There are a lot of things that make me appreciate my neighborhood in Brooklyn: the lack of chain stores, the Farmers' Markets, Prospect Park, that I can walk to work, that the guys at the bodega know my order (medium English breakfast with one splenda and skim milk, if you're wondering) as soon as I walk in the door. Between my colleagues who have become great friends, my friends who have transplanted themselves here, my church that loves Brooklyn so well and running into faces that used to grace M.S. 51's room 116 on a daily basis, there's a lot to love.
That being said, there are plenty of people who love to make fun of my neighborhood--and there is a lot of fodder that I can laugh at it, too--as long as we all remember it was ranked best neighborhood to live in by my favorite New York Magazine. The trees in the fall, the vintage Christmas lights strung across the streets, snow covering brownstone steps, the park in the summer and spring. It all outweighs the ridiculous that one sometimes sees in Park Slope.
Last summer there was a lot of buzz about Prospect Park West by Amy Sohn, a book set in Park Slope whose tag line could be read in a similar way to Gossip Girl's (and I believe it is being discussed for a new series). Though I don't read the subgenre this book falls into, when a hard cover copy was left in the lobby of my apartment (another thing I love about this neighborhood), I thought I'd check it out as long as I wasn't paying for it.
Satire well done makes me laugh. Satire well done is brilliant. But this didn't feel like either to me: the underdeveloped characters seemed to try their hardest to turn me into a cynical hater. And that's no way to live, right?
That's really all the time I want to devote to this book. I left it in the lobby on my way to work this week.