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 4, 2012

A Farewell and a Touch of Hope

Tonight, nearly 300 people converged on 80 Clarkson to pay tribute and to say with tears and anger that they're tired of the same ol' John Wayne/Lil' Wayne nonsense. Relatives of the family said emphatically that this must be the beginning of a new era of cooperation, lest a few gang bangers set the tone and create more fear and chaos. To all of you Q readers who showed up and showed you care, I salute you. It meant SO MUCH to the family. The aunt of the victim made it very clear to me that she so appreciated that the scene wasn't just family and friends but people from all over the 'hood, white black new old, and so many that she didn't even know personally. She kept saying "look what we've done," and she was referring to the huge crowd of people who, despite wildly different backgrounds, all care about the safety of the neighborhood and want to do something about it. When we marched to the Pioneer and back, the very route taken by Fatima Gordon on the night of the shooting, we shut down Clarkson and even the Flabenue came to a grinding halt. If only we can harness the vibe and find a way to shut down the turf wars that seem to have erupted in our midst - not just on Clarkson, mind you, but throughout the western 71st and northern 70th. Here's a video of one of Fatima's best friends reading a poem, and the crowd releasing balloons:

At this point it appears the block association will meet next Thursday the 13th at the lobby of 80 Clarkson, where we'll begin to plot a plan of action to rid the neighborhood of the worst and most frequent offenders. We will listen and learn from longtime residents, many of whom know much better who are the players, what they're up to and how to best engage them, and perhaps we can start to work with the precincts from a place of mutual concern rather than distrust. Hey, it's worth a try.


Ceelledee said...

Job well done! Last night's vigil may well have been the best example of truly collective community action I've seen in all the years I've lived here. RIP in Fatima Gordon; Come together for positive change, PLG!

Alex said...

Wow, I'm very impressed with the turnout! Amazing. Also glad to hear how appreciative the family felt, it's very moving.

I really hope that the "it's better than it used to be" attitude fades, and that our community boards and various committees start to take the issue of crime and safety seriously without judgment of the groups asking for more action.

Tim, as you've noted before, so many of us know not only where drug deals take place, but who the individual dealers are. Picking them up should not be an issue. As a great example, the guy dealing out of a baby carriage on Lincoln Rd. could easily be apprehended and brought up on drug AND child endangerment charges, getting him off the streets. I really hope that the momentum continues and that NYPD can muster a sweep of dealers.

Anonymous said...

I attended the vigil last night. It was a large and racially mixed crowd, which I was glad to see.

Tim - a special thanks goes out to you for keeping us informed and continually pushing for positive change in the nabe.

Anonymous said...

It was a wonderful thing to organize and show up for, to help a grief stricken family heal. And feel a community's sympathetic embrace. Wish I could have made it but had a longstanding plan for the evening. Thanks for posting the video.

Anonymous said...

It was mentioned at the vigil last night that an educational trust was being set up for Fatima's 4-year-old son. Any word on that, or how donations can be made?

Anonymous said...

NYPD has made an arrest in Fatima's murder:

Anonymous said...

What time on the 13th?