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City Play Hardcover – September 1, 1990
From Publishers Weekly
A paean to play by a husband-and-wife team of folklorists, this hodgepodge of facts, quotes, scholarship and stories traces New York City frolics from the Triassic period (origin of the brownstone) through the introduction of elevators, electric street lighting and automobiles. Although art historian Kirshenblatt-Gimblett's afterword reaches as far as India and Israel, Dargan and Zeitlin explore outdoor play mainly in the Big Apple, with hopscotches to Boston, Philadelphia and Indiana. Diaries and oral histories add sometimes hilarious, sometimes poignant perspectives; one woman describes "digging to China" in her Brooklyn backyard during a polio epidemic. Weak when it veers off into scholarly gobbledygook, this "study" of play is nevertheless well served by Dargan and Zeitlin's eclectic mix of sources, which include Nietzsche, Heidegger and Willie Sutton (whose childhood swimming lessons in the treacherous East River paid off later in life when he was trying to escape from prison).
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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The city itself is playground:
Sewer grate fishing
Johnny-pump (fire hydrant) play
Rooftop pigeon coops
Loose truck tires
Chalking the street with plasterboard bits
Hide and Seek
Johnny on the Pony
and on and on
author of "L is for Lion: an italian bronx butch freedom memoir" SUNY Press
and "Schistsong" BORDIGHERA Press
L Is for Lion: An Italian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir (SUNY series in Italian/American Culture)
Schistsong (Via Folios)
Carry My Coffee (Live)