It’s popular to make fun of Park Slope these days. We all know the clichés — too many strollers, too many well-to-do, devoted (yet also neglectful) parents. Real estate is still ridiculous and everyone here suffers from an overblown sense of self-importance.
So when I typed “Park Slope, Brooklyn” into YouTube.com, I was prepared for the same Mommy spoofs and criticisms of the money spent on home renovation.
Three-hundred and seventeen “Park Slope” entries popped up. Yes, there was plenty of dross, like that video for “The Dental Spa” that looks as if someone filmed the brochure and set it to elevator music. And I could have done without an entire category of entries that I’ll put in the “Hey — This is My New Apartment” file.
“These are all my shoes,” one young man narrated. “And this is my office — well, I guess it’s really more like a nook…”
Of course there are the requisite home videos — like “Korbel’s First Half Hour of Life,” showing a newborn baby boy getting the amniotic fluid suctioned out of his mouth, and then another one of him a year later wandering into the middle of his older sister’s dance recital.
And there were plenty of community news videos, including one from our own Gersh Kuntzman (that Seventh Avenue one-way proposal was certainly his muse).
I especially liked the weather videos — including an 11-second clip of rain — but my favorites were the loving photo and video essays, set to music. There was “Park Slope Favorite Things,” comparing it to parts of France and commending the sushi at Yamamoto.
There was a 58-second video of 12th Street and Eighth Avenue set to house music. One video entitled “Walk Through Blooming Seventh Avenue,” that had been shot that very day, was of a person’s stroll from Flatbush Avenue to Berkeley Place, complete with the sounds of his footsteps and the bouncing picture to prove it. There were several video tours of the Slope taken from a camera strapped to someone’s bike.
“Odysseus to Park Slope,” was so beautifully shot, through a scratched subway car window, it almost moved me to tears, and “I Love Brooklyn in the Morning” was a richly detailed collection of photos set to music by Ravi Coltrane.
Well, wipe the cynic right out of me! I found out where you can still find heartfelt, fun, and even moving tributes to a neighborhood that I love. Who knew?
Wendy Ponte is a writer who lives in Park Slope.