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.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Paltrow and Ruffalo and the CB9 Meeting tonight

Sparks were already flying at tonight's Community Board 9 meeting, what with DOT and MTA talking about next summer's rehab of the Franklin Avenue Shuttle and the Krazy Kool Select Bus Service coming to the B44 (Nostrand down, Rogers up). Then, this lady comes in and drops this bombshell:

Gwyneth Paltrow and Mark Ruffalo are shooting a movie on Midwood 2 over the next three days. The production trucks are apparently parked overnight on Empire, but I saw cones blocking parking on Midwood at 10PM tonight.

The movie is apparently called "Thanks for Sharing," and has some sordid plot involving sex-addiction and 12-step programs, and dare we guess, some sort of challenge followed by redemption, lessons learned, and perhaps a little music from Paltrow's husband, whom Jon Pareles of the NY Times apparently once remarked: Coldplay "makes me wish I didn't understand English."

In other CB9 news, we approved recommendations for liquor licenses for a couple new business - including 65 Fen's companion business Delroy's. Two renewal booze apps were given thumbs mostly up, including The Buzz the Caribbean nightclub just up on Empire (Funkmaster Flex was there recently, so you know there was a menopausal crowd for that one) and a joint named Cissy's over on Nostrand. One club's applicant didn't bother showing up, so we relied on the cops report, which led to a near-unanimous stable-on-fire group nay.

Seeds in the Middle reported on their adorable little Farmer's Market over on Lefferts at Albany. It happens every Thursday afternoon - I went over the other day and came home with killer corn and apples. It's a bit of a hike, but it's nice to see what's doing over on the other side of the neighborhood. They're adding a second farmer due to high demand. Seeds in the Middle is worth a look for sure. Maybe they'll open one in front of the Q at Parkside?


Anonymous said...

Good Morning Q,

Was wondering if you or CB9 had any information on Cafe Pomidor the new sandwich shop on the corner of Flatbush and Midwood. I remember everyone was very excited when they put up the sign but in the interceding months have seen 1. nothing that resembles work being done on the location; 2. when the gate is up the same two men can be found sitting inside drinking beers.

There may be a delay in work for reasons unknown to me (licensing is a mystery to me) but I would not put it past our neighborhood for it to be a front for something else. Do you, or any of your readers, have any insight?

Bob Marvin said...

The film shoot is on Midwood II now. What a PITA!

I know all the arguments in favor of these shoots [$$ for the City, jobs, etc.] put, personally, I don't think these should EVER be allowed on residential blocks in NYC--it's not worth inconveniencing thousands of citizens for something so trivial.

At least they don't come to our neighborhood all that often.

Bob Marvin said...

RE: Cafe Pomidor, I suspect they ran out of money after paying for that fancy sign. I think the men hanging out inside most days are the building's super and his friends.

Anonymous said...

Film shoots are briefly annoying to residents sure, but they are here because of the excellent financial incentives offered by the city to Hollywood to shoot in NYC. Film and tv productions with all the out-of-town cast and crew they bring and money they spend benefit any and all kinds of businesses not just film-related ones. Many residents of PLG work in film/tv and rely on the increased production in the city for their livelihood so in my view, our neighborhood especially should be tolerant of film shoots. Signed, one of those residents.

babs said...

Not only do many individuals rely on film and TV shoots for their livelihoods, a number of institutions do as well. The Montauk Club, for example, frequently hosts Boardwalk Empire, and the revenues earned have been quite significant; without them dues would have to be increased rather substantially.

Anonymous said...

Got any info on the "rehab of the Franklin Avenue Shuttle"? Those of us who take this regularly would love to know what they're going to do. Thanks,


Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Babs and Anonymous on this one!

I too am a resident of PLG who works on Film/TV production in NYC. The reason I am fortunate enough to live and invest in this community is because of these somewhat inconvenient shoots.

At last night's meeting a rep from the film relayed that the company will be parking the bulk of their equipment a distance from their Midwood II location on Empire Blvd. In fact, they surveyed the area and chose a location on Empire in front of as many empty storefronts as possible in an effort to minimally impact residents and merchants.

The rep also gave out her phone number for anyone to call with questions or concerns. Additionally, there is always a Locations Dept representative on set to address any concerns of residents or merchants that may arise during the shoot.

While some may consider them to be trivial...I can assure you that the 100 or so professionals who will be guests in our neighborhood for the next few days and their families who depend on them during these frightening times...these shoots are indeed a serious matter.


Anonymous said...

I guess GOOP is better than gunfire so as PLG news goes, I'll take it.

Bob Marvin said...


The film company might have avoided angering so many residents had they not marked so many unnecessary streets for parking restrictions (such as both sides of Bedford, from Rutland to Lincoln, where the signs were only removed last night). It would also have been better had they not posted a non-working number to contact their representative--VERY inept and unprofessional.

BTW,I intended to refer to the dumb comedy they're shooting as "trivial", not the jobs, although I'm not entirely sure that jobs depending largely on harassing many thousands of New Yorkers each year are actually worth preserving

Anonymous said...


I did see on Sunday that the posted signs read no parking Tues beginning at 10 pm and were removed only yesterday. However, I did park there when I got home from work at a little after 7pm.

The handwriting was not very clear on the parking signs, and I would agree that a non working number is unprofessional. Was the number on the letters that were posted also non working? Unfortunately, I did not write down the location reps number that she gave out at the CB9 meeting last night or I would have shared it here.

I will not address the 'harassing' comment as I find it to be an unfair and untrue statement.


Clarkson FlatBed said...

To the Franklin Shuttle question: Work begins in earnest next summer. MTA said there will be a number of remedies for riders - primarily a shuttle bus that makes an odd but fairly similar path to the current S train. The summer timeframe was to alleviate disruption to area students, who make up a significant portion of the ridership. If I recall, the major chunks of the rehab don't start until May 15.

Bob Marvin said...

The film company rep's phone number was actually quite clearly printed--not hand-written. It's being a non-working number was , no doubt, just an error, but it just might be indicative of the contempt the company seems to feel towards residents--those troublesome people who get in the way of their important work.

I'll concede that 'harassing' was a strong word to use and there's room for disagreement about whether or not it's a fair description. We obviously disagree, which is fine. I have no ill will towards you or the members of the film crew, as individuals. I'm more upset by the policy that allows this sort of thing on residential blocks.

babs said...

Gee, Bob, it's a good thing you don't live in Park Slope, Fort Greene, or any of the many neighborhoods where film and TV shoots are common! This is the first time in the seven years I've lived here that I can recall one, and I'm kind of pleased that PLG is ready for its closeup!

babs said...

The film is produced by Ed Norton (among others) and also stars Tim Robbins - I agree that the plot synopsis doesn't make it sound like a very meaningful or world-changing work, but it could be worse - and I'll see it just to see my nabe on film!

Bob Marvin said...

"Gee, Bob, it's a good thing you don't live in Park Slope...."

That's for sure, for many reasons, annoying film shoots being only one of them:-)

BTW I understand that there's another one on Clarkson this week and the Mercedes commercial shot on Midwood II a few years ago was almost as much of a PITA as this shoot.

Anonymous said...

Bob, if it makes you feel any better this production was really not a "PITA" relatively speaking. I have seen way worse many many times. Trust my expertise on it, as a film producer. These guys did a great job keeping the situation minimally inconvenient and they deserve appreciation for that.

Anonymous said...

P.S. As for the economic benefits to the city vs. the number of people at a location that are inconvenienced, the economic benefits last all year (and beyond, in the way having films shoot here highlight the beauty and appeal of our neighborhood) and this shoot lasted 3 days. To ban film/tv shoots in any residential neighborhoods it would drive away a billion dollar industry completely because it's impossible for films never to use residential areas. Thanks to the new Steiner Studios and other sound stages, interiors can be shot there but when they need exteriors or shots that include views out windows they have got to come to residential streets. No way around it. Think about it, never seeing the magical streets of NYC on film ever again? Those are classic images in classic films. It would be tragic. I think if someone doesn't ever want film shoots around they should move to a town nobody wants to put on film. :)

Bob Marvin said...

Actually "Anonymous" 9:52 Am, they HAVE been a little less of a PITA than I anticipated and I've come down, a bit, off the high dudgeon I was on earlier--not so much as to be able to feel a sense of appreciation towards the film makers but I'm somewhat resigned towards their being here and even towards their scheduled return on October 10th. Of course that doesn't mean I'm happy about the film crew's presence and I still hope we don't have any more of this on my block.

Luckily they haven't blocked the way to my house, so I haven't had to be a "bogey" :-)

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