as Samuel Pepys would say, "and so to
> bed."  (My dear husband is washing the dishes!)  My very best to you
> all!

Posted in Stoopendous | Comments Off on THE DAILY STOOPENDOUS: OUR SHOUT-OUT WAS AWESOME

June 23rd, 2007


TODAY IS STOOPENDOUS, a celebration of the summer solstice on the streets and sidewalks of Park Slope.

JOIN THE ALL-SLOPE-SOLSTICE-SHOUT OUT WHEREVER YOU ARE: MAKE MUSIC, MAKE NOISE AT 8:31 PM at the time of sunset. Or join one of these events:

Sixth Street between  5th and 6th Avenues at 7pm: Make your own ice cream sundae party.

Kid's Art Show: In a storefront just east of Seventh Avenue on 4th Street (where Lion in the Sun used to be). Sponsored by Park Slope Parents.

10th Street between 6th and 7th: A Bagpiper will be there at 7 pm

295 14th Street between 5th and 6th: Michelle Broder, well known Sound healer/shaman will be there at 7 pm

10th Street between 8th and the Park: Stoop sales and a Stoop Social 7 p.m.

3rd Street between 6th and 7th:
a 13- year-old sitar prodigy and other young musicians.

8th Street between 8th Street and the Park: Pet show organized by kids

First Street between 6th and 7th: Block party

Please send in other Stoopendous events you are aware of:

Posted in Stoopendous | 1 Comment »

June 22nd, 2007


On Saturday June 23rd, Michelle Broder, a well-known sound healer/shaman and one of the organizers of the Jerusalem Hug will be at 295 14th Street at 7:30 p.m. as part of a Stoopendous celebration there.

Posted in Stoopendous | 2 Comments »

June 22nd, 2007


Word is spreading. Tomorrow is the day. June 23rd: day or night; on your stoop or sidewalk. The essence of Stoopendous is making connections big and small between yourself and your nighbors. Between yourself and your community. Between yourself and the solar system.

Micro. Macro.

Light a candle. Blow a kazoo. Invite some neighbors over for a drink and some Sun Chips. There are many more ideas over at

At 8:31, make some noise at the All-Slope-Solstice-Shout-Out (see for details) . Just for a minute or two.

Posted in Stoopendous | Comments Off on THE DAILY STOOPENDOUS: TOMORROW

June 22nd, 2007


Kensington Blog: come on over to Third Street between 6th and 7th Avenues for a little Stoopendous wine and music. 7:00 p.m. on June 23rd. Right in the middle of the block on the north side of the street. In the yard. You can't miss us (green table, green plastic chairs).

(She asked to be invited. Everyone's invited, too).


June 18th, 2007


STOOPendous, on June 23rd, is a week away. It is an event designed to celebrate community and
the summer solstice.

Folks are having BBQs, Bagel Breakfasts, Stoop Happy Hours and more. For more information and ideas, go to

Solstice, from the Latin for sun stands still, in astronomy, either of the two points on the ecliptic that lie midway between the equinoxes (separated from them by an angular distance of 90°).

At the solstices the sun's apparent position on the celestial sphere reaches its greatest distance above or below the celestial equator, about 23 1/2° of arc. At the time of summer solstice, about June 22, the sun is directly overhead at noon at the Tropic of Cancer.

In the Northern Hemisphere the longest day and shortest night of the year occur on this date, marking the beginning of summer. At winter solstice, about December 22, the sun is overhead at noon at the Tropic of Capricorn; this marks the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. For several days before and after each solstice the sun appears to stand still in the sky, i.e., its noontime elevation does not seem to change from day to day.

In pre-historic times, summer was a joyous time of the year for those Aboriginal people who lived in the northern latitudes. The snow had disappeared; the ground had thawed out; warm temperatures had returned; flowers were blooming; leaves had returned to the deciduous trees. Some herbs could be harvested, for medicinal and other uses. Food was easier to find. The crops had already been planted and would be harvested in the months to come. Although many months of warm/hot weather remained before the fall, they noticed that the days were beginning to shorten, so that the return of the cold season was inevitable.

The first (or only) full moon in June is called the Honey Moon. Tradition holds that this is the best time to harvest honey from the hives.

This time of year, between the planting and harvesting of the crops, was the traditional month for weddings. This is because many ancient peoples believed that the "grand [sexual] union" of the Goddess and God occurred in early May at Beltaine. Since it was unlucky to compete with the deities, many couples delayed their weddings until June. June remains a favorite month for marriage today. In some traditions, "newly wed couples were fed dishes and beverages that featured honey for the first month of their married life to encourage love and fertility. The surviving vestige of this tradition lives on in the name given to the holiday immediately after the ceremony: The Honeymoon."