How and Why4

Posted by Deirdre // 12-16-2012


I’ve been struggling whether to post anything about Newtown. I’ve been mostly avoiding reading, or watching, or listening because I simply cannot take in the information. I burst into tears at the bagel store when Obama was on TV Friday afternoon – I couldn’t avoid it there. They nicely handed me napkins.

I decided to write something because this is a kind of resource for parents, to some extent – most of you are parents anyway – and there is not one parent out there who is not unspeakably devastated. I know we all struggled to hug our children tighter, longer, all weekend.

I read the amazing Alice Bradley‘s real and eloquent post and it helped. And one of the comments brought something I had been feeling to the fore – I have to tell my kids. I imagined my 7 year old hearing it at school and being incredulous and scared and confused. And since then there was an email from our principal urging (not telling) parents of 2nd – 5th graders to discuss it because it’s likely it will come up in school.

My husband and I struggled to figure out what to say and sort of put it off, not being able to stomach imagining how the conversation would play out. He had to leave for a business trip today, so I took it on tonight over dinner. It was hard but I didn’t cry, which was my main goal. That and not freaking them out so much that they’ll never want to go to school. They were ok, but of course asked those questions of how and why. And of course I didn’t – and don’t – have the answers.

The one thing I did feel ok about was stressing hard that the reason I don’t like them to play with guns (fake guns and everything that could possibly resemble a gun that is turned into one) is because guns hurt people in real life, and sometimes kill them. I will continue this stance. I don’t let them say stupid, even in play, so I will hold more firm on the no pointing your ‘gun’ at people rule, too.

But now back to the real guns. This is bullshit. Let’s please ban them from our lives and those of our children.


More “Reasons to Love New York”0

Posted by Deirdre // 12-10-2012


NY Mag’s annual Reasons to Love New York issue is out. For some reason the last two years these issues have made me way more nostalgic and proud of the city I call home, rather than disgusted with people’s money or how much shit costs or things of that nature. Maybe the focus is different? I dunno. I certainly have less money than prior years so it can’t be that I’ve caught up!

Some favorites:

Because Now Even Our Principals Are Speaking Out Against Overtesting.

They mention the principal of PS 261 in Boreum Hill, Zipporiah Mills and I know that Liz Phillips of PS 321 in Park Slope is also very involved in managing the testing process as best she can.

Because, After 55 Years, You Can Finally Transfer From the F Train to the Uptown 6 at Broadway-Lafayette.

This would have made my Cobble Hill-to-Midtown commute (’03-’06) about 10 minutes shorter and $2 cheaper – that’s 50 minutes and $10 a week, or $15,000 over 3 years! What?! I think I ended up buying a monthly Metro Card, actually.

The new Bleeker Street station, with transfer to Bway/Lafayette!

Because We’re Now the Only City Spoiled With Two Teams in All Major Sports.

I know many people are annoyed with this conversation, but I love the Nets! And was totally against the stadium and still wish it wasn’t where it is…but damn. I’m psyched to have a Brooklyn basketball team.

Because Our Governor Isn’t Afraid to Talk About Global Warming.

Let’s hope he does the right thing on fracking, too.

Because Red Hook Wouldn’t Let Red Hook Go Under.

It’s just inspiring.

And finally…

Because Ellen Grossman can make small talk with a stranger on the subway, find out who the stranger is, end up on YouTube, and have the city fall in love with her.

Watch it if you haven’t and if it doesn’t make you smile then I don’t know what will.

What are some of your reasons to love New York?




Park Slope School Rezoning0

Posted by Deirdre // 12-04-2012


Called “an imperfect but necessary solution,” the rezoning of Park Slope elementary school districts has been approved. If you haven’t heard all the details yet, check out my councilman-crush Brand Lander’s letter on the changes, or the NY Times article. The final map can be seen here.

PS 107, one of the schools affected by rezoning. Image by Kristen V. Brown.