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, August 25, 2013

Tafari Tribe To Open Cafe

Latest news from the Q in exile (back in a couple days y'all): Tafari Tribe, the kickin' boutique at 593 Flatbush, is going to expand next door with a proper cafe. What great news! Cafe Exhale has been exhaling for a couple years now. Time for a deep inward breath. Good luck Sandra and Steadman et al!

Some great intro videos to Tafari Tribe below, though please do visit them in person anytime. The friendly proprietors will be sure to help you find a unique gift. It's a gorgeous store, with great attention paid to every detail.

First up, the impressionistic digital Tafari shopping experience:

And a sweet interview:


Anonymous said...

I love Tafari Tribe and the owners and that's great news. But they deserved a separate post from the stabbing one. Though I'm not saying don't report the stabbing. If somebody wants to start a fluff-blog about PLG where crime isn't discussed nobody is stopping them. Go ahead. This is a privately owned blog and the owner can talk about what he wants.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute, are you meaning to tell me that this stuff is really happening? My mommy told me that if I put my hands over my eyes and sing la la la really loud that nothing bad would ever happen.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me but I think it's extremely important that you continue to mention the crime in this neighborhood. Not only does it exist, but it is a very real part of what we experience here and knowing what is going on and where help to bring more awareness. Please don't let folks living in la-la land control this blog - the fact that the finger of it is on the pulse of the neighborhood is hugely important and if the pulse is violent? Then we should know that.

That said - the Tafari news is thrilling.

Anonymous said...

Jonathan Butler rarely reports anout crime in Clinton Hill on his blog Brownstoner and look how much quickly housing prices have increased there vs here. PLG should be kicking Clinton Hill's ass in terms of housing price appreciation. For example PLG has Prospect Park vs Clinton Hill's Fort Greene Park; PLG has the B/Q/2/5 subway lines vs Clinton Hill's notoriously terrible C and G subway lines.

The reason more people and amenities are not coming to this neighborhood is because of what they read on this blog. I have had several friends consider moving here but they have actually cited articles written on this forum that have dissuaded them from moving even though I tried to allay their fears!!

Q I really think you underestimate ur viewership. U have a ton of outside readers that are considering a move to this lovely neighborhood but are just spooked out of their mind. Try to meet up with Mr. Butler to see how he made Clinton Hill so successful, I guarantee you he will tell u to focus more on the gentrified newsworthy stories and less about piles of garbage. That is how we will get clean streets and less crime here in PLG!!

Anonymous said...

I could not agree more Anon 1:48! This is exactly what we need to do. Positive PR On this blog Mr Q would go a long way towards achieving some of our collective quality of life goals. I am not suggesting we ignore the crime, but how about keeping this info separate and on the Lefferts Watch group? I too have many friends who've considered a move to PLG and then after finding this blog have moved elsewhere and can't understand why we remain here!

Bob Marvin said...

Jon's blog, Brownstoner, is specifically a real estate blog; Tim's isn't. The priorities are very different. TThat being said, I like Brownstoner (and Jonathan Butler) a lot and read his blog daily (as I do this one). However I don't think that Jon can take the credit for "developing" Clinton Hill (which was going along very nicely before he moved there) any more than Tim can be blamed for somehow doing the oposite here.

boleroid said...

It should be noted that when I lived in Clinton Hill, there were other sources covering crime than Brownstoner...such as the NY Times (and the local NYT blog), Gothamist, Brooklyn Eagle, and others. Many of the reporters lived in the neighborhood, and the stadium also put a spotlight on the area. PLG doesn't have anyone else reporting this stuff and it's important for the people who live here to be informed.

It's an interesting conversation, though, and one worth having. But I do think the headline is very unfair to the Tafari folks, who have not stabbed anyone.

John Mark said...

When I lived in Clinton Hill, crime in the area was covered by Gothamist, Brooklyn Eagle, the local NYT blog and the NYT itself. Lots of reporters lived in the area, and there was a spotlight on the neighborhood because of the construction of the stadium. So Brownstoner (which is a real estate site anyway) had no interest in or need to report crime.

Compared to Ft. Greene/Clinton Hill, PLG is ignored by those outlets, and the Q seems to be the only outlet reporting this stuff. It's an interesting conversation and one worth having, I think. And not to put a mission statement in his mouth, but I think of the Q as more of a community blog than a real estate blog.

However, the headline on here is a low blow to the Tafari folks, who have not in fact stabbed anyone.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

It's death to explain the punch line. But I think intelligent readers will understand the dark humor intended by the post and its title and recognize that I have nothing but respect for Tafari Tribe. I put the stories together for effect, not to suggest they have anything to do with one another.

The conversation taking place here confirms a suspicion I had about some gentrifiers - a willful suspension of disbelief in the hopes that things will "change" without so much as lifting a finger or chipping in or developing community. If it's really just a matter of them out, us in, then something valuable gets lost and no one is the better for it.

Gallows humor aside, there is nothing funny about violent crime. It's surge in recent months is not only worthy of note, it's worthy of action. Pollyanna rah-rahing isn't going to make it go away. The partnership of police, prosecutors, landlords, community residents and concerned parents might. I know a lot of you are frustrated, as am I. But we're starting to build some grassroots momentum around here, for lots of things, and it has me hopeful. I remark on crime because it is remarkable. When a shootout happens along Flatbush, followed the next night by a near fatal stabbing; after the very recent shooting "events" on Lenox and Fenimore and Hawthorne; after murders on Clarkson and Lincoln Road and Sterling and Hawthorne and many more throughout the area (including other parts of Flatbush, Crown Heights, East Flatbush and Bed-Stuy - I'm not saying we're alone), I think it's worthy of a nod. I write what moves me, or what folks send me to promote (if it's not just crass advertising).

If you hadn't noticed, I don't try to make money off the blog by soliciting advertising (though I could damn sure use the dough!) precisely because I'm not interested in being beholden to anyone else's agenda. I'm just a dude's laughably easy to start a blog. If you prefer a different angle, please pick up the pen, or pound the iPad. We could use all y'alls voices.

Feel free to criticize away. But please, don't tell me what to write. If you insist, I will then be moved to politely ask that you put it somewhere the sun don't shine. Please.

I'm still moderating, due to a racist crank.

much love to all of you, my neighbors, no matter if we disagree or not.


MadMommaCarmen said...

Well said, Tim!

Anonymous said...


I have been following your blog for about a year now, but this is my first time posting a comment. I didn't comment earlier because I didn't live in the neighborhood, but now I am proud to say that my husband and I have purchased a home in PLG and are moving in. This is rather timely, as I have a response to some of the other comments you have received.

Rather than being dissuaded by your reports of crime in the neighborhood, my husband and I are coming to the neighborhood because of it. Not that we wanted to live somewhere where there is crime, but we wanted to live somewhere where our neighbors cared about their community and wanted to make it better. That means coming together to celebrate its great qualities as well as to problem solve through its issues, not just sweep them under the rug to keep up a certain appearance and hope that the market takes care of it. Your blog reflects this community spirit, and we hope we are not wrong in thinking that it goes beyond this blog. My husband and I are looking forward to living here and being part of it all. Thank you for keeping it real.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what keeps happening in the Parkside Court? Every night there's a group of black males congregating there are the dead end. Fancy cars keep parking on the sides every night and those who come out of those cars congregate with the group. I also see cigarette smoking. It appears some vagrants live in a basement in one of those houses.

I don't know what happened but there was undercover police presence there. Flashlights and police officers. They were inspecting under the cars. It always only happens at night. It must be pretty suspicious and alarming for the neighbors who live there.

Any guesses?

Anonymous said...

sweet shout out to the two tree beds put up this week by the church on flatbush and hawthorne. would love to know who is responsible for it and how we can keep it up. would gladly volunteer to paint them a bright color.

AJM said...

Anyone else think that all these anonymous voices telling the Q to be silent on crime may have ulterior motives? I'm thinking they bought properties to flip, and are mad that the market hasn't risen as fast as they'd like. If you actually live here, plan to stay, and care, at least make a username!
Tim, thanks for sharing everything about the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Viv for proving what I always say as a resident. An active community who cares is always going to be a community that is most attractive to newcomers. So glad you'll be moving to PLG. Brownstoner is not comparable in any way whatsoever to the Q blog. The person who made that comparison is not very knowledgeable if that's the only blog they know. As others pointed out, all the local neighborhood blogs all over Brooklyn, whether Clinton Hill, Bay Ridge, Ditmas Park, etc etc absolutely do write about crime. Like all the time. This is not a real estate blog. Feel free to start one. Meanwhile this is a local blog to serve those in the community who, as 11:47pm says, plan to stay and not flip their houses. We're very thankful to Tim for all the hard work in maintaining this blog.

Karkade said...

Welcome to the neighborhood Viv! There are many newcomers and old timers in the neighborhood that care about their community.

As you can read in this blog, there are definitely issues to be solved in the neighborhood and some are quite serious. Nevertheless, as often posted by Tim, there is also a great deal of accomplishments and improvements to celebrate thanks to the efforts made by many of our neighbors who take action as real citizens of a complex metropolitan area; they engage in the economic and social development of this beautiful and diverse neighborhood as entrepreneurs, teachers, professionals, artists, parents, community activists, and the list is long.

Tim, keep up with a great job on the blog! You deserve a prize for your commitment and patience!

Tafari Tribe, you are the coolest boutique on Flatbush Ave and best wishes for becoming the best cafe! Make sure you also have the best sorrel!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have information on the police action last night, after 11PM, on Hawthorne St near Bedford Ave?

I heard a small crash, like there was a car accident and sirens immediately followed. When I looked out my window there were about 30 cops in the vicinity, including some on motorcycles and some plainclothes. The cops were walking down the block, shining flashlights into people's yards. Later, there was a helicopter buzzing around, shining a light down. Then, the cops entered some homes and I saw flashes of light in their backyards. Finally, I saw a man led out of one house in handcuffs. This appeared to be a manhunt with the suspect found hiding in someone's backyard. I'm glad it had a good resolution but it was a jarring thing to see.

Anyone have more specifics to add?

Anonymous said...

Anon. 8:45 AM September 6: Seems there was a prowler. The Q just posted some details.

Jason A. John said...

Feeling the need to couple the success of Tafari Tribe and a stabbing is a slap in the face. A blatant one. Im going to definitely report this article to the owner, who I know personally, and the NY State Attorney general. Thinking that you can get away with something like this is just as criminal as a stabbing. Your article WILL BE TAKING OFF THE WEB.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Oh shut up, you sanctimonious blowhard. I know Sandra too, and you sir have no sense of humor or irony.

Good luck with that taking it off the web campaign. The first amendment will love you for it. If you hadn't noticed, I'm a big fan of Tafari Tribe and have championed it for years.

If you need a crib sheet, here's what was going on at that time. Both good and bad playing side by side on our main street. Thus the dark humor.

I can only imagine how you'd blow your top reading a single issue of The Onion. Better go the doctor for a check-up before you do.

Kimplicated said...

Well, that's funny.