I have a proposal!
(1) We announce a contest, with a cash prize, for the best proposal to redesign the streetscape on Parkside between Ocean and Flatbush. Contestants would be invited to submit proposals without limit to scope: Traffic abatement at the two intersections; uses for the sidewalk in front of the Q at Parkside; tree plantings along the blocks, improvements to the business district; a new facade for Pioneer Foods; the redesign of the MTA station ... anything that suits their fancy.
(2) We should pass the hat around the neighborhood, and see if we can put together $500 or so. I'm good for $20. Surely Bob Marvin is good for $20? And I bet J.J.'s Jamaican Restaurant will toss in $20, too. Hell, maybe even the bottle recyclers will toss in $20.
(3) We see if Senator Adams, or Councilman Eugene, or anyone else of such ilk, is interested in being a co-sponsor. (DeGucc? Moses Fried?)
(4) We announce the contest to the students at Parsons, Pratt, Cooper Union, etc.
(5) We give the winner $500, and we publish the winning designs online. (Maybe we have two prizes: best design, and best design that can be implemented for less that $1MM.)
Well, there it is. My proposal.
I would add only that this sort of radical rethinking of a neighborhood's common area has been done before throughout the City, so we probably have precedents to look at. Plus, we're not talking about having residents pay for the change itself. What we want to do is bring our desire for change to people with power - from the D.O.T. to M.T.A. to NYPD to ASPCA (well, maybe not the ASPCA. Still, they're pretty awesome). The best way to get this stuff happening is to make it the pet project of a politician, who will see the usefulness of shepherding the project to win over votes.
Well done Rudy!
Now about that other idea you and I had for a sitcom, I was thinking we start with a wacky stage mom who's obsessed with getting her kids on TV. The older daughter is overweight and shy, so it makes no sense. But she's really smart, and has a secret science lab in the basement. The son is also really smart, but a Michael J. Fox style republican whereas the rest of the family are NPR liberals. The dad also has a secret...he's a closeted florist - not gay, just really into floral design. The wacky hi-jinx never stop. For gay, you've got the neighbor who's outrageous and always making hysterical side comments and faces...