Illustration for article titled NYC Playground Battle: Bikinis vs. Babies

"When is a playground not a playground?" an exasperated blogger recently philosophized. Answer: when college coeds dare to suntan in it. Stuyvesant Town tenants are outraged that female NYU students with breasts are "occupying" the yard that they pay exorbitant amounts of rent to access. Who will win the baby vs. bikini wars of Summer 2013?

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"A lot of side boob on the playground this weekend," an intrepid reporter commented on a Stuyvesant Town Report post attacking the infestation of Playground 10 — an artificial lawn ostensibly for use by any and all of the development's residents — by "self-entitled yahoos." The "two dozen scantily clad young women" (thanks, New York Post) who tanned outside last Friday afternoon have angered neighbors who didn't stop at posting creepy comments online; last weekend, security guards actually kicked tanners off the lawn after receiving complaints.

“This used to be a very strait-laced community,” said Susan Steinberg, head of the tenants association, who believes all "two-pieces" should be banned. “The sunbathing is tasteless, it’s not very classy, and it doesn’t belong in a mixed residential development.”

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The "scantily glad young women" (one wonders if any shirtless men were out and about?) aren't relinquishing their right to share the yard with children.

"A body’s a body, and they need to get over themselves,” said Katie Friedman, 23. “I pay just as much rent as they do. Just because I don’t have a child doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to be here.”

“There’s just a lot of rules here, and they enforce them randomly,” said a Marymount Manhattan College student. “We pay outrageous money to live here. Let us sunbathe for a few hours.”

Something called an "Oval Lawn" (which sounds pretty tan-friendly) is opening up at Stuy Town in a few weeks, so perhaps the controversy will die down soon. However: "Please, management, show some balls and don't wait to enforce this once the Oval Lawn is open for sunbathing," a blogger urged. "Think of the children!"

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[New York Post]

Image via The Stuyvesant Town Report.

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DISCUSSION

I need an opinion, and it just so happens that the subject is related to this post!

I've accepted a summer nanny job until I find work in my field. The kids are all old enough to swim, and the family has a pool in their back yard, so I anticipate we'll be poolside quite a bit.

I own a bikini, but I've been thinking of buying a basic one-piece for the job. I'm not sure how appropriate wearing a bikini at work is. I've done it with previous nanny jobs, but those jobs were with very young (under 3) children. This position is older children, and the oldest is a nearly-10 year-old boy.

I'm also pale as hell and not in the best shape. Recent years I've been forcing myself to embrace wearing my bikini anyway, without a cover-up, for parties and such. But for work I keep thinking in this situation, modesty may be the best policy?