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, September 24, 2014

Alicia Boyd: Proud Townhome Owner, Anti-Gentrification Activist

Alicia Boyd and I agree on a lot of things. I've got problems with massive, indiscriminate, City-sponsored people-hemorrhaging gentrification. I don't like the class and race implications either. I don't like racial segregation. But...I'm for rezoning, proper planning, height limits, building new affordable units whatever way we can, extracting all the best for the neighborhood while recognizing that SOMEone has to pay for it. And I'm 100% sure we can get it right when it comes to absurd "poor doors" and unfair credit checks. Get to work electeds! That's your job.

It's a matter of a difference of opinion. But last night wasn't about opinions. It was about drawing out the anti-gentrification forces, people who feel marginalized and fearful and angry, and, I must point out, not just a few utter nutjobs. It's a "movement," and right now they're rebels without a cause, looking for somewhere to place their anger. A public meeting is a great place to do it. The cops can't keep you out, and the press often comes. The elected officials send reps or show up. (No one from Mathieu Eugene's office...I think there was a Christening in Canarsie they had to attend).

And here's one I don't hear a lot. I also think that others deserve a chance to live a life near Prospect Park and the Garden. It's pretty sweet, y'all. Saying no to new residential is basically saying "I got mine, forget about you." And it also means that any hope of new housing for the displaced won't...oh god, here I am forward, Q. You've heard this tune too many times.

MTOPP successfully shut down the Community Board last night. But she can't shut down the Q. No one but me even spoke up in CB9's defense - all the hard work we'd put in to get City Planning to listen and consider our concerns. It was the weakest showing of supposed "leaders" I have ever seen. Karim Camara and reps from every major official, from the Mayor on down, were there and they were absolutely floored, speechless. The guy from Yvette Clarke's followed me out to the parking lot with eyes wide saying "how could you let this happen? this was INSANE!" I told him L'shanah Tova and rode home.

Speaking of homes, have I got a GREAT AIRBnB for you! On Sterling Street! At the home of MTOPP's glorious leader, Alicia Boyd, the firebrand who brought down the Community Board last night. The champion of the dispossessed, the crusader for no new development, has good reason to fear the jackhammers and loss of parking spaces (MTOPP - Movement TO Protect Parking). She makes a pretty penny renting out space in her lovely townhome on Sterling.

Last night people I was amused to read her AirBnB listing, but by this morning it had been taken down. However, you should be able to get in the backdoor by googling "Alicia Boyd" and Airbnb together. The page is still cached on the internets.

BUT, just in case you were curious, I've cut and pasted the public listing. So much to say here...I particularly love her promoting Barkley's (sic" Center. Oh, and the line "I have a great respect for other people's beliefs and behaviors." Hmmm.

My place has it all!!! 

From the Five trains stations Q, B, 2, 5, & S, to cultural institutions which include the Park, Garden, Museum, Zoo, Lake House, Farmers Market, Summer Concerts etc..., to restaurants serving real ethnic cuisine (Italian, India, Caribbean, Mexican, West Indian etc...) at neighborhood prices!, to living in a private house on a beautiful tree line block!

In a tenement city, Townhouse living is a rare and wonder adventure that you can only appreciate by experiencing it. 

So read on....

My Limestone Town House is what has made Brooklyn so famous. The New York Times (March 8, 2013) said this about Lefferts Garden; “…. full of prewar apartments and brownstone and limestone town houses. The proximity to the park, the architecture and the relatively easy access to Manhattan, on the 2, 5, B and Q trains, are among the assets… ‘They (residents) like the sense of community, friendliness of the neighbors, and the mom-and-pop shops that come along with it.’”

This turn of the last century Limestone townhouse, located in Leffart's Gardens, has all the trimmings of elegance, style and comfort. You will find no glass and steel here! There are original parquet floors, with area rugs and large sofas for comfort. All the woodwork is original, haven been done by hand, by laborers, long since past.

There are large crystals, all over the house, reflecting both natural and artificial light to bring not only the beauty of the earth into this house but to help keep the energy clear and tranquil.

This is the house you want to come back to after a long day in the noisy city. Here you take off your shoes and relax. You can feel the healing energy in the environment and can image yourself truly at home! To maximize the natural lighting this house gets from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, are large bay windows, with Italian curtains to add elegance and charm to the warmth created by the woodwork and floors. 

There is a large elegant dining area, with a table that can sit up to 12 people, just in case you want to have a more formal function.*
There is a working fireplace* to add another element of warmth and comfort on those really cold nights. In the summer, the backyard boasts a jacuzzi* built into the deck, surrounded by flowers. 

Want to barbeque?* No problem! There is also a built in barbeque pit for those late night barbeques or just to sit outside on a chilly evening and get warmed by the fire. I do have a cat, but she spends most of her time outside, except in very cold weather. She is fully house broken, and doesn't go on furniture, beds, chairs or couches, thus there aren't any hairs in these settings and she and is very quiet. There is no cat litter in my home, because she goes outside, so there is no odor of cats or cat litter. 

Just a few steps away from my home are several major cultural institutions. Prospect Park, Prospect Park Zoo, The Carousel and the Botanical Gardens are a block away. And right up the hill is the Brooklyn Public Library, The Brooklyn Museum, Grand Army Plaza and on Saturdays, The Farmers Market!

It is also two stops away (three minutes) from Barkley's Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets, (who are now in 2nd place!), the Long Island Railroad and four stops (ten minutes) away from Manhattan.
Mass transit is a plus. There is the B, Q and S to C trains on one side and the 2, 5 trains on the other, along with a host of bus service.

My block really embodies the reason why people love Brooklyn. We get great sun, because almost all our homes are two story private houses. We have a strong Block Association, and our neighbors have been described as Down South Hospitality People.

It truly is a lovely block, with friendly neighbors, lovely homes and of course beautiful gardens. It really is one of the main reasons our block won the contest!

When you walked down the street don't be surprised if someone says hi to you and really means it. We are truly a loving community.
Parking is a plus because on one side there are private driveways, which means there are always ample parking space available on the street.

Brooklyn Town Houses are truly the gem of New York City.
Our streets are intimate, sunny and friendly and yet just minutes away from all the action!

*Require additional fees for use

I am a Reiki Master, Developmentalist, Educator, Writer and I run a Non-for profit organization. I work inside my home as an alternative health practitioner. I'm quiet, tranquil and easy to get along with. I have a very sunny disposition and I love to enjoy life. I'm a Taurus Sun, with a Rising Cancer, so I enjoy an elegant environment, but one that is also cosy and inviting. 

I enjoy traveling and meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds. 

I believe in the idea of oneness and I always fine myself in the expression of others. 

I have a very deep sense of myself as a spiritual person, and at the same time I have a great respect for other people's beliefs and behaviors.

I love New York City and believe that Brooklyn truly is the best place to live, if you have to reside in an Urban area in America. We have such a diverse array of people, cultures and activities and we are growing in leaps and bounds. All over Brooklyn there are cafes, lounges, bars and cultural institutions just popping up. And all of these places can be both culturally and spiritually uplifting to the human spirit and I love it all! 

From the free concerts in Prospect Park, to the Eclectic Art Exhibits at the Brooklyn Museum, to the jazz cafes on Flatbush Ave. It is all here in Brooklyn!

In fact, in the summer I find it hard to leave, because everything seems to come to us, so why go anywhere else? And a lot of it is free! In fact the hardest problem I have is choosing which event to go to! Now that we have the New Stadium - Barclay Stadium, I can't wait to see what free goodies we will be exposed to from that Venue.
My favorite thing to do is to go to the Prospect Park, get some some sun, eat a sandwich from the local bodega (Hispanic store) and read a book!

I enjoy international travel and by far my favorite place is Italy, not only because the people are really warm and friendly but the food is absolutely to die for! They really embody the joy and importance of eating healthy and simple. And boy do they like to eat and socialize!
My favorite place to visit spiritually is Bali, for they have encompassed the idea of incorporating a strong sense of spiritual awareness into their daily lives. This is a culture that smiles and so do I!

I also am a gardener. I love to play music in the summer, so that I can sing to my plants as I water them. As a Taurian, I love the Spring, so I always make a great effort to create a wonderful spring garden. It is how I make my contribution to my block, neighborhood and mother nature, by providing beauty into the world of concrete sidewalks and skyscrapers.


Curious27 said...

This is pretty shameful and disgusting, to be honest. Here I am paying a pretty penny to rent a rather shite MCI reno'd unit in a pre-war in a building where management is actively seeking to push out those paying less than "market", and meanwhile she's making a quick buck in her place renting to out-of-towners in a place where some folks can't even get housing, while talking out the other side of her mouth about how we don't need more affordable units developed? Absurd!

nana said...

“I have a very sunny disposition.” Are you kidding me! “I believe in the idea of oneness and I always fine myself in the expression of others. I have a very deep sense of myself as a spiritual person, and at the same time I have a great respect for other people's beliefs and behaviors. ”
Is this the behavior that was displayed last night? Are you kidding me…such a sham. This woman showed no respect for her neighborhoods, and the process. She is nothing more than a bully!

sickmanofeurope said...

Alicia Boyd rents out a room in her Sterling Street retreat on AirBnB for $65 a night – for a minimum of 25 nights at a time. Judging from the profile pictures that accompany her 28 reviews, Ms. Boyd hosts a parade of European thrill seekers and recent midwestern college grads. Nothing but white folks.

Oh, and the anti-development heroine also trumpets the delightful Barclays Center as yet another reason to hand her $1,600 for a single room for less than a full month.

I'm getting pissed. Let me see what I can dig up.

Anonymous said...

Also funny, and also shameful, is the fact that MTOPP's arguments against rezoning include the claim that it will make the neighborhood a "tourist area" and that "tourists pouring through our community" will devalue our homes. It's all right here:
Meanwhile, here she is renting her house to tourists on AirBnb.. unbelievable.

no_slappz said...

Alicia Boyd's Airbnb listing is still in place on the Internet. Google "Alicia Boyd Brooklyn NY" and you'll get:

Other than enjoying the amusement of knowing she's reading about herself on this blog and seeing her hypocrisy exposed to the world, she has no impact. Her antics will change nothing. Despite her delusions, her madcap MTOPP organization is nothing more than a vehicle for her to raise a few bucks for herself. The only beneficiary is her, and I'm sure MTOPP doesn't comply with applicable tax laws, so there's that to consider.

Anonymous said...

She is a hypocrite, crass and self serving clown. Sorry, it's kinda strong but at least there are no profanities or racial slurs, I'll leave those to Alicia and her mob.

babs said...

Here's the tax angle: Alicia Boyd has an established 501(c)(3) corporation, New Directions in Healing: MTOPP's website says all contributions are tax deductible, meaning she's probably using the 501(c)(3) as a fiscal sponsor (meaning it can charge MTOPP a fee for doing so). I doubt, however, anyone's counting the dollars thrown into their jars last night as anything but Alicia's lunch money for a few days.

Sounds like a pretty sweet deal overall - that Airbnb income is most likely never declared, and any other revenues she gets are no doubt funneled through the 501(c)(3), so no more tax worries! This has scam written all over it.

Parkside_Guy said...

boleroid said...

It's one thing to reveal the hypocrisy that she's advertised out in the open (MTOPP website vs. her airbnb listing), but I get very uncomfortable with this anonymous-style airing of personal information, even when it's in the public record.

babs said...

Just following companies referenced on MTOPP's own public website. Note that I haven't mentioned her street address, although that too is VERY public.

babs said...

And BTW the illegal English basement rental is a VERY common practice around here. The owner of the house next door to me was fined $5K by the City for doing so. The irony of the situation is that it was reported by the tenants of the apartment, who'd been told they'd get back all the rent they'd paid, times three (treble damages), when all they got was a vacate order.

roxv said...

i can't believe anybody in their right mind listens to this person. the impression i've gotten is that she mostly shouts in their general direction, but i've seen people alongside her with MTOPP shirts. what's their deal? don't they know she clearly has no one's best interest at heart but her own?

kingscounty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kingscounty said...

Might as well just get it all out there.

kingscounty said...

Actually sort of compelling. Wish she could stick to this script. She'd probably get a lot more accomplished.

kingscounty said...

Ugh, seems we could hold off on the court filings sans context.

In fact, airing any of this stuff makes me pretty uncomfortable, but the fact is this woman has misled a lot of people (wittingly or not seems up for debate. you can't argue that kind of enthusiasm) in our neighborhood, and from the looks of her own self-published materials, seems to have the complex to match the symptoms.

If she's going to bear some influence on the course of our neighborhood, well I guess we need to know exactly who we're dealing with.


"Budget cuts propelled Alicia to move forward into her true life’s work. She left the Board of Education and enrolled full time to get her Master Degree in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University.

It was Alicia’s goals to become a Doctor of Psychology as a researcher focusing on the developmental issues of young children. It is here, however, Guidance came and steered her away from that goal. During an Astrological configuration (the Great Concordance – one of the preludes to the 2012 event) doors of spiritual opportunities and gifts were given to her. She was joined with all of the other thousands and thousands of other healers placed upon the earth to be of serve to humanity."

Kimplicated said...

Agreed that the tax info has no place here. Information about her true motivations, and about her hypocrisy on this issue (AirBnb vs. fearmongering about this becoming a tourist neighborhood), that's relevant and appropriate. But her unrelated financials are probably best left to the IRS.

babs said...

The tax info does have a place as she is actively soliciting donations to MTOPP. People are being coerced into believing that this is a legitimate "charity." And all Aibnb hosts should be investigated for not reporting this income in the tax returns.

kingscounty said...

Just clicking links reveals a vast network of questionable related legal entities.

And there's definitely a buttoning-up happening. New Directions in Healing's facebook page just went dark.

ElizabethC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ElizabethC said...

Her treatment of her pet cat pretty much says it all to me. Can we catnap it to a genuine caring where it has a litter box and is allowed to lie on the sofa?

Sara Grace said...

This is an aside and not meant to defend the behavior described at the meeting, but: Why is everyone assuming she's not reporting Airbnb income to the IRS? The company issues 1099s to hosts - I reported and paid taxes on income both years that I had Airbnb guests.

Also, from my POV, renting out your home to single travelers is tourism on a human scale that someone might legitimately support even as she criticizes an influx of high rises.

Voice of Anacaona said...

OMG! I was all set to post news from the first Alicia Boyd post... then I didn't. SOOOOO happy to see that this came out. Its not about bashing Ms. Boyd as much as showing her that just as she is complicated and rants about gentrification, that she can also feed that beast by utilizing AirbNb.

We need to be able to listen and not just bark our own truths at people who are interested in having a dialogue.

jessica said...

Let's not stoop to her level please.

The way to fight this is to be organized ourselves, getting out there with flyers as often as MTOPP does, and talking to people in the community as they get off the subway, etc. And of course being present at community meetings (while gritting teeth).

I have no idea if the rezoning study ship has sunk, but if it hasn't, let's mobilize and find a respectable way to fight this fight. The mudslinging certainly won't shut her up, and frankly it makes us all look bad.

no_slappz said...

Alicia Boyd's street theater will lead only as far as this -- the de Blasio reality: