Hats Off to You All!
The Annual Yard Sale has come and gone in its new guise of a Spring Bazaar--still serving up something for everyone. Mother Nature toyed with the organizers, keeping forecasts all over the map culminating in a knuckle-biter of an 8 a.m. downpour; but ultimately she whispered a springtime "go for it!" to the Block Association's team of planners. And the event came off last Saturday in full regalia--with just a little sprinkle midway for good measure.
A huge rainbow arch of balloons heralded the spirt that West End passersby would find if turning west off the avenue onto 103rd Street that day. And turn they did. Neighbors and bargain-hunters, moms, dads, kids itching to get their faces painted, old-time residents remembering the ghosts of sales past, and the newly arrived realizing they've moved into a true neighborhood: they all came to check out this communal event.
Really, truly, to tell it like it is: I am a sucker for it. I might grumble at the thought of having to staff an outreach table or schlep supplies. But in truth, I heart this annual ritual of our community pouring into the street. I delight in old time stories of sales past. Like the one Neil Borrell told me about W. 103rd Street old-timer and brownstone resident, Len Tredanari. Len died over 10 years ago and sadly we lost his widow Cherie this year. But the memory of Len barbecuing in a home-made, yet precariously-laid brick hearth shines still. As does that of his homemade wine. Then there's the story of Len taking a hose to a parked car whose owner flouted the no parking signs. Story goes he filled that car with water. So to our neighbors who "forgot" to move cars this year, you sure got off easy!
But I digress.
I am in awe of the devotion of the relatively small Block Association core team that pulls it off year after year. So first a big hat tip to people like Übermensch Bob Aaronson who runs the show; to Anthony Bellov who jigsaws the street into slots so that vendors have a spot from which to hawk; to Hedy Campbell, Debi Cohen, Deborah Lott, Sue Maderer, Dorothy O'Hanlon, and Jane Hopkins who planned, stocked, and staffed various concessions, rummage and silent auction booths; to Bruce Cohen who directed the music stage in front of Gershwin House with a full program of sets from volunteer musicians; to Cynthia Doty, to Terence Hanrahan, to Celia Knight, to Ginger Lief, and to the others I am forgetting who dealt with the authorities, helped clear the street of cars, sold raffle tickets, schlepped, swept, fretted and toiled. This hat tip is for you all.
Special thanks go to teams from St. Luke's who provided merry muscle and more to pull a lot of this together. And a big shoutout to to BAiP members and to David Reich -- whose name is synonymous with both the Block Association and BAiP -- for constant help and contributions of rummage items. For the weeks leading into the event, every hand on deck was needed.
To this corps of volunteers who came, saw and conquered our beloved Spring Bazaar: Hats off!
Until the next newsletter piece covering this event comes out, I leave you with some images of the great one gone by.
By Caitlin Hawke
1910: West End Avenue between W. 102nd & W. 103rd Streets, West Side of the Street
By Caitlin Hawke
Seeking Your Unwanted Treasures for Our Rummage Table on May 16th
Your Block Association is calling all neighbors: we want your stuff. Consider this a call to arms for all donations of household goods, great kitchen items, tchotchkes, kids' stuff, and anything else that you may not want but that someone else might snap up. Donations of this sort benefit the Block Association tremendously.
Our rummage table brings in several hundred dollars each year to benefit our various projects. So if you don't have time to pull together your own table, let us unburden you of those things that are clogging up your closets, hallways and storage spaces.
Please deliver donations to the doorman at 240 West 102nd Street just west of Broadway between 8 a.m. and midnight all week long, or bring them to our rummage table at the Spring Bazaar this Saturday.
By Caitlin Hawke
Planting Day at Last!
Saturday was the Block Association's annual Spring Planting Day. And what a day it was. Rather than sate you with eye candy here, I should entice you out to the curb to have a look-see. Or perhaps these last days you've already noticed that over 60 men, women and children were hard at work beautifying last weekend. Scroll through the gallery below for a gander. But get out there and examine the earth candy...it will just keep getting better with H2O, TLC and us.
Huge thanks to 865 West End Avenue for hosting the supplies. And to all the Block Association members and organizers who came out: Chapeau!
By Caitlin Hawke Photo Credit: Celia Knight
Sometime after 1904: Broadway and West 98th Street - Subterranean
By Caitlin Hawke