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Block Party! | Manolo for the Big Girl

Block Party!

No, we’re not having one for MftBG. We’re having one on my block today. It’s an annual event in my neighborhood, usually following a block garage sale. Today it’s just the party and we’re holding the garage sale in a couple weeks.

It’s a great tradition. The street is blocked off from noon until close to sunset. The organizers bring in a jump castle for the kids to play in, and late in the afternoon, everyone brings out their best dishes for a potluck party while two volunteers man the grill.

Me? I’m bringing a fabulous lemon layer cake filled with lemon curd. Why? Because I’m the dessert maven, darlings. I also have some oatmeal cookies filled with dried fruit left over from the Relay for Life that I’ll probably thaw out and bring.

But there’s more to it than games for the kids and showing off our foodie leanings. Having this party every year means we all get to know something about one another. It builds community and friendships. It makes us think a little more during the year about who we haven’t seen lately or who suddenly isn’t doing much with their previously show-quality yard. It means we notice when someone is behaving oddly and take the time to find out what’s going on. It means we take better care of one another because we have a reason to pay attention. It means if there’s an emergency, we all know we can go to a neighbor for help.

Community is a good thing. The great thing is, all it takes is a bit of effort to create one. Say hello to a neighbor. Invite someone in your building to dinner. Make a connection.

5 Responses to “Block Party!”

  1. Ali July 10, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    For a moment there I thought you might live on my block – because we are having our block party as well. I hear “You can call me Al” blasting through my window from the street right now.

    But then I realized that your and my block party are two different worlds. Our block party is between 5 and 10 kids running up and down the street (most of them not even from our block), a few old dudes sitting outside, beer in hand, … and that’s pretty much it. Hardly anybody has food out and it kind of looks like the food that IS out is just consumed by the people who put it out. No bouncy castle, not even a trampoline. And all the people who don’t have kids are pissed because we had to move our car to another block.

  2. Twistie July 11, 2010 at 12:11 am #

    Very different, Ali. Too bad. We had some infiltrators from other streets, too, but they were nice and appreciated the food. They came with actual neighbors, and thus had food in hand.

    Good food, good conversation, good times. I love the annual block party.

  3. Alex July 11, 2010 at 7:30 am #

    I wish I had that kind of a block – it sounds like such a lot of fun!

  4. Catherine July 11, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    Your lemon cake sounds to die for…any chance of sharing the recipe?

  5. angela July 12, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    seconding the request for lemon layer cake!