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, December 1, 2013

Pssst...New Coffee Shop to Open on Rogers

That's right. Was it really just over a year ago that the neighborhood was largely livid at its lack of latte? Well, looks like a little place will be opening up at Midwood and Rogers. The Q first heard the rumor at a post-Thanksgiving dinner, then the ever-on-it Babs met Rich the owner today, and sure enough soon enough you'll be able to express your love for espresso on The Rog. "The Rog," sometimes spelled "The Raj," as the Q just decided to call it for the first time, is rumored to have been named for local resident Barbara "Babs" Rogers' great great great great grandfather Benjamin "Bugs" Rogers of the notorious Pigstown Seven, a group known for its ruthless running of an blacksmithing cartel. (Apparently the article "an" was used before vowels and hard B's, T's and Y's before 1823, though that may just be a rumor).

Y'all I also heard a rumor there's an ACTUAL blacksmith on Rogers. This one is no joke, he has a gallery and everything. Will someone here post more info? I'm just too damn busy to chase down these leads, but who doesn't want something smithed from time to time? Or scythed for that matter (any scythers out there?) Maybe he has some objets d'arte for holiday presents. Colour me intrigued. Britishly so.

And speaking of "Rumours," or rather Rumors...

Today the Q indulged his poppier sensibilities with a bit of a guilty pleasure by putting on the 4th highest selling album of all time by, yes, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and company. I'm no huge fan, but I always perk up when the Mac comes on the radio, if only to listen to the delicious interplay between bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood, and of course the out-of-this-world warbling of the Queen of Shawls. Rumors was flawlessly produced, with outstanding performances and a sheen that makes it sound like the record was actually made out of cocaine, which apparently was being consumed in large quantities by the band at the time (and the entire record industry as well), quantities of which probably fell out of workers' noses at the vinyl pressing plant.

So how weird is it to dial up the 30th Anniversary edition, which you can now do basically for free on Spotify or some subscription service like the one I've had for 10 years called Rhapsody, and see that not only do you get the original record but a ton of live performances and demos and outtakes of tunes you've basically heard your whole mother-loving life. So I listened, and at first I was intrigued by the strained singing and lame guitar and what probably was Lindsey Buckingham playing drums while Mick was out partying. And suddenly...all the magic was gone for me. These classic rock geniuses suddenly became regular old Joes and Janes trying to make a hit record. Listen to it...seriously, it's quite bizarre how these things ever made the light of day. What were they thinking? That we actually want to hear how bad they sound when they sing in the shower?

So much for rumors and Rumors. I honestly hope they never release Michael Jackson's demos, because I love his recordings so much I never want the Quincy-magic to disappear for me. The Mac I can take or leave, but don't mess with my Billy Jean. Or one of the 20th Centuries greatest artistic achievements..."Wanna Be Startin' Something." Gives me the goose pimples that one does.


Unknown said...

I'm so glad I found this blog, just moved to the neighb and happen to be right where this coffee shop is set to open...things are happening!

Unknown said...

Coffee is my favorite beverage. Black and without sugar is my favorite coffee. With the cup of coffee we can spend lots of time with happiness.

Kopi Luwak

babs said...

The existence of the Pigstown Seven is purely apocryphal. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

The Snob said...

The dude on Rogers is a hornsmith. Which is actually even more outlandish than a blacksmith.

Bob Marvin said...

Are you serious Snob?

The only definition I can find for "hornsmith" is someone who practices a colonial-era trade that involved working with animal horns. That's even more bizarre than the mayonnaise store in Prospect Heights :-)

The Snob said...

Absolutely, Bob. The guy who fixes washing machines and sells gemstones is also a hornsmith.

In related Rogers news: I saw a sign for this wine business go up recently, between Hawthorne & Fenimore. Does anyone know what brings them to PLG?

Unknown said...

I'm the blacksmith!! A friend just sent me your blog. Nice job!

The business is called (wait for it...) Brooklyn Blacksmith. I do mostly custom work for the home. Everything from hooks to chef knives. My studio is on Rogers between Fennimore and Hawthorne(right near the hornsmith). I'm not there all the time so call or email to see the studio and the gallery. I am offering lessons as well.

I'm going to be improving the site and adding new items all the time. Thanks for the plug.

Alex Himmelbaum

Bob Marvin said...

There's some really beautiful stuff on your website Alex. Thanks for posting it, and for opening in our neighborhood!

Anonymous said...

Alex, no horse shoes? I feel like you're missing an opportunity with the stables at the other end of the park.

Anonymous said...

The bogus brands of Brooklyn
Siegel: I was in an apartment in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, talking with Kwame, who lived there and grew up close by, about Ditmas Park, the neighborhood a few blocks away that I grew up in. He looked at me blankly. Cortelyou Rd., I said, off Ocean Ave. “Oh, Flatbush.”

The Snob said...

We live in an ever more specific culture. It's not just real estate. Back when The Snob was a coffee jock (the term barista not yet invented), Brooklynites ordered a "coffee regular" or "light 'n' sweet." It didn't even come in a cup, it was a container. And yes, once upon a time Flatbush was an undifferentiated mass of central Brooklyn, remnant of a Dutch town by that name.

Bob Marvin said...

Of course PLG is part of Flatbush, but Flatbush, until its 1894 annexation by the City of Brooklyn, was the second largest town in Kings County. It has never been a neighborhood.

Some of the Flatbush neighborhood names go back over 100 years [i.e. Prospect Park South, Ditmas Park, Fisk Terrace, South Midwood, Caton Park, etc. The name Lefferts Manor wasn't coined until 1918 (when residents started thinking about taking on the covenant enforcement role of the departing Lefferts family, leading to the 1919 founding of the Lefferts Manor Association) but it had existed as a distinct neighborhood since 1893. The Prospect Lefferts Gardens neighborhood name "only" goes back to 1968, but that's well before many present residents were born. There's nothing "bogus" about it.