The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"Ambassador's" Housing "Council" at "Crown Heights" Library

They may call it the "Crown Heights" branch of the Public Library, but we know better don't we. And I have no idea what "Ambassador" is being referred to here. But no matter, our girl Diana is taking the fight to the people and that's what matters."

Monday, October 5, 2015

FAR To the Max

Apparently this dude wants to build to the limit on 88-92 Linden Boulevard, according to The Real Deal.

Actually the article says Boaz Gilad of Brookland wants to build big as he can, meaning it's "as of right" and ain't nobody gonna stop 'im. But more to the point, this rendering really nails a vision of the neighborhood that shows what you can build up next to one of these older six story buildings. A hodge here, a podge there. And lots of glass, supposedly because no one needs privacy anymore. Actually in the age of Google and the NSA we sold out our privacy already. For ease and convenience and Facebook stay-in-touch we gave it all away. So why not dance naked in our apartments for all to see? There's nothing left to hide anyway.

Is it my imagination, or is the renderer of this property a cut above? Seems almost impressionistic. Look at the trees and sky - a frustrated high artist? Might look nice above the living room sofa. Hmm. Let me take a look at it again...


The Q didn't even know that a sheet like this existed. That's what happens when you don't ask...don't ask, don't find out. So many questions can be answered through the District Manager. More demos and excavations on the way, fyi.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Wind Warning: Beware the Sukkah Punch

You know you live in Brooklyn see adds for Sukkah Depot and you don't bat an eye. Or you see a scene like the below and know exactly what's going on. Maybe you crack a smile, but you got to get to work and maybe you've forgotten it by lunch.

Pedi-Sukkahs on Eastern Parkway
Then you walk by a building and see a bunch of small structures on the balconies. And maybe you read up on your Sukkah history. And maybe you know that sukkah sometimes gets spelled succah, like in the concerned email I got from the cops. Read on:
All community members of the 71 Precinct please take  moment and check your yards, windows, and roofs and remove any possible objects that may become air born with high winds.  
Please check all Succah's to assure they are firmly assembled and free from any objects that may become air born with high winds.  Please use extreme caution inside these structures during sever wind conditions. 

The bicycle succah/sukkahs are actually part of a long tradition of Mobile Sukkot Shacks. As in...

As far back as Roman times, the ancient sages of Israel taught that it was permissible to build a sukkah on a boat, chariot or even on the back of a camel. They also established that a sukkah must be at least 10 handbreadths tall. Yet it is hard to imagine that anyone foresaw the same laws being applied alongside those of aerodynamics to design a sukkah on wheels. 

Hey man. The laws the law.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

It's Official! Greenlight Bookstore Dips Toes In Lefferts

The Q's too busy and bruised (don't ask) to be all chatty today, and what's there to say anyway? Books. Books are good. Reading Is Fundamental. (old enough to remember RIF?) Until Greenlight manages to get a whole storefront in the nabe (no he didn't!) parents will settle for an awesome next best thing - Lefferts mom and co-owner Rebecca Fitting's award-winning independent book store is coming to the Flabenue. Co-locating with Shelley Kramer's Play Kids means now you'll leave that store having spent DOUBLE what you already didn't expect to buy in the first place. (Daddy, you promised!!!!!)

The Press Release is the text below, since paraphrasing it and pretending I wrote it is something that professional journalists do, and I'm not a professional journalist. I'm only paid like one.

Greenlight Bookstore Opens PopUp at Play Kids

Brooklyn business collaborate to bring books to the families of Prospect Lefferts Gardens Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood favorite Play Kids is teaming up with Brooklyn’s own Greenlight Bookstore to host a bookstore popup in the beloved toy store. Beginning in October 2015, Play Kids’ Flatbush Avenue location will feature a selection of children’s books stocked and curated by Greenlight, offering a richer experience for local families.

"Shopping small & shopping local is near and dear to our heart,” write Play Kids owners Carl Black and Shelley Kramer, who live in the neighborhood. “Greenlight has always been our favorite bookstore to shop for ourselves & our kids, and we've often referred customers to their Fort Greene location. It's so exciting for us to now have their well curated selection of kids books at Play Kids. We've brought the best of Brooklyn together at one location."

“Greenlight is excited to partner with Play Kids,” writes Greenlight’s coowner Rebecca Fitting, who also lives in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens neighborhood. “It's not only a great opportunity for two small businesses to collaborate on a project, but having this popup shop inside of their toy store makes it possible for us to bring books to the neighborhood in a way that feels special.”

Play Kids was established in 2011, born out of Black and Kramer’s desire to create a toy store that catered to the neighborhood they called home. The store’s focus is on open ended toys that grow with the child and family, and toys and games that stimulate children both mentally and physically, sourced from small, locally owned companies whenever possible.

In 2014 the store added an event space and began offering classes in art, science, and music. Play Kids was named New York Magazine 's Best Toy Store in 2012, and was also recognized by the N ew York Daily News as one of New York's Best Toy Stores. Greenlight Bookstore was founded in 2009 in the nearby Brooklyn neighborhood of Fort Greene / Clinton Hill, by Fitting and coowner Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, who had over 28 years combined experience working in independent bookstores.

Named one of the best indie bookstores for kids and families by T ime Out New York in 2015, the bookstore has received national and international attention for its innovative communitybased
startup model, its curated book selection and customer service, and its flourishing program of author events. Greenlight partners with many Brooklyn businesses and institutions for sales, events, and more, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), the Brooklyn Flea, St. Joseph’s College, BRIC, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration, and others.

“Local partnerships are the best way forward for independent businesses like ours,” writes Bagnulo. “Our partnership with Play Kids is a new model for us, but it’s in the spirit of our ongoing commitment to becoming a local Brooklyn institution that serves its community. We’re thrilled to extend that community beyond Fort Greene to Prospect Lefferts Gardens.”

The popup shop is managed by Greenlight’s offsite sales manager Annie Trizna, who works with both businesses to curate a selection of children’s books covering all ages, interests, and price points. The selection at Play Kids will be updated regularly, with attention to neighborhood needs and interests. For more information

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Take Her Up On It

The Q's liking it. No issue too big or small. If you've had your eyes on making an improvement or eliminating a problem within our Assembly District, remember that elected officials LOVE to be part of solutions, especially ones that reflect positively upon them. Plus, Diana's fun. Not haughty. She's approachable, candid. Rare qualities. Let's hope she keeps 'em!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Road Closures For Saturday Oct 10's (half) Marathon

Why they gotta call it "half?" By the time you're running foot races over 10 miles I think it's time to call it something other than a Half Marathon. Makes it sounds like a wimp-sport. I'm lucky to hustle for the B41 all the way to the corner from mid-block, so what do I know. But while it's not an actual Marathon of the historical but arbitrary length of 26.2, it's looooong y'all. One might even call it a wee bit absurd. Maybe you could call the "Long Race" or the "Widow Maker" or the "Damn Hard But Not So Hard You Have To Drop Your Whole Life To Train For One" Or maybe just the "Sane Run." Even the Humble Marathon would be better than "half."

Here's the road closure info, so you have plenty of time to plan. It really only effects the morning and some parking. Still, it's kinda fun to see where the run happens. Perhaps you could consider running it with a friend? That way you could say "hey man let's go do a Marathon and go Dutch."

Monday, September 28, 2015

Important Read: Gangs and Guns

"More than half." That's what they're saying. More than half. When you think about how crazy that is you'd hope that the number one shooting prevention programs would keep that in mind. I've noted in my own vicinity how this plays out, with shootings that have happened in a six block radius.

"More than half." To better get what the Q's referring to, another timely story from DNA Info's Rosa Goldensohn:

More Than Half of the Shootings Crew & Rikers Related

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Q Wants to Make It with YOU

You're looking real sexy, Lefferts. I can see in your eyes that what you'd really like just about now is a bottle of red, just you and I. Kick off your shoes and get comfortable. Because Baby I'm-a-want-you. Baby I-a-need-you. And yes, "I Want To Make It With You."

(FYI, Mark Schwartz tells me the liquor license came through, so his Little Mo Wine Shoppe will be up and running, maybe even by Thanksgiving. Another option for vino is probably welcome news, especially as his joint is opening up on Middle Nostrand near Midwood. Also, with all the mainstream attention to S&M via the "Shades of Gray" series, I thought I'd ask...when you're getting ready to get it on, instead of "get comfortable" do you say things like "why don't you slip into something a little more constricted and painful?" Just curious.)

Nothing speaks to neighborhood change like music. And this morning, fully 12 years after being daily subjected to bass heavy Dr. Dre, I woke up today and stepped outside to hear the voice of David Gates wafting from the fifth floor window of the large apartment building near me. That's right. Bread. If you're too young or not white enough to have owned "Best of Bread," I give you a live performance from the awesome late night music showcase "Midnight Special." While other TV programs had the band lip sync along with their hits, MS was the place to see if the band could really rock. And Bread, it must be said, could not rock. What they did, however, was really quite extraordinary. Gates has one of the mellowest tenors I've ever heard. His most melancholy moments are delivered with the same sauce as his most upbeat; hard to tell if he's coming or going. And that's what makes it great. Not even the least bit of excess. Just the notes ma'am.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Help For Tenants In Need Of Legal Assistance

Hats off to Jesse Hamilton. He's not my State Senator but quite probably YOUR State Senator (the district lines changed since Eric Adams held the office). Hamilton's been addressing the issue of housing head on, particularly as it hits the neediest hardest. The biggest issue facing longtime rent-stabilized tenants is that landlords have grown increasingly brazen, crafty and sometimes downright unlegal (my term) in the way they try to convince lower income folks to move. These tactics, as we all know by now, often border on or cross the line into racism and ageism. Such unlegality is a source of much pain and heartbreak. I see it all the time on my block, and you probably do on yours as well. So...

Folks need lawyers. They need to know their rights, and they need to know that someone's on their side in the fight to keep their apartments. If you or someone you know needs help, please consider the following "Walk-In" Clinics with Brookly Housing and Family Services (BHFS). It would be petty of me (would it not?) to call out the name "walk-in clinic' when it goes on to say "by appointment only." I suspect you can walk-in and make an appointment though! Thanks Jesse, for staying in the fight.

Free Tenants' Rights Walk-In Clinic with BHFS
Housing Counselors
Will be available on site

*By Appointment Only*
Monday and Thursday
1:30 PM to 5:00 PM
 Tuesday and Wednesday
10:00 AM to 1:30 PM

Office of Senator Jesse Hamilton
1669 Bedford Avenue, 2nd Floor & Mezzanine, Brooklyn, NY
Senator Jesse Hamilton has partnered with Brooklyn Housing and Family Services (BHFS) to provide free housing services to residents. Counselors will help families and individuals improve their housing conditions and meet the responsibilities of tenancy and homeownership. To schedule an appointment with a housing counselor please click here.

What services does the clinic provide?
Counselors will provide answers to your rights as a tenant, and explain your options for dealing with a housing situation.
Common questions relate to:
  • getting repairs from negligent landlords
  • getting adequate heat in the winter months
  • dealing with the threat of eviction
  • questions about leases and lease renewals
  • legal rent increases for rent-regulated apartments
Jesse Hamilton - Putting Family First (literally)