The Q at Parkside
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.
Friday, November 19, 2010
5 Reasons to Start Going to Your Precinct Council Meetings
1. Two Dollar Turkeys!
At last night's 71st Precinct Meeting (it's YOUR meeting by the way, and open to ALL y'all), the highly entertaining nattily dressed Council President Karl Cohen and the boys raffled off $2 Turkeys donated by community merchants.
2. Get to Know Your Cops!
Living in NYC you're going to have issues with crime from time to time. Sometimes it's serious; sometimes it's just Quality of Life stuff like NLGs (noise, loitering, graffiti). Get to know the guys (and some ladies) who respond to your 911 or 311 calls. It really does make you feel safer to know there are actual people on the other end.
3. Let the Cops Get to Know YOU!
At most precinct meetings, a smattering of people show up - beyond those semi-required to be there, like local officials and their reps. Ask questions. Stay after and get into it with the precinct commander. He's actually very approachable, and despite some of the cops' Staten Island pedigree, they're really very nice people who've taken the time to get to know their constituents. As you can see, I'm trying hard to lose my prejudice against our brothers and sisters from across the Harbor.
4. You're On the Outer Edge of a Precinct - Don't Let Them Forget Us!
It gets complicated. The North side of Clarkson and up, and the north and east of Ocean/Woodruff, is the 71st. The South side of Clarkson heading west and south is the 70th. South and East of Bedford/Clarkson it's the 67th. Here's a map: Precinct Map. So even though you and I are truly neighbors, we're forever torn asunder by this freak of gerrymandering. That means we're like Uranus - way out in the hinterland with a funny name that people like to make fun of. For instance, the 71st Precinct is located at Empire and New York Avenue. Most of the active members of the Community Board 9 and the Precinct Council are based in CROWN HEIGHTS. Say what you will about our bastard neighborhood around the Q at Parkside - but it sure as hell ain't CROWN HEIGHTS. The Heights of Crown are home to a large Lubavitcher community that does a great job of representin' at the meetings, as well they should. There's a lot lighter turnout from PLG, though I gotta hand it to Babs - she was right there in the fray last night clutchin' her ticket like Charlie hoping for a trip to Chocolate Factory!
5. You Get ACTUAL Emails of Your Cops!
I know it's hard to pick up the phone and call the precinct out of the blue. Most of us have become notoriously phone-shy. Now that NYPD uses its own email system, the officers have their own addresses. Vinny Martinos, our head Community Affairs guy, is even putting together an email list to send out a newsletter. Welcome to the 21st Century Guys! Here's two key 71st precinct folks:
Vincent.Martinos@NYPD.org - for Community Affairs matters, or to talk about general stuff
Michael.Falk@NYPD.org - he's in charge of the beat cops on the ground.
See you all, er, those North and East of the corner of Ocean and Woodruff, at the next meeting? It's held the third Thursday of every month at MS61 on the SW corner of Empire and NY Ave. I think I heard that they were going to move the Dec meeting to the 15th...anybody else hear that? I was busy texting somebody when they said it. Remember, I'm not a journalist! Carrie and Charles over at Hawthorne Street are WAY better at getting their facts straight. And that Monk's Trunk is outa sight! Don't let the lack of a storefront put you off. Once you're in there you'd think you at a posh shop on Carnaby street in London. Cheerio!