Unschooling Mom Will Not Go AwayWere you creeped out by the essay Joanne Rendell wrote on yuppie parenting Website Babble some weeks ago about ‘unschooling’ her 5-year-old? You were probably just JEALOUS.
Park Slope Parents Are Aflutter Over Toys in BabelandOne might think that Park Slope mommies, who have a reputation for uptightness, might be concerned about Little Phineaus wanting to go check out the colorful Rabbits when Toys in Babeland opens a few blocks from the Gymboree on Bergen Street. That’s what the Post thought, anyway, when they headlined an article about the opening “SEX-TOY SHOP HAS BAD VIBES IN PARK SLOPE” and indicated that residents were displeased. On the contrary! “This is seriously the best news I’ve heard in months,” wrote one poster to the Brooklynian message board. “No longer will I have to hear the plaint ‘Where can a girl go to get a decent strap-on round here???’” said a commenter on Brownstoner, where posters were affronted by the Post’s assumption that Slopers parents are too uptight for kinky sex. In fact, they’re downright kinky! “My wife and I have a weird thing goin,” shared an anonymous commenter. “I pretend I’m Marty Markowitz and she’s Randi Weingarten. Our slave boyfriend, The What, is tied up to a big statue of Atlantic Yards. It gets kinky from there.”
in other news
Alexis Pope Peed Her Pants; and She Wants Everyone to Know About ItWe almost wet ourselves this morning when the Daily News introduced us to Alexis Pope, a nine-year-old student at the Bronx Little School and a nascent urinary-rights activist. Alexis, like so many others at the Little School, had an accident in class this year, due to the fact that the bathrooms at the school are under construction, and therefore the little ones have to wait for scheduled trips to the loo, and, well, kids don’t wait very well. While this is no doubt great news for the kids who would have peed their pants anyway, it’s a bummer for everyone else. But far from hiding her shame with crossed legs and changes of clothing, Alexis is taking her fight public: “I feel embarrassed,” she tells the News “I feel like I’m a wetter girl.” Christ, do kids take responsibility for nothing these days? Oh, kidding. As if it isn’t bad enough that Alexis is thus branded, she and her peers now have to face an even uglier truth of life: “When you go into the boy’s bathroom, it’s disgusting. It’s your nightmare,” she said. Welcome to harsh reality, Alexis. Wait till you get old enough to start going to bars. Or worse, Barnes and Noble.
A Wee Problem [NYDN]
Related: Grub Street’s Guide to Loos You Can Use
Scary Strippers Wreak Havoc on Park Slope Halloween CarnivalLooks like the Scores strippers who planned to dress up and volunteer at the Puppetry Arts Theater’s annual Halloween Carnival in Park Slope this Saturday are going to have to put away their sexy cat outfits. After the Daily News reported today that they’d be doing things like passing out candy and boobing — sorry, bobbing — for apples with the impressionable children, the girls were promptly disinvited. “They told me they did Toys for Tots, and they were looking to volunteer, and I was pleased to have them,” Puppet Arts founder Timothy Young explained to Intel this morning. “I mean, there were only three of them, and what’s the big deal about what this particular girl does for a living, you know?” But Young wasn’t expecting the girls to take the news of their good works to the papers. “They wanted to let the community know, look how great we are!” he said. It backfired. This morning, MS-51, where the carnival was to be held, recoiled. They might even cancel the event, Young says. “The school doesn’t want the bad publicity, and we offer no disrespect to the school. But if this thing cancels, we’re going to have a lot of problems.” Yeah. No one can throw a fit quite like a Park Slope kid.
Scores Strippers Pass Out Candy[NYDN]
Kids’ Toys Run Out of Brooklyn on a Rail Brooklyn preschoolers who think they can and think they can are being confronted with a rude reality: They can’t. Play with their Thomas the Tank Engine toys, that is. Two dozen wooden trains and accessories from the wildly popular Thomas & Friends line are being recalled over fears of lead in the paint. Thus, many parents spent the weekend swiping their kids’ favorite toys. “My son is a Thomas freak,” says Kate Myers, mother of a 4-year-old and owner of Brooklyn Play Spot. “I picked up all the trains, and my son said, ‘Get me my trains!’ Like a dictator. He’s totally panicked. I said, ‘We have to be careful and make sure the trains aren’t sick. We’ll all have to get Band-Aids if they’re sick.” The manufacturer, RC2 Corporation, announced the recall last Wednesday on 1.5 million toys sold between January 2005 and June 2007. Stores were apparently informed earlier than the public and returned their stocks immediately.
Too Bad ‘Star Search’ Got Canceled
From the nymag.com video team, a double bill for the ages. Both feature hungry showbiz strivers ready to duke it out for a shot at the big time but in only one are the contenders clutching dressed-up dolls. That’s right: Up at Harlem’s Hip Hop Culture Center, a hundred M.C.’s took turns at the mike for 24 hours straight in the first-ever “rapathon” while a gaggle of mostly blonde preteen divas laid siege to the American Girl Place for a film audition. The former is decidedly PG (“No curses, no n-word, no b-word”); the latter, which features a girl saying “I don’t want to sound conceited, but people tell me I’m talented,” somewhat obscene.
American Girls Audition [NYM]
24-Hour Rapathon [NYM]
in other news
Make Way for White Kids God knows we got as much mileage out of the “Park Slope is a yuppie-kid Petri dish” meme as anyone. Part of its appeal, to be completely honest, is that it allows us to report on parental foibles while holding up the fraying illusion of Manhattan as a swingin’$2 21-and-over club. Well, time to face facts: New Times research shows that the number of kids under 5 on the island has grown by an astonishing 32 percent since 2000. Responsible for at least half of that are white families with a median household income of get ready $284,208 a year. Which, we suppose, makes sense, since who else can afford to procreate in Manhattan these days? What we didn’t know is that there are enough white-and-wealthy toddlers out there to outnumber, for the first time, the area’s African-American and Hispanic kids. (The study, sadly, does not provide stats on black kids “mistakenly” born into white families.)
In Surge in Manhattan Toddlers, Rich White Families Lead Way [NYT]
in the magazine
Cops Catch Up With Brooklyn Rabbi
Rabbi Joel Yehuda Kolko was arrested yesterday in Brooklyn and charged with child sexual abuse. Back in May, New York’s Robert Kolker detailed allegations against the rabbi that went back at least two decades, noting that the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office would often defer to Orthodox authorities instead of investigating complaints. But David Framowitz, a former student of Kolko’s, sued the rabbi and his Flatbush yeshiva for $20 million in federal court in May. Kolko now faces other civil suits filed by adults who claim they, too, were abused. “The bottom line is that abuse is a universal issue that closed communities hide because it threatens them,” one former Lubavitcher who said he was abused told Kolker. “Whether it’s Jewish or Amish or Mennonite or Catholic or Muslim, it doesn’t make a difference.”
On the Rabbi’s Knee [NYM]
Sex-Rap Rabbi is Busted in Brooklyn [NYDN]