>Dr. P, Husband, and I took advantage of the fact that it was not raining for the first time in days and went to a street fair today. As we were wandering around the Upper West Side on Broadway, Dr. P noticed another street fair taking place on West 93rd between Amsterdam and Columbus. We moseyed over to see what was up.

A large sign announced the “County Fair.” The Fair was organized as a fundraiser for the public elementary school on W. 93rd. Let me tell you, there is no county fair in the country that is like the West 93rd Street County Fair. The silent auction table included gift baskets where bids began at $100. Everything else was oriented to children. Kiddie pools were filled with magnetic sea creatures so that kids could “fish” with magnets on plastic rods. Arts and crafts abounded, including a little spinning machine that you put a small piece of paper in and then squirt paint on it while the paper whirls around. Funky designs ensue. Not to be snide, but my sister got one of those machines years ago at Toys “R” Us for one of her birthdays. (To be fair, we did love it, but we also did not pay over $1.00 each time we wanted to use it.” There was a petting zoo, too. It had two little goats, chickens, rabbits, and an awesome turtle. Over-privileged white and Asian kids (generally girls adopted from China by graying couples, an Upper West Side specialty) were going nuts over the animals. (OK, I was as well since I am incredibly amused by goats and turtles.) Unfortunately, there was no County Fairy at the West 93rd Street County Fair. I think they only bless county fairs in Chelsea with their presence.

Really, there is nothing like spending a few minutes on a lazy Sunday afternoon watching rich white parents congratulate themselves on sending their kids to public schools while they raise fistfuls of money so that their kids are ensured a better public education than other NYC (non-white) kids get. They seem to believe that they are making huge sacrifices by sending their kids to public school instead of private school and helping out other kids. Somehow, I don’t think the kids who go to school in Brownsville (one of the poorest neighborhoods in Brooklyn) are able to start the bids at their school fundraisers at $100. Personally, I think the parents at W. 93rd Street could really be proud if they share their largesse with those kids who really need it. How about partnering with less fortunate districts and doing joint fundraising in the future? I bet the kids in Brownsville would love to pet bunnies, too.

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