Of all the places I’ve considered recently, this one is the most surprising to me. You have to understand something about Park Slope. It is what my boss calls “Sesame Street on crack.” And she’s right. (And she lives there.) The corner convenience store displays breast pumps in the window. The pet store has shelves full of pet Halloween costumes. You can’t walk a block without having to maneuver around a stroller. It is, truly, overrun by kids, dogs, and their owners.
So of course I wouldn’t belong. Of course I’d spend a month in my sublet and be even more convinced I’d never want to live in such a neighborhood.
Except. I can see it.
Not now. If I lived there now, I think it would be dangerous. I’m so much more satisfied with my life than I have been in previous years that I’m afraid if I lived in such an ideal area, I’d become complacent. I might forget the things I’m still striving toward and just settle in and be content forever. That’s not a risk I’m willing to take because I have things I want to accomplish. Big things. And if I stayed in Park Slope, I might fade away into the movie set background and never escape. I mean, walking home last night in the perfect fall weather, I could hear a choir practicing as I passed a church. It’s a movie. It’s not real life.
But someday, if I could afford an entire brownstone (you can get one for $2 million right now which, probably as a result of living on the Upper East Side for too long, I actually think is somewhat reasonable), and I had a kid or 2, and I wanted to be near schools and my kids’ friends and stores that cater to kids and activities for kids on the weekends and parks and kids’ clothes and bookstores and banks and every convenience you could think of, Park Slope might be kind of great.
I doubt I’ll ever really live there. I’ve always sworn I’d never raise children in the city. But lately I’ve been finding out that you just can’t plan everything in life, and you sometimes end up where you never thought you’d be. So, I can’t rule out Park Slope for certain. Which, for better or for worse, is something I never would have said a year ago.