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, November 1, 2010

Coop Conundrum

I'll cut to the chase here. I've been a coop member for over 10 years. That's including the 7 I've lived here in the Flatbush Gardens of Lefferts. I have no car, and couldn't afford my mortgage if I had one. But I've never once felt that the Coop was too far or inconvenient. I've found plenty of other reasons to complain about the Coop, but that's never been on my list. Why? I'll show you why...

Next to my wife and daughter, these are my two best buddies. It used to be Q over B41, but now that the limited stops at 7th avenue, it's like Cake or Pie...I just can't decide which I like better.

I was surprised then to learn about the Lefferts Community Food Coop. Don't get me wrong - I think it's great that more people want to get into the whole "know thy food" scene, and it would be amazing to have a joint just a jaunt away. But create a whole coop? Man, that takes gumption. The PSFC has grown organically (hee hee) over nearly 40 years - not without a lot of blood, sweat and tears. The founders and early members ate, drank and slept Coop so that the 15,000 current members can bitch about having to do a fairly pleasant 2 3/4 workslot once a month. You see, here's the little secret that nobody tells you. The VAST majority of Coop members have few or no complaints, enjoy doing their shifts, and get only one make up if they miss a shift because they're on good terms with their squad leader. They love the food, chat leisurely in line, learn about the crazy amazing fresh produce, and joke about the goofy chaos that is now a $40 million a year business but STILL doesn't take credit cards and takes principled stands on things that matter and don't matter and is only now getting rid of its tens of thousands of embarrassing outdated index cards that were often the final arbiter of whether you were suspended or not. And so friggin' get suspended? you work a shift! Big deal. That's the secret. Only the most vocal, selfish and lazy people spend their time complaining ad nauseum. And frankly, we didn't want those douchebags crowding our aisles anyway. If you can afford $10 for a small bag of organic turnips then be my guest - Union Market's owners send their kids to Dalton off folks like you! (Actually, they're apparently really nice people whose kids go to Community Roots public school...and I live in a glass house like Billy Joel, so I shouldn't be throwin' stones. Still...)

I love being bitchy! But that's not my natural state, so let me get back to the point. If you live here, or want to live here, but want to be part of the's easy as a drunken fratboy. The Q or B41 will get you there in 15 minutes. If you do a big shop, ask for a walker who'll take you right to the stop/station by the American Apparel. Or you could always call a car service if you don't have the muscles for even a short schlep.

Speaking of AmAp...I had my first daddy nightmare. Little Mrs. Flatbed (she's 18 months now) comes home one day after high school band practice and announces that she's going to pose as an American Apparel model. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Robert Glynn said...

Growing up on Clarkson, I could never understand how Park Slope became so popular. The equivalents of the Q (or whatever the Brighton line happened to be designated at the time) and the B41 are the F train and the B67. The F line had no express in Brooklyn, and took twice as long to get you into midtown than the Q did. The B67 service was spotty at best and was completely creamed (not that it had a chance) once the B41 ran the limited service. Sure park slope has some niceties that Flatbush and PLG don't, but transportation isn't one of them.

babs said...

It's not easy to become a member of the PSFC - it's way overcrowded, so much so that you literally have "squat" their website on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3 to grab one of the maybe 7 new member orientation slots they post at those times. In the meantime, we at the LCFC (that's Lefferts Community Food Co-op, for those acronym-phobes out there) realize the enormity of our task, but feel it is especially important to bring the values and message of the co-operative business model to members of our community who might not know of/be interested in the PSFC. And, if you're already a PSFC member, you can do your shift here working to organize our co-op. Check out our Facebook page:!/leffertsfoodcoop and Meetup group: for more info/to get involved.

babs said...

I did it! I got in for an orientation at PSFC after weeks of trying! FTOP here I come!