Finding Joy in a Brooklyn Outdoor Dance Party

It was a joy to produce this piece for WNYC’s The Takeaway.

Our world today is in crisis. COVID-19 has taken hundreds of thousands of lives, the country is suffering from the economic crisis spurred by the pandemic, and people across the globe are demanding an immediate end to racial injustice and police violence.

But there are also pockets of joy. People are coming together to lean on their communities to create joy and to find hope. Today we bring you one example, here in New York City, in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

During the peak of the pandemic, the sound of ambulance sirens pierced the air as millions of New Yorkers sheltered in place. Many looked forward to 7 p.m., when neighbors across the city and around the world would begin cheering outside of their windows, thanking the essential workers who kept our society running.

In Clinton Hill, what started out as the nightly ritual in recognition of essential workers, developed into a major dance party — with social distancing, of course.

New York-based journalist Brenda Salinas went to Brooklyn to meet with the family who began organizing these joyous nightly block parties. Gail, Joe, and Chad Vill.

Listen to the joyful, audio-rich postcard from Brooklyn.

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