Features NY Life — 23 June 2010
The Park Slope Survivalist Edition 01: Kids in Bars

Brooklyn has changed in recent years and Park Slope is at the forefront of this Renaissance (Cough. Gentrification). Like any coin there are always two sides, and my neighborhood is no different.

I am a huge fan of bars, especially ones with cheap beer and rock music on a jukebox, or at least a bar that has a sick iPod filled with good tunes. In Park Slope, you can literally step into any bar and have an experience like this. But there is suddenly a major problem I’ve noticed. It has been hiding in the shadows for years and now it is truly rearing its ugly head. This phenomenon is known simply as: “The Park Slope Parent.” Now, I am not trying to say that all of the parents in the neighborhood fall into this category, but it’s these people who truly give all neighborhood parents a bad name. These young parents are bringing their kids into bars. I’m talking babies up to toddlers. I first noticed this trend about a year ago, when I was at a popular “Slope” bar (that I will not be mentioning by name here because I want to be able to drink there still). I was enjoying a pint with my girlfriend and a few of our friends when, out of the corner of my eye I saw a five year old, wearing a Ramones t-shirt and a Fedora on his head. “Are you fucking kidding me?” I asked. It blew my mind that I was at a bar, where adults hang out, and a child was using it as his playground. Also, why the fuck is a little kid wearing a Ramones shirt, let alone a Fedora? When I was that age, you would be lucky to see me not wearing orange sweatpants. I really don’t get this. A kid should be a kid and not a little version of their aging Hipster parents.

If I am sitting at the bar, and happen to say “Fuck,” and a parent gives me a dirty look, because little Wes Anderson’s precious ears can not be subjected to such vial words, we have a problem. Once again, bars are for adults. And yes, “I” moved into “Your” neighborhood, but that’s no excuse for being an asshole, and breeding a little asshole to be.

This is not an every time occurrence as most of the time, outings to Park Slope bars are fun. Most of the people are super cool and are ready to engage you in lively conversations about endless topics. Just avoid anyone in Park Slope who smells of granola and deodorant.

- Alan Smithee

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