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.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Jamaica's "Queen of Comedy"

A perfect fall day this. Saturday, and the colors are bold and the air crisp. I like that word "crisp." It's like a dyslexic Crips, one of my favorite neighborhood gangs, as they favor the color blue, and incidentally were first called The Cribs back in L.A. when they started because of their young age, but when they started walking with canes (an oddly aristocratic affectation) people started jokingly calling them Crips, for Cripples, though I suspect that the first person to make the Crips joke is no longer with us. The name stuck, and on crisp days like this, I like to imagine that the gang consider a less felonious pursuit, like the elves of Keebler, making cookies, which could be called Crips Crisps. Say that 5 times fast! Heck, that's such a tongue-twister I can't even say it twice slow. But that's the kinda day it is. The sort of day on which even Pepa might pick a peck of pickled peppers.

So I'm walking up Flatbush, past Mansoob's Deli at the corner of Parkside. Don't get me started about this place. It's filthy, and frequented by junkies and lowlifes (lowlives?), but still they frequently have the flavor of ice cream favored by the Mrs., and I find myself supporting them more often than I'd like to admit. And speaking of Crips and my wife (true story), Mrs. Clarkson FlatBed heard someone ask where the Crips hung out and the answer guessed front of Mansoob's. But that's not what this post is about. Actually, what is it about? Oh yes. It's a post about this poster:

My eyes and brain were simply not culturally equipped to handle this image; I had to do some research. Herein, my findings:

A. The, um, striking woman in the picture is a character known as Delcita, who is played by Jamaica's Andrea Wright.

B. The story of her ascent to that island nation's comedic throne is told here, in the Jamaican Gleaner.

C. The Jamaican Gleaner has been continuously published since its founding in 1834, and has a huge role in all aspects of life on the Island.

D. The poster is promoting a purportedly uproarious play called "The Plumber," which you can get a glimpse of here. I'm reminded of Tyler Perry's character Madea. As you can see, the crowd goes crazy for Delcita!

E. Jamaica has a long history of serious and comedic theater, both on the Island and in Britain.

F. Jamaicans love nicknames, and Jamaicans are arguably the most creative linguists in the world, with a wild and wacky playful relationship to the English language. If you want to know more about Jamaican's, I suggest this amazing blog: THINGS JAMAICANS LOVE.

G. This production of "The Plumber" takes place on Columbus Day, which is ironic in as much as that's the day America celebrates the beginning of its colonization, leading to slavery and the slaughter of the New World's indigenous populations.
Though it's safe to say that without those horrors, "The Plumber" would certainly not be happening next weekend.

I ask you once again: is this an amazing neighborhood or what? Shine on Caledonia!

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