Just a quick note...
The block party is a great American institution. Who knew how fun it was to set yourself up in the middle of the street and drink beer? Most people aren't daring enough to try it when the roads are open to traffic though...chickens.
Anyhow, my neighborhood (Ikegami) hosts an annual "matsuri" for the Buddhist priest Nichiren which tops any block party, anywhere. For 3 days, tens of thousands of people come to my neighborhood to celebrate the death of Nichren. I suppose it's really just a very big, 700 year long Irish funeral. Well, this year was a lot of fun. Below is a short clip of the parade that started at 5PM and ended around 12AM. The one saving grace for the marchers was that they were not wearing MRD uniforms.