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, January 30, 2013

A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

The Q gets asked questions through the course of the day. Unfortunately, I don't know all the answers, and as has been proven many times before, even when someone gives me a tip it doesn't always turn out be so. That's why I rely on you all to set me straight if you know better! And it's why I never moderate the comments...though I keep on eye on them for patently offensive or personal nastiness, which frankly rarely happens. Some things that have been dominating the airwaves:

  • Yes, Purpleberry closed. And yes, it reopened with a new look. Check 'em out and share your thoughts here! (Pic below)
  • When the Q surveyed the neighborhood for dead trees a while back, the list went to Pearl Miles who speedily sent them with instructions to parks and their "million trees" initiative. Some were actually planted this winter (Winthrop, in front of PS92), which seems like a strange time to plant, but they will definitely need TLC from the community through the spring, when many other trees are slated for planting. It's all of our jobs to see that they survive.
  • The beat cops are indeed coming, and precinct commander Lewis wants to set up a meeting to introduce them to the community to talk about how it will work. I have plans to meet with him next week, so look here for more info.
  • Those granite blocks at the BP are not really working according to plan. There needs to be more of them, and better located. There's a meeting of the Transportation committee next Monday at CB9 where DOT will be, and we'll share our thoughts about their ineffectiveness.
  • According to a commenter, the speedily constructed strip mall at Bedford and Empire will include a liquor store and 7-11 convenience store. So pick up a pint of Popov and drop it in your Slurpeetm for an inexpensive winter vacation! (no drivin'...)
  • The DOT is also planning a meeting for community input on plans to make Flatbush safer, though nothing is on the books yet.
  • CB9's transportation committee is talking about moving the B41 limited stop to a newly designed spot at the BP at Lincoln. Think about it; fewer pedestrians dodging traffic to get to the subway?
  • There are spaces open on the Community Board, as a few members have been tossed for non-attendance.  I hope a few of you put your hat in the ring; the deadline comes up at the end of February. It's a great way to get to know the workings of government as they relate to our nabe. Applications through your councilperson or borough pres office at
  • Sneaker Store near the north PLG Subway Sandwich shop is closed. A resident notes that after talking to workers, it's merely a renovation.
  • The community service workers helping to clean trash on Flatbush are amazing, and the street looks a million times better when they're out there. Gotta make that permanent!
  • A committee met to determine next steps for the Q at Parkside plaza. DOT has made a tentative commitment to improvements. More info here as it becomes available.
  • This Monday at 7PM, David Eppley will present to the CB9 Transporation/Parks Committees his brilliant idea for the green Flatbush Trees at Flabush/Empire/Ocean. Come by and chime in!
  • Babs noted that the new grocery store at the old Papa & Sons (Lincoln/Flatbush) is NOT owned by Koreans. I was merely speculating, given the proliferation of upscaling happening at greengrocers throughout NYC. No offense intended.
  • I met with the outreach person for new charter school Citizens of the World this morning. It's opening in District 17 this fall, and offers yet another alternative for local parents. I'll post on that soon.
Pictures, pictures, pictures.:

Lincoln Road Vacant Lot In All Its Wintry Glory

The New "Gourmet" Deli In the Making

Purple Berry rotates 90 degrees counterclockwise



Anonymous said...

I was very happy to see Purple Berry reopened. The reconfiguration added tables and chairs for hanging out more comfortably in there. They make excellent hot and hearty breakfast egg sandwiches I used to take advantage of for mornings on the go and I really missed being able to grab one of those. I also like their chicken wrap sandwiches. Which I got yesterday. It was bigger with more chicken in it so they must have made note of customer comments. I've tried hard to like B Fruitee but I'm sorry, somebody needs to be honest, they're disorganized and scattered, it's hard getting answers to questions about the food items on the menu, and worse, the kitchen is really not clean like to an alarming degree. The containers used for smoothies are crusty. I don't know how I am the only one who notices and cares about that.

Anonymous said...

If it's true they are putting a liquor store at Bedford and Empire, then I will be disappointed. There is already one one block away at Empire and Rogers. They couldn't think of anything else to put there?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Judging by the stellar starchitecture, I would guess that "they" have no interest in creativity. They are interested in leasing to people who have money - green money - pure and simple. There is no David Walentas involved here; heck it's not even as creative as Bruce Ratner. The creativity in businesses must come from creative people, who by and large have chosen other neighborhoods over PLG. Which, when you think about it, shows an alarming lack of creativity! It's coming...but there is no one to boost it. The neighborhood, no offense intended, has an astounding lack of leadership. Just try finding someone to take the lead on any of number of fronts as been very, very hard.

Until now. I see a new day dawning. But it takes effort, not just blogs and blog comments.

Peter said...

The liquor store at Empire and Rogers is a dump. If the new place has a decent selection and if the merchandise isn't sheltered behind dirty plexiglass, I think it's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Point taken about the liquor at Empire and Rogers. If duplication of stores isn't an issue, I'd want a small niche grocery store open up on that corner too. I don't like Western Beef; I *never* liked Western Beef and I rarely shop there even though it is one block away from me.

babs said...

I recently discovered that the liquor store on Empire and Rogers carries Mionetto prosecco for $12.99/bottle - that's a few bucks less than stores in Park Slope. At that price I'll put up with the bulletproof glass.

Anonymous said...

There are many residents of PLG who want to help make improvements here but not everyone has the time with work and family to give as many hours as needed or the know how to take the lead on something as huge as this endeavor. Perhaps it's time to hire a PR consultant/ business development leader for PLG to lead the willing residents and at least know there's one person on it full time. Aren't there grants that we can apply for to pay a salary for something like this? Or is this completely out of the realm of reality?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

No, Anon, it's not out of the realm of reality. But to get to the point where someone is hired, local folk must organize and deem it important enough to write the grant, create a BID, meet with leaders and convince them we're worthy, then implement the plan and hire the right person. They're known as "boards" in the non-profit world, and the word translates to "committed volunteer." Once we reach the tipping point of people willing to put in the work, things will start to change and change quickly. If those leaders have the best interest of "all" our honest neighbors, regardless of background, great things can happen, and all boats can rise.

Lest we make the same mistakes, a local group did just that a few years ago. I documented that story in a post here:

It may not end with residents doing all the heavy lifting, but it certainly begins there. There is a fledgling group meeting to find ways to reinvigorate the business environment around here. You can email me if you're interested and I'll hook you up.

By the way, I'm most emphatically not saying that PLG has always lacked leadership. In fact, it was such community heave/ho that kept the neighborhood together during the City's most troubled decades. PLGNA was a thriving multi-dimensional powerhouse once upon a time, til mismanagement caused its collapse. The LMA has always been strong, if understandably reluctant to take on issues outside its well-defined border and mission. There have been elected officials who have shown interest and contributed to the neighborhood, though we are sorely under-represented currently.

We're all busy. We're all over-committed. But I wonder sometimes if the new generation of residents recognizes the historical value of community activism, cohesion and planning. There is something about the new Brooklyn that often seems to say "gimme gimme gimme" what I want, now, because I paid a lot for my property/apartment and I expect a return on that investment. In my opinion, it doesn't work that way. Look to any neighborhood you admire, and behind the scenes you will see strong leaders, groups, schools, volunteers and officials paving the way. And when they strive to bring everyone along for the ride, they can create a new dynamic urbanism worthy of repeating throughout the nation. I'm not kidding; it really is that important to get it right. Future generations depend on how we treat our neighbors, our neighborhood and our City. Unless you plan on merely "moving through" Flatbush on your way to another more desirable locale, I encourage you to find the time to contribute in any way you can. I've met dozens of people doing just that, and they're every bit as busy as you or I.

Ceelledee said...

Very well said, CF!