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, January 17, 2018

What the Zell! Is Hamilton Giving Away His Shot?

This is a longer story, and I'm on a deadline, so I'll cut to the gist. State Senator Jesse Hamilton has his hands full. Had Trump not won the presidency, he may have been able to continue in his Independent Democratic coalition (IDC) and kept his seat without incident. But folks are pissed at Republicans in a way they haven't been for years (well, at least 9). And the fact that Hamilton caucuses with the Repubs to gain more money for the district (and not coincidentally for himself - a chairmanship and all) has not won him many NEW fans. Hamilton was Eric Adams' chosen successor, and Adams himself took a bit of a victory lap when Hamilton won the 20th district, calling himself a Kingmaker. The truth has been a bit more nuanced.

And so this year a challenger is already making noise and raising cash, a young fellow with a terrific name - Zellnor Myrie. I mean, does this guy look like he means business or what? Smart choice posing before the subway station. Who can't relate to that??

Check out his story: Zellnor
I'm gonna be straight with you. I like Jesse. I really do. And I think he's right that when the state's as divided as the country, you need to get creative. And the IDC has done just that. But it's all out war, man. You can't run as a Dem and switch parties just before the election. That was weak. Then trying to claim that only gentrifiers are pissed about it? Fighting words. Not for nothing, Jesse, there's a shit-ton of "gentrifiers" in your district, and more every day. But it's nice to see that his chief opponent is anything but.

This is gonna be interesting y'all.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Then There's This White Guy

The male Homo Sapiens is an odd bird (or, mammal). Over the millenia he has developed many useful traits that have made him the Lord of his destiny. Among them, his fierce tribalism and loyalty (to tribe, not women mind you - his seed must be sown! Or at least shown, right Mr. C.K.?) have allowed him to go into battle for the dumbest of reasons. But each war, however small, has heightened his ability to conquer. In the 20th Century alone he went from single shooting shotguns to nuclear bombs. His intelligence (in certain situations) is clearly superb, though common sense is not his forte.

This fierce tribalism has led him down many ugly paths. Slavery, through the millennia, seems to have been his preferred choice of labor. Female domination and sexual predation has been a near-constant. Subjugation of peoples and whole nations has led him on an inexorable path to destruction, fueled by an insatiable appetite for more, bigger and better. Love continues to hold a premium to this beast, and yet even love takes a back seat to power, greed and good old fashioned fun. And beer.

There are few better examples of this creature's true genetic tendencies than his love of American football. All of the above qualities seem to mingle in the mind of this adult adolescent. And sometimes, as in mob mentality and state brutality, this rushing of hormones mixed with his dominant status provokes outlandish displays of...of...well, we'll let this Minnesota Viking fan tell the story in his own voice. And the fact that the team is called "the Vikings" is an irony not lost on the Q, a longtime fan of the team himself, why, he'll never fully understand. Note: this video is not for the faint of heart, or a New Orleans Saints fan:

For more terrific analysis, here's reader Josh's suggestion (great stuff):

Friday, January 12, 2018

Alicia's Frivolous Lawsuits Keep Losing - Will She Ever Give Up?

At this point, if you haven't been sued by Alicia Boyd you can't rightly call yourself of member of the community. The latest CB9 Chairperson to be targeted by her wrath is Musa Moore - the 4th chair since she started her crusade - and he's shown more patience than most. Having lost nearly every conflict, you'd think she'd sulk away. But like a certain character in the oval office, facing reality is not her strong-suit. Even after being scolded by a judge as she lost her case against ULURP chair Michael Liburd and Moore, she's been telling everyone that Moore is not just in Eric Adams' pocket, he's on his payroll, and that should disqualify him from his chairmanship. Not so, says MM: From CB9:

Below the Headlines the Resistance Is Real

Have you noticed that pretty much every news source covers the same 5-10 stories every single day? Sure they each have their own click-bait headlines and opinions to hawk, but the Trump-centric news cycle is tiresome. He said "what" now? Forget about it. He's a racist, windbag, ass-slapping snake oil salesman. Expect racist, windbag, ass-slapping snake oil salesman nonsense to come out of his mouth. Put a pin in it, and take it out the next time you're considering voting for him or not-voting for his opponent because "they're all the same." And let's vote every last one of the Trumpies out of office.

In the meantime, you have true heroes fighting in the trenches every day to try to get the meat-and-potatoes policy realities out into the public sphere. Like immigration, and the fact that I.C.E. waltzes into town yesterday and grabs a well-respected immigrant activist named Ravi Ragbir in downtown Manhattan and arrests him for apparently no new reason. No 40th district councilperson and supposed immigration champion Mathieu Eugene to be seen. But councilman Jumaane Williams practices some non-violent protest and tries to block the ambulance (why ambulance? to be sneaky Petes?) from taking Ragbir into custody.

If you want some inspiration to start gearing up to take back both houses of congress come hell or high water, just watch and listen to Jumaane as he speaks to Buzzfeed's reporters. Folks, this is a NYC Councilperson. An elected official. And one truly patriotic American.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Sometimes the Numbers Just Don't Add Up

The Q is sad to bid farewell to Video Revival, the non-profit screening room on Rogers just atop Empire Blvd that had a wildly eclectic curatorial flare. Most recently I'd been there for a kids birthday party - talk about perfect! A little movie, a little cake, seats for 30 rowdy 8 year olds. On that model alone you'd think you could make the numbers work. Alas, it was not to be. From the website:
*** We are on a temporary hiatus, though our location at 346 Rogers is now permenatly closed, sign up for the mailing list for more details on upcoming programming and relocation ***
And the Q was preparing to bid adieu to a longtime blogging institution most recently known as BKLNER. (don't forget that period at the end!) Publisher Liena Zagare has been a leader in the local neighborhood news scene since launching Ditmas Park Corner, nee the Ditmas Park Blog, but then Liena went to AOL for a hot minute after selling the blog to AOL's "Patch" and then came back to launch "Corner" which then became an amalgam of blogs covering Kengington to Park Slope and even "Cheaps Head Bay" and calling it Corner Media and (take a breath Tim) and then THAT became BKLNER. - and all was good in the world. Terrific writers and hyper-local news. I know people who are absolutely ADDICTED to the stuff. And why not? If all politics is local, then all news is politics. Or some suchamuch.

Simply put. It takes. Money. To run. A company. And the advertising dollars for local media don't add up much better than for, say, the aforementioned local art movie house. After DNA Info and Gothamist disappeared a couple months ago after workers threatened to unionize, BKLNER. seemed all the more crucial.

So when Liena announced that she'd need to close up shop by end of this year if she didn't reach a threshold of subscribers (or in the parlance of non-profits "donors"). But like some Christmas miracle out of "It's a Wonderful Life" nearly 2000 hearty souls whipped out their plastic to sign up to make payments as low as $2 a month to keep the enterprise going - for now.

And to roll with this theme the Q just noticed that relatively longtime falafel stop NY Halal & Co just became Atomic Wings, probably to boost numbers. Shrewd move methinks. Folks love wings, even when they look like warmed over schmegg. Think on it. Someone had to actually stage and take this picture, and conclude it was a winner:

And tonight, the joint was still serving curries and lamb over rice. So maybe they're going to cash in on the Atomic chain name while still serving their Halal standbys. Apparently Atomic Wings is one of those joints that co-exists anyway. Like, you can be both an Atomic Wings and the Local Bar, or Atomic Wings and Le Haberdashery.

The Q's a big boy and he loves crappy food. But quite honestly, that picture is giving me a hankering for a fast at least til the break of said fast. As in, nighty night.

. ?

Friday, January 5, 2018

Bob Thomason - Ninety Is the New Eighty In Twenty Eighteen

If you've used the term PLG to describe your neighborhood, there's one man you can thank (or curse) for the name more than any other. He's longtime resident Bob Thomason, who helped start the Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood Association darn near 50 years ago (hold crap). And while not everyone latched onto the neighborhood name, Bob latched onto the neighborhood and stayed involved through good times and bad, often invoking the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. at functions big and small. He's delightful. And this post is most definitely NOT in memory. Dude still has a lot of kick lift.

You can call him Mr. PLG

Long-time PLG resident and community activist Bob Thomason turned 90 on December 29. Bob and his wife Jane moved to PLG in the mid 60s with a dream of helping create a community where people of all races and backgrounds could live side by side. To that end, Bob helped found the Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood Association (PLGNA). In 1973, PLGNA became involved in a landmark legal battle to combat redlining. Over the years, it has helped tenants to organize unions and blocks to form associations; supported safety programs; transported seniors; developed youth programs; and served as an umbrella organization for other neighborhood groups. Bob has been there every step of the way, putting into practice his deep faith and belief that all our lives are richer when lived together.

Besides creating community, Bob's other great love is cycling. He pedaled across America, from New York to San Diego, at age 61 and he's never stopped. He's seen the world on his two-wheeler, taking solo trips of three months or more to China, Japan, Germany, and the Netherlands, among other places. Although he's slowed down a bit in recent years, you can still find Bob circling Prospect Park and taking overnight trips out of town.

And if you run into Bob on the street, don't be surprised if he offers to sing you a song, usually a selection from the American Songbook. If you are that lucky, please take him up on it. Nothing makes Bob happier, and it's guaranteed to brighten your day as well. He's quite the crooner!

So, Happy Birthday to our friend and neighbor. Bob often says he's aiming for 100. We wish him that and more. And we wish for him, and for all of us, the world that he's envisioned and worked toward for so many years.