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.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

That's Our Gal!

I would've liked to go the Brooklyn Public Library "conversation" about gentrification, if only to hear what Alicia Boyd sounds like when she's a panelist (BPL, whose idea was THAT? Did you want to be certain the dialogue would get ugly?) Turns out only my love for conflict would've been satisfied. Here's what a Q reader emailed to me:

Good evening,
I went to a lecture this evening at the Brooklyn Central Library focusing on gentrification, Alicia Boyd was a panelist along with Morgan Munsey, an architect and preservationist. Morgan, btw, is a frequent contributor to Brownstoner using the moniker Amzi Hill. His discussions on that blog about architectural history in Bedford Stuyvesant are quite interesting and informative. However, Morgan is also a RE agent with Halstead and apparently didn’t disclose that information to the BPL since it was not mentioned in the panelists’ brief bios that the library published. When he was introduced he mumbled, stumbled and coyishly smiled that he’s a RE agent and forgot to mention it. That was the beginning of the end for me.
Alicia Boyd then spoke and fired up her audience. It was essentially a race bashing, profanity  infused debacle. I was saddened and then maddened that the BPL would choose a panel of this caliber. My dismay and disappointment led me to do a little research about Ms. Boyd and I came across her healing site. How convenient that you can donate to it in the name of a donation to MTOPP. I then read your blog posting about her tactics, AirBnB hypocrisy and the comments that followed. Needless to say,  I am incensed  that anyone takes her seriously, INCLUDING the BPL!!! My next email will be to the BPL.
I’m a native Brooklynite and have wanted to live in PLG ever since my dad would take me for walks through the neighborhood in the 1960s (!).  I have a very sweet spot in my heart for PLG and I’m hoping to eventually settle there. But not on Sterling Place.

Thanks for listening.

(name withheld by the Q)


Bob Marvin said...

Indeed NOT on Sterling PLACE "Q Reader", since it's not in our neighborhood :-).

Such confusion:

Sterling Street/Sterling Place
Lefferts Avenue/Lefferts Place/Lefferts Blvd. (the latter in Queens) and so on.

I guess the confusing naming (leaving the Queens location aside) stems from the fact that "our" Sterling and Lefferts were named by the Town of Flatbush, while the "Places" were named by the City of Brooklyn.

BTW Morgan Munsey is a friend I think highly of and I'm sure his not previously mentioning his job was just an oversight rather than an intentional deception.

kingscounty said...

Yes I also went to this one and the previous panel last month. Ran into the librarians that organized the October meeting at a nearby bar afterwards and asked how they came to welcome AB aboard as a panelist, mentioning the recent CB9 flareups. They all said they hadn't heard anything about her methods, and sorta did that cartoon thing where everybody points at somebody else. By the look on the poor moderator's face last night, you could tell she knew BPL had stepped in it.

Despite all this, the tone was pretty much civilized, many in the audience had a chance to speak, and most people seemed to come away more informed (mostly because of earnest audience comments, not panel discussion). One gentleman, Rob Robinson, who is apparently speaking at the final panel in December, had a lot of spot-on observations and touted organizations like the Crown Heights Tenant Union as good models for resistance. He also voiced support for AB though, so unclear if he was holding back some more questionable views.

FlatLen said...

That is rather interesting, and points to the importance of doing one's homework when organizing events like this. They should have looked her up before inviting her to speak.

Maureen said...

As a librarian, I'm shocked that BPL didn't do its research, on *either* panelist!

babs said...

Apparently she also caused a scene at the recent town hall meeting about the recent wave of crime in Flatbush/Ditmas Park (see the comments section). And to describe her as a "longtime neighbor" is generous at best - she's not anywhere near the 70th Precinct or Cortelyou Rd., and to have her speaking about the pressures of gentrification is laughable, knowing that she in fact owns a $1 million + townhouse, the value of which increases with the gentrification to which she is so opposed.