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What About A Block Party?

October 8, 2011

Last Sunday, our neighboring area Midtown Terrace had its annual block party. (I didn’t go, but I’m hoping to get a report on that soon, and when I do, I’ll post it here.)  [Edited to Add: I did – scroll down.]  And it started a correspondence on our neighborhood Yahoo Group.

“I just drove by the Midtown Terrace block party in envy.  Would love to have something like that for our street one day. I can already envision the jumpy house in the Forest Knolls cul-de-sac.  Any interest out there?” wrote one of our neighbors.

Walter Caplan, President of the Forest Knolls Neighborhood Organization (FKNO) immediately responded:

Funny you should ask. The Forest Knolls Neighborhood Organization was recently granted [funds] by Sutro Tower Inc. to be used for a FOREST KNOLLS block party.  I have been talking with some neighbors, and the consensus is that we should have a block party next spring [i.e. 2012], and likely situate it on Oak Park at the curve just beyond Warren Drive.”

A number of people thought it would be a good idea (including me). I heard from someone who grew up here that they used to do stuff like that, but I guess as the young people grew up and left, so did the parties… It’s time to start again!

Some of those who responded also volunteered to help out in making it happen. So… with any luck, we’ll be on for the block party next spring.

Edited to Add: And here’s the report, also from Walter:

October 2nd started out like most foggy mornings and the Midtown Terrace Homeowners Association (MTHOA) volunteers were worried that a cold day would keep some people from attending the annual MTHOA Block faire. By 11 am the morning mist had turned into a beautiful sunny day and hundreds of local residents were streaming to the annual block party. Like always, the party was in full swing by 1 pm.

After seven years the MTHOA has become a real neighborhood success and a looked-forward-to event.   The first “block faire” was held at Midtown Terrace Park and only 43 people showed-up.   Once the MTHOA started blocking off Dellbrook Avenue the annual block party became a very popular neighborhood event.   Featuring free food and drinks, face painters, caricature artists, two inflatable jumpers, cotton candy, music, popcorn, a bubble machine and the ever-present Mr. Scruffy the clown, the entire MTHOA neighborhood is now attending an event that has become an annual neighborhood celebration and tradition.  There are scads of moms with kids, few teenagers (they think it uncool to be seen at this event), senior citizens, and the dads who seem to come for the food and usually leave as quickly as possible so that they can watch the Sunday afternoon football game.  Stay ten minutes or stay four hours, MTHOA is awfully glad that everyone showed up to spend some time with their neighbors.

Moms and kids seem to love this event the best as everything is designed to make children happy.   So many kids who now live in Midtown Terrace are now going to different schools and rarely get a chance to meet.  Mothers with children are constantly meeting other moms with children and forming lasting friendships in the community.  Events like the MTHOA block faire have turned out to be a great way to keep the neighborhood a community.  The local fire station parks a truck and gives tours of the fire engine and lets the kids ring the bell.  Almost 400 people were served this year and that’s not even counting the hundreds of kids who attended.   A block party is great way for a neighborhood to become a community.

The Forest Knolls Neighborhood Organization hopes to create a similar block party for our residents in the spring of 2012 at a centrally located spot – possibly on Oak Park just past Warren Drive.

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