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December 15th, 2008

Coming Dec 17: The Park Slope 100

The Park Slope 100: 100 stories. 100 ways of looking at the world, 100 inspiring people, places and things.

This year it may be the Park Slope 90 because people always send in ideas once the list is published so I thought I'd leave room for some latecomers.

Still, this Wednesday you won't want to miss the roll out of the Park Slope 100. Maybe you're on the list.

This is the third time I've done this. The first list in 2006 was "foundational," as it included a
diverse and inspirational list of Park Slope movers and shakers. 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 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 in 2006 and others.

Foundational. In some ways, it was the surface layer, the first
pass. Even as I was publishing the 2006 I knew there were so many
more people to recognize.

The 2007 list was full of great and unexpected names. State Senator Eric Adams, The Bromberg Brothers, Andy the Fruit Truck Guy, David Brooks. The Brownstone Bride, Daniel Eppelbaum, the kid who actually sat down and wrote a
letter to the borough president about the aggravating idiosyncrasies of
the B-67 bus and got an answer.

Last year's felt even more like the story of this
community. It was topical and contained names that had come up on OTBKB, on
Seventh Avenue, on Fifth Avenue, in the zeitgeist of Park Slope during the year.

As I said when I rolled out the first list, 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.

As usual, important names will be missing. This is just this particular
story, this particular year.

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