Thursday, February 16, 2012

Borough Park tree serves as pacifier bush 

Even the trees in the city's baby capital are going gaga for the little ones.

Rubber pacifiers hang off the branches of saplings surrounding the brick apartment building at 1450 48th Street in Borough Park.

Super Yusuf Oner works with local mothers who donate their tot's soother once she feels her babe has outgrown it.

"The moms put it up when their babies don't need it anymore," Oner said.

Oner said the three-decade-old tradition serves as a shrine for the community's ever-growing child population.

In 2010, Borough Park led the city in bambinos with 3,152 of them, according to the Department of City Planning's U.S. Census analysis.

That's nearly twice the amount of the city's second largest baby capital, the Upper West Side which had 1,618 people under the age of 1.

Borough Park's high numbers are tied to the Hasidic Jewish tradition of producing large families averaging about six kids and sometimes growing to a dozen or more.

"It's a good example for the little ones," said Oner about the dangling pacifiers showing the stroller crowd that weaning off them is a good thing.

Moms say '"Look, your brother can do it. So you can do it,"' Oner said.

Parents from across the neighborhood flock to 48th Street to use the trees.

"It's all about the memories," Oner said.

But the branches get so packed that the pacifiers drop to the ground prompting Oner to sweep them up at least once a week.

"It's cute," gushed one young mom who just moved into the building with her husband and new infant. "It's a very child friendly place."


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