Friday, August 15, 2008


You know your neighborhood has gone to the babies, when you can no longer comfortably stroll down the street, without yielding to a gaggle of mothers, fathers and their babies and strollers. Hey, don't get me wrong, I love kids. I just don't want a half dozen of them sitting in baby buggies clogging up the sidewalks of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

While Willamsburg is the hipster hang out, Carroll Gardens has become the new Park Slope. As rents and home prices climb, a new breed of Yuppies and Thuppies (Thirty-something urban professionals) have descended on the neighborhood to move into spacious, renovated brownstones.

Along with these young professionals, come their children. They take them everywhere.
They clog supermarket checkout lines, cafes, and yes, now even sidewalks, alternating between crying and giggling.

For a while, the city had posted signs alerting dog owners that rat poison was used "in the area." The vague phrase left one wondering whether it was safe to walk your dog down the street, past one of those signs in fear that Scruffy and Muffy might eat one of the poison pellets. I secretly think this was a clever neighborhood rebellion. Neighbors furious at irresponsible dog owners who let their dogs plop their poop on their stoops probably posted the signs to shoo away dogs from their block.

This technique is brilliant and I suppose a similar campaign by single people looking to have free access to the sidewalks could rebel, as well. In the cloak of night, singles in Carroll Gardens could fan out and post the bogus signs: RAT POISON. PLEASE KEEP YOUR CHILDREN AWAY FROM THIS AREA. Panicked parents would cross the street or go the other way, fearing that even the fragrant scent of the poison might someone kill their kids.

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