Friday, May 9, 2008

Fanning the Flames of the Stroller Wars-A Chronology


What was supposed to be only 15 minutes of fame has, as Bill McCue puts it, "more legs than a Caterpillar."

Over three years ago, I got fed up with Park Slope parents bringing their kids into the Patio Lounge when I was working my Sunday night shift. They parked the strollers in the middle of the bar, making it tough to walk around, and let their children run around unsupervised on the concrete floor that had broken glass on it. The straw that broke my back was when four of my regular Sunday night patrons left because one parent didn't have the courtesy to take their crying baby outside the bar and hush it. Well, I had enough so in a drunken rage I penned The Stroller Manifesto and banned babies, and strollers from the bar when I was working. As you can imagine, parents were outraged.

This, set off a chain of events that began with a story in the local Park Slope paper by Smart Mom, which then was picked up by Salon.com, which led to a two page spread in The New York Post, and topped off with me on Fox and Friends talking about why toddlers don't need to be in bars (let's call them tea toddlers). After all the hubbub, I got a day job, and Brooklyn daddys mourned my loss from the fight.

Since that time, I've become known as a Modern Martin Luther in Brooklyn and the website Take Back the Island has named me their Patron Saint, others have not as nice things to say about me (just see the pages of comments on that salon article).

So this year, the Stroller Wars continue. Back in February, my local bar Union Hall attempted to ban babies and strollers to limited effect as reported by the New York Times so I countered by penning "Stroller Wars," the 11 Central Ave radio drama that aired on Chicago Public Radio last month. Last week, Slackjaw's latest article received historical backlash from the stroller set so yesterday I reported on it for Galleycat .

Will this ever go away? Probably not. Especially since I keep bringing it up. But there you have it, the history of a controversy.

Update December 2009. Smartmom at the Brooklyn paper wrote about the decade that changed parenting forever. At number three (with a bullet) is me.

3 comments:

Billy said...

Right on, Anders. Warms my heart to get a mention in today's blog posting. Keep up the good fight. Peace, Billy (Bill McCue)

La Gringa said...

Yeah. Jennifer Connolly ran over me with her friggin' jog-stroller a couple of years ago in Prospect Park.

And what's with having four and five year olds in strollers, fer fuck's sake?

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