Last weekend's big Flatbush cleanup warmed the Q's heart. Four years ago a bunch of neighbors did a Flatbush cleanup day too. It was a bunch of people I knew who organized it - Skei and Carmen and Babs and others. This time around I had no clue who got the ball rolling, though I'm glad they did. Though I did see this picture with longtime buddies Duane Joseph and Elizabeth C., and of course that was NOT a surprise at all:
tracked down that nasty guy who was dumping construction garbage right onto Rogers? Those were the days my friend...
What was hilarious was when Shelly of Play Kids and the Flatbush merchants association were talking and we both agreed Flatbush has been looking much better than it did even just four years ago. This made me think about how annoyed I'd get when I'd complain about a rash of crime and old-timers would say "yeah but it's WAY better than it used to be." Maybe I'm becoming that guy? Only about trash. Actually, I think crime is a bit less overwhelming too, but I wouldn't say it to a newcomer. Especially someone who's just been mugged. You want sympathy, not "you shoulda seen it back during the crack years."
When the First Annual PLG Cleanup Day happened on April 30, 2011 it was brilliant. So many people came out, and volunteers from Community Groups. Skei had T-Shirts made, the posters were gorgeous. And after all that work I went out on May 1 and wrote this post. Of course we all knew the Flabenue would all go right back to its miserably filthy self, but so soon? At least on this Sunday I did notice a cleaner neighborhood, a hint at what could be.
But the fact is, nothing's going to change big time til we get regular street service, with Doe Fund guys or other BID hires. We have one from Parkside on down (the Flatbush BID), and except for the early hours of the day, it looks pretty damn good for all the traffic we get. The main culprits are the dumping of household trash and the overfilling of bins that's usually the result of the dumping. There's littering, I won't deny it. I pick up a handful every morning on my third of a block towards Flatbush. But a piece here and there isn't the same as a whole basketsworth. That's the kind of thing that makes me feel like no one gives a damn, when of course the reality is that almost everyone gives a damn, but we're held hostage by the few who don't. Give a damn, that is. Give a "damn?" Strange phrase. "Damns for the poor!" "Won't you please give a damn to man without a damn?" "Give a man a damn, he'll care for day. TEACH a man to damn, he'll care for a lifetime."
Damn. I'm outa time. Here's to the dreamers!
The Q at Parkside
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.