Couldn't help but notice the more frantic than usual hive-like activity at the northwest corner of Flatbush and Woodruff. Turns out longtime neighborhood fixture Aladdin Deli (or K&A if you prefer) is pulling up the stakes and moving to greener pastures. According to the owner, that means Cortelyou Road. On the one hand, I can't blame him. The deli drew the gnarliest clientele. On more than one occasion I was privy to a full-on screaming match that led to brandished baseball bat. But hey, it didn't help that Aladdin et al kept the place poorly lit, barely stocked, unhygienic, and staffed by unfriendly help. On some level, I'll miss Mr. Macho, as I called the swarthy chain-smoking mustachioed man who worked most nights. From May to October he wore just a sleeveless t-shirt, accentuating his machismo by a factor of three, sometimes four. That eastern half of Woodruff is a tough little patch of Caledonia, with a number of halfway house situations and at least one active drug den. A tipster in "the know" tells me the crackheads are out in force just before the sun comes up, right next to the recently shuttered southside deli. All that to say it's unlikely we'll see a wine and tapas place opening in Aladdin's place. And just to milk the Aladdin thing one more time, I'm going to make three wishes: one, that the owner finds what he's looking for down Ditmas way; two, that whoever replaces him stocks ice cream; three, that the cops from the 70th precinct put just a little bit of effort into cleaning up the area.
The well-meaning people living in social service housing don't need the demoralizing influence of Felonious Punks on their path to recovery. Au revoir, Aladdin.
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.