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, February 24, 2016

Last Night's CB9 Meeting

The Q gets it. You have better things to do with your time than have Cabia Doily's spit get spat on your pate. So here's the deal in a nutshell.

MTOPP/Empire Study Group presented their hopes for Empire, as I've noted previously. Professor Tom Angotti continued his spurious claims that only his version of "planning" is actual planning. He's tussled with NYC City Planning for years about his distaste for new housing, so there's no surprise there that he thinks Planning does not actually plan. Actually, I think he's a bit out of touch, locked in his Ivory tower, having long ago left the NYC agency. In a private aside, he told me that demanding affordable housing from developers is a terrible idea. While I'd agree that the City should do more to build deeply affordable subsidized housing on its own, I hardly see why it's a problem to get some lower-income working-folks housing built during boom times. I guess, as they say, we can agree to disagree? Actually, no, that's not the MTOPP way. There shall be no disagreeing; just shouting and demanding utter allegiance, and there was plenty of THAT last night.

The Brooklyn Flea founder Jonathan Butler was there. The Board voted lopsidedly to support his request for a full liquor license for his Smorgasbord thingy in Prospect Park on summer Sundays. It proved successful last year, though the Q doesn't particularly care for all the new fangled sliders and Korean Tacos and veggie things that really shouldn't be veggie, OR $10. To each his own. I've decided to support any new business, so long as its not run by felons, felon accomplices, or ne'er-do-wells more generally. (see comments for disclaimers on that.)

Blessings got full support for wine and beer license, as did Castillo de Jagua. Both joints are near each other in Lower Flabenue. Lakeside will add outdoor liquor space.

The contentious liquor license app-of-the-eve came from a new restaurant/bar tentatively and poorly monikered Crow Bar. You might recall the gay bar of the same name in Manhattan, but that's not why I say poorly named. If anything we could use a gay bar around here. The Crow Hill area of Crown Heights was named, many say, for the prison that stood there, and was a derogatory reference to black folks. Others contend a less racial derivation, though I'm inclined to side with the story that exposes the worst of human nature. The vote on that one - at 820 Franklin at Union - was 17 yes, 12 no, 5 abstentions. That means there wasn't a majority in favor, so the app did not pass. Or DID it?

Chanina Sperlin contends his vote wasn't counted!
Chanina Sperlin: Did he, or didn't he?

Mr. Sperlin, it must be noted, has a habit of getting up and walking out of the room to take or place phone calls. What to do about the dispute? His name is strikingly similar to Rabbi Spellman's! Was that the cause of confusion? Or was he, as Chair Lawrence contended, out of the room at the time of the vote? Well...there's tons of video tape going on these days. More intrigue...will the video-makers allow the use of their film for this purpose, as it would potentially contradict their desire to see the application rejected?

Oh, the suspense. As Jonathan Butler, who is also the Founder of, said to me - "I've never seen anything like this, anywhere." Well said. The Greatest Show On Earth continues to wow and amaze. No need for elephants or tigers or PETA protests.


roxv said...

embarrassing. i'm pretty indifferent to smorgasburg but i do enjoy the brooklyn flea and would hate to have this CB written off by them :T

also, what about Bluestone's request? will we get our roof patio back so we can drink beer and wine away from the shrieks of playing children?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Bluestone was rock solid - unanimous support. I believe they plan on doing just that, Rox-v. They will also pipe in some prophylactic music that will ensure you never have to endure the shrieking of your own children! You know, mid-period Yes or Kansas.

MikeF said...

It is clear Mr Butler has not attended any prior meetings.

...this sounds like a typical CB9 mtg to me.

DailyFlickNY said...

I was surprised by all the outrage over something so standard as time limits for speakers - what are the decorum rules?

Dave 'Paco' Abraham said...

Perhaps CB9 would benefit from a presentation on classic Robert's Rules of Order. I believe one may leave the room and return, but once the motion is called... if someone leaves the room before their vote is cast, then they have no vote. If there were 17 yes, 12 no, and 5 abstaining... then there is not a majority of yes votes and the motion would fail.

MikeF said...

Roberts Rules of Order?

...those are not for this mtg.

Instead, just distribute copies of Lord Of The Flies to the attendees.

Femi said...

"I've decided to support any new business, so long as its not run by felons, felon accomplices, or ne'er-do-wells more generally."

Random - but why wouldn't you support a business run by a felon? Does an ex-con not deserve a second chance after paying their debt to society?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Femi: I was just being cheeky, but your point is a good one. However, what I should have said was "felons convicted of an act involved in the running a bar." The CB members have made valid points of not wanting to renew or grant licenses to folks who have shown disregard for the rule of law. I tend to agree, though on a case by case basis.

The CB has no say in whether or not anyone opens a business. Only in the granting of liquor licenses. Given the strong connection between bars and crime (white-black-other), I think I side with the cops on this one. Remember, a Felon implies conviction, not just accusation. If the conviction was related to the running of a bar, I gotta say I'm not inclined to support the app.

However, I'm a strong believer in second chances, particularly when it comes to young black men who've been caught up in the prison pipeline.

Alex said...

The CB has INPUT on granting liquor licenses, but ultimately it's up to the state. A CB rejection is not the same as a license rejection or renewal. The state grants licenses despite CB denial all the time.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

True true. I'm finding it harder and harder to figure out what a CB CAN do. I end up putting myself out on a limb, and for what?

Seth said...

A community board can be an advocate for residents and a partner with elected officials.

Conversely, a disorganized or broken CB can be an excuse for government to bypass local participation.

MikeF said...

CB's can provide entertainment. Some are better at it than others.

Anonymous said...

I was hoping they could help address the issue of sewage explosions on my street, but that hope seems to have died when Pearl was ousted.

esteban girĂ³n said...

I have reviewed video of the vote on Tuesday Night, and the count is actually 14-Yes, 15-No, 5-Abstentions. Mr. Sperlin's vote was indeed counted as a "YES" and the above tally reflects that.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Wow. That's not even close to what I heard Demetrius say! That's a very clear NO.

I think it would be fair to say that Mr. Giron's plea and well-reasoned argument against the granting of this license ruled the day. According to a neighbor in the planned bar across the street, a DJ booth was planned directly below her bedroom. If that is indeed true, the bar's claim to not have planned dancing or loud music would be suspect. It remains to be seen whether any of these places make good on their promises to be good neighbors. Isn't it still true that you must obtain a cabaret license to have dancing?

The State Liquor Authority seems inclined to grant licenses regardless of community opposition. Franklin Avenue north of Eastern Parkways has become a nightlife destination as a result. I often wonder why they bother asking for Community Board input in the first place.