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CONFIRMED: Jackson Heights *Is* The New Park Slope

These posters declaring that Jackson Heights was the new Park Slope were plastered all over the nabe a few years ago, but I haven't really thought about them since. That is, until I received the following missive from a former Park Sloper, now Jackson Heightser, who has come to realize that her new neighborhood ain't much different from her old one. She forwarded us a post penned by a disgruntled neighbor from her Jackson Heights Family Listserv, which she says is kind of similar to Park Slope Parents:

"I just returned from a mildly unpleasant experience at our local Green Market. First, my path was blocked by the customers of the usual hot food vendor on the corner. Usually I use the bike lane to walk around her, but today the situation was compounded by the presence of the ice cream truck [which, thankfully, was NOT playing a jingle,] so I threaded my way through the clumps of customers. Then, I had a mildly annoying wait to make a couple of small purchases at the Ronnybook Dairy table. A woman was engaging the vendor in a prolonged conversatation, and I could not maneuver to the other side of her because a group of four adults had congregated a couple of feet from the table, blocking my access to the other end of the table. As I had not yet made any purchases and was carrying nothing but an empty shopping bag containing empty plastic bags, this was not a big deal.

What is wrong with these young parents ? Of course, I expect them to put their children first when the health and safety of the child is concerned, but so many of them use this as an excuse to trample on the ordinary civilities of daily life. Have they no respect at all for older people ? When I go to the Green Market, I am mentally prepared, from past experience, to be jostled if it is crowded, and I avoid stalls that seem too congested, especially if I am not in a particularly assertive mood. But I never expected a person in no particular hurry, in charge of two small children, to display such a lack of consideration. Hindsight tells me that I should have walked away and returned when she had finished her transaction. Because I had already engaged with the vendor as the next person on line, this did not instantly occur to me. I included a complete description of the incident in the hope that the young mother involved will recognize herself and mend her ways. Though, I'm not holding my breath.

After I completed my transaction at the Dairy table, and had purchased some peaches and tomoatoes at another table, I picked out a jar of jam from a table that seemed to be part of the same vendor's "terriroty," but might have been attached to the juice vendor next door. I asked a young woman who was perusing the jam jars if she knew to which vendor the jam table belonged. She stated that she believed it was part of the fruit stall, so I thanked her and returned to that checkout line. The next open spot for transactions was partially blocked by a small buy with a scooter. I had assumed he was with the customer who had just completed a transaction, but that customer left without the boy. So, I turned to the woman with whom I had inquired as to where to purchase the jam, and she acknowledged that the child was hers. I stated that he was blocking the table, at which point she stated that she had been on the line ahead of me. [I suppose by this she meant that she had left her children there [there was also a small girl in a stroller, farther down the table and not blocking me,] while she moved a few yards away to select the jam.]] I said "Well, why don't you go ahead of me then?" She declined, but did not move the child or the scooter out of the way. I was manipulated into having to reach very awkwardly across the boy-cum-scooter in order to hand my money and jam jar to the vendor. Happily, I had exact change and took the jar back without waiting for a bag, as it was getting to be quite painful to my arthritic knees and also to my back and arm. I was worried about tripping on the scooter or dropping something and injuring the boy. I mumbled something about being arthritic, but she may not have heard me. By then, the damage was done, anyway.

Alas, anonymous Jackson Heights Family Listserv poster: we too are not holding our breath.

BREEDERS...can't live with em, can't live with em.

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