ABOUT THE BOOK
A Commune Grew In Brooklyn
Before Park Slope became “Park Slope,” an affluent and sometimes derided Brooklyn neighborhood of “stroller moms,” entitled children, and complete lack of parking spaces, it was a community in decline. This started to change in the 1970s, when people who came of age in the 1960s––middle class, educated, progressive––started moving to the area, attracted by its beautiful, and then-affordable, housing, tree-lined streets, and diverse population. In late 1972, three families moved into a two-family house in the neighborhood to set up a commune. It was an urban commune. Its inhabitants were not going back to the land: they did not raise chickens or grow their own food. The members came together to help working parents by sharing childcare, housework, and cooking and to give their children a safe and supportive environment in which to grow and flourish. The commune became an extended family.
In this memoir, Elayne Archer describes daily life in the commune, its challenges, and its rewards. The memories of several commune participants, including three of the children, enrich the memoir and make it a vivid description of the time and of an alternative approach to living and raising children.