Thank you, Greg Allen of DaddyTypes, for bringing our attention to Steve Johnson's response to David Brooks' Hipster Parent rant. Johnson does a nice job of dissecting the multiple layers of BS in the editorial, but what I am really happy about was his main point - that the big deal with the hipster parent movement is the choice to raise kids in the city.
I'm so glad that he said that because I do believe that is a big deal and he's really hit on the crux of the matter. As Johnson says, let's "see the forest for the t-shirts." This obviously isn't an issue of whether you put your kid in a Power Ranger or a Pogues shirt as it's been (constantly) purported to be by the press. However, families moving back in to the cities is a huge cultural phenomenon and will have strong ramifications on our country for years to come.
I followed a link in Johnson's post to another article he wrote for Babble about how raising kids in the city creates beautiful communities. This is a wonderful article, well written and feels so true to me. It brought back a lot of feelings that have faded from my consciousness, but really shaped how I feel about living in the city with kids and the choices we have made since.
In my post on hipster parents the other day, I kind of harshed on people who think raising kids in the city is a big deal. But you know what, it is - no need to be too self-congratulatory, but it's having kids that has made me love living in the NYC so much more than I ever did. Before I had kids the New York was a rat race to me. I worked, I worried, I played and I slept.
When my daughter was born, seven years ago, it was like a new world opened up to me. All of a sudden, faces smiled at me, neighbors spoke to me...the city slowed down. And it focused the big-ness of the city into a manageable community and list of do-able activities. I didn't have to worry about the ten thousand events I wouldn't be going to anyway. I could do the one fun kid thing.
When I was a kid growing up in NYC, I would describe it as living inside of a carnival. We ran around the city doing whatever we wanted. We had no supervision and there was a world of fun, and trouble, we could get into. In the past decade, New York has gotten more and more kid focused. New businesses, venues, activities, and resources open up everyday to enhance the fun of raising kids in NYC. And we have all those people who decided to stay and raise their kids here (those hipster and non-hipster parents) to thank.
Not only do I think that New York City is the best place to raise kids in the world, I think having kids makes living in New York so much more enjoyable. So go live in the suburbs while your single. Save up so you can afford to live here when it really matters, when you have kids.