Hi Tim, thanks for the interview and the exposure it grants the Avenue. I see you have stimulated some potent discussions pertaining the shopping corridor. I felt the energy and it’s all good. It’s much different from when we got involved to re-organize the merchants’ association. We were seen then as rabble rousers—talking about organizing community. I must say things have changed dramatically since then. For one, when we started out the community was overwhelmingly labeled “the hood”. It was a task trying to convince outsiders as well as local residents to give it its appendage: neighbor. Today, the appendage is very much attached. Very rarely do I now hear the community referred to as “the hood”. It’s either referred to as the neighborhood or the community. And that I believe is a great accomplishment.Flatbush Ave. Street fair, not unlike street fairs in business districts across the city, possesses and intrinsic value to merchants and the community at large. Idealistically, this exposition of vendors and patrons, provides an opportunity for merchants to showcase their businesses to thousands of spectators in a relaxed and enjoyable setting. The objective of a street fair is deeply entrenched in FEPMA’s mission of promoting a commercial involvement that is profitable to merchants and responsive to the community. As business owner, community building plays a pivotal role in our success and as an organization FEPMA is committed to this engagement.On a personal note, as an organizer of this event for many years, I have seen progress in the community coming together around this event. Positive interactions has not only been limited to merchants organizing, but it has given me personal joy to see youths of Westbury Court engaging in conversations with police and proudly rallying around taking ownership of this event. I must note that Flatbush Ave. Street Fair, in its 17 years of existence can boast of a crime free record.In addition, successful street fairs possess the potential to become and economic engine for merchants currently facing economic challenges. The Board of Directors of FEPMA, unlike BIDS, do not have salaried staff. From its inception, board members have worked on a strictly volunteer basis, (a different feat of struggling business owners). With members becoming difficult to acquire in this present economy, sustainability as an organization is key. It is my belief that as an organization, FEPMA must utilize all tools available to become economically viable. All these factors remain assets to the promotion of our ultimate goal: formation of a Business Improved District (BID).I just want to say at this point that the comments I read in the Q are encouraging, if it is only for the fact that people are showing great interest in what’s happening in the community. It is much advance from when we started out; and Mr. Compere, Ms Sandra Marshall-Haye and I are looking forward to entertaining more dialogue and effort towards the well being of the entire community.Thanks Tim and give yourself a pat on the back; I hope at some point in time I can lend my take on why the abundance of beauty salons and barbershops could be an asset more so than a liability.
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.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Delroy Wright Responds
Here's a response from DelroyWright, executive director of FEPMA that I thought deserved it's own post, in reference to my recent piece on his and Wilfrid Compere's re-emerging Flatbush Avenue merchants group...