January 7, 2010

The Noe Valley Stroller Menace (Oh Noes!)


The Chronicle cashed in on the (often) entitled Noe Valley stroller set today and the opinions are flying:
...the only reason why Noe gets a bad rap is that unlike most of SF, it actually has kids. I'll agree with other posters that the bigger problem in Noe is dog poop--and the lack of parking spaces at Whole Foods!
...I may not get run over by a stroller, but I swear spending time in Noe is like being somewhere similar to Fresno.
...I don't get the aggressive stroller thing. I am nothing but polite to these folks and am tired of the cell phone yapping meaness of stroller. So, do we look forward to yet another generation of clueness when sharing sharing sharing public space?
...Bad: attempting to drive through the intersection of Noe St & 24th St., baby strollers which nowadays are the size of small SUVs, & hearing the automated-recorded lady-voice on the 24 Divisadero bus pronounce any stop along Noe Street as "no"...
...Noe Valley snobs are nothing compared to the likes of the entitlted brats in the Marina...
...Noe Valley is sort of the Palo Alto of SF neighborhoods. It's cool days are long long behind, now appropriated by unimaginative yups who all paint their houses a tasteful beige.
While this bit from the Chron's post probably sums it up, there's truth in stereotypes:
Some people in love with Noe's centrality, its Victorian splendor, its low crime rate, its warmer micro-climate, its shopping and food, and overall family orientation might take comfort from these data. But it does seem like such people would still have to be doing better than the majority of San Franciscans, a city whose median income doesn't push $80K. Others of us then, forever shut out, will continue to complain (a little enviously-- let's be honest) about stroller accidents with bourgeois soccer moms.
And?
...While all of you hater posters have been ranting on Noe, my property value just shot up another 3%.
[SFGate: Noe Valley: only for strollers made of gold?]

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Has San Francisco really become a kid-unfriendly city? How disappointing! I don't think it will do the city any good if all the young families with kids move out of San Francisco. Stop hating.

Anonymous said...

Anono1, bear in mind that the average SF Gate commenter has unresolved anger management issues. They're bitter and resentful by default. And most of them don't even live in San Francisco, or California, for that matter.

I've never found San Francisco to be kid-unfriendly, however, I think it does annoy some that our default answer to the emotionally rhetorical "But... what about the CHILDREN?" type questions is simply "I dunno, why don't you PARENT YOURS and get back to us?" and I suppose that gets us a big fat F in certain baby-worshipping demographics.

As for the stroller-dodging in Noe Valley, the only time in 18 years I can recall only one incident, and since I never saw that mom or her offspring again, I'm pretty sure she was one of those "outsiders" who like to hate on us so much.

kitchen bitch said...

Common folks if worrying about baby strollers in NV and parking at Whole Foods is the worst problem you have to worry about then you are doing pretty good.

Whole Foods does a great job at trying to monitor the parking. There never seemed to be this much complaining about the parking situation when it was Bell Market. The people complaining about the parking at the Whole Foods in NV can always drive their car over the hill to the Whole Foods in Potrero they have loads of underground parking. Who cares if it is over the hill you are driving.

Anonymous said...

rich white folks have it so hard.

mulls said...

Good god, where are all these angry anti-kids people when I'm cruising down 24th with my kids on a Sunday morning. Everyone is looking quite happy to tell you the truth. This topic is starting to get a little old.

Living in Noe and hating kids is like moving to the Marina and hating frat boys and publicly complaining about it. Look, if you can't handle yuppie urban America then move to the Mission and immerse yourself in hipster urban America.

Either way, quit fucking whining.

Anonymous said...

@ mulls -

As a non-kid-having Noe Valley resident, I TOTALLY agree with you. People just bitch way too much. Yes, there are kids here. BFD. It's really not that big a deal. When the strollers are blocking the sidewalk, I step around them into the street. VOILA!! Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call it "kid-unfriendly" per se, but I live in Nob Hill and I haven't seen a white child since last I was in Burlingame.

Anonymous said...

Does that imply you've seen nonwhite children? Oh God, what is Nob Hill coming to? Are the browns taking over there too?

sweetauntie said...

I have lived in Noe Valley some 18+ years and have seen many, many changes in the demographics of our neighborhood.Some good, some just plain head-scratching. I absolutely LOVE seeing families around....that being said, I have to say that it boils my blood that I have to step into the street in order to "get around the stroller brigade". This has happened not once, not twice, but with increasing regularity. I am of the mindset of "you move a bit to the right, I move a bit to the left" and we both go our merry way. But I am nearly always met with women who look me in the face and won't budge an inch. And yes, I do say "'scuse me?" Nada....

Anonymous said...

i'm second generation from noe valley my dads an old irish working class holdout theres some of us left but its rare our people were the best! sarcastic a bit rowdy but we looked out for each other,these transplant yuppies for the most part are self important, used to getting their way, self centered dorks! but hey thats just how it is now...

Anonymous said...

Why do all these stroller discussions never discuss the Noe Valley streetscape? Public streets are for pedestrians. If the 24th. St. sidewalks are blocked by strollers, then the sidewalks are too narrow. Take out a lane of parking and widen them. Which is a bigger hog of public space resources: Cars or children in strollers? Why is this never part of the conversation?

Anonymous said...

Good point about the parked cars taking up more space then strollers -- how about let's just make 24th Street a pedestrian mall?

It's not so much that NV is "family friendly" like the suburbs -- it's more of an unnatural skewed demographic of babies and toddlers, with few older school-age kids, never mind teenagers (they must an iaway for better schools or more space). You can run into 10+ strollers in 2-3 blocks, and I've been past Pasta Pomodoro in the early evening when *every single table* had infant or child under age 5. You don't see anything like that in the 'burbs I'm familiar with...

Anonymous said...

sweetauntie, i feel the same as you. i constantly say "excuse me" when i try to get moms/dads to move their blocking stroller and they seem oblivious (even after saying it two or three times)....i don't get it, there is no sign of consideration for others, these particular parents seem to live in their own bubble.

mulls, people have every right to be annoyed with strollers causing congestion on busy 24th street, this doesn't make them "angry" or "anti-kid"...it just makes them wonder if these parents have common courtesy.

Anonymous said...

I have no kids and I love Noe Valley. There is more life on 24th Street on a Saturday morning than anywhere else in the city -- and I have lived in almost every neighborhood! The #1 reason that families with children leave San Francisco is the issue with school selection. Why should children who live jsut a few blocks away from Alvarado School be bussed to some school on Potrero Hill?

Neighborhood schools, filled with neighborhood kids, brings the community closer together.

-PaddyW

Anonymous said...

I have been amazed at how many negative, hateful comments I encountered posted on the Chron story. Noe Valley is just fine...but elsewhere it is a Bad moon rising.

Anonymous said...

First, I am not anti-child. However, I was born and raised in Noe Valley unlike most of our current residents. My parents did not have double wide strollers, but did just fine. I graduated from St. Phillips. I strongly dislike the double-wide strollers and the rudeness of the parents who use them. It is NOT okay to block a sidewalk because you're comparing baby stories. Move to one side or the other NOT THE MIDDLE.

A lot of these self-centered parents think that they discovered Noe Valley, but I assure you did not discover us, we were here first.

Learn some manners and try teaching them to your children. Most of the obnoxious parents are former Marina residents, so don't expect too much from them. If these people don't like us complaining, then take a look at yourselves and your behavior. Noe Valley belongs to all of us, not just the stroller brigade that has invaded. Be polite.

Anonymous said...

i've lived in noe since 92 and have never seen anything as obnoxious as today's sighting. a woman was in line at martha's around 10:30 am with two toddlers in not a double stroller but a double WAGON. the first kid was maybe 4; the second about 2. she could have parked the damn thing outside (the benches were full and i'm sure her big wagon would have been safe) but instead, she lugged the entire thing inside, thus taking up the space of 5-6 people behind her! the line went out the door because of her rudeness. and she was utterly oblivious.

realitybroker said...

I don't have kids, but from nephew-sitting experience I know that pushing a stroller is tricky. I definitely felt like I couldn't maneuver that thing and I was relying on the good graces of people to understand and shuffle over a little as a fudged along clumsily. I can't imagine dealing with a double-wide with twins. Brr.

HOWEVER, I think stroller-pushing folks on the phone need to do like the rules of the road: pull over, have your phone call, hang up, get back into the traffic. Pushing a stroller while talking on your cell phone and trying to drink a latte = you are a nuisance on the sidewalk. And indoors? Don't plop the thing in the middle of the room for everyone to bang into. Just common sense, really.