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, November 27, 2016

a sunday in the life, part I

So many things happening all at once, it's hard to keep track of it all. I'll leave it to others to parse the meaning, the unprecedented and unpresidential meaning of calling into question the legitimacy of the voters - AFTER having won. Trump says millions voted illegally. That's a mindfuck, that, a symbol of the illogical future we're about to endure. The vote was rigged; I won. Wow. Just wow. My blood is boiling over anew. To other things...

I set out today to celebrate the opening of perhaps the most anticipated new shoppe in the nabe in years, maybe decades. A bonafide bookstore, one with a conscience and smarts, co-owned by a local to boot. Rebecca Fitting and her gang of loyal accomplices have done it. They've thrown open their doors at the base of the once infamous and now familiar 626 Flatbush. By hosting both the Maple Street School AND the beloved Greenlight Bookstore, plus leasing a couple dozen considerably below-market rentals within, developer Hudson has struck a balance that may well take some of the sting out of the monstrosity that looms over Lefferts and Park. Personally I'll never forgive the shock to the view from within the park, but future generations will undoubtedly see it as it is as it was and ever shall be. Thus, the Q continues to become one of the old farts who pines for the good ol' days. Though in this case, the old days meant a shitty parking lot and crumbling medical arts building. But they were OURS goddammit! I even parked there once!

the view from inside Greenlight Books, at, what else, 626 Flatbush
 Now that the Q's head is full of zoning info, he can't help but see sites like the Associated as ripe for the picking. Knocking down this "taxpayer," now that prices have reached a premium seems like the most logical next step for the current or future landowner. It's zoned for a nice big residential structure with commercial on the ground floor, after all.

Couldn't help admiring Lily and Blessings and her terrific jazzy brunchness. Dinner's delicious too, and you can even drink vino there now:

Lily and "some other Lady" looking sassy

they were damn good too, and not too loud. Nothing ruins brunch like a saxophone.

Westbury Inn and El Castillo now seem like old friends.

Then I dropped off Lil' Miss Clarkson Flatbed Jr. at a playdate and came back to yet another hurumph about the election, and decided to ride around and document my changing environs.

soon to be demolished on my block

the church, too

a reminder of what you can build on a single narrow lot

recently demolished, still on Clarkson. I've barely started my ride.

This is what you can do with two adjacent lots, and here it comes
Then I started musing on the remarkably diverse new offerings coming at you from a truly lovely cast of neighborhood characters, from wine to desserts to all manner of food and fun, as I rode up and down Rogers and Nostrand, both busting with new bizzes of the last year or so. Like:

Dedicated to health & community

Stellar wine store and hopefully a rebound for Streetsweeper after a fire

went to a bidet party for kids at this place - real nice, on Rogers. Called...Inspire?

okay they've been around awhile. just pluggin' here.

keeps getting better, Gratitude cum PLG Coffee Haus

this place is opening soon and its gonna be AWEsome

Here's Boucan on the inside. Beer & wine natch.

Ahh. Pels. Lovin' it. Been noticing more patrons each time I ride by.

That dance place with the KILLER mural on the gate. Called AbunDance I believe

Taste o' Brooklyn y'alls. Has quite a few fans on the online

Blue Sky Bakery, no?

No "bad hombres" here. Just solid tacos and burritos

new joint? new sign? Love the logo.

Two killer spots, one new one old - Michael Allen and Lindiwe's Ceramics

More to come. Nighty night.


Anonymous said...

626 Flatbush is far more easy on the eyes than those awful condos they put on narrow lots you show renderings for. The little old houses aren't masterpieces but at least replace them with better looking buildings. There are some decent historic repro condos going up in some places. Can't we ask developers to do the same here? That's my problem with a protest that can't win, the attempt to stop all new buildings everywhere, the result that we can't form a good relationship with developers and influence the design of the new building. Change zoning yes, but at times when it's inevitable, then change the look of the building.

Curious31 said...

I wish Blue Sky didn't close so early, but then again they tend to run out of their small selection of pastries rather early. I'm keen to try out Michael Allen's as I only recently re-discovered them whilst returning home from work on Halloween after missing my stop and ending up at Winthrop!

Anonymous said...

You went to a bidet party for kids!? What an unusual new business.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Never too early to l'arn them on the ways of the Mother Continent my good man.

Anonymous said...

The Associated is probably pretty safe, for now... It's current lot is zoned as commercial office (costs a little extra for the paperwork to change this over) with only 3.44 for residential, which is the same that 626 has. But their lot size, most important factor with FAR, is 52,265 compared to 19,650. So they would never be able to get a building like 626 on that area. 626 has roughly 225,000 SQFT and the associated could only ever be roughly 85,000. You could see something in line with the Lincoln Road building by the train, especially when you take a couple other factors into consideration like sky exposure plane and street frontage requirements. It will happen eventually, and could happen without really losing the ground floor grocery store, but I think you're looking at close to a decade before someone makes that jump.

Jacob said...

I agree with the first commenter.
Actually if we really wanted to change the way new buildings look, we have to convince developers that they will get higher rents for a building that looks a certain way. This is why we have so many ridiculous "neo-medieval" 1920s buildings lining Ocean Ave (which I love) - that was considered "high class" to the folks fleeing the Lower East Side for Flatbush. Knights and shields and crests and Sherwood Forrest.
Some misguided developer in Bushwick just created a "subway-themed" building. Bleh.
Get Hannah Horbach to devote an episode of Girls to how she loves her historically reproduced faux-brownstone condo and you are set.

Jacob said...

The building housing the Rite Aid just south of the Dutch Reformed Church, on Flatbush below Church, recently sold for $8.5m. Back of the napkin calculations indicate it could be a 8-10 story building with retail on the bottom and 100 units up top. But it's probably pretty profitable to just leave as is for a while. Heavily trafficked area.