The New York Times ran a piece in this weekend's Metropolitan containing every awesome, incredibly true cliche about BoBo Brooklyn. It will stand as a definitive document of Our Era in Kings. It's about someone getting banned from the Co-Op.
For those who don't know what the Park Slope Co-op is: basically, you work three hours a
month to shop at an organic, Whole Foods-lite grocery story at cheaper prices. A perfect example of the culture there is front and center on their website right now:
They are not boycotting Israeli products, you guys. The Haifa Hummus will live to be kissed by another piece of soft, silky Palestinian Pita for one more day. The Park Slope Co-op: doing what they can to tolerate all cultures, especially, well, Brooklyn's (read: assholes). Without further ado, we present the best of "Flunking Out at the Food Co-op."
- The first sentence: "I bounded off the Q train in Brooklyn one night last winter and headed to Union Street, past the yogurt shop and the firehouse, to do some grocery shopping." Only people who live in Park Slope "bound" off their trains. Most people "trudge" or "shuffle" or maybe even "shove their way out" from the imprisonment of a Q-train. You bound? Also, yogurt shops.
- The writer gets suspended from her Food Co-op. Obvious enough, but yes: complete and utter white whine, of the worst kind.
- The guy who castigates her does it loudly and without remorse, so others can hear. "Some entrance workers speak softly, but not this one. Worse, there were a dozen other shoppers within earshot." Only a pious nu-Brooklyn asshole would care enough to embarrass someone for getting suspended from a food Co-op. And only a Brooklynite would be embarrassed at this kind of thing, or worry about word getting out.
- But of course, it's in the Times.
- The alternative meal of the dejected? It should be vegetarian-friendly and ethnic. "A takeout burrito. But no amount of mushrooms and spinach could diminish my shame and guilt."
- Mention of the Craigslist "Missed Connections" that take place within the Co-Op's confines.
"I'm seeking the olive packaging boy that was laughing at my jokes and wearing plaid pants," said a Craigslist "Missed Connections" item last winter. "I was wearing the leopard print glasses and my responsibilities included: Mozzarella whole milk, part skim and plain goat cheese."
- The "organic" food culture that's such a revenue generator for smart people like the CEO of Whole Foods that's more than just a capitalistic endeavor for others, who make it a religion. Observe: "Like every other aspect of the much-loved and much-hated co-op, the topic of members in trouble draws a bushel of opinions. An organic bushel, of course."
- Obnoxious political correctness in the face of common sense: "At one point, the job was amended to prohibit bag checks for fear of racial profiling - a change that worked out well for me since I would never dream of asking members to open their backpacks."
- She's got an MFA in poetry. No bold tags needed.
- "In June 2008, I married a trim man with dark curls, a rabbi for a progressive congregation in the West Village, and embarked on a chapter of togetherness and bliss." Skinny, Jewish, a Rabbi, a Rabbi for a "Progressive" Congregation, a Rabbi for a "Progressive" Congregation in the West Village: a blessed union of BoBo perfection.
- You're still living next to the people you once slept with, forever, and ever, and ever: "and besides, the aisles were filled with too many ex-boyfriends browsing the organic okra..."
- More pompous, pious self-righteousness about community idealism:
"My friend Sarah Stein Greenberg, a member until she moved to California in 2005, is the only person I know with a flawless co-op work record. In her view, people like us lack commitment. They join the co-op because it's "healthy or trendy," she said, but they are not fully committed to its greater values. "The bigger community element," she declared, "is really fundamental."
- Sigh. Nonchalant ignorance and insensitivity of anybody suffering legitimately difficult economic hardships: "I watched a woman hold her forehead, her children clinging to her skirt, while a worker at the register called out over the intercom, "Does anyone know how to process food stamps?"
- "Alana Joblin Ain is a writer and an adjunct instructor at Hunter College, where she received an M.F.A. in poetry. "
If you're in Central Park right now, those things you felt land on you were bits of my head exploding across the East River. There's so much more here. Do enjoy. Please: any more cliches you find, throw in the comments. They will be savored, and cooked over an organic, fair-trade Nepalese leek reduction and some sulfate-free prunes, and served on fourteen-grain beer bread grown on the side of the Gowanus Canal.