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10th Annual Clinton Hill Day

August 19, 2008



          A time honored tradition during the summer time in New York City is the block party. A block party is a gathering of the neighborhood on a closed off block in which music is played, dancing goes on, and food is served…more than likely off a barbecue grill.  A derivative of the block party is the park jam, which is pretty much the same thing except held in a schoolyard and may or may not involve a basketball tournament. Both the park jam and block party are the seeds which spawned the environment to create what is now called Hip Hop.

          In the 70’s cats used to plug up their DJ equipment to the street lights for electricity to play their music. And when Clinton Hill Day first started in ’98 we weren’t much different…except we had to depend on the bodega on the corner.  The power cords were ran from the park, duct taped across the street then ran down stairs underground into the store. Spearheaded by two friends of mine, who compiled a handful of us to contribute to make the day happen, I am proud to say that this event is now in it’s tenth year.

            Clinton Hill Day is a hybrid of a park jam/family reunion. Long time residents, old time residents, family and friends get to together to reminisce and celebrate the neighborhood.  Wearing their Clinton Hill shirts with pride from young to old, it’s a lovely sight to see when two old timers who haven’t seen each other in years embrace, then start going down memory lane…It makes my heart smile. I guess I should note that the Clinton Hill Chill t-shirts were originally made for this event last summer (we had different shirts all the previous years) then kind of ended up being one of the inspirations for starting this blog. This year was another good year, I look forward to the next ten! 

        Gracing us with the sounds from old school r & b, soul, to contemporary Hip Hop was DJ Fly Ty, Jeff Haze and my young homie Fresh; from the Isley Brothers to Li’l Wayne, they played it all! This is communal love at it’s finest…and the sacrifice, time, energy and monetary contributions are all done by a handful of people. It makes me proud that this NYC tradition is being carried on in my neigborhood. Below are some pics and a video of the girls dance routine….

3 Comments leave one →
  1. kyle permalink
    August 20, 2008 1:44 pm

    Looks like a lot of fun. Love the dancers!

  2. August 21, 2008 12:36 pm

    Walked by later that evening and saw some of the girls and was wondering why they were dressed so colorfully. They did a great routine. Looks like a really fun day.

  3. Brklyngrl4lfe permalink
    August 21, 2008 1:28 pm

    I am so proud to be from CH my entire family has been there for over 50 years my grandmother who is still living in CH she looks forward to coming out to the park every year. My brother and cousins are very invovled with the whole event . I can’t wait until next year Clinton Hills “If you can make it here you can make it anywhere” Love and respect to all my CH family.

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