Some people don't think it's appropriate to raise a child in a seedy urban area. They may have a point, but I will say this: People in the ghetto give babies lots of attention.
When I wheel Elliot through the neighborhood or carry him in the Baby Bjorn, strangers shout out to him — FROM ACROSS THE STREET. I'm pretty sure this doesn't happen in the suburbs.
This morning I had him in the stroller, and a homeless guy approximately a block away yelled, "Yo, is that your baby? NICE BABY!"
A few minutes later, Elliot was showered with attention by a couple of women (prostitutes?). They turned to me and said, "You did good, daddy."
My point is: If I trotted out Elliot in some neighborhood in Marin or the Peninsula (or even Noe Valley), people would be too blasé to freak out when they saw him coming. Babies are no big deal there.
The hood also teaches you not to judge a book by its cover. I was walking with Elliot down Sixth Street recently when we passed two thugged-out gentlemen. Elliot and I both yawned at the same time, which apparently created a cute image. One of the men looked up from his negotiations with the other (which I can only assume involved bargaining over Russian-made assault rifles) and said, "Awww...that's a Kodak moment."
See, it's all good in the hood.