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Park Slope Hypocrisy Night - Free Samples!

The People's Republic of Park Slope is known for nothing if not for handcrafted liberal chic. Fire up the ol' search engine and you will find the stuff of New Slope legend ... the faux hippy co-op, yellow umbrellas, the Snowflake "buy local" campaign.

For all the pontificating about the glories of buying local, most Slopers doesn't seem too concerned when it comes right down to brass tax. Seems most won't put their Amex cards where their pie holes are. But really, dear readers, what is life without a B&N discount card and a Half-Caf Caramel Macchiato? I mean honestly, I can live without anything but luxury.

One only need look at the lighted signs of Seventh Avenue to see how much Slopers are willing to sacrifice convenience for "buying local." Park Slope ably supports a Starbucks-down-the-street-from-a-Starbucks, a Rite-Aid, and a Barnes & Noble that has been elevated to the level of Community Center. Deep Slope Doyenne Louise Crawford's own blog bemoans the loss of independent Seventh Avenue Books and hails the bailing out of her beloved Community Bookstore while regularly plugging events (and merchandise) at Barnes & Noble.

Poor Smartmom. Chummy-Wummy Tiny Bookstore didn't have Smartmom's book. That's okay. Smartmom loves Corporate Monster. Corporate Monster is a big monster. Corporate Monster holds author readings to lull Smartmom into submission with a faux sense of local color. Smartmom is easily lulled.

By all accounts, Park Slope's buy-local "Snowflake Night" bombed big, and reeked of do-gooder posturing and public relations. But let's not blame the neighbors completely - the merchants' offers were a joke. Multiple offers for a free dessert, a craft demonstration, or 10% to 15% off are not exactly going to tempt someone out into the freezing rain. Hell, 15% off Park Slope boutique prices wouldn't even bring it down to normal retail.

Even though I don't really need a handmade organic-wool doggy hat, a cruelty-free faux-silk meditiation pillow, or a peacock blue yoga mat made by actual peacocks - thanks for asking. It's the thought that counts.

Clearly, Park Slope doesn't want an ugly sort of horror-movie retail beast like Walmart, but a happy Pete's Dragon sort of beast like B&N is perfectly okay - at the expense of local businesses or not. Here's a tip - If you don't want to lose your small local businesses, start a campaign to locally boycott the chains; not a stupid event in which the hardware store serves hot chocolate until ten.

Or wouldn't that be cute enough? I guess "The Snowflake Boycott" is not very catchy.

Of course, this is not to say that there are not Parksiders practicing what they preach. But it seems for the most part, to paraphrase Kander and Ebb, "If you can fake it there, you can fake it anywhere."

park slope starbucks photo courtesy of lab2112's photostream at flickr.com
twilight photo courtesy of greenbk's photostream at flickr.com
Tags: ,



Ahh. The first post of the year and it already has sharp elbows, hitting on all cylinders at all those sacred PS cows.
Cows so sacred that your bete noire Louise won't even take snark or even constructive criticism on her blog any more. Shame.
You've got piss and vinegar - and re: pie holes we need a pie shop so I can fill it with some. Mmmmmm. Pie.


I thought the "snowflake night" was rather ridiculous as well. You are right, 15% off doesn't really bring it down to normal retail prices, but then again I'm really not up on how much organic cruelty - free fly swatters and the like cost.

My fave Park Slope businesses are the flea market and the 24 hour Bagel joint on 5th Ave.
Cheers and Happy New Year! Lisanne
Ooh! "cruelty - free fly swatters..."

Good call!


We have a pie shop! Brand new! Prospect Park West right across from CT Muffin on the Circle! It's to die for. (I recommend the chicken and veg.)


by far your best post ever
happy new year



I'm glad you mentioned the dub pies, I haven't been yet but the curried vegetable pie is calling me, softly, without pause.

Icky, I love Babbo's. Everytime I go there something amazing jumps out at me. It's not filet slope, so maybe it's not much of a comparison to B&N. But, if Babbo's Books was a little bigger, I would try to move in there. I may move in as it is. It seems miraculous to come across a place that's new and also good. Not overly precious design-wise like that daycare called Parker's Place. I know this sounds like product placement but take my word for it I am not gettin swag. Wish it were so.




hypocrisy is the correct sp., isn't it?

Re: hmmmm...

Thanks to the Anon poster ... for correcting my monumentally stupid misspelling!



Personally, I like hypocrisy with an a instead of an i. It looks weird with a "crisy" in it.

Re: hypocrisy

We might as well just go all the way, and make it "hippocrazy."




i know you're not assuming

i know you're not assuming that everyone in the area cares- but for all the pontificating, you'd think the people who DO would rally all of their friends up and show some $$$ to the local shops. this is why myself and my wife avoid half the idiots in the neighborhood.

Re: i know you're not assuming

Excellent to hear, and I know there are those who care. I avoid most of the neighborhood glitteratti, and we have a rule that we only go to a chain (or outside our neighborhood) if we absolutely cannot find something - we don't even go to supermarkets 90% of the time. Thanks for the comment.


Excellent post. Yes, maybe a little agressive, but mostly truthful. Most important, it made me think about changing a few of my shopping habits.