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 5, 2016

Phat Albert Gets In Shape

Phirst, neighborhood phixture Phat Albert opens a gym, right upstairs in phact - Planet Phitness. Then he opens a phreshly appointed co-work space - Brooklyn Commons. It's even got pherns phlushing out its lovely rooph garden. Even the clock on the tower will soon get a phresh phace. Phat itself will be gone soon, and in its place...well, let's just say that the neighborhoods' desires have been registered. He's gonna have to make a profit of course, and Phats is no dummy. He's actually already reached out to TJs. Oh, and he has an actual name.

Jack Srour, son of Albert, has taken the neighborhood by storm, some would say. (Here's my recent post on the rehab - even the clock's getting fixed.) He even lured 10 neighborhood "leaders" (his word, not mine) to a roundtable atop the decaying old Bond Bread factory at the corner of Empire and Flatbush just this past week. What say he? Actually he was mostly interested in hearing what the organizations in the neighborhood wanted from a for-profit co-work space like BKLYN Commons. Reps were there from the PLG Facebook page (Seth Kaplan), the Parkside Committee/CB14 (Duane Joseph), the Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood Association PLGNA and PPEN (Brenda Edwards and Cheryl Sealey), PLG Arts (Noel Hefele and Bob Marvin), the Lefferts Food Coop (Deborah Brinkley), photographers Anton Gold and Luna Solo and more. The upshot? Everyone loves the idea of a night or two a month dedicated to meetings by local groups (free or heavily discounted). This might help groups attract more attendance and set the sort of regularity that helps with planning. In fact, Seth and Jack agreed on a free day for Facebook page members, so if you're not one, head on over to get the skinny (hint: its Thursdays for free first come first serve. You have to be a member though, or say you're a member anyway, unless Facebook is now issuing I.D.'s.) Actually, we've created our own I.D.'s, voluntarily opening up our entire lives to the scrutiny of law enforcement and corporations all in the name of "free" and "ease." That's another story, but it's now being told by researchers and academics and essayists alike and its terrifying or liberating or eh. We're so lulled by capitalist pleasures at this point that we've entirely given over to the system. Who knew? After reading Orwell's 1984 years ago I thought to myself that would never happen. It did. Right here. With nary a shot fired. Gotta go. Just got a text...

Some spaces are still being built-out

A large event space will accommodate bigger meetings, parties etc

From Roof looking towards Tivoli Towers and Ebbets Apartments

Down Flabenue Way - the Car Wash Is Owned By Else-One. Anybody Want A Car Wash?




20 comments:

AlexVee said...

So we *might* be getting a Trader Joe's if the owners can ink a good deal with the company?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Let's put it this way. If it doesn't happen it won't be because the owner doesn't want it to happen, or because he is unaware of the demand. I can see that a beer/food hall of some kind could have potential, but that would benefit a much smaller part of the community. Access to good, cheap food is a no-brainer in my view. Plus tons of decent jobs.

Alex said...

Food hall, yes. A smaller-scale Chelsea Market type thing would be gangbusters, capitalizing on the increase in tourist traffic to BBG, PP and BM. From a business perspective it would be brilliant, but I don't know that it would really be what uber-locals are looking for. Not sure which is more important - a bustling, economy-growing business or something that locals universally cherish.

Anonymous said...

You've mixed up your dystopian authors/books...

You might find this title of interest though - http://www.amazon.com/Exposed-Desire-Disobedience-Digital-Age/dp/0674504577/

Anonymous said...

What about the grocery store they're putting in the new lincoln street apartment building by the Prospect Park stop? Seems like that would be an oversupply of grocery stores?

Anonymous said...

Beer/Food Hall at Phat Albert's. Trader Joe's at Western Beef.

Anonymous said...

No no, AB and her network of donation begging "Action Organizations" will make a stink and TJs will pull out to avoid the bad publicity. Srour is going to have to fight through she who must not be named for anything worthwhile going into Phat Alberts. That being said, I sent a note of encouragement to TJs via their website saying the community and location would be amazing for a TJs. I don't think it could hurt. And lets remember TJs would bring affordable quality food and beverages and TONS of pretty decent jobs to our neighborhood. These pros must outweigh the cons... right?

Anonymous said...

What the fuck even is this post? I'm sure you consider yourself quirky and hilarious but what the fuck is actually happening to the phat albert's building? Cause I can't tell from this junior high style note you've written.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Why not follow the link? Or go into Bklyn Commons and ask for yourself. It's real simple man. They're fixing it up (the Commons) and going to fix the clock and put something in where Phat Alberts is.

As for your attitude, sounds like someone needs a hug.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

The boutique grocer that's going into the new Lincoln Road building is a far cry from TJ's, and considerably more pricey. They will complement, not compete.

Anonymous said...

uhh AB will want a TJs, as it will be positive for her property values & it is an existing lowrise structure.

disco princess said...

re:Beer/Food Hall at Phat Albert's. Trader Joe's at Western Beef.

Actually, Aldi's at Western Beef and TJ's at Phat Albert.

The Aldi's out in Sheepshead Bay seems to be doing okay for itself thus far. A shopper has to get used to 1. inserting a deposit for the shopping cart and 2. bringing one's own bags.

Alex said...

Say what? AB has never protested an amenity that requires no construction. Why would she protest TJ's taking over Western Beef, or something new in the Phat Albert building? Said changes would send her AirBnB income through the roof!

Anonymous said...

Do we really need another beer food hall where drinks and food are even more expensive than the concessions at sporting events which most are no longer able to afford now as well? So confused that Manhattan is now the cheaper option. Even the grand army market is more expensive than Union square.

-josh

esteban girĂ³n said...

Keep an eye on those Srours...down on Empire they are community-minded developers, but on Eastern Parkway they are slumlords who have tried to uproot dozens of residents living there for over 30 years. They seem to have backed off after we openly threatened to picket their stores, so it's nice to know there might be other projects that they want the community to respect that will give us the ability to say, "yeah, that sounds great, but chill on the slumlord front and stop trying to displace our neighbors or those nice community amenities will be getting a picket line." I think that's fair, all things considered. (I reluctantly stopped shopping at Phat Alberts after our member the mighty Dolores told us what kinds of shit she had to deal with...it's hard now that I need new window shades and somewhat affordable bed and bath stuff, but hey, never cross a picket line, right?)

Alex said...

Yea, we do need food halls. Brooklyn has a dearth of decent jobs and a very high unemployment rate. Without growth in actual industry, Brooklyn's best source for cash inflow and local employment is tourism, sadly, and a venue sandwiched between PP and BBG is the perfect spot for one.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

That's why you are a godsend Esteban. The sharing of this kind of information is absolutely essential if we're going to make wise choices about our neighborhood. If you have a list of their buildings that might be a good piece to know and keep an eye on.

babs said...

Food halls are just the NYC version of the mall food courts so many newer residents (and tourists) grew up with - even if they're stocked with "local" firms. I prefer to patronize the individual merchants at their original locations. And the thought of one of them filled with tourists in my neighborhood does not make me happy. The ones in Manhattan terrify me (Eataly is full of screaming tourists; Urban Space Vanderbilt is full of screaming finance bros from JP Morgan Chase). Berg'n however is better - precisely because it is a smaller-scale operation and not so crowded. Something like that could be cool.

Considering that Aldi owns Trader Joe's (and carries very similar merchandise, at even better prices - just different packaging) I doubt they'd open two stores right next to each other. Would love to see Aldi replace Western Beef, though.

I second what Estaban said about the Srours (Albert at least), which is why I'm hesitant to jump on the "this guy just wants to be part of the community" bandwagon (although I don't know him personally and he may be different from his father).

Anonymous said...

I would want Phat Alberts to stay except the goods became worse and the prices higher in the last ten years, noticeably so. But Srour sounds great, maybe he had nothing to do with that. Please no more hipster bars though. Jeez. I'm not priced out of Brooklyn, I'm aged out of Brooklyn. Trader Joes is by far the most affordable and great grocery in Brooklyn. We would be thrilled to shop frequently at one located here. But would not frequent a beer hall. Sorry. We would be too busy heading downtown Brooklyn to the Trader Joes there.

babs said...

"I'm not priced out of Brooklyn, I'm aged out of Brooklyn." I love that comment - I hear you! There are still a few of us hanging on, however.