takeback the island is about our hatred of kids, of course. But it is also about more than that, it’s about our hatred for what the little buggers and their parents represent–the forces of suburbinationation and gentrification. Once a parent has a stroller in hand, they become a pawn to every corporate trend going. Take green living and all Seventh Generation cleaning products as an example. While these adults once might have protested an independent book store turning into a Barnes and Noble, now a Gap or Starbucks opening in a neighborhood is a cause for celebration. Yay, convenience! Now I can get my the perfect white tee and black stretch pedal pushers next door to my coffee shop because parenting can’t be done right without a double latte.
The route to gentrification starts with the gays, and we love them. Unfortunately, their tendency to make everything more fashionable and fabulous means that breeders aren’t far behind. Parents are like leeches who find a cute, fun neighborhood and then suck it dry of its coolness. We have already put the final nail in the coffin for Park Slope, BoCoCa, and the Upper West Side, but what’s next? Dumbo’s almost dead and so is Tribeca. And there are already a few too many kids’ stores in Williamsburg and strollers in Tompkins Square Park.
I have been reading the Park Slope Parents Yahoo listserv, which is harder to gain access to than a co-op board, in order to watch the forces of gentrification at work. The board is giant game of good block, bad block, crack block. It maps out the kid-safe places and hatches plots to transform the rest. That rusty old bodega needs to go, let’s bring in a fancy kids’ rock T-shirt shop. Who wants off-track betting, I need another yoga studio, perferably one where I can do yoga with my dog and my infant.
Snark we may, but know deep down we are sociological warriors fighting for New York’s right to retain its gritty authenticity.