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 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.


Anonymous said...

Howard Schultz is minutes away from announcing his plans to run for president. His dilemma is whether to run as a Republican or a Democrat or an Independent. The chatter of Third-Party Candidates is already starting up.

After consuming a few too many lattes he might think he has a shot at actually winning the election and waltzing into the White House. Maybe he's fantasizing about himself as President Barista? But, as the guy who sees the world as a place where some people have bathroom privileges and other don't, he isn't heading for the Oval Office.

On the other hand, he might think of himself as the new Ross Perot, or the new Ralph Nader. He might decide his mission is to unseat Trump by any available means. In that case he'd have to run as an Independent out to capture Republican votes. But then there's Bernie, over there on the other side, pulling votes away from the Democrat. Who might the Democrat be? Al Gore?

Politics has never been so entertaining. Meanwhile, the economy is humming along. While everyone is distracted by tweets, rants, raves and mutterings from the political class, prosperity is growing in all quarters.

Even Twitter, which not long ago looked like it's days were numbered, seems to have turned a corner. The stock is up over 60 percent in the last few months. But they'd better earn some money, or it will return from whence it came.

Now that Schultz is inches from declaring he's in the race, we can say that all coffee is political. He'll open new places everywhere he needs a platform.

Meanwhile, in China he's opening a new Starbucks every 15 hours. I'm sure he'd love to give them US voting privileges. Tariffs? he'll say. No more of those.

babs said...

As someone who rarely carries cash, I'm all for the cards only places. It's also safer for the merchant not to have lots of cash on premises. Not a fan of Starbucks - and I just hope it doesn't pull business away from our local cafes, although it would be nice if some of the regular laptop jockeys did move there.