A friend of mine snapped this picture today (left) of a baby hangin’ out all alone on the front of her dad’s bike, the bike just leaning up against a fence. It looks as if the baby is totally unattended, but when I asked my friend if the dad had disappeared completely, he told me the father was about 20 feet away (buying fresh fruit for her antioxidant-powered baby smoothies, duh). From the look on this baby’s face, though, she seems plenty terrified, clutching her lovey for dear life and sucking her thumb as if to say, “WHY’D YOU LEAVE ME HERE LEANING UP AGAINST THIS FENCE, DADDY?” (I’m assuming she’s wearing a diaper in case she crapped her pants out of fear.) Luckily, she’s totally strapped into those leg braces, so if the bike did fall over, she’d … just stay crushed under the bike? At least she’s wearing a helmet. And has what appears to be some sort of entertainment station to keep her occupied. I wonder if that baby seat gets satellite radio….
This photo prompted a discussion about the difference in baby transportation methods in hipster Brooklyn vs. yuppie Brooklyn, i.e. Nostrand Ave. vs. 7th Ave. in Park Slope. Here in the Slope, babies are carried on chests into overpriced grocery stores like Union Market. The only way a baby carried like that is going to fall is if there’s a run on donut peaches and mothers start tripping over themselves to get the freshest pick. As I told my friend, “It’s the dogs that are left outside.” He quipped back, “Ha. If you leave a dog outside the Park Slope Food Co-op without adequate food, water and chew toys, announcements are made about the poor abused creature over the PA system.”
After our conversation, I thought about the various ways I’ve seen babies transported around the borough, and I thought I’d make this handy-dandy map for tourists, baby-dodging childless 20-somethings and parents alike so that each of us can plan ahead and bring/avoid appropriate baby toting gear as we traverse Brooklyn’s nabes. Neighborhood/gear boundaries are approximate: