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.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

If You Care About Those Dang Green Metal Trees at Flatbush and Ocean, Read On

Ask anyone who lives in Flatbush, and they'll tell you what they think of those DANG green sheet metal 'n' concrete trees at the very entrance to the neighborhood. Much maligned, adored or ignored, the trees are in a sorry state. The Q has spent a year trying to gauge what can and can't be done about the eyesores, even hinting at the most elegant of solutions (an Ole Fashioned Amish Sheet Metal Refabrication and Repainting!).

Well, as my better half is fond of saying if you're going to do something, do it right. A person has been identified who can fix and paint the trees to look good as new, for three grand or so. We could try to find City money or perhaps some discretionary $ from an elected official, or we could raise the money ourselves. It's not a lot of buck for the bang, and the Q contacted the head of Brooklyn DOT and he said he'd work with us to get the necessary approvals. What he needs first is Community Board approval to rehab the trees. Mike Cetera, a longtime City architect and resident red-tape expert, says there's a presentation to be made to the Design Commission as well, but that he can help make that happen.

Now I know that some of you would rather see the trees removed. That ain't gonna happen without a fight, and I for one am in no mood for one. IF the trees are here to stay for next few years, why not "spruce" them up? Right now we're basically telling the world "Welcome to Flatbush...where we don't give a crap!" Longterm, we should be thinking about reclaiming the whole plaza from NYCTA to create a public park space, with real honest to goodness all-natural tree trees. We can talk about that too, though my gut tells me that could take years and we're probably best off knocking them off separately.

If you have feelings about the trees and whether we should fix 'em, come down on Monday night at 7PM to Community Board 9 headquarters at 890 Nostrand right off the President St stop on the 2/5. It's a joint meeting of the Parks and Transportation committees. After the discussion, we will make a recommendation to the full Board for a vote at the June 26 CB meeting. It'll be nice to see each and every one of you.


ElizabethC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Marvin said...

I kind of like the trees and think they should be restored.

ElizabethC said...

Me Too!

Rachel on Flatbush said...

I think they have potential. How do we donate/give input into a paint jobber?

ElizabethC said...

that's an excellent question. Tim?

Anonymous said...

We like the trees too! I like the shapes and the materials used, the mix of the metal with the concrete pillars. Definitely has potential worth exploring before just knocking them down without any effort to redesign the graphics and paint to spruce them up. Some idealists have suggested green space there but replacing the faux trees with real trees and plants means coordinating volunteers to continually maintain all that. Plus any green space would just turn into loiterer & litterer central so close to such a busy bus stop, sorry. That's the reality of it.

Gary of PLG said...

I too am in favor of a spruce-up. Perhaps some fall colors?

While we are on this corner what can be done about the large hole in the sidewalk on the Wendy's side? It seems to have been there for at least a year maybe two.