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December 7th, 2006

GETTING HAMMERED

It’s funny to get hammered for the things I was anticipating that I would get hammered about. As expected Gawker wrote something unflattering. But hey, that’s what they do.

I wrote this earlier today:

Rest assured: The List is sure to contain
mistakes-a-plenty and ommissions. It will provoke hurt feelings, angry
feelings, annoyance, aggravation, accusations, charges of stupidity,
etc. The whole idea of this list is patently absurd to begin with.

I was right. And then some. The list has provoked charges of elitism.  I guess a list is, by definition, elitest. In my mind, I was modeling this on the kind of lists in New York Magazine, in this month’s Atlantic Monthly (They Made America The Top 100), those photo essays in Vanity Fair, Top Tens, Ten Bests.

Yes, those lists are annoying and very subjective and biased…just like this one. They are as annoying for what they include as for what they exclude. Still, they’re interesting.

The last thing I wanted to do was create a popularity contest.
That’s not the idea at all. This is not a list of the most popular or
the most famous or the most…you name it.

The List is about people who are reaching outward. In considering names, I asked:

Who contributes most directly to the quality of life and values in Park Slope?

Who are the people with talent and generosity of spirit?

Who are the people who are contributing to the greater good?

Obviously,
this is all very subjective. My notable person might not be yours. My
definition of the greater good might be your definition of the greater
bad. My values may not be your values.

By its very nature a list like this is flawed. I mean, who am I to
decide who the 100 most influential people in greater Park Slope are. I
do like a challenge…but come on.

But The List is not static thing. It’s a starting place. A way to get the word out about what people are doing around here.

The very existence of The List will beg the question: so who’s been left off? I am hoping to see tons of new names once this thing gets published.

I’ve gotten lots of nominations from readers and I’ve enjoyed them
all. Sometimes the names were already on the original list. That felt
good because there was a feeling of consensus. Some names were, I
guess, obvious. Others not so.

All in all, it’s been fun. A lot of work. A lot of thought. A lot of
racking of the brain…who’s that person who…what’s that person’s
name?

What a great way to get to know—and pay tribute to—the people who share these streets.

–Some parts of this published on THE PARK SLOPE 100.

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