Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Scandal Sheet: Menacing Matrons

Growing up working-class Russian-Jewish (I am half and half) in Northeast Philadelphia, as a child and teen I was always nearby violence. I learned to walk with keys in my knuckles, surviving a mugging. Considering my experimenting with boys, drugs and styles in the mid ‘90s: hippie/skater/punk/raver, I was lucky.

After living in Japan I was through with the thrill of the hood. I spent one summer in West Philly and was not enchanted with the grittiness or the harassment. I did not grow up rich or suburban and had no exoticism attached to the ghetto.

When by luck and chance my good friend’s extremely affordable room in Park Slope opened up at the exact time I needed to begin the Teaching Fellowship, I took it.

I was in love with the Slope! There were trees on the block, the park nearby to jog in and the co-op. I loved the multi-cultural feel. A global dater, I could stroll with partners without shame!

Friends of friends delight in indulging in poverty chic by slumming in Bushwick, dodging mom and dad’s trust fund payments.

I delighted in walking with my shoulders relaxed, a yoga bag not being stared at and no “Damn, girl! I wish I was your bicycle.” or other variations. Then, a Park Slope mom glared at me, “Why don’t you move to Williamsburg?” She hissed.

For a town of liberals, (yes it’s a fucking town not a neighborhood), I noticed we were never invited to fancy brownstone block film crew set parties. We were the only house renting on the block. The family on our first floor gave us resentful looks for coming home late, smoking cigarettes or-god forbid being single and childless.

I changed jobs and got a hand-me-down car. I parked one Sunday evening on my block, and let the car go for a few days, preferring to walk. When I came back there were two notes:
1) “The street could not be cleaned because of you.”
2) “Lousy parking job by the way.”
I went to move my vehicle when I realized the psycho had SLASHED MY TIRES.

I called the police who filed a criminal mischief report and said they’d be back, never to return. I’ve taken to shouting things on the street like “Share the sidewalk, road, space, co-op!” and a whole lot of “Can Isabelle stamp her own receipt?” My bougie dream drowned by menacing matrons.

-A. Pinsker


Anonymous said...

holy shit! slashing tires is way harsh tai!

Anonymous said...

Moms sounds like psycho bitches doesnt that skinny blonde from real housewives party in park slope?

Anonymous said...

this is so funny to imagine all these uptight park slopers wondering where the neighborhood is going because a russian jewish youngish student type moved in. gotta be hard on them

Anonymous said...

Haha, yeah like quick slash the jewish student's tires!!

Anonymous said...

this shit made me laugh, especially because those people weren't originally in the hood