Buga-boo! Another ghost stroller baffles Park Slopers

Another “ghost stroller” is haunting Park Slope. But what the heck does it mean?
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

A second mysterious “ghost stroller” is haunting Park Slope — and this time it has a Jamaican accent.

A white-painted stroller adorned with a Jamaican flag appeared on a bike rack on Prospect Park West near 10th Street last week, baffling parents who aren’t quite sure whether to burst into tears, cringe, laugh, or scratch their heads at its bizarre symbolism.

“The cynic in me wonders if it’s just a prank,” said Noah Isenberg, a father who lives a block away. “Or it could be art?”

The all-white stroller, which mimics “ghost bike” memorials for cyclists killed in traffic accidents, comes nearly two years after a similar painted baby carriage popped up in the kid-centric neighborhood.

Like the first one, cops say it’s not related to a traffic death — but neighbors are still floating theories about its meaning, including a possible joke about “the death” of the neighborhood or a statement about cars speeding on the popular and controversial roadway.

Park Slope’s original ghost stroller — decked out with a canopy and plastic flowers — appeared on Sixth Avenue near Union Street in August of 2010. That prompted a New York Times article featuring an Ernest Hemingway reference and one sentence with six commas.

“Right across the street from the stylish maternity shop Boing Boing, with its earthenware tea sets and retro-patterned baby slings, and a block from the bar Union Hall, which earned fame for banning strollers, the installation is experienced, easily, as a comment on the neighborhood’s ever-encroaching culture of cute,” the Grey Lady noted.

But this time, some residents say they’re not reading into it as much.

Neighbors, many of them stroller-pushers themselves, hesitated to speculate about the changing hood — or any ominous what-ifs tied to the baby carriage. And nobody could make much sense of the pocketbook-sized Jamaican flag sticker stapled to the seat.

Cops say there’s no reason for parents to be spooked.

“There were no fatalities in the past month [and] definitely none involving a child or a carriage,” said officer Jerry Galante, a spokesman for the 78th Precinct.

And Ben Shepard of the cycling advocacy group Time’s Up, which installs ghost bikes around the city, said he doesn’t know anything about the white-painted stroller.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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