Thinking of the Children

“Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you have to be lame.”

One part of maturing is (no, not proudly wearing your hair long and gray) being able to stand up and take blame. As much as I like pointing fingers, I’m the one who made my neighborhood safe for babies.

It’s so obvious; I don’t know why I didn’t see it until now.

Carroll Gardens 2004: already quaint, safe, overwhelmingly white, not inexpensive.

Carroll Gardens 2010: all that plus small children everywhere.

We were the first tenants to move into a building under the process of being renovated. The apartments were upgraded and the anti-social weirdo, arty/sporty duo who didn’t seem to work, black person (who now acts in my favorite ESL-friendly show) and gay couple moved out.

This block is isolated, a bit of a haul to the subway, next to the BQE, which is noisy and encrusts dirt on my blinds and windowsills. People did (and still do) took their dogs to shit on this street, thinking no one will notice them leaving piles of behind. Nice, but not super-prime.

Part of the second wave was a confrontational 50-ish biracial woman from California who was always messing with the art in the halls and calling 311 and complaining to the post office because it hadn’t sunk in that Brooklyn is one step up from Third World yet. She eventually had the good sense to move back to the West Coast.

When a 20-something pregnant couple (because, you know, they’re both totally in it together) moved in she warned us, “There’s going to be toys and strollers all over the place.” I didn’t want to believe her because generally she got on my nerves.

That couple broke-up and the female-half moved out (which fascinated me because I assume all young pregnant people in good neighborhoods are happy to be embarking on the most special ever time of their lives) but they’ve since been replaced many times over. Now it’s the standard.

We’re the only residents left from the original overhaul. Our current decent deal on rent was too much for the old-timers and likely less than the current tenants pay. We gentrified an already gentrified neighborhood even further.

So far, we’ve been safe from the advertising-invented hip minivan trend.

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