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.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Few Observations

Yesterday, big gang hang on the southwest corner of the Parkside Playground. The weed, the nasty rap lyrics blasting. Right across a two foot high fence from the toddlers playing in the water and on the kiddie playground equipment. Nice, guys. Real sweet of you to share.

Then, I come back today with my tot, and I'm treated to the below, which if you're anything like me, will make you feel a deep, deep sadness:


Sorry about my finger at the bottom of the picture. That's not the sad part. It's the gang graffiti. On slides meant for young kids. I asked a grade-schooler what it said. The youngster wasn't sure about the one on the left, but knew it was gang. The one on the right, the kid knew what it was, so I passed that tidbit along to those who might be interested in knowing. You're all smart. I don't need to try to draw out big dramatic words to describe what this makes me feel, like, all the way down.

On my way home tonight, after a ride from the other side of the park, reflecting on some of the things I've heard and read (many from y'all who have shared publicly or privately with me - thank you), I rode by the same playground as I do sometimes just to once again be reminded that yes, even with a little spit in the air, a crowd of young men is hanging out in the dark behind the restroom, having a laugh. Could be innocent. Actually it shouldn't be happening at all. Check the below:

 
If you want to avoid picture one, I would suggest doing what you say you're going to do in picture two, because it doesn't take an M.C. Einstein to tell you that it's between dusk and dawn that most of the hoodlum stuff goes down. It's dark in there, and there are two exits, one on Parkside and one on Winthrop. It's a great place to be, even if the cops come looking for you.

So I ride down Fenimore, half expecting a patrol car to be parked halfway down the block, given what happened Saturday night. I'd learned earlier in the day that the cops have no leads and don't know what started the fight that led to last night's shooting at 121 (though I agree with a commenter that 127 often seems more like the captain's quarters). Big group of guys hanging out across the street, at one of the often mentioned buildings, either 118 or 122. Now, a night after the incident, wouldn't you want to clear the area, let things cool down a bit? I mean, someone was trying to kill one of these guys last night. Don't you think there's a bit of unwanted tension in the air?

I guess I just don't get it. Maybe I'm just not cut out for police work. I guess I'd be making the wrong decisions constantly. Glad to know that things are under control, though.




54 comments:

The Snob said...

Really pisses me off, too. I called Martinos on Friday about the pot-smoking going on in the playground during school hours and after school. The guys hanging out here should not feel like it's a DMZ for their bullshit. Anyway, I have yet to get a call back from the 71st and they will get an earful when they hear from me.

nadia on winthrop said...

People don't get discourage-it's going to take time. We just have to be vigilant, keep our eyes open, and keep calling the police… until they get tired of us and start doing what they've promised to do.

Anonymous said...

It's really hard not to be discouraged, Nadia, but you are right. I am very hopeful that the DA is really doing what they say they are doing. Gangs taking over playgrounds is like something out of The Wire or New Jack City. It's really terrifying and there's no excuse - the 71st, sadly, is a f'n joke.

That said, I am staying optimistic and doing my part to help.

Snitching said...

This pisses me off so bad. The 71st precinct is a damn joke and seriously, they need to put me on their payroll for the amount of information I've given them. Its gotten to the point where I've told officers the full name of who they're looking for, where they live, where their momma lives, where their 'wifey' lives and where their baby's momma(s) live and STILL nothing.

The lead they're looking for is at 122 Fenimore St RIGHT NOW. The other lead is at 130 Fenimore St, on the 4th floor hiding out at his mom's house. Speaking of his mom, she wiped blood off the elevator floor right after shooting happened to cover for his sorry ass. True story and its pissing me right the hell off.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:32, call the precinct and tell them what you know right now. They'll give you complete anonymity. There's no reason people involved with this shooting should be on the street.

The Snob said...

Det. Martinos responded to me via email, avoiding the earful I promised. Targeted patrols promised for the school yard, as well as summons and arrest for scofflaws. Think it'll happen?

Saferfenimore said...

wow! I talked to one of the porters at 130 Fenimore and he mentioned the blood. Interesting to know who the 4th floor guy is, since the one i suspect is at the core of evil, was rolling a joint on Sunday afternoon on the stoop of 122. He was his smug self and had no care in the world.

I let the owners of 130 know that they should should provide the video footage to the police. Especially the tampering of a crime scene.

I feel like I'm in one of those bad dreams where you're screaming and no one hears you because you lost your voice. For the past 3 summers, I have been complaining about that little stretch and nothing. Let's make sure that there isn't a fatality.

babs said...

Isn't that the same guy who is an accessory to murder for the shooting on Lincoln Rd., or is it his brohter?

Anonymous said...

It's been said before - these guys know they're not going to be arrested in PLG. Word is out and that's why their friends come from other neighborhoods in East Flatbush and Brownsville to hang out here.

dreamer said...

I have this fantasy that we could bypass the police and get help from the Dept of Sanitation, a group who seems to take their job more seriously.
At the next "gang hang," oh how I wish we could just throw a net over all this human garbage, bag 'em up, and let New York's Strongest take them where they belong: the landfill.

Snitching said...

I've called the police already. I'm always calling the police.

The 4th floor dummie is the brother of the other dummie.

The intended target is at 127 Fenimore, hiding out at his momma's house. Already told that to three cops.

babs said...

My fantasy is also that the Lefferts Manor Association would get involved in this, as clearly many of the houses on the north side of Fenimore, including 127, are violating the one family covenant, and also have numerous landmarks violations (notably the numerous satellite dishes sprouting from nearly every window).

And the owners and occupants of 127 Fenimore are well known to various city agencies (just as the residents of 122 are); the NYC Commission of Social Services has a $200K lien against 127 Fenimore.

Can't all these agencies/associations come together to work on getting this element out?

It actually seems that 118 Fenimore is an HDFC co-op, meaning that the residents may actually be owners in the building. Pretty certain that the hanging out activity is in violation of the building's house rules - now if we could just find out who the co-op's board members are, and persuade them to take action...

MadMommaCarmen said...

What's tricky with 118 is that the tenants are the ones hanging out outside. Their presence has attracted others to hang out too, and this has morphed into the big issue that we have now.

babs said...

I'm hoping that there are residents in the building who are owners and are not happy with that situation and we can help them fight it.

disco princess said...

The DOB database is only listing one violation (and it's active) against 127 Fenimore (illegal conversion). What other violations apply?

Anonymous said...

With all the New York Times people living in the neighborhood, seriously, doesn't this warrant a story?? A neighborhood where residents can and do call the 71st and tip them off about suspects they're seeking only for them to do nothing. The same drug dealers on the same corners year after year after year and again, the NYPD does nothing. I don't care about bad publicity. I don't give a cr#p what outsiders think of this neighborhood more than I care about the safety of my family and my neighbors' families.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Might be something a local TV news station would cover. They could do interviews with residents and blur their faces. Anybody got connections in that world?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

I'm as frustrated as anyone, but I want to be clear that the 71st is taking all the tips very seriously. Whether they are working up to the standards we would all like to hold them to, I can't say.

Put another way, there is a lot of activity right now by the cops; people being questioned etc. They've definitely heard your concerns, and last night I gave an earful to anyone who would listen, and some did. Let's not rest now though...

disco princess said...

Re: P.S. Might be something a local TV news station would cover. They could do interviews with residents and blur their faces. - Maybe start with News 12 Brooklyn?

Wintrollop said...

As a deep appreciater of the Q's work on the blog, I have to admit that I've been following the increasing trouble in the nabe as well as the rising call to police action with sadness and worry--for as long as I've lived here, about a year and a half.

I see a pretty intense inertia and lack of care on the part of the police force in our neighborhood that seems representative of some of the larger problems with the organization, and a kind of attitude that seems to amplify community mistrust on multiple sides. It's sometimes too easy to generalize and say that troublemakers are coming from outside of the area, when clearly a fair number live or struggle to live here, with their families.

During the big show of force (I think) two Sunday's ago (when police cars with lights flashing were placed on nearly every block), I stopped to ask a couple of cops leaning against their car what the current action was about. Neither really looked up from their cell phone but one said, "You should exercise your 2nd amendment right and get a gun. You should carry a gun." I don't think I need to explain how utterly inane such a response is, or how it completely disregards my right to ask about police action in my neighborhood, where I live. The cops seem so disinterested in getting to know the community they're allegedly here to "protect and serve."

I guess all of this is to say: Have there been community meetings Without Cops Present for the sake of gathering and strategizing with interested parties who are police-averse or who have been among the so many who have legitimate, empirical reasons to feel less safe when cops are present? I think it's important for the community to respond in a range of ways.

Peace to you.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

If you want to meet without cops, come to the strategy meeting. You must email me first, tell me where you live (block at least). We're meeting to discuss how to work best with the DA.

Anonymous said...

4:17's story is exactly what the NYT should be writing about, not fluff pieces promoting real estate. These are issues that concern every resident of NYC.

Greedles said...

"I stopped to ask a couple of cops leaning against their car what the current action was about. Neither really looked up from their cell phone but one said, "You should exercise your 2nd amendment right and get a gun. You should carry a gun."

That is outrageous! Both the smug comment AND the fact that they were focused on their personal cell phones. Too many cops are distracted by their phones and not surveying what is going on around them. This problem is rampant and NYPD seriously needs to crack down on it.

Winthrollop, did you happen to get a badge number?

Anonymous said...

Dubb Gang Member Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw2A5cFLFlk

Sean said...

Wait, Dubb Gang is B.M.W. (Brooklyn Most Wanted)? Talk about blast from the past. They area was in the 50s and the ones I knew back in the day was good dudes. I guess times changed.

Anonymous said...

Though the tableau shown in the video...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw2A5cFLFlk

...is nothing new, it's dispiriting every time these scenes re-appear. Years of witnessing the same nihilism repeated so often leaves most observers with the understanding that change for the better is still a distant hope.

However, since it's impossible for a small band of decent citizens to battle the criminals toe-to-toe and the police haven't got the motivation, the strategy has to shift to the control of the real estate.

Anonymous said...

The NY Times family moved to Carroll Gardens last year... the neighborhood was a bit rough for them.

Anonymous said...

We have fancy bread now, but if only we had prosciutto and cheese... then these hoodlums would scram. Anyhow, on a serious note, I worry about you neighbors who have identifiable names posting on a thread such as this... don't get yourselves hurt - create a non-identifiable handle.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

I think posting on a blog is pretty safe, Anon. And I think writing a blog, or an article in a newspaper, or working for the D.A., or working for social service organizations that deal with troubled youth, or creating a block watch or a neighborhood task force...I think these are all pretty sane and reasonable responses for adults to take. If I didn't, I wouldn't be doing it. I'm not stupid enough to get up in anybody's face, though a lot of guys I admire really do go out and talk to young people hanging on the street and live to tell. The beefs aren't against you...you're largely invisible. Yeah, it's probably best not to name names right here. Save that for a hotline or shoot me an email and I'll pass it on without your name.

That's my take. Our grandparents fought wars against diabolical monsters in foreign lands. We're posting on blogs. I think we'll be okay.

One of the only people whose name is really recognizable on this blog seems to not be scared of anything. Maybe it's her South Bronx upbringing, but she's actually engaging people on the streets and isn't afraid to speak out. I applaud her courage and commend her vigilance. I can tell there's a lot of compassion behind it all too, not just bluster.

eyebrow said...

"During the big show of force (I think) two Sunday's ago (when police cars with lights flashing were placed on nearly every block), I stopped to ask a couple of cops leaning against their car what the current action was about. Neither really looked up from their cell phone but one said, "You should exercise your 2nd amendment right and get a gun. You should carry a gun." I don't think I need to explain how utterly inane such a response is, or how it completely disregards my right to ask about police action in my neighborhood, where I live. The cops seem so disinterested in getting to know the community they're allegedly here to "protect and serve." "

That is the kind of attitude that is often displayed by shiftless cops. As much as I have respect for the NYPD and what they do, there is a culture of indifference within the department when it pertains to policing communities that are predominately non-white. That is how I see it.

Oh, and don't expect the NYPD to crack down on cops glued to their phones while ignoring everyone or everything around them. I see it everyday but I don't see the NYPD doing this unless someone dies.

Maybe it's time our local media get a sense of what's going on.

Anonymous said...

At anon 7:49

I Totally agree, It's overwhelming to look at all the trash on Flatbush and the various groups of hoodlums and shootings, too much!! pretty sure the only way things will noticibly chage for the better is when real estate/capitalism starts flexing it's muscle with bigtime investments. Cops catch criminals but they don't change a whole neighborhood not even near, especially the 71st precinct from what I hear.

Anonymous said...

The area really needs a BID. I think there's enough evidence of community involvement to plan for one. Maybe the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership could be the sponsoring organization?

diak said...

Imagine if something similar had happened in the northern part of the 71st, say, in a playground near Eastern Parkway. And instead of gang graffiti, a swastika was painted on kids' play equipment...
Local TV news would be there in a heartbeat. Politicians would be fighting over the microphone to denounce the threat to public safety. And the word would come down from City Hall and the police brass to FIX THIS SITUATION before the sun goes down.

What's happening in PLG is a "hate crime" in as much as a few sociopaths are imposing their hate on our lives. It should be treated as such.

disco princess said...

How is it a "hate crime"? That is a very specific (legal) term; let's be careful how it's used.

"The area really needs a BID. I think there's enough evidence of community involvement to plan for one. Maybe the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership could be the sponsoring organization?"
You can look closer for a model: Franklin Avenue Merchants.

Anonymous said...

It's easy to voice your concerns on here, (and I'm not bashing people for doing that), but who is actually willing to take it upon themselves to try to start a BID?

snithcing part 2 said...

ivepaass thru fenimore before and even notice that 130 has alot of illegal immigrants living in the basement of that building.one day i caught the super himself buying crack from parkside

informer said...

i grew in 130 .one day they stop accepting my rent i dont know if it was because i was paying 1200 for a 3 bedroom apt or what.now i hear there charging white people who lives in that apartment 2800 a month isnt that illegal

snitching Part 2 said...

Ive Notice On Fenimore Everytime the real estate lady from 130 comes around she calls the police.almost as if she just wants something to happen to them .imagnine you lived on a block for 20 years.Always been tons of shooting for years.all of a sudden white people moves in now police starts to notice all the problems black people been talking about for years.if you dont like it in brooklyn GO THE FUCK BACK TO MANHATTAN..

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Okay, Snitching 2. Hold on a minute. If you want the shooting to stop, maybe it's time to go to the cops and tell them what, if anything, you know. The only difference that I can tell is who's willing to come forward? The shooting won't stop til someone fingers the perps, or better yet, someone takes the initiative and tried to mediate the dispute.

I can understand being pissed. A lot of things in this life suck. But everyone's got a right to be here, and if we work together nobody has to be treated with any less dignity than anyone else. That's my promise, at least as far as this blog is concerned; but if there's info out there, it's gotta filter up. Somehow, of there's just no hope of stopping the violence. I'm sorry, but that's the truth.

Peace. Really...peace.

Snitching said...

There are no 3-bedroom apartments at 130 Fenimore.

ceelledee said...

@Snitching 2: How do you knows who is a legal immigrant and who is not? And, how did you notice there to be lots of illegals living in a basement, just by "passing through" Fenimore? (The fact that they may be illegally living in a basement doesn't automatically mean they are illegally living in this country). And, assuming for the sake of argument you actually did witness a drug sale go down on Parkside, how is it that you know exactly what kind of drug it was that the super purchased? Besides the potential for reader confusion in nearly adopting another poster's handle,it seems like you've posted several unsubstantiated charges in just a few sentences. Also seems like we have enough drama going on around here without there being the need to carelessly embellish the facts. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

1. If your apartment is in the basement and the Certificate of Occupancy says that no apartments are supposed to be in the basement, the apartment may be illegal and the landlord can’t collect rent,

babs said...

Woo- hoo - don't know who all you various types are but
1. I assume that am the "real estate lady" you're referring to and I have never had occasion to call the police about ANYTHING at 130 Fenimore. It is one of the very few well-maintained and managed rental buildings in the neighborhood, with a very diverse, stable, and friendly tenant base (apart from one or two well-known bad eggs). Additionally, there has NOT always been "tons of shooting" on the block - it is only due to the recent and VERY blatant shenanigans taking place around 118, 122, and 127 Fenimore St. that this situation has arisen.
2. As noted above. there are no 3 bedroom apartments at 130 Fenimore - the largest units have two bedrooms, a living room, an entry foyer, an eat-in kitchen, and two bathrooms. In the seven years I have been renting apartments in the building I have never had one of them become vacant.
3. All apartments are under rent stabilization and I have never charged over $1800 for an apartment there, which was the legally-calculated stabilized rent.
4. NO-ONE lives in the basement. The basement has a laundry room, the super's office, the building mechanicals, recycling stations, and workrooms. There are no apartments there.
5. In addition to the live-in super, the building employs several full- and part-time porters. I do not know their immigration status (nor do I care). You will see them going in and out of the basement - it's called working!
6. The suggestion that the building's super was seen buying crack is ludicrous and slanderous.
7. I have lived in Brooklyn most likely since before you were born - over 30 years. In PLG since 2005. I love Brooklyn and have no intention of leaving. I do, however, intend to fight to keep my neighborhood the beautiful, diverse, and peaceful place I know and love.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

As much as I hate to do it, I gotta moderate the comments for a little bit. Some stuff started flying that was just plain nasty, and threatening, so I've stopped automatically publishing comments for now. If you have a reasonable thing to say that's not attacking someone, cursing or making threats, I'm happy to let it go through even if I don't agree with it. Just please take the time to write something civil.

Thanks, the Super.

The Snob said...

Back to the OP -- thanks to the Parks Dept, I guess, this idiot gang graffiti has been removed.

cheryl on parkside ave said...

Hi Q, was not able to attend the meeting with the DA on Clarkson...When will the Lincoln Road meeting be schedule?

Sean said...

yeah, its gone. my wife took our kid and some of his friends there this afternoon and she said she didn't see the tags featured in the OP.

Anonymous said...

Hey Q

This park is referred to as 92Park, it also has a Facebook page if you want to check it out. It's beautiful now that its been remodeled. There will be a Basketball Camp there this Summer for boys ages 7-14 the uniforms will be free as well. I was told that Eric Adams office is sponsoring it.

Hope they get the gangsters out of there so that we can all have some summertime fun!

Anonymous said...

Q thanks for your recent comments about moderating this site. In the past, I've always enjoyed reading the comments, but not of late. I understand everyone has an opinion but when those opinions become too personal and too negative and even attacking that it actually hurts the community - in more ways than one might imagine, then it's problemmatic. Let's turn that unpleasant energy into something positive for the entire neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Today's NY Post commentary on policing...
“No council member who puts this city at risk will have a free ride in the next election,” said PBA President Patrick Lynch, adding: “We intend to target . . . members for defeat in the upcoming election.”

Good for them.

The Detectives Endowment Association already announced it’s yanking support for Dan Garodnick, Inez Dickens, Mark Weprin, Sara Gonzalez and Mathieu Eugene.


The members of the police department believe in law enforcement techniques that work, which includes Stop, Question and Frisk.

The declining level of crime shows they work.

disco princess said...

Anonymous at 9:27 AM:

Re: "The declining level of crime shows they work."

At what cost?
"Nearly nine out of 10 stopped-and-frisked New Yorkers have been completely innocent, according to the NYPD’s own reports"

Source: http://www.nyclu.org/content/stop-and-frisk-data

Clarkson FlatBed said...

While I'm not happy to see my troll back causing problems (Anon 9:27), I think it's important to note that no one knows what effect a change in policy and Council oversight will have on crime stats. It's all speculation at this point, and probably after too, since there are so many things at play in those stats, including the CompStat system itself, which is flawed in my opinion.

What I do know is that the cops HATE hate hate hate this new law. They're angry about it, because they feel like after years of crime declines the public is grandstanding against them. It would appear that the cops detaining Jumaane Williams at the West Indian Day parade really cost the NYPD its independence. Williams has been on the war path ever since.

Listen, I'm no fan of Stop and Frisk. And while the "good" cops remain extremely judicious in their use of the practice - targeting the actual bad guys - a huge number are just lazy and stupid and mean-spirited about it. But it seems there's little Ray Kelly can do to stop the abuses - thus the new law seemed a reasonable response to the dehumanizing recklessness.

But before people get too sure of themselves about this scuffle, I think it's important to remember not only the S&F policing, but the effect on police morale. It's already at a low; this won't necessarily help efforts to bring cops and community closer together.

Anonymous said...

are you serious?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Quite. Good bye!