The internets (OK, Gawker) were all atwitter yesterday over this hilarious blog post by one very clever and restaurant-savvy father in Park Slope, Brooklyn (NOTE: the blog’s name is controversial, and may offend. Please see the author’s explanation here).
This post waves a white flag at the raging culture war between Park Slope’s urban parents (aka “yuppies,” “breeders”) and their non-parenting peers (aka “the child-free,” “slackers”) in Brooklyn’s most famously family-identified neighborhood. It lays out rules of engagement for each side, paying particular attention to the district’s most popular restaurants.
Article II.a.1 – As a general tenet to guide behavior in restaurants, parents agree to abide by The Universal Axiom: ‘Nobody Thinks Your [REDACTED] Kid is Cute But You.’ For example, in the situation where a family is at a booth directly behind another booth containing 2 Childless Individuals, parents are forbidden to make the ‘isn’t he cute’ face to the Childless Individuals as their child stands on the seat and drools at the Childless Individuals over the booth divider.
II.c.1 – Infants / Babies / Toddlers who shriek at > 9Khz for more than 60 seconds are required to be removed from earshot of a restaurant’s common eating area, regardless of circumstance or time-of-day. Parental facial-expressions attempting to elicit sympathy from Childless Individuals in this scenario form grounds for lifetime bans from ALL Park Slope restaurants.
Naturally, this all got me thinking of the South End.
As we described here—and as the blog The South End Is Over has chronicled so well in recent months—we have our own little war zone here in Boston: a battle of attrition between new money and old timers.
And Tadpole-addicted parents are some of the most obvious targets for the gentrificational angst (it’s not with perhaps a little exasperation that Flour had to hang a sign on the front door of their Washington Street shop asking parents to please not clog up the limited floor space with their Bugaboos).
So…Park Slope/South End. Similar tensions. Especially in restaurants. But our aforementioned Park Slope dad/blogger has a solution: Divvy up the neighborhood’s restaurants. Agree on which ones are kid-friendly, and at what time of day. And then live by the rules. Easy-peasy.
II.d.1 – Children are allowed in ALL Park Slope restaurants before 8pm, including Blue Ribbon and Presto.
II.d.2 – The following is a list of grace-period restaurants that shall permit children between the hours of 8pm and 9:30pm:
- Pizza Plus
- Bonnie’s Grill
- Purity Diner
- Aunt Suzie’s
- Two Boots
II.d.3 – Children are not permitted in any Park Slope restaurant after 10pm. Anyone tryin’ to get [REDACTED] by shelling out 200$ at Sette at 10pm shouldn’t have to listen to a [REDACTED] kid screaming – I don’t care what neighborhood it is.
As a new parent, I’m loving these rules. And I’d like to come up with a South End-specific list. Heck, maybe even cover all of Boston.
“II.d.1 – Children are allowed in MOST Boston restaurants before 7:30 p.m., including Stella, Rocca, Estragon, Persephone, and Hungry Mother, but, in the case of children under four years of age, excluding No. 9 Park, Aujourd’hui, and L’Espalier.”
What would you add? I want to hear from all you diners with and without kiddos.