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The Man Who Had No Water

So I reluctantly got off my butt last night to walk all the way to Park Slope for some vitamins. It was life or death, otherwise I would have stayed with my vegan ice cream and Bollywood film.  I was happy to find what I needed at a steal and left the co-op with my hands full of other items. As I walked up the block, it occurred to me to take some pills right then, I needed them that badly. But I had no bottled water on me so rather than turn back, I thought, surely someone will give me a cup of water to take my vitamins with.

It was then that I walked past “People’s Pops”, 808 Union St. Something said stop and get some water so you can take the pills now. I thought he was closed, but he ushered me in, telling me how he didn’t have any shaved ice, just ice cream {or something}. I said, “Oh, I didn’t even want that, I was hoping I could bum a cup of water…”

people's pops2

“Oh, I don’t even have that,” he said. Bony-faced and racist-like, he somewhat smirked. I was irritated, confused, but I left. I’ve said for years that Park Slope is one of the most racist places in this town. Where store attendants suddenly forget what they know about their products, quietly sitting behind their counters as if they are just waiting for you to leave; where they quickly turn their heads rather than make eye contact. I’ve heard many reports like these but of course it is possible that it’s all in our heads, that Park Slope is actually the most diverse, friendly, welcoming place in the world.

Dude, you don’t have any water? As in your tap is broken? As in you’re violating city regulations for businesses? Or you don’t want to give me any water…you have a strict policy against giving free cups–in which case he could have said, “that’ll be $5”–or your business is so broke that you can’t afford to use a drop more water than absolutely necessary…?

I don’t care if you’re racist, I mean I tend to just ignore such people. The physiology of racism I won’t go into here…how natural it is for some people. But I’m curious, any of you think Park Slope is racist?



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