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.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Accidents and Assault

Word just reached the Q that there was a big accident at just below Lincoln on Flatbush/Washington, near the B Fruitee. Anyone with info please email me.

And from Caton, near PS 249, this bizarre accident wherein man hits parked car and flees, leaving car exactly as it looks here (thanks Elizabeth C):

Plus a local dad got the crap beat out of him near the Q at Prospect Park, on Lincoln Road. Just last evening around 9:30. He was with his 9-year-old son, when the thugs challenged him and he apparently answered back, which gained him kicks and punches worth 13 stiches.


Anonymous said...

Walking down this strip one early evening my wife and I had to side step an erratically walking aggressive drunk man and consequently were yelled at by a young woman "Why you motherf--king white people scared, he ain't gonna hit you.". I can only imagine (but I don't think I have to imagine very hard) what might have been the result if I had responded to her. I have been here for 10 years and it really only seems to get worse. The amount of trash even on Lincoln never seemed so bad as it is now. I feel for the father. He is up against a situation that is almost unfixable. Young men with no fathers creating more young men and women with no fathers. And where is the national media in regards to the murder on Clarkson. I guess it did not happen in a white community so there are no fans to flame. Will Sharpton or Jackson show up on Tuesday?


Brenda from Flatbush said...

As for the Caton Avenue car, we heard this crash the night before last and just figured it was a piece of our house falling off and went back to sleep. Next morning, incredulously, we navigated around the tableau shown here. Brooklyn: Never easy, never dull.

Anonymous said...

I don't know whether the level of crime is actually getting worse--the compstat statistics seem to indicate otherwise (except for the rise of iPhone snatching, of course) but the demographic forces that are at the root of much of the racial tension and anxiety in this neighborhood are only going to increase. THe white population of PLG increased (depending on your census tract) as much as 400% between 2000 and 2010. The black population dropped by almost a third over the same period. If this decade follows a similar pattern (which by every anecdotal indication it will) PLG will no longer be a black-majority neighborhood by 2020. Nearly every apartment and house transfer I've seen in the last 6 years has been whites moving in, blacks moving out. That doubtless creates a huge amount of strain on the people who remain, and it means that encounters like the assault on Lincoln are going to be more frequent. What can be done about it, of course, is hugely complicated, and involves both greater community engagement, greater police engagement, greater protections for renters, and all around more communication between the various constituencies in the neighborhood. It's a tall order, and I'm skeptical that it will happen in a way that's positive all around.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Anon at 5:57. I'd like to thank you for your sober analysis. I've tried to keep those very points at the forefront of my mind as I muse about the neighborhood. It is indeed true that crime, to date, is not significantly worse than five or ten years ago. It has decreased significantly. That probably doesn't matter much to the many people who moved to nabes like ours expecting a quick gentrifying magic act to take the grit out of the sheets. I'm constantly amazed that people move to Flatbush thinking they're moving to a Park Slope-to-be. Maybe that name "Prospect Lefferts Gardens" has something to do with it. Sounds like a gated community in the 'burbs to me.

The racial and cultural change taking place will undoubtedly lead to more, not less, tension. I would like to point out what to me is a HUGE difference between the social dynamics and racial scuffles that explode from time to time and the MONUMENTAL failure to deal with drug gangs. These guys don't seem to give a whit what color anybody is; they've made a Faustian bargain that has very little concern with most of the stuff that gets talked about here and on the listserves and on the playgrounds, including whether one can procure decent cheeses and tapas or find a decent cup of joe that'll let you plug in your MacBook Air. I'm convinced that if we, ALL of us, make it untenable for the gangs to set up shop here, they will leave. I don't know where they'll go, and I don't care. I want us all to feel safe, and I'm tired of pretending that criminal activity is just a by-product of a poor or black neighborhood. I feel like my call to unity has actually gotten people thinking "us against them," and that must be a failure on my part to communicate. We're the VAST, VAST majority here, decent fam-loving left-leaners. If we could just see that, we'd have no problem acting as one. And we might even be able to do it without resorting to Orwellian crackdowns. Am I dreaming?

Anonymous said...

People always conclude the problems are race when the clash is economic. Its economic class differences that are at work. Its a professional class of people moving in and that is what is putting pressure on people. Unfortunately long term, more economically challenged, residents equate it with "white". There are professionals of all races moving in. Its the cheaper rent and housing prices that bring them in. Yes there are more white faces, thats true everywhere now in the city. We have a middle class here now. In the 70's the middle class left.
Drug Dealers: even in the most upwardly mobile neighborhoods (Park Slope), this is the group last to go or die out. It takes enormous pressure on Police and the actual gang members to get them out. I am all for standing ground against them. They prey on fear.

Anonymous said...

this is anon 5:57. fair point by the last commenter about conflating race and class conflict. That the class divide falls along racial lines only serves to compound the problems.

And I agree with Q that the failure of the police to deal with drugs, guns and gangs in our neighborhood is indeed monumental. But it is definitely part of the continuum of a culture of violence, fear and (often justified) distrust of the authorities that is at the root of all these problems.

I'm in this neighborhood for the long haul, as I suspect Q and many of his readers are, and I think the only way we can really move this discussion forward is to have a real, engaged, open and broad-based conversation in our community. I'll be at the vigil tonight.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Sigh. Busted by the p.c. police. I think my thought process was clear and that i was being "cheeky." comment deleted along with my statement about women of all sizes freely shaking what god gave them at the parade. I actually don't even know what the commenter was talking about, but I'm not interested in any fights.

Anonymous said...

My comment was deleted when I cited the author's prior post glorifying "freedom from shame" (a "cheeky" comment about the Parade) and trying to point out a connection between a state of mind that "feels no shame" and acts of thuggery.

This was not to "fight" and was certainly not "PC Police" activity.
But I think that this is a valid, on-point observation that may deserve some reflection.

There is, I think, a "broken window effect" of the soul.

If an individual no longer respects the "uptight" traditions of not cursing in front of children, respecting your neighbor's right not to listen to deafeningly loud music, etc. then you can expect some further degradation in the morals to thuggery of all sorts.

There is no "quick solution" I propose, but if we are going go understand what is happening when a man walking his 9 year old son is taunted, and assaulted for not simply scuttling away, then I think the issue of decent people standing up for civilized standards of behavior is implicated.

So, if you like lots of "freedom from shame" and decry "uptight morality" in all aspects, you should embrace the results.

Anonymous said...

Are there any more details about this assault on Lincoln Road? What exactly happened? What was the police response? Was anyone arrested?

I very nearly avoided a similar situation on Flatbush a month ago, when some obnoxious thug started yelling at me and my wife for standing on the sidewalk (not blocking his way at all) and he started ranting about how white people have no respect for black people, and it's "all gone change real soon." I tried to talk to him calmly, but it was no use. Totally infuriating, and if my wife wasn't there I think I could easily have said something that escalated things in a very bad way.

Anonymous said...

I agree somewhat with the points made by anon 1:45 above regarding the "broken window effect". When somebody dumps trash all over the sidewalk or plays loud music for hours, without any consideration for the neighbors or the neighborhood, then that contributes towards an atmosphere of general lawlessness. Or, at least a sense that the rules that apply are the "rules of the street" and not the rules that apply everywhere else. I think if we want to see fewer incidents like this assault then we also need to make issues of the minor or petty violations to quality of life that give this neighborhood the feeling of a place where a different set of laws apply.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Anon at 2:06 the perp has been identified and the victim considering options.

I would also point out that while the verbal outbursts that single out one's whiteness are horrible BUT nothing that doesn't occur for black folks just as if not more frequently in majority white nabes. It's shitty people acting shittily, and I don't think it should be considered a stand-in for the attitudes of an entire neighborhood. A couple times a year I get some kind of blatantly race-baiting crap yelled at me, but I try not to pay it any mind because I know the action is so anomalous. My reaction, unless the person is frothy or insane, is to say "hey man, put a little love in your heart" and they're so taken aback they practically recoil in and regroup. And anyone around hearing it usually smiles.

However I AM NOT advocating talking back to toughs. I'm a big dude and probably more intimidating than most (though I've never hit anyone in my life). I think our friend who got attacked is very, very aware how ill advised it is to address ignorant rage with anything at all. Just get the heck out and call the cops later if appropriate. It's a hard thing to do when the adrenalin is pumping, but one time on "the other side of the park" I tried to break up a guy slapping around his girlfriend and I had to run like hell from him AND her. I should've just called the police, but I had to play the big shot.