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, March 12, 2014

Matthew Power: 1974-2014

I can't say I knew him well. But looking back in my inbox I realize Hawthorne Street resident Matthew Power had been probably the single best "source" this blogger's ever had. We enjoyed a lot of silly back-and-forth, and though he told me he was a journalist by trade I had know idea how accomplished he was, righting crazy cool story's for Harper's and Men's World and all manner of stuff (he's eulogized here in Vice). Humble I guess they call it. He was the kind of adventure journalist you thought only existed in war zones. But Matthew went after truly bizarre and humane stories that I will now feel super inspired to delve into and get to know the guy better through his writing. Because, I think, maybe, we were becoming friends? It's hard to tell at my age, where exactly does witty banter becomes genuine affection. But I always knew I was engaging with a brilliant mind, an artful writer, and I'm sure his family, his friends and of course his wife whom he's left behind, will miss him terribly, terribly.

39 is pretty darn young, well, by my standards now anyway. He looked like he could have been a decade younger:

That's Matthew - on the left
Maybe you've seen him around the 'hood? I'll bet no one would have loved the coming of the Blessings coffee shop more than he, given that it's just around the corner from his home. We spent a good deal of digital space talking about development and class and race and what this speck of NYC is all about. We came to no conclusions, by the way. How could we?

Matthew was the first person to hip me to plans for 626 Flatbush, and we discussed that one quite a bit. And now that's where my eulogy ends, because to stretch it further would make this post about me. I feel saddened to learn that such a dedicated seeker of stories and truth would die so young. In Uganda, of heatstroke, following the story of a British adventurer walking the Nile. It was the desert, far from medical help I assume. I guess that's the way you might go out, if that's the sort of story you're after. Here's the NY Times obit.

The last emails I have from him are from a week ago. He's the one who hipped me to the Youtube video of the woman singing along to Pharrell Williams "Happy" on an early Flatbushian morning. Then he told me a rumor so ridiculous it of course could be true, though don't quote me, or Matt. By the time I'm posting it it's probably sixth generation, but what the hell are blogs for but to spread rumours? A real good guy he was. Here's his last email:

The other thing I heard, which I assume is just rumor, is that Trader Joes is in talks to take the commercial space at 626 when it's built. Have a hard time believing they'd be doing a deal before they've even started building though.

Off to Uganda! Talk to you when I get back.


ElizabethC said...

Tragic. He wrote some great articles for Men's Journal, including a great one involving myths around The "Into The Wild" guy.

The Snob said...

Noted the obituary and had no idea that he was a neighbor. Truly sad, and truly too young.

tatata said...

Sad to say in past tense, he was the intelligent, humble, friendly, generous and loving to help person. Still in shock, speechless. He had huge passion to make PLG better and better. I and my husband greatly miss him.