Brave Park Slope Social Experiment: Will People Return "Buy Local" Umbrellas?
The Civic Council is spending about $2,000 to buy 400 umbrellas, and there will be some signs that say "Please enjoy this community umbrella and return it to a participating local merchant." The yellow color is intended to make them stand out. As for the important buy local campaign in Park Slope, which retains large numbers of community-based merchants, we will note that the standard rule of thumb is that every dollar spent with a local merchant is recirculated in the community three times.
The brave social experiment with the umbrellas, however, raises many fascinating questions: Will Park Slopers return the umbrellas? If not, how long will it take for the umbrellas to dwindle, if not vanish? Will Slope residents be hiding schwag umbrellas in their apartments and condos? What will a visiting person from, say, Carroll Gardens or a far off place like Bay Ridge that needs an umbrella do? And, of course, which Brooklyn neighborhood would host the most successful community umbrella program in terms of them being used and returned?
We should have a sense of all this in a few months.
Labels: Park Slope