The neighborhood I live in is full of young parents with babies and toddlers. Not in an obnoxious Park Slope yuppie way where you have to live in fear of being run down by a $1200 Stokke stroller being pushed by either a nanny or a mom who is too absorbed in her latte and her blackberry to realize that she is about to crash her baby into you. In a filled with 99 cents stores and discount childrens stores like Happy Days instead of overpriced baby and kid stores where you can easily pay $50 for a onesie or a little t-shirt. No, in Sunset Park we are all about the 3 pack of onesies for $5 thank you very much.
While it’s mostly a Latino neighborhood, it’s bordered by Brooklyn’s Chinatown, Bay Ridge which is heavily Italian but also very Middle Eastern and Park Slope. Back in the day this used to be a really Scandinavian neighborhood (my building was built by Finnish carpenters and 40th St between 6th and 7th is also called ‘Finlandia way’ which I’m pretty sure has nothing to do with vodka) and some of that still carries over. There’s a public swimming pool in the park and next to it is a little fountain for the babies which I call the baby UN because there are so many different ethnicities represented there. Seriously, as many languages are probably spoken in that fountain as are spoken on the floor of the UN assembly. I’m not kidding – on any given day in the park you will probably hear Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Russian, and Spanish.
The best though, is strolling down 5th Avenue with your child. You are so not alone – there are babies everywhere . In strollers, strapped to their mothers,fathers or grandparents chests in carriers, toddling down the street.
We recently went shopping there to pick up a few things, and most stores won’t let you bring the stroller shopping with you. In happy days, they actually had a section set up with a sign that said “Stroller Parking” with little white lines on the floor and everything. Hilarious!