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, July 31, 2013

UPDATE: Vacant Lot Soon To Be Lot Less Vacant

FYI y'all I just heard from developer Tom Anderson (8/1/13) that the ink is not yet dry but it's looking very good. They got the permits in anticipation so they can get right on it when the contracts get signed. Tootles, tim.
yes, i'm tired of looking at this rendering too
Eagle Eyed Emily (EEE) at Brownstoner noted that new permits have been issued for the Lincoln Road "L" shaped lot that has vexed many a local Monday Morning Developer (MMD) for years. I'll shoot Tom Anderson (TA), who's running the project, to see if it's all true and see if we can get a timetable. Some random Q-musings (QMs) on the project here. And then some more recent news from the developer here.

For those new to the story, the lot that will have entrances at both 33 Lincoln Road and 510 Flatbush, was once to be a towering gleaming windowed phallus (tgwp) for birds to smack into. That idea faded (though not, as is commonly believed, because of neighborhood outrage) and the property shifted hands to Tom and he has tried to get State financing to build his 80/20 rental building for awhile. B-stoner thinks the money came through; thus the new permits. And to those who would call this an "affordable housing" project, I think it should be noted that while the building will be rent stabilized, that stabilization starts at just 10% below market rate on 8 out of 10 units - no chump change these days. The other 20% goes to working people under a certain thresh-hold, and their rent will start at (if I remember right) 1/3 of income. Hardly, as one commenter said, a "housing project."

More on this soon. I'm actually away and should be enjoying the work 1/3 of my vacation. But there's so much doin' on the Flabenue I just had to update y'all!

The South Brooklyn Whodunit

Granted, the total numbers aren't great enough that "Fluke" couldn't be the culprit. Still, Barron's had a piece that confirmed that the Q hasn't been flappin' his digital gums over nothing. The article "Homicides Spike in South Brooklyn" by Danny Gold highlights two things: A: There's a lot of random craziness going on around here that runs counter to the record-low homicides in the rest of the City, and B: the phrase "South Brooklyn" continues to be used as if it has any meaning whatsoever.

Was a time when being from South Brooklyn meant something (before there were fake place names like Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill, which is actually a valley by the way, and even Red Hook and Carroll Gardens were known as South Brooklyn), and that's when the precincts and NYPD started to organize around the idea of North and South. If you check the crime stats, you'll see that the NYPD still considers it worthwhile to cut the borough down the middle. As if those in Bay Ridge, Coney Island, Crown Heights, Mill Basin, Flatlands, Midwood and Sheepshead Bay have something more in common with one another than with East Williamsburg, Bushwick and Bed-Stuy. But if you spend anytime with law enforcement folks, it becomes clear that the distinction is real, and the resources for things like narcotics and serious investigations often happen at the "Brooklyn South" level, which has its own czar of sorts, which most people know nothing about, me included until I wrote a letter to the head of Brooklyn South last fall (Chief Chan, at that time), and it set in motion a whole chain of events where I was getting phone calls to come down to the 70th precinct, the 71st, talking on the phone with precinct commanders, and getting emails from Ray Kelly's office. All as a result of noticing that there's something called "Brooklyn South."

I guess sometimes it pays to meet people where they are.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

7 Story Hotel In Deep Flatbush

Ditmas Park Corner was on the ball today (as it is most days) noting that the re-imagined Loew's Theater on Flatbush is about to get a companion 7-story hotel perhaps of the Marriot variety.

Are you serious? Who in Sam Hill is going to stay there? Is this whole Loew's thing just some sort of Marty good-bye fantasy? I mean I'm seriously shocked. The Q just don't see it working, but then I thought Wesley Clark was going to steal the presidency from George Bush too, so what do I know.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Neo-Pagans Arrive in Flatbush - Create Temple

Where once stood a Boost Mobile at 701 Flatbush, tween Parkside and Winthrop,  comes a fascinating entry in the Delirious Brooklyn sweepstakes. The NYC Polytheist Temple has landed a lease right near the Q at Parkside. We welcome it and wish it the best, though I've always felt, personally of course, that it's hard enough to keep up with ONE god, let alone a few hundred from various faiths and indigenous belief systems around the world and throughout history. I'm sort of of a mind that there are at least five gods to make the world, one to run the weather, one to keep track of time, one to manage gravity, and one to ensure that you will have a nearly impossible time purchasing a mattress without getting sold a bill of goods. Seriously, it's nuts out there. Starts out with a teaser about $499 for a great night's sleep, and pretty soon you're talking body-molding angel noodles made of organic unicorn tails for $5K plus shipping. Below is a self-portrait of the Q after shopping for a bed.

Actually, that's not true. What is true, or rather one of the things I learned from the NYC Polytheists' fascinating Facebook page, was the description and picture of a Boggart, seen above. The boggart MUST be the genuine genesis of the bogeyman, or boogeyman if you prefer, though I think bogey sounds much more sinister than boogey, so I prefer the former, even though one became a term for one-over-par and the other for shaking your booty. I still think golf is more of the occult than disco. I've heard various bogeyman origin stories, but this is the clear winner. Boggart. Who knew?

More pictures below of the soon-to-be constructed Temple site. Call ahead though, because it might be one of about six thousand holidays.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

These Are No Trees To Sneeze At

Real trees! Not the green sheet metal kind, though those too will soon have a new life...

Below you'll find the evidence that an ACTUAL meeting took place between the Parkside Project crew (nee the Parkside Prize), our winning architect In Cho (and partner Tim Shields) plus Nick from DOT and Annie from City Parks' Forestry department. Oh yeah, and that's Hector in the pic, from Pioneer Grocery, and Sonya from Parkside Project, who lives on Ocean.

In Cho and Annie from Forestry get serious
In the works? Up to 9 new trees, 6 from Parkside Court to the start of the Q train headhouse, two on Ocean, and potentially one right in front of the doctor's office. Really happening? You bet. Forestry is coming out to identify the below-pavement infrastructure, then DOT gets a chance to approve, and wham bam thank you graham we got ourselves a whole mess of saplings.

And this is the kicker (for me anyway), Nick did a time lapse of people coming from the train at rush hour. You KNOW I'm going to get my hands on that and post it. Maybe with a Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack?

Dang that felt good to be out there for the power meeting. Next up, the big dig?

Help Clean Up Around the New Community Garden on Maple 3 - This Saturday!

The folks on Maple 3 are really getting it together...why not lend them a hand on Saturday cleaning up and readying the vacant lot that they're turning into a Community Garden? It's kinda like an Old Fashioned Amish Barn Raising! Without the barn or the Amish...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Kwenci Jones Remakes Mural

Perhaps you've seen him along Flatbush just north of the Prospect Park Station, working on his mural, the one that you thought had been left for gone, elephants and all. Not so. With help from the Crown Heights Youth Collective, a group after my own heart led by local legend and community activist Richard Green, the artist Kwenci Jones has set about bringing his mural of 15 years ago back to life. Today when I spoke to him he was hard at work with an assistant, John Carrero, reworking the colors and figures, clearly glad to be revisiting his pictures that he created these many years ago.

 Good luck guys. Looking forward to mural in its full blown colors.

I'm Waiting For THE Man

People often ask what to do when they see drug deals go down. It's a persistent fact of life in the City, and whether it bothers you or not is likely a result of a number of factors, like, um, whether you're a buyer for one. (Not that I have a PROBLEM with that, per se. If you managed to get through high school and college and acquire gainful employment while smoking copious mounds of weed, more power to you. Me, I'd probably still be back on my folks couch watching reruns of Get Smart and eating Chips Ahoy).

Needless to say, though I'll say it anyway, dealing, and particularly dealing in public, is a serious quality of life problem and can lead to certain buildings, apartment and corners becoming well-known, drawing nefarious folks from all over to get in on the action or just to party. We live in a dense environment, and this can lead to unsafe conditions. And while you may have weathered your "experimentation" with drugs personally, a lot of the kids around here don't have a summer or "phase" to waste. The difference between success and failure is a thin line for kids from hardscrabble backgrounds. We need to do everything we can to help them stay on the right side of that line. (I like to say encouraging things to  kids whenever I can - show them your approval and that you notice! Who doesn't like to be complimented?)

Of course, you could and should call 911 if you see a crime take place. You don't have to leave your name. But witnessing dealing is not a 311 call - save that for relatively minor offenses like dog poo (which we all know isn't MINOR, but the 911 operator will probably be playing back your call to colleagues and laughing at break time). Public dealing is a menace on a number of levels, and I would argue that the worst part is that it sends a signal to the kids that this is an acceptable lifestyle, and that no one will stop you if you choose this path. There's no glamor in street dealing (trust me I KNOW)*, but it starts to look good when it looks like fast, easy, money.

But here's a powerful (and relatively under-publicized) way to get the attention of the authorities - the sort of authorities who can actually do something about it. Your email to goes DIRECTLY to a senior narcotics staff member at D.A. Hynes' office. He has the authority to conduct a proper investigation, using non-precinct-specific narcotics officers.

This from the D.A. website:

Thank you for your willingness to provide information that will aid law enforcement in combating drug activity in your building or neighborhood. We do not need your name. However, the following information would be of critical assistance in addressing the problem and should be included in your email report.

Email to:

1. Type of Drug(s) Apparently Being Used or Illegally Distributed (Examples: cocaine, crack, heroin, marijuana, synthetic drugs, prescription medications):

2. Date(s) AND Times of the Activity:
If the activity is ongoing, time frames and/or patterns of activity

3. Locations of Activity:
Specific locations, including (where possible) street addresses, apartment numbers, NYCHA
location names if applicable, AND the specific areas within these locations where the activity has occurred (ex. hallway, lobby, stairwell, roof landing, roof)

4. Identifying information for those suspected of criminal activity:
Name, nickname and/or address; telephone number(s);
Vehicle license plate number, year, make/model and/or color;
Physical description: male/female; estimated age; height/weight; hair color/length/style; scars and/or tattoos; facial hair; complexion; clothing (hat/cap, coat, glasses); apparent culture/ethnicity

5. Additional Helpful Information:
  • Weapons involved or carried?
  • Are “lookouts” or “steerers” used?
  • Are cell phones used?
  • Are children present/involved?
  • Are animals present/involved?
  • Specific stash locations (for drugs or weapons)?
  • Hidden compartments or specific areas (for drugs or weapons)
The staff of the Major Narcotics Investigations Bureau who review this information will not contact you hereafter, unless you indicate in your email that you are willing to communicate with us further and specify the means by which you would like to communicate. Thank you again for taking this step to make your community a better, safer place.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about anonymity. The D.A. is significantly more attentive to such details as your safety than other outlets. But you could always create a free dummy email for these kinds of things.

I'll bet you know a spot not far from your home. Why not send an email? What can it hurt?

*because I've seen gritty reality shows, silly.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Dollar Van Tragedy

from the NY Post:

70-year old woman fighting for her life after being hit by van on Flatbush


Last Updated: 7:05 PM, July 22, 2013
A 70-year-old woman is fighting for her life after she was hit by a van in Brooklyn while crossing the street, cops and witnesses said. The white dollar van was traveling northbound on Flatbush Avenue around 12:15 p.m., near Clarkson Street when he crashed into the elderly woman, who was crossing in the middle of the block and against the flow of traffic, cops said.

“She was bleeding like crazy, a lot of blood. She was on the floor,” Metro PCS manager Sean Dunlap,35, said. The woman was rushed to Kings County Hospital in critical condition, cops said. No criminality is suspected at this time and the investigation is ongoing, cops said.

They're Locking the Playground At Night

Months after hearing that the NYPD was going to start locking the Parkside Playground at dusk, tonight was the first night it happened. A neighborhood activist and the Q met today with a Captain from the 71st and a manager of parks for Community District 9 and actually watched the keys pass from one hand to the other. And a reader confirmed that at about 9pm tonight, the playground was locked shut for the evening. We sure hope it gets opened again every morning! Also discussed at the meeting was the creation of a Friends of Parkside Playground group. Email me if you're interested and I'll pass your info along to the organizer.

In other Parkside Playground news, a group of concerned neighbors formed a 311 chain and complained the heck out of the fact that all but one swing has disappeared. It's been that way for months. More than 15 people gang complained, and low and behold, we all got a note this morning that the swings have been ordered, to be replaced soon. Bet your butt we'll be staying on top of 'em til they arrive.

311 chain. Darn good idea!

East Flatbush Thrashcore

Y'all need to be aware that stardom looms for three nearby-ers...12ish-year-olds Malcolm Brickhouse, Jarad Dawkins and Alec Atkins, whose East Flatbush basement roars with the rock of ages. Inspired (clearly) by Metalica, these guys have gotten notice by playing (how brilliant is this) at Times Square. Clearly moms and/or dads are involved, getting their gear out there and setting up all kamikaze style. Check out this amazing curbside video and if you're feeling it, jump to 4:50 for a killer drum intro and thrash moment. Probably good they don't sing...singers really can get in the way of a good riff. Rock on with your sixth grade (going into seventh) selves!

From Ebony magazine: “I started playing when I was about 5 or 6, because my mom’s friend told her to get me a guitar,” Malcolm says from the rehearsal space of a parent’s basement. (Sporting an Afro the size of The Boondocks’ Huey Freeman, he’s currently wearing a cast on his arm, dislocated doing monkey-bar backflips at day camp.) “At the time, she was trying to see what my different talents were. She tried me out for piano but it didn’t work, and then she tried me out for guitar. So that’s what I’m playing now.” “I’m waiting to get drum lessons from Steve Jordan,” says Jarad Dawkins. The John Mayer Trio drummer has recently taken Jarad under his wing. “Other than that, I’m just working from home with my electric drum kit to make songs better.” Unlocking the Truth is almost done with their second full-length collection of original songs, inspired per usual by the likes of Slipknot and Metallica, and written by the tweeners themselves.

More on the band here:

Hello Living - Gearing Up To Be Big Player in Lefferts Area

A few days ago, the Q reported that a Hello Living development is going up at New York Avenue and Hawthorne. Now, from a reader, comes word of another project on the north side of Lenox near Nostrand. Forget for a moment that this time out they are DEFINITELY stretching the limits of a neighborhood known as Prospect Lefferts Gardens (though followers of the Q will know I am not a fan of such rigid nabe boundaries, and I don't care for the name at all. Well, I like "Prospect Lefferts Gardens" a lot more than "PLG," though Prospect like the park, Lefferts like the original homestead and Manor I get. But it does not excuse the Garden(s) when there is only one Botanic Garden. The hyphen sometimes employed between Prospect and Lefferts is simply inexplicable and indefensible, no matter WHAT our delightful neighborhood historians might tell you. But now I've lost focus...)

What's news, beyond the fact that development is heating up around here, is that HL asks that YOU the buyer pony up dough long before the building is built. $25K initially, then at least $300K before even seeing the final product. Now, I understand the idea of buying before receiving. I do it on all the time. this really a legitimate way to sell apartments? I thought developers had to get their own financing for buildings. And it seems awful risky for the buyer. What if the project falls through? I read the contract and I can SEE that you get your money back. But seeing it written and actually getting a certified check for $325,000 seems like quite a bridge from clouds to earth. Not exactly a rainbow either (did you see that on Saturday after the downfall? Goosebumps...)

Here's the publicly available brochure. Ping* me if you want a copy of the "confidential" terms statements.

*A certain NY Times employee living in Lefferts tells me "ping" means communicate with me whatever quick way you know how. Email's best for me, thank you. Or rather Electronic-Mail, wherein the hyphen is okay with me. And shouldn't there be a comma after Hello in Hello Living? hee hee

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Our Leper Colony

Ever get the the powerful sense that gun violence is an inevitable part of life in Central Brooklyn? Serious, persistent, yes. And though easy access to guns is a major drag, it probably won't go away at the wave of a magic pistol. As I've tried to understand the recent spate of shootings in the 71st and 70th precincts, I've noticed that other neighborhoods are trying new tactics, while I see little evidence of innovation around here.

Friday's NY Times highlights the Man Up! Program which is quite literally saving lives in East New York, which is currently experiences serious drops in crime while the shooting continues unabated elsewhere. The Man Up! approach echoes other efforts seen in detail in the film The Interrupters, which you can watch on PBS for free at that link, and it's required viewing for anyone trying to understand the widespread use of guns to settle dispute. The brave souls (usually ex-toughs themselves) who stand between warring factions, are often the only ones capable of understanding and mediating these issues before they become mortal.

From the Times article:
The founder of Man Up!, Andre T. Mitchell, said the group was trained in public health approaches developed first in Chicago by the Cure Violence Initiative. The creator of the initiative, Gary Slutkin, an epidemiologist, advocated fighting violence as if it were an epidemic, so that it was essential to interrupt its spread — just as a contagious disease is contained or prevented.
“People think the violence is just about gangs, but it’s not really,” Mr. Mitchell said. “The majority are interpersonal disputes: ‘Why you looking at me?’ ‘No, why you looking at me?’ Our job is to get them before they reach for the gun.”
The Q catches some flack from time to time for taking up so much blog acreage talking about crime. I apologize if it's a bummer, but I don't apologize for focusing my attention on an issue that is literally killing people. As the cops like to remind me, I guess to make me feel safer (which is pretty perverse when you think about it), the story of shootings in Central Brooklyn is a story of black men shooting black men. And so, it stands to reason, if you're concerned about black men killing black men, you're probably going to look for solutions to the epidemic. However, if you're primary concern is your own safety (despite the remarkably low chance of being caught in the middle of gunfire), you're likely to focus your attention on ways to contain the men doing the violence, through incarceration, stop-and-frisks, more and more cops, surveillance, etc.

Were the epidemic to happen to a less pariah-like group, I think it's safe to say that the emphasis would be on solutions rather than containment. If young white women were dying in numbers out of proportion to the general society, we'd bust our butts trying to find a cure. The way we deal with poor black men reminds me of the way poor people with tuberculosis were thrown into "sanitariums" to keep them from the general population. If you had more money, you might get better treatment (think minimum security prisons today, for white collar offenders, or richer yet, you can expect no prison at all). This from Wikipedia:

 Tuberculosis caused the most widespread public concern in the 19th and early 20th centuries as an endemic disease of the urban poor. In 1815, one in four deaths in England was due to "consumption". By 1918, one in six deaths in France was still caused by TB. After determining the disease was contagious in the 1880s, TB was put on a notifiable disease list in Britain, campaigns were started to stop people from spitting in public places, and the infected poor were "encouraged" to enter sanatoria that resembled prisons (the sanatoria for the middle and upper classes offered excellent care and constant medical attention). Whatever the (purported) benefits of the "fresh air" and labor in the sanatoria, even under the best conditions, 50% of those who entered died within five years (circa 1916).
You might think the analogy far-fetched, but I don't think so at all. In fact, I'd take it a step further, and say that what WE, as members of mainstream society, are most scared of is CATCHING the bug, i.e. getting shot ourselves. Thus, containment. We identified the problem, and we don't want it to infect us, but rather than treating it as a sickness in the whole body (society), we've decided to create leper colonies.

And the biggest problem? The president put his finger on it yesterday. It is EXTREMELY hard to tell who has the bug and who doesn't. Therefore, Trayvon or Barak could easily be misdiagnosed by an amateur doctor like George Zimmerman. And since our fear as a culture is outsized, an amateur like George might take them out, rather than risk infection. How would you like to be mistaken for a person contagious with a deadly disease, a/k/a thugism? The stigma could be devastating to your life, social development, self-esteem. Especially if it happens not once or twice, but ALL THE TIME.

Okay, I've taken that line of reasoning far enough. you get the point.

Man Up! gets its dough from none other than the wonder boys Michael Bloomberg and George Soros, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars a year, to find solutions to young mens' struggles that don't resort to incarceration, incarceration, incarceration.  The Young Men's Initiative has this mission statement:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg launched the Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) in August 2011. This cross-agency enterprise is the culmination of 18 months of work, begun when the Mayor committed in his 2010 State of the City address to finding new ways to tackle the crisis affecting young black and Latino men in New York City. Over the next three years, the City will invest a combination of public and private funds, totaling $42 million annually, to support new programs and policies designed to address disparities between young black and Latino men and their peers across numerous outcomes related to education, health, employment and the criminal justice system. These programs and policies will break down barriers to success and help young black and Latino men achieve their professional, educational and personal goals. The Young Men’s Initiative is funded through a combination of city funding and generous contributions from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement at the Open Society Foundation.
It may be a blip, but right now, violent crime is going dramatically down in E.NY (read the article). It's going up around here, and the main culprit is unmediated disputes. I've been paying close attention long enough now to see the pattern, and to expect the story before I even hear the cause of the gunfire. Stuff that should be talked out gets shot out, and everyone's too afraid to intervene.

Any leaders out there going to step up and see that Flatbush gets its share of the latest resources? Anyone?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

New Restaurant "Mountain" Needs Your Help To Get Off the Ground

With just 24 hours left in their Kickstarter Campaign, Ocean Avenue residents Justine and Tom are planning a new restaurant "Mountain," which has the tagline Apothecary Kitchen. You got to see the video to hear it described - it's very unusual but I think I get it! They're both acupuncturists and herbal experts, Tom owned and was chef for a successful '90s West Village restaurant (Miracle Grill) AND they plan to have performances and use fresh and healthy stuff.

So they're locals, and that would be enough for a Q post. BUT they're also negotiating as I write this to move into the old Chinese Restaurant next to the Associated on Franklin near Carroll (903 Franklin). So it's South Franklin, not the much-hyped Franklin north of Eastern Parkway. True commercial pioneers you could call them I suppose, since that stretch is a bit drab at the moment.

View Larger Map
Since they're talking money with the landlord, it looks like they'll need closer to $30,000 than the nearly $23,000 they've raised through this campaign. If you like what you see, please contribute to the creation of the very Zen joint.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Parade Pound?

Hard to say who would do such a thing. A stolen dog ended up being dumped in the Parade Ground, after being dognapped from his owners in Mill Basin earlier this week. Seems the mutt was tossed in the equipment holding area, and was scaring passers by with his heft and size and bark before being identified as a lovable "marshmallow" of a doggy.

Dog is safely back with owner. I'm not an avid dog follower (though my dear old cat Raymond just died, so I do understand pet love), but if someone can explain to me why such a thing happens I'll perhaps be able to make sense of it. Elizabeth C. says they sometimes steal 'em to breed 'em. Is this dog some sort of valuable pure breed? Anyone? Nice mug though!

Elizabeth C.
(the photographer is Elizabeth C. not the dog.
Elizabeth C. is a human being and becoming something of a
Caledonian correspondent of late. Thanks EC!)


Crime Blotter for June

UPDATE 7-18-13: In the 71 Precinct for 2013 to date there were 54 people charged with gun possession 30 guns recovered. In the area the crime report covers 14 people charged, 9 guns recovered

From Crime Fighting Duo Nicole/Vinnie comes the hand-made crime blotter for the 71st Precints "Lefferts" area. If you see something missing, please comment so we can forward to F/M and see why it was left out. They're not infallible of course, but we'd like this to be reasonably accurate, since it's just a chunk of the precinct. Please note that some crimes that feel like they happened near us actually happened in the 70th (southside of Clarkson, Parkside on down) or the 67th (east of Bedford south of Clarkson). There's a few recent crimes from Flatbush reported here, south of the 71. If someone wants to follow N/V's lead for the 70, call the community affairs division of the precinct and speak to either Kim Walker or Dominic Scotto at (718) 851-5557.

 Take it away N/V:

Hi Folks, here is this month's crime report.
Crime Report
June 1 - July 15, 2013

June 4th, 8PM. Flatbush and Lincoln. 14 yr old male robbed of cell phone, 18 yr old female arrested.

June 6th, 11PM. 78 Midwood. Male robbed of cell phone and $100 in cash.

June 9th, 11PM. 1199 Nostrand. Commercial store, robbery and arrest.

June 18th, 6PM. Ocean and Flatbush. Cell phone robbery, 19 yr old male arrested.

June 20th, 9:30PM. Bedford and Hawthorne, cell phone robbery.

June 20th, midnight. 280 Parkside. $120 in cash stolen.

June 21st, 7PM. Lefferts and Rogers. Cell phone taken, male arrested.

June 22nd, 5PM. 75 Hawthorne. Attempted robbery but nothing was taken.

June 22nd, 5:30PM. Midwood and Flatbush. Chain snatching.

June 24th, 6:30pm. Lefferts and New York. Bike stolen.

June 27nd, 8:30PM. Sterling & Rogers. Cell phone snatching.

June 30th, 11PM. Flatbush and Maple. Attempted robbery with simulated firearm, perp ran away.

July 4th, midnight. Flatbush and Ocean Ave. Attempted robbery of a car, three arrests.

July 4th, 5PM. Sterling and Nostrand. $10 taken from victim.

July 5th, 2:30AM. 305 Ocean Ave. Cell phone snatching.

Felony Assaults
June 2nd, 5:30PM. Parkside & Nostrand. Person stabbed.

June 13, 2AM. 354 Rutland. Two people shot over a dispute over a girlfriend. One person is arrested; the other two are still at large.

June 22nd, midnight. 130 Fennimore Street. two males shot, both in the right arm. No arrests, the police know who the shooter is but the victims refuse to ID the shooter.

July 14th, 5AM. Nostrand and Sterling. Victim was attacked by five people. Suffered broken ankle. One person arrested.


June 3rd, 8AM. 122 Fennimore. Perp came in through rear window, took government bonds.

June 4th, 3AM. 59 Hawthorne. Came in through front door. Took unknown property.

June 6th, noon .78 Hawthorn. Came in through front door, took electronics.

June 8th, 8PM. 351 Clarkson. Perp broke into a commercial truck. Took tools.

June 9th,6AM. 711 Flatbush. Came in through rear window, two arrests were made.

June 24th, 7PM. 359 Clarkson. Perp broke into commercial truck. Took tools.

July 5th, 6:30AM. 358 Lincoln Rd. Perp came in through front window and took jewelry and electronics.

July 10th, 2:30PM. 244 Hawthorne. Per came in through window, unknown property taken.

July 11th, 9AM. 611 Flatbush Ave. Came in through front door, took $400 in cash.

Grand Larceny (No physical force between victim and perp)
June 5th, 8PM. Ocean and Flatbush. Cell taken. Arrest made.

June 14th, 8:30PM. Washington and Lefferst. Cell phone taken, arrest was made.

June 28, 6PM. 205 Clarkson. Cell phone taken.

July 7th, 4PM. 199 Parkside. Pickpocket took $120 in cash.

July 14th, 3AM. 321 Clarskon. Took electronics from car.

Grand Larceny Auto
June 26th, 10AM. 1117 Nostrand Ave. 2005 Blue Mercury Grand Marquis stolen. Arrest was made.



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Indigenous Sign Tree of Caledonia

From green thumb Elizabeth C. comes this picture of the rare Sign Tree, thought to be extinct, but apparently thriving in the warm Caledonian sun on Parade Place. The old Caledonian Hospital, soon to be known as 123 on the Park, a major rental project developed by the Chetrit Group, was responsible for the genocide of these trees in pursuit of its healing sap, long sought after by Scottish Vikings for its ability to cure mortal cases of acid reflux and/or persistent hiccups.

The Sign Tree is notable for its specific leaf structure, which often resemble missives from the NYC DOT and NYPD.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Condo going up on NY Ave; Developer Has Heretofore focused on P.Heights

Brownstoner reports that Hello Living, an oddly named developer of lots of apartments (like the one at right on Washington at Pacific)
is going to build at 651 New York Ave at Hawthorne. Is this Lefferts? You be the judge. But I've always liked NY Ave and it's close to Kings County Nurseries and Mama Louisa's sammich shoppe.

Apparently you can buy in to this kind of thing long before they even break ground. Facebook page here. Sounds like a risky leap of faith to me, but it sounds like Brooklyn real estate has flown off its rocker. (A commenter posted this warning story.) If I were looking for a place in the City right now I'd be looking anywhere but brownstone Brooklyn. Partly because it's red hot and I'm accustomed to going with the crowd that goes contrarywise (and we most certainly are a crowd unto ourselves), but there are so many great neighborhoods to discover in Queens, Bronx, YONKERS! Yes, Yonkers. I've been saying it for awhile and I'll say it again. Yonkers is going to be the cutting edge place to be, mark my words (if it isn't already. remember when you read about it in the Old Gray Lady it's already OVER).

Here's B-stoner's pick of the location:

I don't think it's finished yet, unless camping is the new thing in "green" living. I'm a fan of the guy who's reading the sign in the pic thinking "really? they want to build what in the where now?" I guess he doesn't read Brownstoner...

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Shooting on Rutland near Nostrand

Though some of the injuries were severe, it does not appear that anyone will die. 

Three people were shot, two women, one man, when a small get together went terribly wrong. Seems the original guys at the soiree left, then came back with a gun, so it would stand to reason they were upset about something, an offense or dis no doubt, involving matters of amour or lust or turf. These folks were familiar to the cops, and youngish, and while it would be comforting (somewhat) to make sense of all the violence, a gang war perhaps, it would appear that the guns themselves, and a willingness to use them, are the real problem here, no matter what you hear from guns rights activists or racists.

Arguments and resentments are inevitable. Shootings are not. There is an intractable reality, not just around here, but throughout America. that a dispute unchecked must be ultimately expressed with a lethal weapon. There would need to be intermediaries...brave friends, active leaders, "gang interventionists," and ADULTS...real adults - to stop the madness. When none are to be found, we're all treated to the gunfire, and young people are killed, or traumatized, or perhaps worse of all, not cared about at all. Occasionally someone will express concern for the players...mostly, it's just concern for our own safety, and understandably so I suppose.

It's no joke. The answers take courage, and involve engagement - direct engagement. Who are the brave souls to take up the cause? Among my peers, I've met no one. Some of us are meeting to work with the D.A., and that's promising. But what that involves is more enforcement, more toughness, not love or parenting or mentoring or reasoning.

No lessons learned. No warnings heeded. Nobody around, nothing but a "strategic"police tower just yards away, stopping nothing, solving nothing, meaning nothing.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Flatbush Merchant's Association - Take the Survey!

First off, just do it. The survey takes like no time at all. It's desperately needed to get the Merchant's Association along the Flabenue off the ground for real. It's called FEPMA, and it's been on life support for many years. Let's revive it, folks. It's the first step towards a thriving commercial corridor, and I KNOW from the dozens of comments recently that this is vitally important to the vast majority of you. A survey is not much to ask, is it? Pretty please?

Btw, the Pratt Area Community Council is involved now, and that's a big, big plus. They know how to do this stuff, and are consulting with the current FEPMA leaders, to do this thing right.

Here's the whole story from Delroy Wright,

Dear Community Leader:

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Pratt Area Community Council (PACC). PACC is a local non­profit organization that has served the central Brooklyn community for 49 years by developing and managing affordable housing opportunity and by providing direct technical assistance to small businesses. PACC has been very successful in its commercial revitalization initiative for over 15 years. One of PACC’s prominent successes in merchant organizing is the formation of the Fulton Area Business (FAB) Association now called the FAB Alliance Business Improvement District, a public­private partnership that provides extensive supplementary services such as increased sanitation, security, and marketing to the Fulton Street corridor.

With that said, we have asked PACC to initially lead with our initiative to formally organize a merchants association that will work to create a vibrant commercial corridor along Flatbush Avenue. A primary mission of the association will be to strategically plan ways to support the quality businesses and to compliment the current retail mix along Flatbush Avenue. The merchants association will also be instrumental in addressing our neighborhood concerns such as vacancy, foot traffic and littered sidewalks. To further stimulate the development of Flatbush Avenue, the Flatbush Empire Parkside MerchantsAssociation (FEPMA) in collaboration with PACC is now conducting a Commercial Needs Survey.

The Flatbush Avenue Commercial Needs Survey is designed to assess local residentsshopping experiences on Flatbush Avenue and gather their input on what types of businesses are needed/wanted in this area. Simply, this survey will assist in determining what residents enjoy in the neighborhood as well as determine what is lacking. The survey will also help FEPMA and PACC appropriately recruit businesses.

This survey can be found by clicking on the link It takes less than 5 minutes to complete. So please take a moment to read each question carefully and answer to the best of your ability for your entire household. Thank you for your time!

Delroy Wright
Interim President of FEPMA