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.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Local Activist Vivia Morgan And Wingate Park

Councilmember Mathieu Eugene (left) Friends of Wingate Park's Vivia Morgan (center) and Soumia Chraibi, a member of the Councilman's staff.

Kenton Kirby of Caribbean Life wrote a nice piece on Vivia Morgan, the tireless crusader for a better neighborhood. Vivia has taken her three-year old "Friends of Wingate Park" and turned it into a little powerhouse for good. She also happens to be a member of a group called "100 Black Construction Workers," and part of LIUNA - Laborers International Union of North America. She's run as a fringe candidate for national office. She had the great line "tax pot not people" from her libertarian-tinged campaign. She's as true a Brooklyn original as they come.

As to this Wingate Park: why should you as a Leffertsian Flatbusher care? Well, it's just to your east on the other side of NY Avenue, just north of the hospitals, has a popular playground, a jogging track and field, workout equipment. It's a huge amenity for the neighborhood, and Morgan and friends recognize that and try to beautify and strengthen it. If you're the sort of person who sees your neighborhood more broadly than just the local train stop and dry cleaners, you'll see that this Park is crucial to the well-being of local families and kids. For the past few years they've run an awesome free concert series - MLC Concerts, with the likes of George Clinton and Ohio Players and Toni Braxton and my all-time fave rapper Rakim (okay, so I'm dating myself, big deal).

In the Q's opinion, the world is a better place because people like Vivia Morgan make it their business to identify special things and work hard to keep them special. And hey, I don't smoke the cheeba-cheeb, but I'll be damned if keeping it illegal is making the world a better place. So hell yeah, legalize, regulate and tax the #$(* out of it! Right on, sister!

Here's an excerpt from the CL story by Kenton Kirby:

Friends of Wingate Park, a volunteer non-profit organization in Flatbush, Brooklyn formed in 2011 primarily to engage Brooklyn youth in activities aimed at maintaining a healthy physical environment, is today in the vanguard of the citywide effort to stem gun- and gang-violence.
Friends of Wingate Park targets youth and families of Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Brownsville, East New York, Bedford Stuyvesant and Canarsie in the effort to create a “One Brooklyn” identity, according to Jamaican-born Vivia Morgan, the group’s founder and president. 

Friends of Wingate Park builds community activism by “bringing neighbors together in an effort to drive out negative influences and create positive, free, fun, healthy programs for the community at large, so as to build a stronger Brooklyn,” Morgan told Caribbean Life.

1 comment:

Adrian said...

The Wingate concerts go back quite a bit longer than "the past few years." Sarah Vaughan sang there in the 80s, and Curtis Mayfield was tragically paralyzed at a Wingate concert in 1990 when a gust of wind caused the collapse of a scaffold.