Park Slope, Brooklyn, is an otherwise unremarkable residential neighborhood which, historically and up until fairly recently, was home to mostly ethnic-Catholic working class families (Irish, Italian, Puerto Rican). Although many of the white working class families relocated to Staten Island and New Jersey during the "White Flight" of the 1950's and 60's, the neighborhood managed to retain its family-oriented character throughout the 1970's and 80's despite claims by outsiders that the area was "blighted" and in desperate need of "revitalization."
Some time during the late 1980's and 90's, Park Slope wound up as a prototype of "Modern Urban Living" for WASP-ish, hippie-influenced, liberal-arts school graduate, spoiled suburban children of the baby-boomer generation (i.e. "Yuppies"), inspired by television and movies, who envisioned Park Slope's quaint tree-lined streets as a real-life Sesame Street set, perfect to raise children among other like-minded individuals in an urban setting. As one Yuppie describes, the idea of having "chance encounters" on the street with other Yuppie acquaintances identical to herself excited her and influenced her decision to move to Park Slope.
Nowadays, the pre-gentrification families native to Park Slope have almost completely been either priced out or bought out, to be replaced by outsiders willing to pay multiple times the amount of rent for the same apartments simply for the right to say they live in "Park Slope." Those natives still remaining are dismissed by the Yuppie gentrifiers as a breed of "Reverse Redneck": dopey, uneducated, brusque, greasy 'Arthur Fonzarelli' types with thick accents whom are conversely not 'real New Yorkers' such as the Yuppies, but rather regional residents by accident of birth who serve no purpose other than to be Park-Slope-placeholders until more Yuppies arrive from their cul de sac spawning grounds to claim their rightful brownstones.
On a sidenote, heated arguments can often be heard arising between newly arrived gentrifiers as to whether or not one or the other 'really' lives in Park Slope, e.g. Yuppie A: "16th Street is not Park Slope, it's yadda yadda Gowanus Heights Greenwood Terrace etc."; Yuppie B: "Yes it is, the realtor told me!!"
The idea of Park Slope's self-professed "diversity" comes primarily from the mistaken belief most Park Slope Yuppies hold, that voting for Barack Obama and employing a Jamaican nanny shows that they have wholly embraced other cultures. In reality, Park Slope proper consists of almost no permanent residents of color, with the white population rising probably somewhere into the 90+ percentile. To be sure, most Park Slope Yuppies become visibly nervous around young men of color, and avoid them whenever possible.
Visitors to Park Slope can often be heard remarking that there's "nothing but white people here." It is via this behavior that Park Slope, like its big sister, the Upper West Side of Manhattan, is pointed to by many as a prime example of the "Limousine Liberal" phenomenon.
It should be noted that due to the transient and extremely overpriced nature of the neighborhood, there is also a visible absence of elderly residents.
Due to its highly sheltered and isolated character, Park Slope Yuppies have a unique and starkly defined code of behavior. For example, despite the fact that most of Park Slope's gentrifying families and individuals are undoubtedly in the top 5% of the nation's earners, any Upper East Side-esque displays of money, e.g. brand-name or tailored clothing, high-end automobiles, skillfully-applied makeup, etc., will be spurned and garner exaggerated sneers and eye-rolls from the gentrifiers. Instead, the consensus consists of covertly expensive European station wagons (Audi, etc.), ill-fitting pleated denim and corduroy, hiking/rafting sport sandals, etc. Curiously, however, Park Slope Yuppies take great enjoyment in paying upwards of three or four times the normal price for their groceries in pretentiously named, carefully arranged "gourmet markets" offering the same goods as Pathmark or Key Food for a very steep premium.
In their interactions with others, many Park Slope Yuppie men speak in an exaggerated nasal tone and wear dark-framed glasses, in an effort to sound "educated."
Accusations that many, if not most, Park Slope Yuppies' lifestyles are made possible via inheritances, parental funding, etc., quickly trigger vehement denials and anger among the Yuppies, who nevertheless avoid any discussion of how they are able to sustain such exorbitantly expensive yet leisurely lifestyles. When questioned, Park Slope Yuppies typically state their employment as some low-salary, creative or entertainment-themed position, such as "freelance writer," "production assistant," etc.
A study of 7th Avenue, Park Slope proper's main commercial thoroughfare, reveals abundant examples of Park Slope Yuppies in their usual leisure mode, displaying no visible signs of employment or discernible means of financial support. Even at 10:00 AM on a weekday morning, thirty-something year old Park Slope Yuppie women may be observed lolling around with yoga mats or oversized luxury baby strollers, and grown men may be seen in Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers flitting by on skateboards and kick-scooters.
Finally, signs of economic strife, such as the current credit crisis, are mysteriously nowhere to be seen in Park Slope, since financial woes which affect working America do not seem to affect Park Slope Yuppies in any way.
Park Slope Yuppies have a reputation for displaying an acute lack of common sense and social skills around others:
Yuppie Transplant Overheard in Seventh Avenue Post Office:
"Hey, excuse me, what's the zip code for Connecticut?"
Post Office Worker: "There's a lot of zip codes for Connecticut, you need to check where you're sending to."
Yuppie Transplant: *rolls eyes* "Pff, yeah thanks a lot."
Prices shown in USD.
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