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Stoop season is upon us: act accordingly

By Virginia K. Smith | April 28, 2016 - 2:30PM

Real New Yorkers see their stoops as outdoor space. 

Ladies and gentlemen, we are finally smack in the middle of spring. This means a lot of things—for instance, that it might be time to switch from hot to iced coffee, and you can officially put your winter coat away (as long as you can find the space in your apartment to stash it, of course)—but maybe most importantly, we can safely announce the arrival of Stoop Season.

This probably means something a little different to everyone: Perhaps you've got the entire stoop to yourself and can spend the whole spring and summer holding court, or you're still figuring out a diplomatic way to share the space with your weird neighbors. Maybe you're planning on taking advantage of the city's new more lax public drinking rules and having a drink al fresco. Perhaps you are hoping ot make a bit of money by turning your stoop into a tag sale (tips for that here). Or are you gearing up to be the unsolicited, self-appointed neighborhood DJ who uses the stoop as a platform from which to blast Step in the Name of Love at stadium-level volume for 12 hours a day?

It's possible we're overthinking the stoop, but if so, we're not alone: Years ago, a local filmmaker made "Steps from the Sidewalk," an entire documentary about the world of New York's stoops and a reminder that even though "stoopball" isn't as much of a thing as it was back in the '50s, stoops are still as much of a neighborhood glue as they were decades ago. And of course, there's "Talk Stoop," that (for better or worse) inescapable staple of taxi TV. The point is that you should consider this a PSA to make the most of every possible inch of outdoor space available to you, immediately. In another eight months, it'll be covered with ice again.

*This post was updated on April 28, 2016.


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