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.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

If You Care About the Future of Our Neighborhood, Put November 18th On Your Calendar

The below poster says "you" where the Q would say "our," but the point is to think about the big picture. Want to see less trash? Sick of Voting Problems? More composting? Better school options? New housing? Bike lanes? Fewer bike lanes? New plazas? More affordable housing? Less affordable housing? Policed playgrounds? More bus shelters? Less old-style diesel buses? Repaired streets? Fixed subways? Timed lights? Safer streets? Fewer gangs? More diversity of businesses? Less graffiti? Community centers? Jobs for teens? Caviar Mondays? Dress Up Fridays?

This is about creating a 197a plan for CB9. The City's charter allows communities to make formal recommendations about how the City should allocate resources, handle zoning changes and plan priorities. Such plans have had a huge effect on neighborhoods like Williamsburg/Greenpoint and Greenwich Village. 

Please set aside Sunday November 18th at 2PM at the Botanic Garden. Enjoy FREE access to the garden as well! (BBG is in our Community Board). We need you. We need your input.


Stephanie said...

I'll be there! Question: can this board do anything about encouraging retail in the neighborhood, or is that a different entity?

Play Kids said...

If anyone would like some fliers to place in their building lobby, etc. We have some at Play Kids (676 Flatbush Ave)

Special Request: if you know local youth or you're a parent of a child ages 12 - 16+ please encourage them to come to the forum, we want to hear their opinion on how we can better develop activities for kids their age and hear about their cares & concerns for our area (CB9)

Stephanie, I'm not sure if CB9 is about to encourage business in our area....though it never hurts letting others know what you would like to see here. CAMBA's business development center is located at 884 Flatbush Ave. They have resources to assist business in our area, so they may be a good resource to try. From talking to them the other day they seem very confident that change is in the air over here, maybe they know something I don't.

As a small business owner on Flatbush Ave, I would love to see more business development here as well. If you want to talk sometime about further business development please email me. playkidsstore(at)


Clarkson FlatBed said...

There is an Economic Development committee of the Community Board. It is chaired by Charlene Gayle. Her email is It would be a great place to start new business encouragement, but if the idea is to focus on just Flatbush/Lincoln/Parkside, it might be better to have a small group outside the CB. Not my call of course, but there are people trying to form just such a group. Email me and I'll forward to the organizer.

I'm certain that Shelley will be involved in any such efforts! She's the best, and not shy to take on the powers, or lack of powers, that be. Go Shelley. Actually, go everybody. We're the adults now. It's our neighborhood. We can't be waiting for someone else to make changes for the better.

Play Kids said...

Clarkson FlatBed, think it may be time to gather the masses? Should we be setting a date for a brain storming session? And yes, I do believe I am part of the group you speak of.

I had a conversation this morning with a resident who's lived in the area for many a year, she expressed, just as we've all shared on the blog, the need for more businesses over here, so don't think it's just the "newbies" that have moved in the last few years that feel this way.

Craft store anyone? I can't tell you the number of people I send down to Save-a-Thon...they should be giving me a commission at this point ;)

Anonymous said...

I would not recommend involving the CB in any attempt to draw in new business. "Consensus building" and broad community involvement will undermine efforts.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

I think Anon at 9:13 put it quite well. If you have a specific agenda, why not focus on that, building a coalition of like-minds. On the other hand, if you need CB support for say a zoning variance or liquor license etc. it's always good to have friends in the right places. I think it's generally agreed that there's room for all sorts of businesses in the neighborhood, and that one sort needn't come at the expense of others.

To that point I would add that the oft heard complaint that rents are too high seems a bit overstated. I've heard from some businesses that they've negotiated effectively with landlords (with one obvious exception), and that it's a bit silly to think that commercial real estate on "this" side of the park should somehow be cheaper than similar spaces in other parts of the borough. Landlords get what landlords get, and whether you're making your rent selling wigs, artisanal mayonnaise, dollar goods, dry cleaning, doubles or frogurt makes no difference in dollars and cents. However, some landlords DO see the "type" of business as being part of their longterm strategy, and this is of course where sometimes things get funky and controversial. But that's still entirely a case-by-case thing. If a group is formed that actively courts businesses it likes, the first move would be to engage these landlords, tell them what you're up to, find out about their empty or soon-to-be-empty spaces and host business owners to come and tour the neighborhood. It's worked elsewhere, and could be a fun way to get to know the landlords. Granted many of them won't be interested, but...many of them will. Happy to publicize your efforts, whomever you are, and to whatever (mostly legal), positive and sincere ends.

Rudy on Winthrop said...

I will be there, along with my two grand multi-billion dollar schemes for CB9:

(1) A greenway-cum-bicycle built on top of the Brighton Line subway, a-la Atlantic Yards, all the way from Church to Empire; and

(2) An extension of the S-train to Parkside and, via tunnel, to Ft. Hamilton Pkwy, to join the F.

People, if we do not ask, we shall not receive.