2 SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
Ridgewood residents show ‘support
and love’ at community block party
BY JULIA MORO
Ridgewood residents held a
block party on Saturday, Aug.
28, on Pauline LeBlond Way
to bring their community together
after many neighbors struggled
through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organizers Ralph Caraballo and
Haruka Aoki and other residents
of the block came together with the
idea to celebrate the tenacity of their
community. Caraballo said there
were about seven deaths on Pauline
LeBlond Way, including his father.
“It was a hard last summer with
the pandemic and social unrest,”
The organizers said about 80
people from around the area showed
up, grilling, dancing and socializing.
“There were kids on each side of
the block who never mingled, but at
the block party, they were,” Caraballo
said. “The next day, I came outside,
and these same kids that never used
to cross the street and hang out were
playing together. If anything, I was
happy about that.”
Caraballo and Aoki said that
people have obviously been sticking
to themselves throughout the pandemic,
but also because of personal
“It was really nice to get together
with the community, and that’s one
of the best things about New York
City,” Aoki said. “It’s all about the
community, the support and the love.”
Caraballo and Aoki, two graphic
designers, were able to drum up excitement
over the event by making
their own flyers and posting them
around the block. They also had the
support of the 104th Precinct and
local community board.
“People were just starting to stay
inside and not communicate with
each other because of the pandemic,
but also because of people’s losses
and stresses,” Caraballo said. “But
that was the intent: to just have a day
Aoki herself struggled through
the pandemic as she transitioned
into an independent artist, but her
block got her through it.
“I wasn’t used to having my own
workflow and making a timeline for
myself,” Aoki said. “A lot of people
on my block helped me out. I was so
uncertain of myself, but my neighbors
really helped me out in terms
of mental health.”
The organizers are planning on
holding another block party next
year since this get-together was such
Ridgewood residents get together as a community after the COVID-19
pandemic closed them off to their neighbors. Courtesy of Haruka Aoki
KEEP THEM SAFE.
CHILDREN AGES 12-17 CAN NOW BE VACCINATED AGAINST COVID-19.
Get your child vaccinated for a safe return to school. Children who have been
vaccinated against COVID-19 are less likely to get and spread COVID-19.
LET’S KEEP OUR CHILDREN SAFE AND OUR SCHOOLS COVID-FREE.
For more information about COVID-19 vaccines
and where to get one, visit nyc.gov/covidvaccine.