Maybe there’s more to the Park Slope stroller mafia debate than points about how it shows how white people are jealous of other white people or assertions that negative stereotypes come from I-don’t-wanna-grow-up hipsters. Maybe, as Lynn Harris posits in yesterday’s Style section, Slope bashing is an elegy for a former New York:
Brooklyn was supposed to be Manhattan’s little burnout brother. When I arrived in New York, Brooklyn was the place you could reliably feel superior to, if you thought about it at all. New Yorkers don’t hate the Upper East Side in the same way because that’s old money, old news. But Brooklyn? There’s the feeling that yuppies in Park Slope are washing away Brooklyn’s grittiness and making it more like Manhattan, said Jose Sanchez, chairman of urban studies at Long Island University, Brooklyn. Brooklyn was supposed to be different. Park Slope, to some, now represents everything that Brooklyn was not supposed to be. That’s why our feelings about Park Slope are linked to our feelings about our entire city: our overpriced, chain-store city run by bankers, socialites and, it seems, mommies. The artists are fleeing and your friends, it seems, have become Park Slope pod people. (And they’re coming for you, too.) It’s starting to feel as if there’s nowhere left to hide. And that if we lose Brooklyn, we lose everything. Though actually, if you could keep hating Park Slope, that would be great. Maybe if it really falls out of favor, I’ll be able to afford to stay.