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.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Not Your Gramma's Neighborhood Cleanup Day

Actually, your gramma probably didn't need a neighborhood cleanup day, because back in her day, folks didn't drop their garbage willy nilly all over tarnation. So scratch that title...what's really going on is a massive mobilization effort to give the Lefferts 'n' Flatbush area a makeover, and to show some love for the place we call home.

Sheila/Carmen/Skei - the powerhouse triumvirate that's organizing the APRIL 30th clean scene - met at State Senator Eric Adams' office today to strategize a pretty darn ambitious scheme. They're planning for 100 or more participants; 10 "micro-nabe" coordinators; free t-shirts for all; tons of tools, bags & gloves; free water; bathroom spots; outreach to and scolding of area businesses...I mean, this is for real, y'all. Naomi and I were there representin' Clarkson, and I for one had no idea how audacious was the plan.

Here's the part that you need to know. In order to cover the whole 50 or so blocks of the "zone" from Empire to Lenox and Ocean to Nostrand, they've devised a plan to divide the area into 10 named subzones. A "coordinator" will be assigned to each, with 10 or more volunteers under his/her supervision. That's why everyone who's interested needs to show up at Eric Adams' office at the corner of Midwood and Flatbush -- to find out what zone you're assigned to and to meet your coordinator.

So yes, of course, if you just want to clean in front of your house, that's cool. But to really be a part of the movement, it would help to go hookup at the clubhouse for directions, freestuff and to be counted. And don't sweat it if you're late or can't stay for the whole're needed and wanted no matter what your limits.

A cynic might ask -- does this puppy have legs? I can hear the voice of my old Sunday School teacher reciting:

"Give a man a broom, he'll sweep for a day. But TEACH a man to bag garbage, and he'll stop dumping illegally, pick up after himself, and start taking better care of the streets he calls home, dammit."

Perhaps my memory fails me, but it went something like that. Anyhoo, the point is to let this be but a beginning. The real challenge is to convince landlords, merchants and residents that the fuss is worth it. And the hope is that regular sitdowns as a citizen's committee, meeting out of the Adams clubhouse, could keep up the pressure.

See you all next Saturday!

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