This afternoon, Francisco and I were welcoming the Year of the Ox in New York City’s Chinatown. The streets and sidewalks, which are narrow enough anyway, offered little wiggle room… much less room for a stroller, though plenty of parents tried to push their way through the crowds, who weren’t much interested in parental plights… they just wanted to see those cool-looking dragons.
New York City is not a stroller friendly place in general, though that doesn’t stop parents from buying the SUV version of strollers for their infants and toddlers and trying to stake their claim on the city’s streets. Strollers are status symbols among NYC parents, not just brand names, but also styles. One of the most popular strollers at present is a long-legged number that has the kid facing the parent, at mid-riff height.
Navigating the sidewalks of New York is tough enough under normal circumstances. This is not a place for people who have agoraphobia or claustrophobia, and truth be told, it’s not a place for strollers. People are in a perpetual hurry, they’re not averse to shoving, and even if they love babies, they’re not likely to be patient for the stroller to yield.
But it’s when strollers go underground that things get really out of control.
Women struggling to haul strollers (with a kid in them) up or down the stairs, angling for a position on a crowded platform or in an even more crowded subway car… it’s not a pretty sight.
To stroll or not to stroll?
I’m inclined not to stroll–at least not in Manhattan. But I’m wondering why I don’t see more Moms and Dads wearing baby backpacks or those snuggly thingies. Is there something someone isn’t telling me?
(If so, please leave a note in the comments!)