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, April 24, 2016


The developer of 626 Flatbush, the 23-story building that we love to hate and hate to love, has released a stunning promo video that reflects the kind of production values typically reserved for Manhattan and, of course, the New Brooklyn of the 'teens.

Believe it or not, y'all, it seems the Q's attention to the video was not the kind intended, and they've since privatized the video. Damn it was good though, video drones and all.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Look Out East Flatbush - Here "We" Come

Happy for them; still, surprised the NY Times is on the case
They're usually behind by a year or two.
That's Linda Jaquez's picture
Never in a million years...but hey if you want a house you gotta start looking outside the "box."

NY Times On House Hunting in E Flatbush

MTOPP Over the Big-Top

At last night's Board meeting - pure hilarity. Alicia and Janine et al offered incoming attendees a "program" for the evening that features yours truly as the "star." Which of course is fitting, given that I'm the "biggest racist" on the board, and thus demand top billing.

And guess what? Stapled to each program was a bag of popcorn. Some of which was Kosher! Bravo.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Nagle's Bagels Coming To Lincoln Road

And they're giving away 10% of net profits to...drum roll...The Parkside Plaza! Now I won't quibble (I will nibble though). It's tough to turn a profit in your first year. BUT if we all agree not to go gluten-free for a year upon Nagle's opening, we stand a pretty good chance of keeping the Plaza rolling in the right direction. Props due to Seth Kaplan and the Lefferts Gardens Facebook community, and of course, the Parkside Committee that defied the odds and created an urban refuge where once there was none. And to think, an actual bagel place in Lefferts. I'm speechless, and feeling brunchy.

Empire Boulevard - What Would We Do Without It?

So many memories. So many cheeseburgers. And so many coffee tables that just didn't fit in the new apartment, but maybe one day! All this and more leads one to the conclusion - do nothing, keep Empire as is, in all its glory, for future generations to enjoy, locked in time. Like a theme park - Colonial Williamsburg or Plymouth Plantations even! Sell tickets! Real life recreations with live actors.

For the past two years, a fight over the future of two blocks of Empire Blvd leading to the Park have turned neighbor against neighbor in an unusually heated argument about a once-arcane subject - zoning. Some see in Empire a place that embodies the sometimes conflicting goals of progress and preservation. What does the Q see? The marvels captured in the pictures below should make the case once and for all that Empire should be enshrined just as it is - a historic district, on the National Register of Historic Places, maybe even a World Heritage Site, or at the very least, an awesome place to snarf a burger and donut after working out at Planet Phitness.

Fine fencing. Keeping the riffraff out, or the delicate beauty in? Nice parking spot!

Where doth yonder doorway lead? To a storage room of earthly delights, no doubt.

Makes me pine for my youth in the glorious Midwest

Seriously, one of my favorite things on Empire - the roof of the Firestone

Yep! That hole at Bedford & Empire Is Yet Another Storage Facility

The irony is too sweet. Supplies, but no actual apartments to speak of.

24-hour access! It's like an emergency room, for bric-a-brac!

Terrific Use of Real Estate Near Park & Garden


A relative newcomer - not but a few steps from the funeral home

Vandals Stole the "E"

Pretty hilarious that there's another BP just around the corner

More underused non-public parking

Awaiting...another storage facility?

A terrific example of mid-century Brutalist crapitecture

Sorry to see Toomey's go. Still, that's one butt-ugly building. Or two.

Amazing. There's actually a strip mall a block from Prospect Park!

Kinda cool carpet place - could go anywhere

Is actual place where people live? Must keep that. Bet they're still stabilized.

Always good to have a pumpin' weekend-only nightclub. Right down from the Botanic Garden.

Sort of nouveau gulag

Windows would absolutely ruin the vibe

Before the internet, there was wheat paste!

A-List Exterminators - 718-908-5933 (in case the sign blows off, bookmark this page for the digits!)

Moved down the road a piece


Such convenience - practically in the schoolyard

What's with the blue chalk markings? Seriously, I don't get it.

It's the leadup to the Park that'll take your breath away

Parking, parking, parking! But you can't park there and go to the park. Or park at night.

Loaded? Oy. Never liked the way USPKH cut up Kar and Ate. Who wants to study Kar Ate?

This gives me an idea. Drive-thru church! Pentecostal Shakes. Baptist Burgers. Prayers on the go!

A little slice of New Orleans, right here on the Empire, next to Phat Albert's rump

Strolling Down the Boulevard. Can't you hear Joni singing "I was a free man in Paris..."

One of just 5,435 DDs in the tristate area!

I'll always have a soft spot for Wendy's and its "biggie" menu items

Dave Thomas was adopted. So was the Q. Little known facts.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Tragedy Strikes Fenimore

Fire. Fast and furious. 203 Fenimore. A 64 year-old woman, Patricia Thomas, was caught in the fire and died. 8 firefighters injured. Dreadful, to say the least. A beautiful day in Lefferts, gone horribly wrong.

pic by Bob Marvin

Pretty sure this is the one, from a google street view:

and now:
trevor kapp for DNAInfo article

Surreal Estate: Homeless Shelter, Now $2500 Rent

More signs of the times.

60 Clarkson. From homeless shelter, to market rate in, what, four months?

And what's the significance, you might ask? These were all big, livable rent stabilized apartments. Homes, as it were. Barry Hersko is moving lickety split towards deregulation. And he's $200 shy of getting there...

Down In Bubbleland

The Q has a problem. Whenever he makes a musical joke in his head he can never undo the damage. When I first saw that the large laundromat at the SW corner of Woodruff and Flatbush would be dubbed Bubbleland, I inserted the famous bit from Bruce Springsteen's "Jungleland" there it will stay, each and every time I read the sign. The place sat quiet for months... and now, BAM! It's Duds in Suds galore.

Welcome to the neighborhood Bubbleland. To think of all the stains that will be removed and collars de-ringed, conversations started and lovers met, it makes one misty. Perhaps a couple will meet, fall in love, get married, have a baby, and name him after the place that they met?

Friday, April 15, 2016

Forcing the Issue

Just sharing a note I sent to members of the ULURP committee. I wonder if we can jumpstart the idea of affordability AND call the question of whether we are really talking about affordable housing, or pure selfish NIMBYism. Curious what Q readers think...

Dear All:

At the next Committee meeting I would like to place a motion on the floor for consideration.
Since to a number we have all questioned the affordability of units that would be built on Empire Blvd, and since the Mayor and Council have placed affordable housing at the top of the agenda, what if we asked for something TRULY radical and progressive.
With support from our elected officials at state, city and federal levels, we could ask that Empire Blvd be a bold new case study for building ALL affordable units. The governments could pool resources to buy up all the commercial land (by eminent domain if necessary) and build low-income housing, real low-income housing. ALL affordable. With height limits, of course.
With a non-profit developer, like CAMBA, we create a model for low income housing in a desirable neighborhood for the first time in decades. Priority could be given for people who are currently living, or have recently been displaced, from CB9.
At the same time, the City should consider the best places to downzone, to address the distress and pressure faced by residents of inner blocks.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Did Mathieu Eugene Fudge His Pledge?

From the Participatory Budgeting requests, our Councilman released the following list of support. But it doesn't add up. As an informed reader points out, we asked for $20,000 for Real-Time Passenger Info, not $200,000. Plus, the Lake Mess Monster was also funded by Brad Lander. Mr. Councilman, we're seriously short here. Are we missing something? Or are you?

DISTRICT 40984 votersCost
1. Computer Lab Updates for Local Schools
(PS 249, PS 245, PS 139, PS 6)
2. Community Barbecue Sites in Prospect Park 522$80,000
3. Gymnasium Upgrades at Erasmus High School 514$150,000
4. Technology Updates for M.S. 2 Parkside Academy 489$35,000
5. Replacement of "Lake Mess Monster" 440$140,000
6. Smartboards for P.S. 92 396$175,000
7. Real-Time Passenger Information 385$200,000

Tonight: Tenant Forum - Spread the Word!

Dull Those Senses With Delicious Intoxicants!

Opens TODAY. Hours are 11-10 M-Sat. 12-9 on Sunday.

Your new wine & spirits store at 492 Flatbush has a tremendous pre-opening "buzz." Pick up a bottle on your way out of the B/Q/S stop at Prospect Park. Tell 'em the Q sent you and get two bottles for the price of one! *

* offer prohibited wherever fine wine is sold.

Swirlie Like a Girlie! Or the Guggenheim separated like an Oreo cookie

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

1-2-3-4-5-6-7 Senses Working Overtime

A wonderful addition to our Flatbush commercial corridor

Did you learn, as did I, that we have 5 senses? To learn otherwise is like a shock to the senses. All 7 of them.

This is one of the things confirmed to me by the excellent Occupational Therapist Beatrice Hector, or Miss Bea, who's shop Sensory Street has greatly enlivened the eastern side of the Flabenue betwixt Parkside and Winthrop - a block, I must say, that's always been a feast for the senses. It's still pretty hectic, but Bea's presence has been terrific, and you should probably know what she does, and the results she can achieve, particularly if you or someone you know has kids (or older adults!) struggling to keep up in one or more areas of physicality. A lot of these sorts of early (or late!) interventions can be covered by insurances or school programs, so by all means stop in for a consultation. Bea grew up right here (on Crooke!) and has the fondest of memories of hanging with her Crooke Girls, going to PS92 and MS61, and later off to Howard University, where she and classmates regularly shaked and baked to a certain Sean Combs, the BMOC at Howard at the time who was nursing some silly aspirations about hitting the big time in the entertainment business. (Did you know he was a Howard man? His parties were legendary, and he dropped out after two years, but he WAS a business major. The name puff came from how he'd huff and puff when he got mad as a kid. Huh. And I always thought it was something else. But then I thought that about Puff the Magic Dragon, too, and PP&M are steadfast in their claim that it has NOTHING to do with cheeba cheeb. Or grass. Or reefer. Or whatever the kids are calling it these days.)

It occurs to me as I age, and as I watch my parents age, that there are a host of activities that we once took for granted that are no longer so easy to, for instance, tackle. For me (and it's not just my weight - I've been this big since college and was medium-okay at playing ball), running, jumping, falling, skating, spelunking, rock climbing, tether-ball, skeet shooting, swashbuckling and Chinese Checkers have all become more difficult and potentially dangerous. Seriously, how many of us are forced to confront the reality of a loved-one's ailing health only after they suffer a severe tumble, often while doing something as basic as walking to the kitchen? That just happened to my aunt, and it was likely her sense of balance and her sense of her body in space that led to her, ahem, downfall. It wasn't pretty, and thank goodness her brother (me Pa) bothered to stop by unannounced. Think about it - as we age, our hearing and sight are likely to decline. So why not assume the other 3? Or rather, 5? Actually, DO assume the others.

Besides touch, smell and taste, what are those others? Why the Vestibular, and Proprioception senses, of course. (Vest and Prope, as I like to call them)
The vestibular system explains the perception of our body in relation to gravity, movement and balance. The vestibular system measures acceleration, g-force, body movements and head position.  Examples of the vestibular system in practice include knowing that you are moving when you are in an elevator, knowing whether you are lying down or sat up, and being able to walk along a balance beam.

Proprioception is the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement.  This sense is very important as it lets us know exactly where our body parts are, how we are positioned in space and to plan our movements.  Examples of our proprioception in practice include being able to clap our hands together with our eyes closed, write with a pencil and apply with correct pressure, and navigate through a narrow space.
How's YOUR vest and prope? For some, these senses are developed early in childhood and happen right on or close to schedule. Sometimes, as with so many other milestones, something goes awry. It's often not such a big deal, but a solid early intervention can make a world of difference. Say your kid doesn't seem able to jump or grasp things. Have 'em checked out, just like you would their sight. Bea's job is to exercise those behaviors in a fun and shame-free environment, important because it's the very fact of doing something over and over that gets abandoned by a kid who feels they can't do something. And that's an unable-to-catch-22, in the awkward parlance of the Q.

So...Bea's cool. Her space is awesome. She's doing an art show of the students soon (the Q will let you know). And she's planning Open Gym sessions on third Saturdays, and she does have a nice safe area for young ones to tumble and play. Let's wish her a long run, shall we? A safe, coordinated run, that leads to a higher quality of life, and the ability to catch buses just as they're about to leave the stop. The Q, I'm sad to say, has stopped running for buses.