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.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Artful Dodgers

What I wouldn't give for a photograph of Parkside Q in the 1700s! I mean I wouldn't want to live then, there, what without air conditioning, bagels, modern footware and FrozFruit® bars. Oh and that pesky little issue of slavery. I was reading about the history of Flatbush, shocked to learn that population in the 1790s was around 1,000, only to find out that the census frequently left out women, children and non-free men, who weren't considered full peoples at all, though how much of a person you were could fluctuate from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, meaning you really never knew how much of a person you were. For some reason this brings to mind the ridiculous notion of achieving one's full potential, an ephemeral benchmark created by multiple competing interests all hellbent on assuring your eternal misery. But that's a story for my shrink, if I had one, which I don't, because thankfully I have this blog, which is considerably cheaper and doesn't work out of its home way up on the Upper East Side, though it did take off a couple weeks in August.

But some old photos DO exist, and they exist primarily to blow your little mind. Case in point...

If you've ever walked "up" Bedford towards Empire and historically accurately named Ebbets houses you come upon a scene that looks like this:

Had you taken the same walk just 50 years prior, you'd have seen this:

So the next time some dork pines about the day the Dodgers left Brooklyn for L.A., remember these photos. And remember that Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in the Major Leagues, and whose name adorns the sorry-ass school that sits in the ghost-shadow of Ebbets Field? Not so much longer ago, he'd've never showed up in the population count.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What those photos show to me is that the Firestone shop is an under-appreciated historical landmark and exemplar mid-century commercial architecture.