31 October 2011

Popsicle Test and Halloween in OTR

"A neighborhood works if it is possible for an 8-year-old kid to get a Popsicle on his or her own and return before it has completely melted." - Scott Doyon, more here

There has been some discussion on urban parenting blogs about the above described popsicle test. I have to admit that we thought 8 was too young for our son, at least in OTR, to walk to the corner store. One of the bloggers also brought up the issue of Halloween. It seems to me that a good neighborhood for Halloween is a neighborhood with mostly single family houses relatively close together, with sidewalks, lampposts and trees with freshly fallen leaves etc.

I was talking today to a friend who grew up on Republic Street in the 50s. He said back then there were a lot more small shops on Vine Street and that they would dress up and walk around to all the different stores. He said the church/school organized a kind of parade too in the daytime. In the 90s, before we had kids, when we lived on Elm Street, my wife used to sit out on the front stoop and hand out raisins and peanuts to kids. There were more kids than you might think venturing up and down OTR streets. But many of the buildings are apartment buildings without easy access, and there are fewer stores than there were 50 years ago. That combined with the abundance of vacant buildings, this is not a great place for Halloween. Tonight, we are headed up the hill to Fairview Avenue. We have friends there and it was a lot of fun last year. But next year we may try to stick it out here. 

This blurry photo is from Halloween last year on Fairview Avenue. Some people in that neighborhood really make an effort to give the kids a treat.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Halloween in The Bronx when I was growing up consisted of taking the elevator to the top/13th floor*, canvassing all the apartments there, taking the fire stairs down to the 12th floor to visit the apartments there, and so on, until we reached the first floor. Then it was back in the elevator and up to our floor and apartment.

We didn't need our parents to escort us, or flashlights or reflective tape -- we had no streets to cross. Likewise, rainy or cold weather was never an issue.

We went trick-or-treating as soon as we got home from school since it wasn't ever going to get dark in the halls. The candy was put aside for after dinner and homework.

Never understood why people think growing up in an apartment building is a deprivation.

Blue Ash Mom

*Taking the elevator all the way UP, instead of all the way down as we always did otherwise, added a little bit of feeling like a taboo was being broken.

Quimbob said...

Halloween deserts
There was an apartment building at the end of my street. My older sisters remember going through the place but I guess some residents complained. What I remember was the residents setting up tables full of goodies in the courtyard out front.
My street is like the one the blogger you mentioned described but less than half the residents participate so kids don't bother. They also balk at walking up 8(OMG) steps.

corrinesan said...

Trick or treat in an apartment building is a cooperative affair - there have to be enough children participating to make it worthwhile for the residents to be giving things out... apartment buildings that are low on kids are going to be less T or T friendly. We've lived in both types of communities. It is what it is.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I probably should have written "growing up in an apartment building in New York City." Every building there is full of families and kids, that's not so true around here. The other thing about really big city life is that people stay in the same apartment for decades* so a building can become something of a neighgborhood. We knew which apartments had the best candy and who didn't want to be bothered.

Blue Ash Mom

* My aunt's mother, for example, lived in the same apartment for 46 years. How many people do you know who live in a house they own for that long?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I probably should have written "growing up in an apartment building in New York City." Every building there is full of families and kids, that's not so true around here. The other thing about really big city life is that people stay in the same apartment for decades* so a building can become something of a neighgborhood. We knew which apartments had the best candy and who didn't want to be bothered.

Blue Ash Mom

* My aunt's mother, for example, lived in the same apartment for 46 years. How many people do you know who live in a house they own for that long?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I probably should have written "growing up in an apartment building in New York City." Every building there is full of families and kids, that's not so true around here. The other thing about really big city life is that people stay in the same apartment for decades* so a building can become something of a neighgborhood. We knew which apartments had the best candy and who didn't want to be bothered.

Blue Ash Mom

* My aunt's mother, for example, lived in the same apartment for 46 years. How many people do you know who live in a house they own for that long?

Anonymous said...

Whoops

BAM