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December 5th, 2007

THURSDAY IS THE DAY: PARK SLOPE 100

The 2007 Park Slope 100 will be rolled out on Thursday, December 6th.

Last year’s list was what I call foundational, as it included a diverse and essential list Park Slope’s movers, shakers, and notable individuals. Of course a list like that has to be incomplete. There are only 100 slots. It’s reductive by nature.

That first list contained the obvious names that come up when you think of Park Slope in the last few years. Names like: Paul Auster, Pastor Meeter, Fonda Sara, Chris Owens, CHIPS, Al Di La, Steve Buscemi and Jo Andres, Kim Maier, Stitch Therapy, Catherine Bohne, Two Boots, Jonathan Blum, The Dinnersteins and more.

While many of the names were very well known, some were unfamiliar or unexpected. They were the behind the scenes people like Thomas Parker, the barista at Connecticut Muffin, Hillary at Shawn’s Liquors, Alan Berger the brains behind the Brooklyn Free School, Eric the beloved toddler swim instructor at Eastern Athletic. and neighborhood watch-woman, Jackie Connor, who died last year.

Foundational. In some ways, it was the surface layer, the first pass. Even as I was publishing last year’s I knew there were so many more people to recognize.

But that’s the beauty of doing a list every year. No names will be repeated year to year. It’s a cumulative list. This year we have the Park Slope 200. Then it will be the PS 300, 400. In 2010 it will be the Park Slope 500, an on-going list, a story of this neighborhood in these times.

This year’s Park Slope 100 feels even more like the story of this community. It’s topical. It’s names that have come up on OTBKB, on Seventh Avenue, on Fifth Avenue, in the zeitgeist of Park Slope.

100 stories, 100 ways of looking at the world, 100 inspiring people, places and things.

As I said last year, the idea of a list like this is inherently subjective, flawed, and wildly controversial (even annoying). But it’s fun to do if only as a way to record life in this neighborhood in an interesting way.

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