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.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Join the Effort to Rehab Those Crazy Metal Flatbush Trees!
Paint 'em. Knock out the dings (there are a few) and paint 'em. Our lovely district manager Pearl Miles just said "go for it, I took care of it," which means she's got the necessary approval. It don't matter who originally did them or that it's on MTA or City property. All we got to do is go out there and do it. If the original street team that did it wants to surface and say they'll take care of it, then fine. But frankly you're a little late to the task! No one I know has been able to find a record of who originally made the things, so we'll just take a little artistic-conservation license to the task.
Now I'm not going out there all Banksy style in the cover of night and splash some $2 a gallon spritzer on them. It would need to be good paint, a good replacement green, and we'd have to have someone skilled to do the stenciling part. We need someone with some experience in these matters to take the helm - maybe PLG Arts wants to do it? I'd prefer not to get all bureaucratic about it, but if there's a real will out there to do it then I'm happy to help in the background or cede entirely. If you're into it, comment here and/or shoot me an email. We'll have ONE meeting about it (so many meetings these days), we'll set a date (maybe a Sunday in November?) and we'll paint the damn things.
Posted by Clarkson FlatBed at 2:54 PM
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I do know what agency created the trees and is in charge of them.
The trees were approved by and are the charge of the NYC Design Commission (formerly the Art Commission of the City of New York). They were created by Gottschalk + Ash Limited, Design Consultants in 1979. The application came from the Bureau of Highway Operations which is a division of the New York City Department of Transportation.
As a piece of art approved by the NYC Design Commission, this makes getting authorization to do anything with them very complicated. I am highly doubtful that the necessary permissions were obtained by Pearl.
That being said... she's the one saying "go for it" and since they have been abandoned for all intents and purposes, I don't think anyone from the aforementioned agencies is going to notice or care.
Basically what she's saying is she'll keep the heat off our back while we do the deed - and the CB will back us up if someone gets pissed. Which they won't.
Mr. PLOG...are you saying you'll take the lead? :)
I think it's pretty important that we go for a restoration, nothing super new. That way if someone DOES surface, we won't have altered their vision. Agree?
"Maybe PLG Arts wants to do it?" Great idea, but I think the visual arts component of PLG Arts has his (in other words my)hands full planning our group pop-up show starting on Oct.30th:-) It would probably be too cold after that. Go for it Mr. F Flat B!--if it's not doned before the spring I'd be happy to help then.
If you can get all the authorization and approval from parties to execute this idea, I would love to design/paint the new sign once it is resurfaced, or at least help out, if paint is provided. Please keep me updated about the progress of this idea.
Why not ask for submission of sketches from artists and create a panel drawn from PLG Arts and the community to choose a design? You might get really great submissions from all over NYC actually.
This is great news. Wouldn't it be cool if they were REAL trees though? ;-)
In theory, creating a competition for designs is cool. That's a lot more effort than what I'm describing, and could be taken up by a group that could get more proper permissions etc. But those trees have been there for over 30 years, love or loathe, and I think that a rehab would respect the original vision (which already has a kitschy appeal that will likely only grow with time) while giving the world a sense that we in Flatbush give a sh*t about our neighborhood. Really, I'm talking about have ladder, paint and hammer will travel. Don't get me wrong...longrange vision is needed, and CB9 keeps hammering away to get the rights to the whole parking lot to create a little garden, maybe with newly commissioned sculpture. So perhaps there's room for BOTH a short and longterm solution.
If I buy the paint, can I choose the colors? Autumnal?
I vote for removing the obvious patch job panel from damage to the bottom right corner of the far right tree. There may need to be some bondo work to that tree though seeing as how it must have been hit by a large truck.
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