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 28, 2015

Refresh the Seal

From a neighbor came a note so utterly unexpected, I just had to post on his behalf. Thanks Chris! I can honestly say this was way, way, way off my radar. It's this kind of thing that makes me so glad I started a blog in the first place.

are those squirrels getting caught in a Dutch windmill? and a yo-yo in the hand of Dutch-man?

As a candidate in the 2014 New York City mayoral race, Bill de Blasio deployed a campaign strategy that vocalized the polarization of the City of New York. Like the Dickensian portrayal of conflict between French peasantry and aristocracy, Candidate de Blasio’s iteration of class in contention called attention to the expansion of the “inequality gap” after the Great Recession of 2008. Pointing to the recovery of Wall Street on one hand and the struggle of millions of New Yorkers on the other, Candidate de Blasio was buoyed to Mayor de Blasio.

In the infancy of his first term, Mayor de Blasio announced the intent of his administration to refresh the relationship between the City of New York and its constituents. At his Inauguration, the newly sworn-in mayor promised to “give life to the hope of so many in our city.” A series of launches in 2014 further revealed the content of his intent- the signing of legislation to lower the citywide speed limit to 25 miles per hour, the re-commitment to reducing the homeless veteran population to zero by the end of 2015, and the initiative to impact student learning in 94 of the City’s most troubled schools.

The Mayor’s “refresh strategy” reveals the absence of an intention to refresh the Seal of the City of New York, the hub of government and the City itself. Like the contestation for place (equitable vs. biased, zero vs. multiple, renewal vs. exhaustion), the Seal depicts a cosmos in contention. When examining the Shield, does the windmill resemble St. Andrew’s Cross (“saltire wise”) or the gammadion cross? Does the Latin Motto translate, “The Seal of the City of New York” or “The Seal of the new City of York”? And is the “American Eagle with wings displayed” in flight or alighting “upon a hemisphere”?

On the 100th anniversary of the unanimous decision by the Board of Aldermen to re-establish the Seal of the City of New York, refreshing the Seal provides the Mayor and City Council with the opportunity to jointly demonstrate their commitment to reconciling the two cities. The following three recommendations provide a start:
  1. Clarify, the custodial duties of the Office of the Clerk to ensure the standardization of the Seal; too many variations of the Seal exist in the City;
  2. Update, the visual appearance of the Seal to reflect modern heraldic practice; in its current iteration, the Seal appears two-dimensional and unfinished; and
  3. Commemorate, the sovereignty of the City of New York through an annual flag day on the 15th day of June; the federal government celebrates the Declaration of Independence annually through the 4th of July holiday.
The reconciliation of polarity in the City of New York through a refreshed Seal will not only institutionalize the Mayor’s “One City”, it will energize constituents and inspire other big cities to do the same. Mayor de Blasio demonstrated in his first year that 2014 was the year of refreshing relationships. 2015 ought to be the year to: Refresh The Seal!
Meet in The Middle,

ChrisM Jones 
Light Makes Right
Centennial Anniversary of the Seal of the City of New York
June 24, 2015


Anonymous said...

Judging from the clickbait headline I thought this post would include footage of a Prospect Park Zoo seal drinking Gatorade.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

By gum, that's the EXACT image we need to update the seal, not this Indian/Dutchman stuff. Maybe a Snapple though, or a Vitamin Water.

Perhaps to update things a bit, we could sell sponsorship of the Seal of NY, make a little coin.

How about "CitiSeal?"

Anonymous said...

I like it. Seals heal.

You know that comment I submitted this morning Q? About a little more Malcolm and a little less Imani Henry? I know it was raw but people need to hear that shit man. Disappointed you didn't post it. Debate is debate, no? Not too late. Let people decide for themselves, right? Anyway, your call of course. Stay safe. Clarkson's hot these days. Later.

Anonymous said...

Step 1 - Click "clickbait" article.

Step 2 - Think of a response to write.

Step 3 - Write a comment on "clickbait" by lamenting about how you were fooled into clicking the article without actually reading the post which would have given you a better sense of what you are clicking.

Step 4 - Post the comment.

Step 5 - Find another way to kill boredom.

Bob Marvin said...

IIRC the seal was last "refreshed" 30+ years ago when then City Council President Paul O'Dwyer stuck it to the Brits by getting the date changed from 1664 to 1625 (the first date being when the British sailed into the harbor,d took New Amsterdam from the Dutch, and changed the name; the second, the founding of New Amsterdam).

ChrisM Jones said...

I find it a matter of synchronicity that the debate involving the significance of flags (i.e. Confederate flag) occurred on the same day as the centennial anniversary of the adoption of the seal and flag of the City of New York.

Chris McDonald Jones said...

The seal has been refreshed!: