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.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Last Night's Meetings, In a Nutshell

Nutshell, with Nut Still in Shell, Prior to Shelling

Went to the meeting set up by Parks Without Borders and the Prospect Park Alliance. About 40 people showed...seemed light for turnout, not well promoted. The basic idea is that there's money to fund new entrances and perimeter landscaping and wider sidewalks for the Flatbush Avenue side of the Park. I lobbied for a major entrance just north of the zoo, with a clearer zoo entrance. Everyone wanted bikelanes, though that's DOT's bailiwick. Seems like a MAJOR improvement is afoot. I want a 24-hour newstand at that middle entrance. Safer, and you can ride up and get a copy of the New Yorker at 4am when you can't sleep because you're mulling over your bourgeois problems.

Then it was off (on bike, after a near collision at, you guessed it, Washington/Empire, fuck 'em, y'all, someone's gonna get killed real soon.) to the CB9 ULURP meeting, for a terrific presentation by landuse consultant Paul Graziano. The southside of Fenimore has logged its hours researching its houses, and found that they all have deed restrictions limiting to one-family homes. And while a lawsuit could probably prevent a developer tear-down, you have to pay for it, so the good folks of Fenimore want the extra protection the City zoning can provide. The Block Association wants to downzone the south side, Bed to Rog, and while some on the committee felt it was unfair and unwise to open up zoning conversation with the City, even if it's a private application, good-neighborliness prevailed. Three voted against co-applying with Fenimore. But the majority, Q included, sided with the Fen Block Association, many of whom attended and pleaded their case. They have the goods, and have paid the consultant, and should be allowed to get their downzoning, though the Q and others were understandably envious. The Q was additionally saddened to realize that MTOPP has so thoroughly convinced many of your neighbors that ANY collaboration with the City is not in our interest. It's pure bologna, but hey, some people really, really, really like their Sonic burgers and dilapidated warehouse buildings and storage facilities.

Ben Edwards led a discussion of Parkside Ave, Flat to Bed, and their application to Landmark the houses there. Richard Walkes, who wants to landmark a whole swath of the nabe that's NOT currently included in the Historic District (South PLG if you will), felt that it was more practical for the neighborhood to go in together, and he's even created a non-profit to do just that. The CB tabled the vote on whether to support the Parkside application, citing, among other things, the need to hear from the residents themselves, none of whom showed for the meeting.

Two things you may or may not know. Landmarking does not apply to houses only; rent stabilized big apartment buildings can be just as historically significant, often built by noted architects. And it needn't be contiguous old-time buildings - a single modern building does not a landmark neighborhood negate. so if you think you're unworthy of landmarking, take heart. It's not just about how purdy a building is; it's about history and the worthiness of protecting that history going forward. Paul nailed it though - Landmarking and the agency itself, are notoriously capricious. Who knows who will succeed and who will fail? Only time, and a lot of tears, will tell.


Alex said...

I thought that the improvements to the Flatbush side of the park were already confirmed via funding through the BP. Please do not tell me that the new entrances, etc, require "community input."

Clarkson FlatBed said...

they need to cover their ass, alex. this way they can say "we did considerable outreach" and then go ahead and do their thing. I think Christian Zimmerman et al know what they're doing.

Anonymous said...

Two days ago I wrote to the Brooklyn Museum expressing my displeasure with the Flatbush avenue side of their property. There aren't enough garbage cans and the area is fitly and deplorable. As a member I had to voice my opinion on the stark difference between the Washington Avenue/Eastern Parkway side versus Flatbush and Empire side. We're treated like unwanted children by all.

roxv said...

i really wanted to go to that parks meeting, but it started at 6pm! I work 10-7:30 and these local meeting hours just don't work for me usually :(