The Q at Parkside
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.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Across the street from the Q at Parkside
Since moving to SW PLG/Eastern Caledonia seven years ago, I've been struck by the changes in the small businesses in our neighborhood. As in, virtually none, save one salon swapping for another. That's right, as Brooklyn has shifted and swayed to the sweet breeze of fashion, the ma and pa shops around the Q at Parkside remain largely unchanged.
Take Parkside directly across the street from "the Q at Parkside" for example. As house and apartment prices have skyrocketed (and stabilized), the block continues to attract relatively little commerce. The noble handmade sign of Parkside Cleaners commands attention, and I'm a fan of the oddly bustling Maverick Comics and of course, the star-crossed ICH. But beyond the infamous shooting of high school senior and rollerblader Brian Scott at the Parkside Donut shop last fall, little of note takes place on this potentially very lucrative strip. Is it the McDonalds that holds it back? The oddly named and shuttered U-Deli? The other neighbor businesses? That never stopped anyone before. Heck when I lived in the pre-boom Gowanus area, a little start-up called Patois opened on Smith street amidst similar squalor, and a mere three years later the street became Brooklyn's culinary Champs-Elysee.
For chips-n-giggles I called the number of Kaloshi Realty, whose for-lease sign has hung for months above one of the gated shops. I told her I wanted to do a wine shop (not true 65 Fen!), which we knew would sound shi-shi. She quoted me $3,000 a month. Say what?!? They'll take $1,500 and first and last month free and we all know it. What a lousy negotiator! (FYI, Kaloshi brokers dozens of other businesses around the neighborhood, and even the long-vacated Royal Video store on Flatbush at 6th Avenue. Full disclosure: I used to live above it with a certain notorious New Yorker reviewer who shall remain nameless (here anyway...he does have a name, I'm just not saying).
Any thoughts on the Outdoor Parkside Mall?