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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mr. Q Goes to Washington

Well, maybe not D.C. But I did go up Washington and take a right on Empire, down to the school on the corner of New York Avenue, across from the 71st Precinct. Why on earth would I go to that middle school, 30 years after graduating Junior High, and 10 years before my daughter will probably matriculate at one? Simple. The Q at Parkside was appointed to Community Board 9. I now sit as Chair of the Environmental Protection committee. And now that I'm officially "the Man," I can't just complain about stuff. I've actually got to see what I can do to make sh*t happen.

But I need your help.

You may be asking yourself why a reasonably sane, super-busy "flogger" (that's my new word for father-blogger) would want to dedicate time to such an activity. Well, for one, I'm really curious to meet and work with members of the larger "community" as drawn by district maps - including points north of Empire to Eastern Parkway (Crown Heights) and East of Nostrand to Utica (Wingate? Flatbush? eastern PLG? Pigtown? East Flatbush? Little help here?)

For another, I feel like we of the Southwest, that is the southwest corner of the CB map need better representation at all levels of government. And we have particular problems - rapid changes in demographics, mountains of trash, out-of-control traffic, um, Parkside friggin Avenue, my namesake train station, new buildings and coop conversions - that need to be addressed SOMEWHERE. And frankly, I think we're underserved on the City Council. And I'll leave that at that.

So I'd like to take you along for the ride by writing about stuff I see and hear, and encourage you to show up at Committee meetings (see the CB9 calendar) and Board meetings (last Tuesday of the month) and to email me with stuff you'd like CB9 to address. Not complaints, per se. But the big stuff. Because 311 is there for a reason, and you should always call it before bitching to a flogger. Except that now the flogger is on the Board, which means if you want to contact me offline in that role, please do. For better or worse, when you want politicians or agencies to hear your voice, I'm your "Man."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Who's the Fat Cat Who Bought All That?

Sorry if I'm late to this party...but who's the "local landlord" who bought all this?

From Real Estate Weekly in March:

Four Brooklyn mixed-use buildings have sold for $31 million.

Rosewood Realty brokered the off-market deal, which includes a total of 225,000 s/f of residential and retail space, divided amongst four six-story elevator buildings with 250 residential units and 30 retail stores. The pre-war buildings are at 10 Midwood Street, 50 Lincoln Road, 64 Lincoln Road and 2121 Beekman Place in the Lefferts Garden neighborhood.

The seller was a fund and the buyer was a local landlord, with a large portfolio of buildings in the area.

Full story, and the annoying 2007ish buzzy talk about PLG, here: . Added bonus! I just turned up reader Babs' post about the sale as well, though she seemed equally unsure of the real owner. Babs

More to the point - do you live in one of these buildings? What can you tell us about what's going on over there - good, bad or indifferent?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Up, Up and Away on Flatbush Avenue

When little Mrs. Clarkson FlatBed Jr. turned two, I just knew I had to fill the house with floating balloons. Luckily, I live in a neighborhood where t, that loves its balloons floaty too. I noted that there was a great little cubby-hole balloon-only business at the indescribable (literally - you just gotta go there yourself) Caton Market, and I made a reservation for the day in question. The balloons were lovely - just the thing, and the bright-smiled proprietor offered to deliver for free. I preferred, however, to walk them proudly down Flatbush myself.

Cut to last week, when I noted that the little cubby "store within a store" space in Envy Nails had become none other that Cupid's Crafty Corner (I would've spelled it with K's). I don't know if it's legal (and frankly, around here, I could give an f) to place this big display curbside. Here's the pic, and I fully endorse them for all your balloon, stuffing, candy bouquet and italian ice needs. However, they will not give you a "shot" of helium from the tank - I asked.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Nailed 'im!

This just in from Mad Momma Carmen:

I just got a call from the Sanitation Police. Mr Isaac Pollak, our neighborhood dumper, got caught this morning and is in big, big trouble. The Sanitation Police has been staking out his property and today they watched as Mr. Pollak loaded up his minivan with garbage and dumped it at seven different locations in our neighborhood. As I spoke with Sanitation, his car was being impounded.

According to my contact at Sanitation, he has never seen anything like what Mr. Pollak has been doing in our 'hood and in his experience, no one has been able to walk away from a case once the city is involved. Sanitation will be keeping me posted on what happens from here as well as the court dates.

Have a fabulous (and litter-free) day!

DUMPERS TAKE NOTE: You've Met Your Match.

And to think, all this to save the expense of a proper "container." For shame, sir!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Senior Prom, Caledonian Style

Walking down Woodruff tonight, across from the demolition happening at the soon-to-be-condos ol' Caledonian Hospital, I happened upon these three nervous young ladies awaiting a cream-colored limo to take them to the Prom. I wished them as fun a time as I had at my prom...but be safe! Then I realized I'm exactly what I am - that middle-aged guy who says he hopes you have as much fun a time at your prom as he had...but be safe! Sigh...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Candy Reprimandy

Thanks to a tipster I snapped this shot of Alamudi's Candy Store, shuttered and slapped with a Court ordered shut down. 180 Parkside is the address, just in from the McDonalds on Parkside near Ocean.Anyone know the story?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quick-Clicking Carmen Catches Dumper Red-Handed

I'll let the pictures and captions do the talking. But I say...time is nigh for comeuppance!

Who's got swell sounding shares for $600? We do!

Here's a link to a $600 bedroom in a share...sounds sweet. Looking for female...

Decent Priced Room in in PLG/Flatbush

I don't know why it struck me...other than the fact that I feel for young non-trust-fund types who are trying to make a go of it in NYC, and must feel so demoralized looking for decent places to live that don't require massive monthly trucks of cash, credit checks and/or miserable living conditions.

When I moved to Brooklyn in 1988 I paid $300 for a windowless backroom in a converted corner store in what they now call Windsor Terrace or South Slope (8th Ave at Prospect Ave). And so, to me, even by those standards, this place sounds sweet. I'd even don a wig and petticoat to nab it. Ladies, be sure to peek under those dresses before committing to your new roomate! (and consider a man were he a gentleman! they do still exist, I'm told.)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Nagi Halal Food

Adding to the chaos around our hometrain, Nagi's Halal has set up shop curbside. His L.E.D. scrolling billboard adds a little Times Square glitz to the glass shard, bootleg video, squatter's building, traffic snarl, trash heap that serves as our public square. Actually, I would welcome a middle-eastern style Bazaar on this neglected corner, and perhpas Nagi is the start of a street vendor renaissance of sorts. I tried the gyro...and it's really pretty good, and the guy is super-sweet. I don't understand the logistics of setting up shop in a location like this...anybody want to venture a guess, or drop some knowledge on the Q?

I always get a little nervous when a cart tries to please too many constituencies though. Cheeseburgers. Fish and Fries. Falafel. Heck, I'd be surprised if he couldn't whip up a plate of hot cakes every bit as good as those at the Woodruff Deli. Hold the bacon, though!

Here's the biz card - call ahead and pickup if you prefer.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ridership Spikes at Yours Truly

Thanks to Mike of the regally named Prospect Park East building for hipping us to the massive jump in ridership at the train station named after this blog. If you're a numbers geek like me, you'll love this list of daily usage from the Old Gray Baby herself (as I'm prone to call the MTA):

As one would expect, the rerouting of the B to stop at "the Q at Parkside" has led to significant drops in daily usage at the express stops of Church (the Caton entrance) and Prospect Park. I have also noticed a shift in demographics at our station, but thankfully this is the sort of thing the Old Gray Baby ignores. I don't need to know, for instance, that the number of men wearing open-toed shoes has jumped three-fold.

Check out them numbers along the L line though. Sheesh! With the stratospheric jump in high-priced domiciles, the word on the street is that the L is "at capacity." Though with the median price of apartments heading over a million bucks, I'm surprised more people don't just hire chauffeurs. And I wonder, in America's ever-widening economic gulf, whether chauffeuring is actually a growth industry? Or do today's millionaires prefer to drive themselves? Despite this new gilded age, one profession that seems surely to have experienced downsizing is that of butler.

If so, wouldn't one expect a proportional drop in crime?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Neighbor Carmen Launches Offensive Against Flagrant Dumper

"Mad Mamma" Carmen is taking her trash war personal. Fellow Mad Mamma Skei snapped a photo of a genuine "worst offender," a dude by the name of Isaac Pollak,
who will heretofore show up in Google searches a bonafide douchebag, thanks to this post and those to undoubtedly come. The perp was spotted dumping construction trash on Flatbush, and had a mini-van full of trash bags when this pic was snapped. [A Minivan! Of course! The answer was so obvious we didn't see it right under our noses!!]

Anyhoo, Carmen dashed off the below letter. We'll be sure to press Senator Adams for a quick resolution, and I trust you will all come out to meet with the Dept of Sanitation. Stay tuned.

Good morning,

I am writing to you to air my absolute frustration over the situation of Isaac Pollak, the illegal dumper in our neighborhood. Since filing a Citizen's Complaint and securing enforcement against Mr. Pollak, a number of things have happened. First of all, the violation of illegal dumping was somehow dismissed against Mr. Pollak. I showed up to ECB court for the adjudication date and Mr. Pollak did not show up. I received word that she showed up the following day with a lawyer and presented "evidence" that cleared him of the violation. Since then, I have personally seen Mr. Pollak dumping his garbage in my neighborhood three times. Several community members have witnessed him dumping construction garbage in our neighborhood as well. We have called 311 and followed all recommended protocol, but Mr. Pollak has faced absolutely no repercussions for his illegal actions. Aside from Mr. Pollak's actions being illegal, he is also posing a danger to our community. During the illegal dumping, Mr. Pollak parks his minivan on the sidewalk, blocking access to the crosswalk. On more than one occasion, Mr. Pollak has come dangerously close to running over pedestrians, including children in baby strollers (myself and my baby included). When confronted, Mr. Pollak speeds away, running red lights and oftentimes driving on the sidewalk. On two occasions I observed him throwing his trash out of his vehicle while it was moving. These incidents have occurred throughout our community on an almost daily basis with no end in sight.

Several existing issues exacerbate this ongoing illegal dumping problem. First, there is nonexistent police presence in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens community, giving Mr. Pollak free reign to dump his garbage in our neighborhood. Secondly, enforcement is quite honestly a joke. Myself and the members of my community have followed all recommended action and NOTHING has happened. We feel like we are not being taken seriously and have reached a point where we don't know what to do. Accepting Mr. Pollak's dumping is not an option. On the contrary, lack of enforcement on this glaring dumping issue is leaving the community with little option aside from provoking a serious confrontation with Mr. Pollak. As you can imagine, this has the potential for not ending well, but allowing this to continue is unacceptable.

If the Department of Sanitation truly takes illegal dumping seriously, then it is past due time that this matter is dealt with accordingly. Mr. Pollack has been dumping his garbage in our neighborhood for approximately two years now and there is no end in sight.

Thank you for your time.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Know Thy Councilman: Matthieu Eugene

I met with Dr. Eugene over a month ago, but I'm still gathering my thoughts. I'm not usually so slow to form an opinion, but in all frankness the meeting left me confused. I managed to meet with a few other elected officials in the following weeks avec Rudy de Winthrop (of The Parkside Project), so I decided to wait to post this until I'd met Eric Adams, Hakeem Jeffries and others, in the hope that it would help me better assess the rather nebulous experience I had at the Councilman's office over in the beautiful former NY Home for the Aged on Linden Blvd. I also had a chance to see Eugene in action recently, and I'm finally ready to take a stab at collecting my thoughts. Here's a picture from his reelection campaign, in case you're not familiar with the visage of the man. By the way, he's not always surrounded by an American flag halo.

Councilman Mathieu Eugene is a nice guy. Really nice guy. Winning smile; firm handshake. As he walks the streets of Flatbush and PLG, people stop him to say hi, for a hug, or just sort of a walking "way to go, bro" kinda thing. You see, Eugene is the first Haiti-born American elected to...I dunno...anything. It's not a long list - a few state reps in Illinois and Florida mostly. Seriously, what other Haitians besides Wyclef, Aristide and Bill Clinton have most non-Haitians even heard of? Breaking through to one of the biggest city council jobs in the country is no small potatoes.

Granted, it's important to have Island representation on the Council. The woman that Eugene replaced - Yvette Clarke - was first-generation Jamaican, and given the large number of Caribbean-Americans in our district, it's quite likely that our reps will come from that community. And to his credit, Mathieu Eugene has been a fairly visible and committed rep through the tragic earthquake's aftermath and resulting troubles with immigration, as Haitians seek stability following the devastation of their homeland. His efforts are laudable, and were he simply a spokesperson for the Haitian community and known for his leadership efforts therein, I'd probably have nothing much else to say about him except super-positive things. But he's supposed to be much more than the Haitian councilman. He's OUR spokesperson in NYC's affairs, and as such, he must be held to a higher standard than simply a mouthpiece for Haitians.

On the plus side, in recent weeks he's pledged support for neighborhood efforts to combat crime, street trash and the miserable traffic snarl of Parkside/Ocean. I do hope he follows through on his pledges, because we Caledonians will be watching closely to see if he shows the kind of leadership worthy of our votes in 2013 when he's next up for re-election. It's time, as they say, to step up to the plate, sir, and knock one over the wall.

But let's be one I've met considers Eugene a powerhouse on the Council. His record is pretty feeble; since 2007 the Councilman has achieved little to show our district. There was the refurbished clock on Cortelyou Road, and the antique lighting for Church Avenue. He's quick to tell you about that. There's a couple million bucks for new gear at Kings County Hospital. He says a new park is coming for the playground near PS92. He says there are, thanks to him, more "smart boards" in the schools. He co-sponsored a handful of decidedly lackluster bills, the most exciting involving public water fountains and amending the plumbing code. Oh, and he helped make it possible for New Yorkers to pay their parking violations at check cashing businesses. For more info on these and other fun facts, check out Councilpedia.

By comparison, in the time Eugene has sponsored four bills (2010), Gale Brewer on the Upper West Side sponsored 40. Granted Brewer's been on the Council for awhile longer - since 2002. But she and other "big name" council members are known for tackling big issues and following through...they're also ubiquitous in their districts, attending every which sort of community meeting.

I want to go out on a limb and say that, given the $112K annual salary, councilmembers ought to personally go to ALL major community meetings. That's right, ALL.If they can't make it because of illness or a kid's soccer game, then of course it's fine to send a rep. In reality, there aren't so many official mtgs to go to - Community Boards and Precinct Meetings in particular - that they couldn't put in a personal appearance every time out. They represent a fairly small number of people (100,000 or so) and they should know our business like the back of their hands. And just to note the obvious, the vast majority of people at community meetings are there AS VOLUTEERS. We're not being a paid a red cent, and we should expect that our well-compensated reps can muster the energy to show their support in person. I've heard the line that Council members are paid too little, but I'm not buying it for a minute. It should be a PRIVILEGE to serve one's community, and any salary in the six figures is enough to live comfortably in Flatbush (though perhaps not the Upper West side!)

We shouldn't have to tell our councilman, about the minutiae of our district. For instance, Dr. Eugene angered a lot of people off by showing up at a meeting of the 70th Precinct Community Council, unaware that a frightful murder had taken place at the Parade Grounds just days before. A crowd showed up to bemoan the lack of a police presence there, and Eugene seemed totally caught off guard. (I suggest reading the papers, or blogs, before attending these things.)

On the other hand, Dr. Eugene seems to have his heart in the right place. The problem is, every time I talk to him, or hear him speak, he spouts the same pre-hashed phrases over and over again. Even looking at his platform on his website, one can't help but wonder if he's ever taken a controversial stand in his life:

His priorities are to ensure quality education with smaller class size, improve access to healthcare for all people, expand employment opportunities in his district, improve public safety services and police/community relations, improve affordable housing opportunities and support immigrant rights as well as provide strong advocacy for neighborhood preservation and homeowners.

I'm particularly annoyed by this stock phrase, that I've heard three or four time now. "Elected leaders cannot do much...we need your help to accomplish things." I'd argue that elected leaders can do a hell of a lot, given their proximity to power, and ability to call meetings of various players in all kinds of controversies and disputes. They can LEAD, and that's what I'm hoping to see more of from Dr. Eugene.

I'm ready to cut the Councilman a break. By his own admission in our interview, he never intended to be a politician. He was encouraged to run by people in his community, and his background is in medicine, not law or public policy. But even that line of reasoning begs more questions than it answers. For instance, though he takes great pains to call himself by the honorific "Dr." he apparently never had a license to practice medicine in the U.S.. And I'll be darned if I can even figure out what he did to make a living before taking office. His degree is from Mexico, so maybe he practiced there or in Haiti...but he didn't answer my direct questions about what he did before landing his current gig. In fact, very little is known about the guy outside of his church, where he served as president. And some of the controversies surrounding him only serve to further muddy the waters. One thing he's quick to trumpet is how he started a non-profit called YES (for Youth Education and Sports), but look closely and you find that the organization was essentially shut down by the City for bad leadership and shoddy record keeping. Further evidence that Dr. Eugene doesn't dot his i's or cross his t's should be obvious to all - he didn't bother to move into the 40th Council District before election day, essentially costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars by forcing a second election AFTER he'd moved here. NY Observer Article. And apparently he still calls his Canarsie home his primary residence on his taxes...a mystifying choice that cost him a slap on the wrists by the Daily News recently.

Councilman Eugene explains this all as "distractions" perpetrated by his opponents. I see no evidence of that. In fact, these transgressions would be easy enough to forgive if these stories were dwarfed by accomplishments. In his four years, Eugene has barely made a blip on the media's's really astonishing how rarely he appears in the papers and major blogs, beyond issues related to the Haiti earthquake of course.

But that's all old news. I'm willing to reset my feelings about the Councilman the minute he does something to prove that he's doing all he can to show real leadership and a willingness to take on tough issues. I like his recent attempts to take center-stage for fights like immigration status for Haitian refugees and most recently, against cuts to after-school programs. I think some of the members of his staff are strong - Jonah Rogoff and David Suarez have been super-responsive lately, And his friendship with Jean-Claude Van Damme and his black belt in Taekwondo will surely come in handy for something big.

For now, you're our man Dr. Eugene. We look forward to working with you, but we'll hold you to high standards. It's our job to do so, and your job to earn our votes come re-election time.

Here's proof I was there, though the picture seems to suggest that I have been injected with some sort of pink fiberglass insulation foam.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Waging War on Wubbish - The Worst Offenders List

Under the grit, grime and street trash we've got a really purty neighborhood. After the Mad Mamma's PLG Cleanup Day, the lady's and I have been thinking of ways to address the problem of garbage in a full-court press. After walking around and noticing that once again certain landlords, merchants and supers were flouting the law and showing contempt for us all, I started thinking about creating a Worst Offenders List. I think that if we put pressure on the 10 worst spots, we'd see a radical difference in the neighborhood. I think people would be less likely to throw out personal garbage on the curb if there were no one else doing it. And I've noticed for my own block that when I clean up regularly, fewer people litter. It's like people subconsciously know when it's okay to add to the filth. Not to be a dweeb, or member of the dork club...but it's sad and demoralizing to kick your way through trash every day.

So here's what I'm asking of you all! Send me your "worst offenders." Just an address and description is fine, but a picture would be even better. I'll publish your nominations on an ongoing basis. When you read one of these posts, promptly call 311 to log a complaint. It's that simple! You can also report violations here: Violations. You could do it while you're bored at work...but please join in. They really do send people out to check up on these reports.

Okay, I'll go first. Here's my first nomination for worst offender! Right outside The Original Struggs and Rhythm Splash at 675 Flatbush between Winthrop and Hawthorne, it always, always looks like this in the tree pit:

I've got nothing against either business. They both seem like cool folks. BUT it is most definitely THEIR responsibility to deal with this. The law is super clear (I love the last sentence:

Under the Enforcement Routing Program, enforcement agents patrol all
commercial and industrial blocks at specified times focusing on violations for
dirty sidewalks and failure to clean 18 inches into the street. During the
enforcement routing time, when enforcement agents observe a dirty sidewalk or
an 18 inch violation in front of/adjacent to a commercial or industrial premise, a
notice of violation will be issued. Although enforcement agents will issue notices
for dirty sidewalk or failure to clean 18 inches into the street violations only
during the specified 2 one-hour daily routing time periods, they may issue notices
for all other violations at any time. Although the commercial routing times vary
by Sanitation District/Section where the business is located, all
commercial premises should be maintained (the sidewalk and the area 18 inches
from the curb) at the beginning and end of the day. This makes good business
sense and helps keep the community clean.

I say, let's ticket them into compliance. I'll try calling them directly to let them know what we're up to, and to give them a chance to comply. By the way, the full pamphlet on Sanitation Rules is here. Check it out; it's a bizarrely fascinating read.

Another worst offender is 647 Flatbush, and the problem is with residential garbage, undealt with and uncovered like this:

Somebody clearly agreed that this was a major drag...cause this is what was waiting for the owner this morning - a $300 ticket.

So that's the Q's cockamamie plan. Comments most welcome!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Shelly Linen, R.I.P.

It finally really sunk home for me today. Or hit in. Or sunk in, or whatever. Over the years, I'd passed Shelly Linen, our neighborhood home decor store hundreds of times, always marveling at the intense mish-mash of crap for the home spilling out onto the sidewalk. This was a place to pick up a shower curtain, some cheap sheets and a toilet seat made of quarters encased in plastic (Mrs. FlatBed's favorite - she still wishes she'd picked it up).

So long Shelly Linen. I hope you've moved on to greener pastures.

And the vacancies continue to mount...FECMA cum FEPMA, where art thou? It's high time for a B.I.D.

Job Fair This Thursday At Jackie Robinson Elementary

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dork Klub Opening on Flatbush

Your guess is as good as mine!

Latest Hipster Band - TV In the Park

I kid you not, this was the scene at 10AM near the Drummer's Grove:

Besides being a great band name, you gotta admit it's pretty ballsy to leave a full-on television in the park, 1000s of feet from the nearest outlet or cable-box.

Speaking of ballsy, how about this sign I saw yesterday morning on the way to work?
This same dude was posting handwritten flyers on traffic light poles (I KNOW you've seen them) but I guess he wasn't getting the attention he deserved. I'd have suggested a bold Arial font rather than a gargantuan handwritten cardboard sign, but what the hey, the guy's got cojones (by the way, it's not spelled cajones. That would mean a set of drawers - the furniture, not the pants).

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Squeak in Review - An End to Illegal Parking Under the Shade of the Flatbush Trees

You wanna get stuff done in this crazy town you gotta squeak like a mofo. There are so many moving parts to this City, and so usually you need buckets of WD40.
So it was heartening to learn that a single well-written letter solved a problem that has been irking me and others for way, way too long.
If you're the type that pays attention to things, and you probably are since you're reading this now, you've surely noticed the sadly neglected green sheetmetal Flatbush Trees that grimly greet you as you enter our fair nabe from the north near the Q/B/S Prospect Park station.

And if you're the sort prone to outrage, you might have noticed the utter disregard with which MTA employees park their personal vehicles on the sidewalk, as if to say "this wouldn't fly in a nice neighborhood, but clearly you won't mind." And it's right across from the Garden and the Park. So you'd think somebody would have put an end to the selfishness long ago. Not so. Until now.

Neighbors on their own had tried to stop it. Some like PLG'er Kendall Christiansen went as far as creating an org dedicated to the prospect of spiffying up that triangular corner, trees and all; he called it Flatbush-Gateway. Community Board 9 got involved a couple years ago, getting nowhere through the usual channels of Community Affairs types at the MTA and NYCT. Fellow blogman PLOG made this nifty Youtube proposal about the site as well PLOG's Vid. Nothing seemed to change until CB9 District Manager Pearl Miles sent off a steamy letter to the head of NYC Transit, Tom Prendergast, and apparently the right squeak hit the right wheel and before you know it, the illegally parked cars are gone, leaving room for a so-called "passive park" in their wake. Here's a couple pics I took just today:
Way to go, Pearl, and everyone who squeaked along with her. This line from her letter was especially squeakalishish:

We are outraged by the display of total disregard for the residents of this community by the employees of the NYC Transit Authority who blatantly park their cars on the sidewalk at this location, place their "transit vest" on the dashboard of their vehicle, as if that legitimizes the illegal parking of their vehicles...Community Board 9 is respectfully requesting that you use your good offices to put a stop to this practice...

Now I ask you, in all seriousness - what issue gets you steamed? Speeding Dollar Vans? Abandoned Cars & Buildings? Guns? Gangs? Drug dealers? Moses Fried? I'm talking about stuff that can safely be called universally reviled - not the sorts of community-splitting issues that have the potential to divide us along racial, cultural or money lines. Things EVERYONE would like to see changed. The gets-down-into-your-craw-and-won't-let-you-sleep kinda stuff. And the wouldn't-it-be-so-much-nicer-if stuff. Bring it out into the open. Air it here if you like. Take up the cause. Enlist some help. And don't let go til you get the wrong righted and the right rightier.


The Q's got your back, Jack. And Diane.