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Wintertime in the ‘Hood 1979

December 16, 2008



There was a time in New York City when it seemed during the months of January and February we were guaranteed a snow storm. For kids it’s a win-win situation, there’s the possibility of schools closing, plus the unbridled joy of playing in your very own neighborhood winter wonderland.


My mother remembers the time being between 10:30-11:00pm after the snow storm was over, when she woke me up out of my sleep to get me dressed to go outside. I just remembered it being late and also feeling confused about where my parents could be taking me at this time of the night. But when I got downstairs my eyes widened. The mass of untouched snow covering the courtyard, trees and bushes along with the pinkish hue in the sky made it seem like a totally different place from which I was familiar. I vividly recall the feeling but I’m sure it was just as gratifying for ‘Ma’ and ‘Pop’, as I now know first hand as a parent, the warmness it brings inside when witnessing those first experience moments with your kids.


After having to be carried out of the courtyard, we went to Underwood park  on Lafayette ave. between Waverly and Washington (we always referred to it as ‘Lafayette Park’). My uncles, aunts, cousin and more than a few neighbors soon joined us in the park for all out fun. What I didn’t know was once the storm began to slow down my relatives and neighbors all called each other to coordinate a time to meet outside. Throwing snowballs, riding a sled, making snow angels, it was all fun, however the highlight for me was the snow polar bear we all chipped in to make. The year was 1979 I’m the little whippersnapper wearing the rainbow scarf in the pictures.


Also a little footnote, the other boy in the picture, who appears to be about 11 or 12 years old wearing the navy blue coat, was a neighbor of ours named Cliffy. He went on to become a pioneering Hip-Hop dancer known as Cliff Love, touring and appearing in videos throughout the eighties to mid-nineties for groups like Nice and Smooth and Brooklyn’s own the legendary Whodini.  Below is a video he was featured by Nice and Smooth. There’s a good solo shot at about the 2:55 mark, he can be seen throughout wearing a black hat, black shirt and purple pants.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. kyle permalink
    December 17, 2008 2:38 pm

    Great pics and story!

  2. la duchessa permalink
    December 17, 2008 4:26 pm

    This post is awesome.

  3. bknesto permalink
    December 17, 2008 6:03 pm

    Thanks… even though I’m not really a winter person I can’t wait for the first good snow of the season, so I can see my youngest daughters reaction. She has yet to experience playing in the snow.

  4. SBK permalink
    December 17, 2008 10:07 pm

    Ah, the pink hued sky…also reminds me of my childhood and going out to play in the snow at night knowing full well that there would be a snow day from school in the morning. Nice story, great photos! Love the coat on the woman holding you in the first picture and your awesome rainbow scarf!

  5. illill permalink
    December 19, 2008 7:11 pm

    i remember those days. i was only 3 in 79 though.

  6. Cliff Love permalink
    April 15, 2009 5:52 pm

    Wow Looking up some 411 and ran in the ”WASHINGTON PARK FLICK ”I want ta say this is earnie’s mom sharron ? and e when he was a little cat…Man i miss clinton Hills ..Damon Maxwell ”Adrian Ccclain ,,Panzie Flip ,Anthony Holland , Just ta name a few…

  7. April 15, 2009 5:58 pm

    Wow this maybee sharron earnie’s mom has ta be her …Miss yall soo much I was looking 4 some 411 and to my suprise i ran into this wow ,,It’s bugging me out ..Miss clinton hills so much,,,,DAMON MAXWELL ,,ADRIAN MC CLANE..FLIP ,,PANZIE The whole youg clinton g=hill crew ..WASHINGTON PARK….Great times…

  8. Legendary permalink
    April 16, 2009 2:46 pm

    OG Cutty Mack Cliff Love,
    My Bro-shot! 333 LaFayette, check the year book, the hottest hip hop dancers in game use to be up in there gettin’ busy! C-Loooooove! My Brother for Life…Excellent Story and photographs

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