Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday Night in Marine Park: The Rockinghams at Marine Park

We went back to Marine Park in the old neighborhood this evening to see The Rockinghams, a local '60s pop song tribute band.

They played songs like "Ticket to Ride," "This Diamond Ring," "There's a Kind of a Hush," "I Get Around," "Sherry," "Dawn," "Because," "Hang On Sloopy," "Have You Ever Seen the Rain," "Sweet Caroline," "Glad All Over," and "She's Not There."

There was a surprisingly large crowd of, as you'd expect, mostly older people from the area who were sensible enough to bring their own lawn chairs.

It was definitely a low-key, neighborhood affair without the garguantan crowds of Marty Markowitz's big-star shows at Wingate Field and Asser Levy/Seaside Park. It felt funny to us to listen to songs we first heard maybe 40 and 45 years ago when they were new and we were teens.

The demographics may have resembled a Tea Party gathering in some respects, but we had to say it was more diverse racially and ethnically than we'd ever seen at the Williamsburg Pool Parties, last Saturday at the Rock Yard, or even last night with the Metropolitan Opera at Brooklyn Bridge Park. We heard people talking Creole and Mandarin and Spanish and saw people wearing yarmulkes, hijabs and at least one dastar and one niqab each.

Most people under 25 at the concert were being held or pushed in a stroller by their parents.

The younger demographic was mostly nearby at the basketball courts.

Older kids came by on their bikes, mostly by accident. We used to ride our low-slung bike back here and pretend we were The Flash.

A few older people eschewed the music for a lively game of bocce.

To everyone who saw MGMT at the McCarren Pool in 2008: This is you in 2040.

Yum! Hot dogs!

Yum! Some kind of candy and inedible toys!

Our dad and sometimes our mom used to jog (that's what it was called) around the track here back in the 1970s. Today, on his 84th birthday, Dad got up at 4 a.m. so he could walk his 4-5 miles in Arizona while it was still a cool 88 degrees.

The old Marine Park field house by Fillmore Avenue is being reconstructed with new restrooms, community space, storage and workspace for the park staff. The "temporary bathroom" is the most luxurious we've ever seen in a New York City park.

This evening was one of the oldies summer concerts series sponsored by State Senator Marty Golden (R-C-I, 22nd District). According to an article in the current Brooklyn Paper by Thomas Tracy and our dear friend of three decades Helen Klein (whom we last saw in June at a New Jersey bat mitzvah), Sen. Golden has never had a Democratic opponent and is trying to keep it that way.

The Rockinghams were actually quite good. It can't be easy to do so many songs in so many disparate styles that effectively. And they certainly did get some people up and dancing.

Even if it took two buses and two trains (the truncated B48 from Lorimer and Skillman to its new terminus at Franklin and Fulton; the Franklin Avenue Shuttle to Prospect Park; the B train to Kings Highway; and then the B100) to get to Marine Park (though we only had to cross one street in Williamsburg) - we're glad we got back to the park where we spent a lot of our childhood and adolescence.

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