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.

Monday, June 7, 2010

If your hometrain is the Q at Parkside, you know this joint

When Mrs. Clarkson FlatBed and I first moved to "Parkside" (aka Caledonia, SW Lefferts, North Flatbush or Fred) neighborhood of Brooklyn in 2003, the Pioneer was not yet the Pioneer, and the well-lit Parkside Deli was still under construction. When it finally opened, it was like a breath of fresh air. It was pretty clean, the sandwiches were fresh, there was a sense of pride and a sunny disposition glowing from the owners and workers. One guy in particular, who went by "John," was super friendly and would talk at length about anything, and he very clearly missed his family in Yemen. Actually, they're pretty much all from Yemen, and most are related. It's best not to pry too much, like I did recently for this blog post. There are probably issues of legality that are best left undisturbed, though I wish I could tell you the name of the family that runs the place.

Back then, the country Yemen was nothing but a blip on my geographic memory. As you probably know, the country has come into a bit of notoriety lately in the American press. But if you're looking to find out more about the ACTUAL people in the ACTUAL country of Yemen, you've got a great resource just two doors down from the Q at Parkside. I have nothing but fond feelings for these gentlemen, and the one young lady who works there sometimes.

Turns out that this is actually the 2nd Parkside Deli. The first burned down about 10 years ago. It used to be essentially attached to the Q at Parkside station, on the other side of the grocery. The whole block apparently burned, perhaps taking with it the businesses that have been vacant for years in the eyesore squatter slum next to the PD's current location. If you want to know more about that disgraceful building, 205 Parkside, check out this post from the fantabulous Hawthorne Street blog: HawthorneStreet. The genius who put up signs offering it up for free needs to be knighted, and I'll be happy to play the Queen.

Last thing I'll say before beddy-bye is this: if you have a question about our neighborhood feel free to send me an email. If I don't know (which i probably won't) I'll post it as an open question and maybe we'll get more of our neighbors out of their laptop shells and onto the blog. It's much more fun when y'all say stuff.

cheerios, CFB (tim)


pizzle said...

any idea how we can get that village voice newspaper stand to get stocked regularly? there is a # for the circulation dept. on the box which i've called a few times to leave messages but i dont think they've ever stocked that box. lets get a valuable resource going here!

g said...

just had to leave a story about the parkside deli. we've lived on parkside for 3 years now, and frequently get lunch from there.

2 years ago on christmas eve i went in for some sandwiches for visiting family members. they were their usual nice selves when i was paying, but then handed me an extra bag. inside was a bottle of wine and a calendar. i was confused, and started to hand it back, when the man behind the counter waved me off and wished me a merry christmas.

great place, great people.

and good to have someone writing about the neighborhood as well. please keep up the good work.

MJMcBee said...

This place won me over when I discovered it carried my favorite Haagen Dazs flavor, chocolate peanut butter, which is always impossible for me to find when I'm jonesin. I told the guy (probably John, the really smiley one) it was my crack, and now every time I go in there I discover he is super stocked with it, therefore so is my freezer (not for long unfortunately for my arteries). I am glad I found such a friendly dealer for my habit!

Kim said...

I'm sorry, but I stopped going in there when the guy at the counter started to get too comfortable and made a lecherous comment to me. I had been going daily with my 3 year old son to get an egg sandwich in the morning. I haven't been back since because he made me so uncomfortable. Yeah, I'm glad the place is there; it definitely serves a purpose, but now I avoid it unless I must go there. Bad taste in my mouth.