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, June 20, 2018

Important Things - BBG & House Race

So tonight, if you can handle the heat (and I know you can), head up to the School of the Deaf. That's right, up on Eastern Parkway just east of the Brooklyn Museum. And if you've been blessed with good hearing, bring earplugs, because Alicia Boyd and MTOPP and her other acronym FLAC (Seriously, Flower Lovers Against Change or somesuch) are hosting a meeting on the upcoming rezoning requests at the border of the Botanic Garden. Make no mistake. These are massive projects that will lead to a serious change for the recently purchased parcels at the Spice Factory and up by Tivoli Tower. Since CB9 (and yours truly) were squashed by MTOPP (with indirect help from the Borough President and his henchwoman Ingrid) regarding a residential redevelopment compromise plan, developers are doing exactly what you'd expect. Purchasing potentially lucrative lots and applying for rezoning - project by project. We're seeing a number of plans crop up north of Empire, and soon enough you'll certainly see plans for redevelopment from the Wendy's to Utica Avenue. It's merely a matter of timing.

If you haven't been following, I realize that's a lot to take in. It's all documented in the archives here on the ol' tyme blogge, so if you have any doubts, it's all there for the perusing (search Cornell Realty for instance). Here's Boyd's poster that blatantly misrepresents the projects, but, I for one am glad the public is being warned of the impending new micro-neighborhood being planned in SoCro (no, I didn't just write that, and I never would). The project won't look as ominous as this, but yeah it'll change the view from the garden considerably, though you can pretty much ignore the nonsense about shadows. It really won't make much of a difference - not even noticeable except in early mornings when the garden isn't even open, and only at certain times of the year. (If you'd like to see the entire rezoning application and environmental study, just shoot me an email.)

And if you haven't met the charming man running against Yvette Clarke in our district, by all means come out to see and hear Adem Bunkeddeko at my dear namesake Q at Parkside from 7:30 to around 8:30 tomorrow (Thursday) morning. These rush-hour train handshakes 'n' flyerings are a big part of Adem's strategy - to hook every un-beholden-to-Clarke voter and convince them that a) Adem's not a creepy serial killer type and b) he might actually DO something with his gig in D.C. And c) he's young, and it's time to give the next generation their chance, cuz god knows MY generation fucked things up royally in just about every category. But what can you expect, when we started out jaded and listening to Grunge? Or more damning, dancing to Public Enemy and NWA and not doing a damn thing to improve racial justice. Terrible track record. And don't give me that 9/11 changed everything line. If anything, it should've galvanized, not hypnotized.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Old Gray Lady Comes Out For Adem

Well, well, well. Now THIS is interesting. The NY Times likes Adem Bunkeddeko against incumbent Yvette Clarke. Big news y'all. Big news indeed.
pic: Damon Winter for NY Times
The Q met Adem last week - the guy is cool as a cucumber in the crisper. Smart, young and boasting an immigrant-from-Uganda story that boggles the brain of this Entitled White Man from the Midwest (EWMM - pronounced Yewm).

In other words...he will undoubtedly do better than our current ho-hum Congresswoman, whom I must say in nearly 10 years of dicking around in politics here in the 'Bush, I've seen but twice. Pleasant enough...but it's time to move away from the Clarke Dynasty and give the kids a chance to shine. And if Adem takes his cues from another community organizer who used his easy-going manner to breeze to the stratosphere...

Look, he's going to vote the way you want him to, and that's really all you're getting from Yvette at this point. The Q's All In For Adem (AIFA).

Parkside-a-Palooza - This Saturday

Be part of the magic. It used to was a big slab of nothing, til your neighbors the Parkside Committee got together and turned it into an urban oasis, or urbanasis.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Don't Miss This NY Times Piece - Dollar Vans Up Close & Personal

My corner, from the Woodruff chess playing side
Neighbor Edu Bayer took the pictures. Ironically I'd JUST met him, then this came out, the most human and touching look at the City's Dollar Van culture I've ever seen (here in the NY Times). The Q is a huge fan of DV's, even if they cost $2 now (they were a buck when I moved to the 'hood). Yes, a few "cowbody" drivers are terrible aggressive drivers - I make sure I get in vans from one of the main DV companies, and always make sure the van has TLC plates and the driver has the proper registration. If you're in a hurry, or it's late or early or holidays and weekends, the B41 just doesn't cut it. And the DV is always a trip, as well as a cheap, fast trip. I've discovered so much great music by riding them and keeping my ears open.

Congrats to Edu an his wife on the birth of their son. I'm super impressed by Bayer's work, global, political and deep. You can sample on his website. So much talent around here it boggles the mind! Another reason NYC is the most exciting place in the country to live.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Cornering the Market

For so many years, when you thought of the corner of Parkside and Flatbush you thought of and/or/either

  • Popeye's
  • Manssob's Deli that became ParksideZ Deli
  • The Driving School/Bill Pay/Money Order/Notary Public Everything Place
  • The Duane Reade
  • Absurd Traffic and Pedestrian Aggravation
  • First Class Alcoholics Contemplating How To Get Their Next Drink From "First Class" Liquor Store
  • Commuters to and from the Q at Parkside
It's practically a right of passage to become familiar and comfortable with the insanity here. My girls have grown up thinking that the Winthrop to Woodruff stretch of Flatbush is a perfectly normal happenstance of city design, though every once in a Blue Marble I'm struck by just how chaotic is this ode to Jane Jacobsian laissez faire urban coinkidink. Every sort of human, dog and Dollar Van makes its way through this intersection and 99.9% of the time the passage takes place without incident, though a compendium's worth of short stories could be compiled from the multitude of souls present at any given moment.

Lest you get too comfy, here comes the latest test to your nervous system:

More that one Q associate has noted how the ground floor retail space seems destined for a Starbucks. You really can't beat the location, location, location after all. It's "on the way to work" for a couple thousand people each morning. Though let's face it, S-bucks new "anyone can loiter or use the bathroom without paying" policies will probably get a good workout. 

Or maybe we'll get a Hungry Ghost? Have you been to those snooty java joints are? Not the most welcoming of environments, I go say. And if big white male is feeling that way I can't imagine it seems warm and inviting to those who feel marginalized. Just saying. Pretty soon they'll be taking "cards only" like this place I went to in SoHo the other day. Is that even legal not to take legal tender? Seems pretty classist to me, but what does the big straight white male know about such things.

Which makes me think Starbucks is fast becoming the RIGHT sort of business for a neighborhood as diverse as ours. Used to be S-bucks meant gentrification pure and simple. But with solid employee benefits and progressive customer service, not to mention a wildly diverse clientele, I'm actually hoping for a Starbucks here.

That's right. To those of you who think Starbucks is the worst thing that could happen to the neighborhood, I beg to differ. The worst thing that could happen to this neighborhood? Building no more affordable housing. And Ms. Boyd and her evil step-sisters are doing their darndest to see that not a single new home for lower income working people gets built. 

I'll drink a soy mocha latte to that.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Plant Flowers: Tomorrow!

You know you want it. Flowers, that is. Lots of them. All along Ocean Avenue. All you gotta do is come out tomorrow!