31 January 2006

Greenpoint: Just on a Run

While I was on my five-mile run this morning, I saw way more than a normal person might see in an entire day in their neighborhood. In the first mile, I saw two similiar sights, yet one was laughable, and the other disturbing.
First I saw an older mother/grandmother/maternal figure dragging along a screaming and shrieking child having a tantrum who obviously didn't want to go to school. The woman was talking in Polish to the child who was clutching onto anything that passed, including a chain link fence and a brick wall, and had to be pried from these to be moved on. "Just wait," I wanted to say, "Until you have to work and pay your rent. Then you'll really be crying." Instead I ran on.
On the next block, another woman was also walking her small child to school. This one was clearly an American hipster, with a black bob and the standard thick black ugly glasses. She was telling her child that all of the cars were mean and that is why they were not stopping to let them cross.
This disturbed me because the changes to Greenpoint have been quite strong already. After Williamsburg became the new East Village but with way suckier people and uglier apartments and more pollution (although Jenny once claimed she wanted to move to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to get away from the pollution of Manhattan!), the rents started climbing and the hipsters who sat around making "art" (there's a reason I put art in quotes) and letting their parents pay their rent (a former coworker at D. told me he's the only person in his building who works) started realizing even that barista job at the local cafe wouldn't pay their bills, they came over to Greenpoint. Thus, our rents rose, and sucky people moved in.
But what if we became another Park Slope? That thought is scary. I like Park Slope, and it used to be a lot cooler. However, it appears an alien species of moms have moved in with their designer strollers and sixty dollar haircuts for one-year-olds and letting their child have tantrums in libraries ("Oh, he needs to cry it out!" or "I am not giving him any more attention! Tough love! Too bad if people want quiet in a library!") and passing up smaller coffeeshops for the ubiquitous Starbucks ("That independent cafe once asked me to take my child outside for his cry after I had ignored his shrieking for twenty minutes! The nerve!"). The hipsters are bad enough but if Greenpoint becomes Park Slope, well, I'll just have to find a way to afford moving back to the East Village.


thewiseragamuffin said...

Cherie, I couldn't agree with you more. Well said.

Anonymous said...

of course, moving to the east village would entail moving in with even wealthier people than park slope could ever flash, along with their bratty offspring. romanicizing a neighborhood that is now full of wall streeters upchucking on a curb at C and 9th on any given saturday is about as absurd as living in queens. or greenpoint, which is closer to queens than it is to brooklyn. if you really want to live in a yuppiless place with thriving diversity, you might consider 5th avenue from atlantic ave to sunset park. of course, you might have to suffer through your fear of park slope, but anyone who walks up to 7th avenue deserves their fate.