This week the New York World's Fair opens. To most of the out-of-towners who will visit the city, sport in New York means Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, Aqueduct and, perhaps, the Biltmore Garage, where "the oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York" never quite took place. But children growing up in New York, like Ring, 9, and his sister Ilona, 11, at right, find sport everywhere, as is revealed in these beguiling photographs and in the reminiscences of a native son that follow them. There are games to play in the parks, on the beaches and, most of all, in the streets. Famous fighters can be seen, close enough to touch; racehorses, too, and the Yankee baseball diamond—almost. "I like the beach the best, says Ring, hugging Ilona, as a man teaches a boy how to cast. "I especially like it on a windy morning. When you run all this dust flies out behind you." Ilona's beach is quieter. "I like, she says, "to see the footprints of the birds."
A tennis lesson near Sutton Place, a trip to a sunlit sail loft on City Island and, early in the morning, roadwork on Central Park's bridle path with Welterweight Champion Emile Griffith (center), who Ilona thinks is "cute."
Ring sees his first Yankee game, to which he wore an L. A. Angel hat. "I guess I liked the game," he says," "but I wanted to step on a base and those men don't let you."
You know how to play scelzi," says Ring. "You flick a bottle cap. After a while, it makes your fingers swell up. Ilona won me in chess in Greenwich Village, and one day I got to walk a horse at Belmont—Lester, The Big Red Horse."
April 20, 1964
Ilona and Ring fish in Central Park. "It would be O.K.," says Ring, "if you ever caught anything."