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.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Coffee Conundrum

Oh, how many times have I heard the complaint..."the Q at Parkside" has no decent coffee shop. Up at the Prospect Park Stop there's K-Dog and Dunebuggy, a quaint spot with lots of love from the community. Down at Cortelyou is the much blogged about VoxPop. The Heights of Prospect have about half a dozen coffee shops that fit the bill. Crown Heights has its beloved mattes and lattes. We of North Flatbush Caledonian Parkside (otherwise known as NoFlaCaP), have the Internet Coffee House (or ICH). I was just there today, and I got a really good iced coffee and momentarily considered getting my USB port replaced (they do computer repairs). It's a nice little place, though the signs and seating do little to encourage the sense of coziness and comfort that other shoppes effortlessly exude.

So it got me thinking -- why no teenage-crush style love from the 'hood for ICH? Well, it turns out, I think, it's really not about the "coffee" at all. It's not even about the decor, or the service (certain beloved coffee shops have horrendous, even indifferent or rude, service). At the risk of stating the super-obvious, it's ultimately about a bourgeois fantasy of community - a place where like-minded consumerist revolutionaries can plan the next assault on poorly-considered design aesthetics and kvetch about stroller recalls and Subaru dealerships. Not to put too fine a point on it - it's about class (not so much race) and a sense that a neighborhood is headed in the right direction. Coffee shop breeds bistro breeds upscale market with 300% marked-up artisanal croutons.

Tongue out of cheek for a moment, I'd probably be one of the regulars at just such a coffee haus. In fact, this very moment, I'm imagining the perfect coffee shop for Parkside Ave across from the Pioneer, and it looks something like this:

Maybe you've fantasized about being the person to open the "Parkside Percolator," an 800 square foot joint with old couches where patrons could while away their days working on screenplays. I have too! But before you do, please, please read this. And remember that you can always just walk up to K-Dog!

Coffeehouse Nightmare

1 comment:

Patrick said...

now we're talking