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.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

I Wonder What It Felt Like

So you're raising a ruckus, dropping all kinds of scary hypotheticals, not letting anyone speak, claiming to be an expert on all manner of things...then you print out a flyer and copy up a ton and start spreading them far and wide.

thx Brooklynian
What does that feel like? To call your neighbors racial epithets, accusing them of ignorance and being house slaves? Does that feel good? Powerful? Does it feel "true" enough that it simply must be said? Do you go to sleep feeling you've done some justice, righted some wrong, won some argument? And in a Helvetica-like font to boot! Bold, baby, bold.

Does it feel sweet to put Chabad Lubovitch Jews in the spotlight, drawing out irrelevant but offensive links between your own twisted NIMBYism and an inferred sleight of hand from the Jewish community, thus invoking the darkest days of Crown Heights history?

If you're slamming everyone in sight, does it feel bad to leave some folks out? Is that what's going on? There are a few more constituencies that have not yet been viciously attacked. Nuns. Asians. Autistics. Keep 'em coming! The other night your crowd managed to even suggest that "affordable apartment dwellers" might sneak peaks at you gardening and throw garbage out their 12th floor windows. Throw garbage, after winning a lottery and getting a decent place to live for a reasonable rent? Well, after the way you're carrying on, maybe they can sell tickets for the privilege of throwing that trash. Trash is trash, that's what my neighbor John likes to say.

 If it feels good to turn a dialogue, okay debate, into vitriol, you must be one happy lady, Alicia. Congratulations! You've surprised even ME, and I even predicted this language. Though I never imagined seeing it in print like that. Helvetica!

To quote history: "You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, madame? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"


Bob Marvin said...

Well said Tim!

FWIW, that Joseph Welch quotation is one of my favorites. It's as appropriate directed to Alicia Boyd as it was back in the '50s, towards the even more odious Joe McCarthy.

Anonymous said...

That's desperation!

Here's the deal, this neighborhood is already unaffordable for the middle class to buy or rent market rate housing. That ship has sailed quite awhile ago. But we do have a great inventory of rent stabilized buildings in great locations. If you are in a rent stabilized apartment or purchased here 10 years ago, then maybe you could say it is affordable.

But what about the future? Where are the kids of all the families that live here now going to live? I love this neighborhood, Brooklyn and NYC.

Don't we need more affordable housing? Gosh, it would be great if some of it were built here so that perhaps some of the relatives and friends of current residents could get a crack at it. It would also be be great if we could make sure all of the current affordable housing near PLG could be preserved not just for those who live there now, but for future residents.

Just in case anyone was wondering what this process might like look like for a neighborhood that was more together and less divided:

Jerome Avenue faces similar issues and fears, but there is a spirit of collaboration that I'm sad to say I haven't seen in this neighborhood for some time.

MikeF said...

In light of the snow, I suspect tonight's ULURP mtg will be cancelled.

I've begun imagining how MTOPP will respond. Here is my first draft:

"Stop calling it a historic storm like it is bringing civil rights. It is bringing cold, white, oppressive snow that will stop all progress.

CB9 purposely scheduled this meeting on a day it knew there would be a blizzard so it could shut the community out"

Paul Galloway said...

Yeesh. Haters gonna hate.

But yo dude, that's Arial not Helvetica.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Paul: For the love of God will you give me a clue how to tell the differences? That's bugged me for ages!

Unknown said...

It should actually be in Comic Sans, to match the content!

Paul Galloway said...

You just gotta feel it man.

Or you can do this:

diak said...

Good spot, Paul. And thanks for the tip to MSimonson's explanation.
Another typographic oddity of the MTOPP flyer is that the second line of the main headline and the phone number at the bottom are in a different typeface altogether — Tahoma, maybe?
But bottom line, this could have been professionally designed in the most exquisite Garamond Italic and the message would still be ugly...

Anonymous said...

Housing gets a lot more affordable if you curtail the warehousing of properties. There are certainly other factors at play (land scarcity, construction costs, etc.), but that is probably the foremost reason housing is expensive in attractive markets - people own a lot of places they don't rent or live in.

MikeF said...

Housing is expensive due to supply and demand.

When government can overturn the the law of supply and demand, it can effectively control the price of housing.

Likewise, when communities own all of the land, they can determine exactly what will be built on them.

Until then, we live on earth.

Anonymous said...

It should also be noted that she's taken her show on the road. She was at a recent East New York meeting carrying on like she usually does. She also claimed that she was from the neighborhood (ENY) but then she was called out and clarified that she was from brooklyn.

ElizabethC said...

Hey, my neighbors already throw their garbage out the window-- and they are in a regular rent stabilized building. Ahead of the curve!

Alex said...

If she lived on Maple and not Sterling, would we have heard anything from her at all?

Anonymous said...

This is exactly like the RNC and Tea Party -- convince folks who don't know better to support a movement against their self interest. Kind of smart... For AB. But what do I know.

Alex said...

What's disturbing to me is that CB9 has basically been manipulated into protecting 89 Sterling over all other properties in the neighborhood. The fair thing to do is even out the risk. Get height limits on Flatbush, etc, that are equal to the eventual allowed building heights for residential on Empire. That is fair. What they are doing/considering right now is not.

Anonymous said...

"Does it feel sweet to put Chabad Lubovitch Jews on the burner..."

The author of the flier isn't the only one engaging in overblown racial hyperbole.

And yes, I think it's dumb of the author to single out the Jewish neighborhoods. Many white ethnic neighborhoods in Brooklyn are protected from this kind of development (with the exception of Greenpoint, and a few others).


Clarkson FlatBed said...

RC: Explain yourself. To put something on the burner is to bring it to the fore.

Are you suggesting that by combining this metaphor with Chabad Jews it's inappropriate?

That's a bit of a reach, don't you think?

babs said...

Actually, to put something on the front burner is to prioritize it; to put something on the back burner is to table it, meaning to put it off for later or to de-prioritize it. I don't think either of those expressions actually applies to this, which is hate speech, pure and simple, and also woefully inaccurate - I know plenty of non-Jews (of all colors) who live in the "Jewish area," as well as plenty of Jews (again, of all colors) who live in the "Black area."

Clarkson FlatBed said...

On the table? In the spotlight?

Seems like we're splitting hairs. But I'm still confused. Is it the word "burner?" Like the ovens at Auschwitz?

If so I'd say it's a reach. But I'll change it in case you're right.

babs said...

I prefer "in the spotlight," just because putting something on the back or front burner (either prioritizing it or the opposite) implies that it's an issue that needs to be dealt with sooner or later, which I don't think applies to the Jewish community (no "Jewish question" here - except possibly in AB's hate-fevered brain). Zoning is the issue - and should be on the front burner. I hadn't thought about the Holocaust connection, although now that you mention it, that is kind of unfortunate; that may be what RC was concerned about.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

I get wiggly inside when the question turns to language.

So here's what happened and what I was TRYING to say. Eli Cohen of the JCC said, according to Pearl, that they would look to other avenues to be able to expand their homes in low-zoned areas, effectively asking that their needs not be put on any "burner" at all. Alicia, besides playing a nasty race/ethnicity card, put it back in play, as if the Jews somehow conspired to keep their neighborhood from being upzoned, which, if you'd been at the meetings was precisely what they were asking for. Upzoning. The very things she claims they're being protected against. Outstanding logic!

Essentially the JCC wanted out of the conversation, and Alicia put them back in.

Oh and they're mad as hell. Jake briefed me on that. And there are other reasons, which include, believe it or not, the alleged taking of the voting records from the CB9 meeting of last March. If I can learn what people are prepared to go on record about it, then I'll do a post. Right now, it's a lot of he said he said she said he said.

Agatha Christie's got nothing on this caper!

babs said...

Exactly - it's well-known that they've been looking for an upzoning for a while (there's only so much that Mike "Maximize that FAR" Cetera can do). Given that, and the increasingly-pricey homes in the area, especially along Union and President Sts., long-time community members here are also being pushed out to places where they can afford the space needed for often-larger families with one stay at home parent. Same concerns - ironic that Alicia can't see that.

southeast said...

Tim - seems like CB9 got a letter from CHJCC. Thoughts?