Getting nostalgic for Sunset.
Former and current Sunset Park residents are taking to a new website to share their memories that shaped their lives.
Tony Giordano, founder of Facebook page Sunset Parker, which recently celebrated having over 6,000 members, has launched a new site, Growing up Sunset.
The website serves as a forum for residents, old and new, to share photos and memories of growing up in their favorite neighborhood.
“I’ve been listening to folks sharing remembrances on my Sunset Parker page and felt that it was wrong to let them be ‘spoken’ for a moment and then allowed to fade away,” said Giordano. “So I decided to put them on a permanent web page.”
The site’s homepage features snapshots of historic Sunset, such as a scenic view of the sun setting near St. Michael’s Church, the park, children swimming in the pool, an old movie theater and more.
There is also a section where members have written dozens of entries about the old days, such as hanging out on the stoop on summer nights, their first dates, playing stickball and lounging at establishments that no longer exist.
By creating the site, Giordano made it easily accessible for the members of Sunset Parkers. “Most folks are uncomfortable putting together a full story or essay, so by allowing folks to just jot down a thought made it very easy for them to contribute,” he explained. “The web page is more like a bunch of folks sitting in a restaurant and telling stories. As one person tells a memory it causes someone else to remember a story of theirs.
Although the site has onlt recently been launched, the reception has been positive. “It’s been absolutely fantastic,” he said, adding that it has even brought strangers together. “My favorite moments are when two Sunset Parkers who have never met realize that they both had the same exact experience – witnessing an event or being part of an occurrence.”
There are many stories that resonate with locals. However, some are more emotional than others. “The night that I was compiling the quotes I came across the words of a young woman who died tragically just the day before,” Giordano added. “Her last words were remembrances of the good times in Sunset Park.”
The potential for the site to grow is there, as Sunset residents have a strong desire to look back and also look forward. “Communities that share stories of their past and preserve these stories are communities that cannot be gentrified out of existence,” he said. “These stories make us all brothers and sisters – stories from a Muslim neighbor may strike a chord with a Christian neighbor’s memories and that builds a bond.”
To visit the site and share a memory, visit www.churchroad.wix.com/growingupsunset.