Saturday, July 11, 2009

Game On!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, good people of Crown Heights, come one, come all, and join your neighbors in playing what I am dubbing - with no authority whatsoever - the official game of Franklin Avenue for the summer of 2009. That’s right, it’s Cornhole (and there's a chartered organization to promote it, so don't knock it)! Brought north to the streets of Brooklyn by a pair of fun-loving southerners (does Texas count as the south? I’m going with yes.) and set up every evening this past week on the Avenue between Sterling and Park, Cornhole is a distilled version of every addictive carnival game you’ve ever burned ten bucks playing down at Coney Island, only it doesn’t cost anything, and you can play it as long as you want (provided you let the rest of us get a few throws in, too). The rules are simple: place a pair of boards, with holes towards one end, at a slight angle about 20-30 feet apart, grab some beanbags, and try to toss ‘em through your opponent’s hole. If your bag sticks on the board, you've scored one point, and if you land it in the hole, you've got three. Games are to 7, 11, or any other number you agree on. Doubles work like shuffleboard, with one player from each team at each end. Boards are easy to make, but if you get the urge, you can order official models here.

A note on the pictures: they're awful, but it was almost too dark for my barely-a-single-megapixel cellphone camera. I like to think their blurred, fuzzy nature captures the fleeting joys of a fading summer evening, but that's, well, just not the case. Thankfully, the lady just got me a new Kodak digital, so I'm back in business with decent photos starting next week!

Blog titles notwithstanding, it can be hard to love Franklin Avenue every minute of every day. I don't love shootings on my corner, I don't love worrying about people groping my girlfriend and female friends, and I don't love the crime rate that necessitates the Skywatch. With rents dropping all over the city, it's easy to start wondering whether it might not be time to seek greener pastures. But then, every so often, I come home on a perfect summer evening to a scene like this: kids and adults, all races, no drama, just hanging out, playing a game and chatting away without a care in the world as the sky gets bluer and bluer until it turns to night. Throw in a spinach pizza from the Slice for dinner, and there's no other place for me.


  1. I had the pleasure of playing last Tuesday. Fun stuff.

  2. so cool! thanks julie and collin! see you there next tuesday hopefully :)