My parents were born and raised on the lower east side of Manhattan. I was born almost 10 years after the end of WW 2 and was raised in a suburb of the city. The "stoop" was an integral part of life not in just the 5 boroughs but on Long Island as well.
Yes, we played stoop ball with that pink spauldeen that could bounce like crazy and it was a meeting place for kids, mothers and fathers alike. On hot summer nights, before air conditioning, I can remember sitting out on the stoop in my pajamas, while my parents smoked cigarettes and caught up on the days events. Or, before leaving for an outing, being dressed to go with the directive "sit on the stoop and don't move!". The stoop was the place the milkman left the delivery, where the evening paper was rolled up into the railing and a great jumping off point to see how far we could land on the sidewalk. (It was also the site of my falling off on a few occasions causing me to receive my share of stitches).
Thank you for bringing back a memory of my childhood!