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.

Monday, September 8, 2014

This Is How It Happens, When It REALLY Happens

A slow, steady mom-and-pop change from economically depressed and desperate to vibrant and friendly and profitable. Just the natural order of things. Another day in the life of a neighborhood restoring itself to former health, respecting the rich tapestry that is its heritage, while building on what's best.


How's about a full-color digital marketing brochure to sell the displacement of six local businesses into a shiny new walking mall that will "bring the neighborhood together on an artisanal plane." I kid you not, that's what it says on the last page. Read it again. Wow.

Read all about the Bawabeh Brothers development scheme in the Daily News.

By the way, this block is right across the street from the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration complex, the Robert Kennedy approved "Special Impact Program" attempt to bring the neighborhood back from the scourges of the ghetto. What a difference 40 years since its opening makes...I wonder what will become of the BSRC complex itself?

There's no reason to fault or even comment on the company proposing the changes and denigrating the current retailers. It's just biz as usual. Except to say that those who think reinvestment in a community is anything less than coordinated and viral would miss the way Bed-Stuy has been marketed and sold. Perhaps most galling is this statement right on the first page:

"The neighborhood has emerged as a hotspot for arts and culture."

Thank goodness! I imagine then, that artists, musicians and writers will start to take inspiration from this cultural backwater. About time! So little of any worth has come from this god-forsaken hellhole!* Laptoppers, start your operating systems!!! Time to put Bed-Stuy on the map.

*google it. Nope. Nobody. Nothing. And if you include parts of Ft. Greene and Clinton Hill that USED to be known as Bed-Stuy, well, now you really know the meaning of cultural desert.


Anonymous said...

*paging no_slappz*

That last paragraph was pratcially baiting him, Q. ;)

Some amount of change and development is inevitable, etc. However, I can't help but notice at what is being featured (and what is not being featured) in this brochure.

babs said...

I think Suzanne's (Montrose Morris) comments on the Brownstoner blog were, as usual, spot on, and actually cited examples of what could/should be done. Also another commenter's point that these people own several properties in the neighborhood, about which they very obviously care not a fig, was very interesting.

Anonymous said...

re: "another commenter's point that these people own several properties in the neighborhood, about which they very obviously care not a fig, was very interesting."

That undermines the argument that gentrification is about improving (depressed) neighborhoods. If that were one of the primary motivations, these people would have "gentrified" their other properties (like the one that houses the Goodwill Store) already.

babs said...

Disco, very clearly these peoples' objective is maximizing their ROI, not improving anything, and who knows when Goodwill's lease ends?

sc said...

I believe Bawabeh Brothers also owns 15 Ocean Avenue in our neighborhood, this is coincidentally the triangle where the Flatbush Trees are located. Maybe Tim has run into them?

And why do those storefronts in the rendering look like a row of coffins standing on end?

Anonymous said...

Hi, Babs,

Of course these people's main concern isn't "improving" anything (except for their profit margins). I was just poking holes in the common argument(s) that some people (like no_slappz) like to make about gentrification. :)