Friday, April 6, 2012

Looking for a Ride on Fifth

When my children were small, and a day turned dreary - the long ache of a dull afternoon, the petulance of child or parent - it was off to Fifth for the rides.  In those days (hah! two decades ago!) there were plenty of kiddie rides along the avenue.  Every couple of blocks, it seems in my memory, there was a duck, airplane, or painted horse just waiting for a quarter to make it come alive for a minute or two.  As good as the rides themselves was the music.  Even then the melodies had a sweetness from years past, just like the tinny songs of ice-cream trucks & fairgrounds.   Whatever the sullen mood that had driven us out there, it couldn't outlast a ride or two.  Or three. Or four. Or five. We'd blow a couple of bucks & go for an orgy of riding pleasure.  We felt like kings.
But the rides are almost all gone around here now.  There are plenty of children still, God knows, but newer businesses don't see the profit in rides any more, I suppose, or maybe the newer parents here don't like them.  Is it too cheap & brash a thrill? It's too bad.  If you head south down the avenue though, and go to Sunset Park, you'll find all the familiar figures waiting.  With a quick stop for a grilled cheese sandwich at Munchy's, I walked from 65th back home, and photographed all the rides I found.  Who knows how many will remain in a decade?  Here are a few.


Marty Wombacher said...

I love this! Great idea and photos! I can't think if I've ever seen a kiddie ride in the city, I'll have to start looking.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

One of my childhood treats was my father taking me to a local store where there was one of these horse rides, as well as a mini carousel. It had three tiny seats and I thought it was the best thing in the world. I'd forgotten about it until now - thanks for resurrecting a very happy memory!

Carl Douglas said...

There used to be some very good rides outside the K-Mart in West Leb.

onemorefoldedsunset said...

Yes, West Lebanon was good for rides too!