So yeah, the Q was totally down with the 3-Mad-Mamas yesterday for the Big Clean. Amazing people showed up; the "coordinators" did an outstanding job with their sub-zones, and I personally witnessed acts of great bravery as hands reached down into mounds of god-knows-what to pull out bits of offending litter. Also, we fielded tons of compliments from passers-by and we happily glared at idle merchants who seemed oblivious to the problems of trash and dumping directly in front of their businesses. Skei, Carmen and Sheila deserve props for their organizational skills, and let's hope PLG-CIVIC (as I'm hoping they call themselves going forward) will stay focused on this one issue of particular importance, because it's an issue that we can ALL agree on, whether old-timer or newcomer. Oh I'm sure there are some pro-dumping holdouts among you; but you, filthy sirs and madames, are not rolling with the proverbial tide.
Now for the "hangover" part. I left my house about 9AM expecting to enjoy at least one morning of no trudging-through-garbage on my way up to the Lincoln Road playground. It was not to be. Just 18 hours after my crew (known as Pear on the master clean-up map) manhandled the Saturday Flatbush Avenue litter and it looked WORSE than ever before. How was this possible? A counterattack by the forces of filth? I mean look at these pics, all shot in a two block radius:
Does this mean the April 30 cleanup day was a wast of time? Far from it. It proves that our problems here are systemic and demand systemic change. The Mad Mamas and their Minions will see that this issue stays at the top of the agenda for DSNY, Community Board 9, elected officials (Councilman Eugene and Senator Matthews were out and pledging their support beyond the Big Clean) - and all tenants, landlords and homeowners. And most importantly, everyone who really cares about this issue agrees: there must be PAID cleanup personnel going up and down Flatbush, Parkside and other flagrant offending avenues EVERY SINGLE DAY. The money can come from City and State coffers as well as a proper Business Improvement District or Merchants Association. And every single one of us must be relentless in calling 311 to report violators. Note the address where the problem occurs, and don't try to take it upon yourself to fight with owners and supers - that's a recipe for unnecessary conflict or worse. 311 actually works, y'all, so please use it. And as annoying and unfair as it may seem, pick up that random wrapper or circular and toss it. I know and you know you didn't put it there...but I've gotten so many people stop me and thank me, or stop and take notice, when I just show a little love for the place I live.
That's the Papa Bear in me coming out. It's gotta be a genetic response to having a kid or something, because as a young man I just assumed city trash was city trash, and whatyagonnado? Regardless, I just can't take it anymore, and clearly neither can a lot of you. Some people see this as gentrifiers against longtimers, and that's a bunch of hogwash. Yesterday's 100 or so volunteers crossed all the spectra. Besides, I'll wager a life's worth of lifesavers that 98% of the people in this neighborhood want it cleaner And best part is, once it's cleaner, it stays cleaner, cuz people are much less likely to litter and dump in a neighborhood that's already looking nice. Facts are facts, Jack, and it's time for us to clean up or shut up. Because all the talk about this neighborhood being a nice place to live is just talk until you can walk down the street without steppin' on dogcrap and McNugget wrappers.
That reminds me...it's time for lunch!
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.