Living in Park Slope -The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Hello again, ya’ll. It’s been a bit of a stretch and in that time, I’ve gotten to know my hood a bit more. And, amazingly, reading about it (and its borough) everywhere from the NYtimes to Nymag…to hearing a soundbite from Sex and the City. Carrie remarks to Miranda that “Brooklyn is the new Manhattan.” Miranda, ever the bitter Manhattanite replies, “Whoever wrote that lives in Brooklyn.”
For those who’ve forgotten, my hood is Park Slope. And, as I’ve been discovering, there really is backlash when mentioning it to some people. At minimum there’s some kind of reaction. It’s usually one of two things:
Option 1(the bad): Ooo Park Slope! I hear it’s stroller- central. Like, gross, a total suburb in the city!
Option 2(the good): Ooo Park Slope! It’s so great there! I wish I could live there . . .
The thing of it is, yes, there are children who dwell here. There are wee strollers and wee tricycles and hopscotch squares etched into the sidewalk with chalk. At least until it rains. But, since when did living in a neighborhood with children become a bad thing? To me, it makes a place feel more cozy. Safer, somehow, that families would trust a neighborhood to protect their children. It also feels more normal. It took a few weeks, but when I first moved here, I realized that there was something weird about riding the subway and walking around Manhattan. There are very few children! It’s like that movie with Julianne Moore, a world with no offspring. So, I really dig that there are kids wandering about.
As for the second reaction…I kind of can’t believe that I can live there. And, the thing of it is, who knows for how long that will even be true. I just got my lease until October ’08. After then, there’s a really high likelihood that the rent will go up…and I really cannot pay a penny more than $900 a month. There’s just no way around that. So, there’s a high chance that I’ll be priced out of this great neighborhood…and I can definitely see looking back on it in contempt, claiming that I wouldn’t want to live *there* anyways. I mean, gawd, who would want to live in a place with great restaurants, good subways access, cute clothing boutiques, and that’s walking distance from Prospect Park. I mean, puh-leaase. Yep, that right there—being priced out of one’s current great neighborhood . . .that is the real ugly.