I've lived in Park Slope for awhile, and never have I heard anyone refer to the blurry intersection of Park Slope and Gowanus as Parkwanus, probably because it is utterly inane. But what do I know? It seems the latest abortion of neighborhood portmanteaus (abortmanteau, IF YOU WILL) first appeared on the blog "F'd in Park Slope," in which a piece on the newly opened Dino Bar-B-Que concludes with a mention of the "just-now-invented nabe of Parkwanus."
Shawn Parow, the author of the piece, wrote in an email that he'd "come across a few mentions of it on the internet," but isn't aware of any origin story, per se. "I'd just had a few beers whilst writing the piece and thought it would be hilarious," adding, ominously, "I'm afraid I may have created a monster."
Your fear is well founded, Shawn. Someone probably thought ProCro would be hilarious, too, and look at the row that caused. Somewhere, an already beleaguered Times Style reporter is being plucked off a story on Williamsburg's organic fetus growing phenomenon to look into this right now. Just kidding, of course—the Times won't catch wind of it until next spring, after it's been picked dry by the Post vultures and left to bleach in the desert sun.
Anyway, the Internet, of course, is already apoplectic with disgust over Brooklyn's latest non-neighborhood. "WTF is Parkwanus? Is that right next door to Narnia? We already have neighborhoods, let's all just calm the fuck down," wrote Julia Sara on the Brooklyn Spaces Facebook page.
"Parkwanus is where shallow opportunists with no soul and who ride others' coattails live," declared Eva Radke on the same thread. "Whoever made up Parkwanus is a Parkweenis."
Bryan Bruchman, a Gowanus-based photographer who tweeted "Parkwanus? No, I don't think so," after first seeing it on F'd in Park Slope, explained his distaste for the name.
"I live in Gowanus, and I'm OK with it being a distinct neighborhood—it's so small that blending it with Park Slope just seems silly," he wrote in an email. "I get the idea, that the amenities of Park Slope are spilling over across 4th Ave. into the more industrial area, but I don't really get calling it something other than what it already is."
Not everyone hates Parkwanus, though. Bert Gives, a realtor with Park Slope-based Hot Homes Realty, told us he'd never heard of any Parkwanus, but you know, now that you mention it, it is "kind of catchy."
"I think it's better than Gowanus," he said. "I like it, personally. I'll probably use it." Now look what we've done.