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Lawrenceville a pool of quirky, poetic souls (updated with correct time, poster and video)

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

It's been forever since Larryville had a 25-piece accordion band playing inside an empty swimming pool ... So isn't it about time?

Just about.

From 3 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 12 -- the 50th anniversary of the Soviet launch of Luna 2, the 35th anniversary of the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and the birthdays of Maurice Chevalier and Barry White -- 18 accordion players and 30 costumed folk dancers, a West African drum and dance ensemble and, ultimately, everyone like you and me who squeezes in for a world dance party will turn Leslie Pool into a waterless wonder of whimsy.

Deb Knox, one of the accordionists, a member of the Balkan Babes and the event manager, said the Accordion Pool Party --  open to the public  for $5 a person -- is just a big event to get the neighborhood to start thinking about what it can make happen more permanently at Leslie pool, which has been closed for five years.

The band has been assembled and rehearsing since July.

The pool is off 46th Street behind the Boys and Girls Club, which is on Butler Street.

Deb and Susan want to hear from you if you are an artist, designer or visionary and have ideas on how to decorate the lawn or want to serve as lifeguards helping people set up lawn chairs and helping things run smoothly. They want to hear from you if you have experience at tango, two-step, ceili or czardas.

After the party has had a chance to become a sweet memory, the neighborhood will start holding idea sessions on what to do with Leslie Pool.

This is about a neighborhood figuring out how to take a problem - a closed pool that was covered with debris, broken glass and weeds that filled 60 construction-sized trash bags -- and seek its solution by first having a blast.

There must be something in the water that one neighborhood would be so good at seeing even an empty space as half full.

In its relatively short time as a happening place, Larryville is once again making something so quirky happen that, even if you're envious that you didn't think of it first, you would never in a million years have thought of it. Like Art All Night: Yeah, let's get a big space and have everyone and his sister make something that's kind of like art and display it and hundreds of people will come when they would otherwise be sawing logs ... it will be HUGE.

 Art All Night has become huge since it was first held in 1998, always moving to larger spaces.

The Accordion Pool Party, whose organizers obtained support from The Sprout Fund, the Lawrenceville Corp., Citiparks, Councilman Patrick Dowd and the Young Preservationists Association, is billed as an historic, one-time event.

But in Lawrenceville, you just never know.

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