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, November 8, 2011

TBOC - If You Attend Just One Community Mtg This Fall...Head East TONIGHT!!!!

Tonight. Hawthorne tween Nostrand and New York. St Gabriel's Church. 6:30. Safety. Eric Adams. "Take Back Our Community." Neighbors. What more needs be said?

There's been a lot of blah blah in the 'hood about crime and safety...some based on fact, some based on fear, and some based on good ol' rumor or misinformation. As I've tried to get a handle on where people are coming from on the issue, from newcomers to oldtimers to cops to elected officials to poorer and richer, I've come to the conclusion that the biggest obstacle to getting things done is a lack of unity - speaking with one voice, and asking the cops and City to respond to our requests.

Case in point - the dual meetings on crime that happened a mere two avenues from each other last July. One, organized by PLGNA, led to the formation of a Safety Task Force and new vigor from the Youth Committee. The folks at Nostrand Avenue Merchant's Association organized an effort of their own, and from Senator Eric Adams' own mouth came these words: "Tim, the meeting on Nostrand (at St. Gabriel's) did not reflect the true diversity of this neighborhood." Translation: as in, all the recent gentrifiers went to the PLGNA meeting and either didn't know about or didn't care to partake in the other.

I've got a whole lot to say on the race/class thing, though I've been warned to keep my mouth shut. Actually, that's all the more reason to share openly, but I'm not going to get into it right now because I need to focus on work for a few days before having a second kid, and I needlessly get worked up about offhand comments made on this silly little blog. Suffice to say, I encourage you all to pack your bags and head ALL THE WAY OVER to Hawthorne near Nostrand, for a second and hopefully more "action oriented" meeting with the theme "Stand Together."

I'm not naive enough to think that meetings and plans are going to solve the many problems about which neighbors are concerned. Although I must say these community meetings, held at bedrock neighborhood churches, are great places to hear from people who are perhaps not coming from exactly the same perspective as your closest friends and confidantes. I don't say that to suggest I know any better than you do, learned blog reader that you are...but in a short while I've just learned so much, and continue to feel more jazzed about our neighborhood, the more I get to know where people are coming from. And hey, there's usually a cookie or two on hand, and one thing I've learned in my years on this mortal coil:

Everybody, black-white-brown-rich-poor-PhD-GED-student-bluecollar-pinkcollar-artist-musician-bricklayer-fatman-skinnyman-thief...they ALL like a good cookie.

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