The Bar Bathrooms of Park Slope

03/02/2011 5:00 AM |

Dostoevsky said “judge a society by how it treats its criminals.” Or something like that. Park Slope’s criminal element runs rather shallow, but the “most livable neighborhood in New York” does offer a smattering of bars whose restrooms are covered in art, screeds and scrawls that sum up the brownstone laden experience: hipsterism, yuppiedom, the stroller life, the Manhattan inferiority complex and the lurking question of whether the neighborhood qualifies as “real” Brooklyn. Take a look.

“Yuppies Save the planet: STOP BREEDING!”

Tea Lounge, 837 Union St
The lines are drawn: you’re either a parent or you’re not. The former – post-hipster thirty and fortysomethings who fled Manhattan for stainless steel appliances and backyards – has swarmed the neighborhood in the last decade. The latter mostly just observes their nesting neighbors with an odd peculiarity. The two meet on the stretch of Union St. that rises toward Prospect Park between 6th and 7th Avenues. The block’s centerpiece is the Park Slope Food Coop, a 27-year old grocery commune that requires it members – conscious foodies of all stripes – to don orange vests and work monthly shifts in exchange for the opportunity to buy Anjou pears, organic maple syrup and Japanese oysters in a half shell. Across the street, Tea Lounge, a low key tea, coffee and, yes, craft beer joint also caters to both sides of the Slope spectrum: tattooed bloggers and sleep-deprived thesis writers on one end and young parents and their toddling spawn, who come for a weekly kids’ sing along, on the other. The above words of advice were likely carved after a fourth helping of “The Wheels on the Bus.”