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, May 27, 2015

Smile! You're Now a Brochure

NYC is, in many respects, the capital of the world. So it should probably not shock us, even WAY out here in Central Brooklyn, to become a focus of investment in a bizarre, even unprecedented, boom in real estate. But it's still jarring to see something like the below, a marketing piece in The Real Deal designed to spur even more interest in the area. A couple things jumped out at me. Wonder if they will for you too:

First, that picture of the new building on Hawthorne. I forgot how Fedders-esque it was to be. Given its modest nature, can you believe they to rename the neighborhood Heights Park?).

Second, the broker talking about commercial sounds almost activist in his description of how mom and pops are being priced out and displaced. But...wait. He's a broker. Isn't this GOOD news for his business?

Third, what's with the "white collar" "blue collar" figures? They account for 100% of residents in this strange demographics section, which oddly includes no race at all - seems to be hinting at it though. Is this an income thing? Because I can assure you many plumbers and electricians are bringing home more bacon than non-profit office workers. And what do you call the artists, entrepreneurs and the (hello!) unemployed? Well, the artists might be "rainbow collar." Freelancers might be "No Ties, Ever, And We Don't Even Have To Wear Pants To Work" The entrepreneurs might be "bluetooth collar." And the unemployed might be..."no collars?"

Fourth, the neighborhood is depicted as having been wealthy. I would argue that it was never wealthy so much as, maybe, upper middle in places but middle for sure. Professional class. If you take race out of the equation, yes, you could argue that it is returning to its previous class base.

But then it notes that Hispanics, Asians and Carribeans moved in and made it more diverse. How is it that they name Hispanics and Asians, but not African-Americans? No offense, but there's not a lot of Spanish and Chinese spoken around here. It's as if they purposely avoided mentioning black Americans NOT of Caribbean descent. Hmm.


Anonymous said...

Actually on being a wealthy neighborhood, besides Brooklyn Heights, a few blocks on Prospect Park West, and houses in Ditmas and Dyker Heights, PLG historically was kind of pricey compared to most of Brooklyn in the 1940s.

Although I agree, that flyer is awful.

babs said...

See my earlier comments on FB regarding the MANY inaccuracies in this "article," beginning with the fact that absolutely NONE of the "least expensive sales" is anywhere near anyone's conception of this neighborhood's borders. 123 on the Park is not in PLG either, as I've pointed out many times before.

MikeF said...

babs, the real estate industry defines neighborhoods mostly in terms of socio-economics, as oppsed to strict geography.

So, the places they mention are very much in the neighborhood.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Oh boy, Mike. Now you've done it. Babs and Bob Marvin about to open a can of Whup Ass on you. Don't go messin' with the borders!!

MikeF said...

We are all going to have to pitch in to generate excitement in light of MTOPP's failures; I will do what little I can.

babs said...

Not even. He is so not worth the trouble. I've already blocked him on FB & wish I could do so here as well. If you're into it Bob, whip away. I will continue to ignore his very obvious trolling.

Bob Marvin said...

Actually Baby is much stricter about our southern border than I am. I think we agree about our northern border (with Crown Heights) and our eastern border (with East Flatbush /Wingate.

Bob Marvin said...

That should read BABS, not "baby". Predictive keyboards are an invention of the devil!

Christopher said...

The connection to race, real estate development, and neighborhood colonization often comes down to small debates about borders, especially for neighborhoods shifting in economic status. This was the case with the shift from "South Brooklyn" to a all the tiny neighborhood divisions in that area now. This is well documented in literature. In PLG, of course it started with the defining of an historic district out of a neighborhood that had long been considered Flatbush. As I've pointed out before, the Crown Heights branch of BPL is in what some people call Wingate.

Bob Marvin said...

Not quite accurate Christopher. The name "Prospect Lefferts Gardens" was made up c. 1968 by neighborhood residents. long before the establishment of the PLG Historic District in 1979. The "Lefferts Manor name was made up, also by neighborhood residents, in 1919, for a section that had been sub-divided much earlier (in 1893). Both are in Flatbush, but Flatbush, the second largest town in Kings County, prior to its annexation by the City of Brooklyn in 1894, is much too large to be considered a neighborhood.

BTW, the Crown Heights branch of the library is in PLG, not Crown Heights or Wingate (the boundary of which is across New York Avenue.
[And it was just yesterday that I wrote I wasn't so strict about boundaries :-) ]

MikeF said...

Prospect Heights High School is located in Crown Heights.

What are we teaching are children!?