So, is stoop sitting--plopping one's self on someone else's front stoop and hanging out--a good thing or a bad thing? It depends on who you ask, but it's the latest email barrage to have erupted on the Park Slope Parents email list. It started with this:
A couple of weekends ago my 4 year old daughter and I were walking around the neighborhood running errands. We were a good 10 blocks from home and she was tired, so we found a nice sunny stoop somewhere in South Slope between 6th and 7th Aves and sat ourselves down to rest for a few minutes and contemplate life. Since then, whenever we go out for a stroll or to run errands, she asks me if we can stop and sit at a stoop for a few minutes. We live in a stoopless apartment, but it occurred to me that we may be committing a social faux pas to park ourselves on somebody else's property. Of course, Missive #1 prompted responses. There's this:
I think one should distinguish between those stoops behind a gate, and those that flow onto the sidewalk. My stoop is inside a gate, and I would view that as an invasion into my domain. However, I think I would feel differently if my stoop were not behind a gate. Certainly the bottom steps are more open than the top. Sitting on a top step on a stoop would be uncool. Somebody pooped on my neighbor's stoop, which is gate-free. Obviously some New Yorkers see it as a public place to squat.And, there's this:I hate to be a stick in the mud about this, but I actually think a stoop is not a public domain and that it is wrong to park your self there. I live on the first floor of a building with a very inviting stoop, and my apartment overlooks the stoop. While I am sure you and your daughter only want to enjoy the lovely weather and rest a bit, when people sit and talk on my stoop, for me its like they are right there in my kitchen. Sometimes they can talk quite loudly. Some people sit and smoke, eat or drink, and then leave behind their garbage. One time a guy actually set up his portable stereo! I try and nicely redirect people--the park is only one block away. I'm sorry to say, I think stoop sitting is a bit of an intrusion.Does it make a difference if the stoop sitter blocks the sidewalk with a stroller?
· Stroller Resentment and the Streets of Park Slope [Curbed]
· Boerum Hill's Mad Crapper Caught in the Act [Curbed]