Children, out of sight!

Children, out of sight!

As a new parent, I’m appalled at the number of op-eds and stories I’m seeing from status-obsessed yuppies. Take this article from New York Magazine called “Is There Such a Thing as Adult Space in New York Anymore?”

A new mothe—who not only admits that she was once one of those snobs who sneered at mothers and children who invaded “adult” spaces like coffee shops and bookstore but also admits she wishes were one of them still—talks about how difficult her life is because she can’t hang out at her snooty coffee place anymore because her kid is a nuisance. It’s all so self-referential and self-centered, right down to referring to baby strollers, not as “baby strollers”, but by their brand names: “The second baby was quiet, but her Bugaboo was next to the door, and as patrons came in, they eyed the monstrosity like it was a Nets arena.”

And while I agree that people are taking children to all sorts of places today that children don’t really belong—I mean, dive bars? Really?—there’s also a whiff of the idea that many rich, white, urbanites would rather not be reminded of children anywhere they go. Once you have a child, you’re relegated to Chucky Cheese and the McDonald’s drive-thru and the Saturday afternoon matinee until they kiddies have been shuffled off to Vassar and Yale.

It’s funny that the author sees a bunch of yuppies having one or two children each and declares that New York is overrun with them. Talk to anyone who lived in the city (any city) 50 years ago and they’ll tell you about urban families.

What Lebowitz speaks to is a growing feeling that New York, with its Whole Foods and Buy Buy Babys, is no longer New York. The town once dominated by many diverse subcultures (gays, nightclubbers, smokers, deviants) now looks far more white and nuclear. And this makes some people very, very angry.

What sick kind of world do we live in when deviancy is more welcome than a normal nuclear family?

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli