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City Play

When John Jacob Rascob and his partners transformed the New York skyline by erecting the Empire State Building, they probably never considered that beneath the tower's express elevators the old Sunfish Creek had once formed a natural swimming hole; nor did they imagine that, across the East River in Queens, children would use the switching on of the building's lights to tell the time for coming in from play. Indeed, the architects of American cities did not design stoops for ballgames or sidewalks for jumping rope, and no one considered the hazard to kites when they put up telephone wires.

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