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, October 30, 2015

"Park Side" Opens Tomorrow

Do you like Franny's, the incredibly popular pizza parlor up Flatbush way? Well, you may soon be rolling in dough. Cuz Park Side, the new joint opening on Flatbush tween Parkside and Winthrop, will be run by former Franny's man Ted (last name withheld because he's in a Witness Protection Program for chefs, or rather I forgot to ask, such are my journalism skills). He's pumped, the place opens tomorrow (Halloween no less) at 5PM. The menu? Let me share...

you know it's good when they don't use caps!
The Q's thrilled. This is the kind of grub I can get behind. The bar will surely lure them in as well. And here's the kicker. ANOTHER upscaley pizza place is opening on the Flabenue just south of Clarkson near Mango Seed in the shop that used to was the carpet store. It's called Zuri Lee, a terrific name that must be someone's actual name, don't you think? Will talk to the owners and let you know.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Palate Cleanser - Babe the blue OX and the Rockaways - Monday Night Nov 2

And the saga continues. Alicia Boyd just sent me a FOIL request, asking me a question she should have just, you know, asked. She wanted to know who was on my Transportation Committee and who appointed them. Now that she sits on a subcommittee of ULURP, I think it's about time she gave up this her against the Board crap. She helped get the District Manager fired. At least four members have quit or been removed in disgust. She practically runs board meetings. Now she participates as an appointee. So what's with the FOIL? More grandstanding, that's what. Then she sends an email about me full of lies. Am I the only person willing to stand up to this bully? Sometimes I wonder...god help us all.

So as a palate cleanser, I'd like to tell you about a show my longtime band Babe the blue OX is playing at BAM, to accompany the theatrical premiere of a couple of documentaries on the Q's beloved Rockaways. If you're like me, they're the Riviera of Queens, a respite from the summer heat and a place to frolic in the ocean mist. The kids are growing up calling them "the Beach." Of course, Sandy was a terrible reminder of the perils of living on a barrier island. The first film covers the history of the Bungalow colonies, and the second chronicles the aftermath of the hurricane. Babe plays the role of the hurricane. It's the first time in our career we play in a movie theater, and its BAM to boot.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Big Residential Building To Replace Caton Market

Rachel from DNAInfo has the story on the big new building for the corner of Flatbush/Caton. Given all the talk about development in the neighborhood, this should be of great interest to a lot of folks:

Looks to be about 11 stories, yes, higher than some of its neighbors, but no higher than some other mid-century buildings nearby. To my mind, this is a terrific example of how you can build affordable units within a reasonable height. I know some will complain, but this ain't 23 stories on the park, and the apartments are very much needed during this housing crisis. I think it's completely reasonable to expect that, if Empire Blvd were to be rezoned, this is the kind of building we could expect, even demand. If this is more than you could handle on Empire, then you certainly know where to find your allies.

Here's what the article says in short about the affordable component, remembering that means-tested housing is needed for a wide range of incomes:

Of the mixed-use building’s 166 units of affordable housing, 20 percent will be set aside for low-income residents, 30 percent for moderate-income and 50 percent for “middle-income,” the city said, with precise income requirements to be determined based on the “AMI” or area median income of the neighborhood.

The claim at this point is that vendors will continue to occupy the ground floor. And while that's a noble goal, something tells me that plan will get scrapped along the way.

Here's the Market currently and its rendering for the future:

CB9 Mtg Goes Extra Innings - District Manager Removed

Update: Word reaches the Q that Pearl Miles will be filing a lawsuit against the Community Board, claiming the firing was age discriminatory, political and without merit.

In a removal motion that was eerily bare on hard facts and thick with MTOPP lingo, Pearl Miles was removed as District Manager of Community Board 9 after more than 30 years of dedicated, albeit sometimes combative, civil service. The Board went into Executive Session and sealed Ms. Miles fate after her heartfelt rebuttal of the claims against her. There was no evidence presented of legal wrongdoing, but clearly Pearl has pissed off a lot of community residents and board members through the years. When the vote was announced to the still full auditorium at 11pm, a big cheer went up from the anti-everything crowd, as I've come to think of them. They pulled big numbers tonight, carrying signs and carrying on.

Personally, I found the display of celebration to be cruel and unnecessarily jubilant, as if the Beast had finally been slain. While many complained of Pearl Miles' lack of compassion for the community, they showed her absolutely zero of same as her long career came to an end. And that, I suspect, is further proof that it wasn't really Pearl they were after. The anti-development crowd will spit on  anyone who would dare try to suggest to Developers, who are already on a building spree, that they build affordable and senior housing as part of their "investment" in the community.

It was pretty lonely for the Q tonight. Despite the fact that I know for a fact that my opinions on Transportation are mirrored by many, I was the lone voice tonight for a very clear-headed DOT plan to improve pedestrian, bicycle and (yes) automobile safety at the notoriously dangerous intersection of Empire and Franklin. It was even suggested by some in the audience that the REAL reason that DOT and the Design Commission want to close the ridiculous one-way Franklin Ave going the wrong way by the Western Beef was to make way for residential towers where the WB's parking lot now sits. Say what? This project has been in the pipeline for years. DOT's elegant approach to the intersection was torn to shreds, by angry motorists mostly, too upset about traffic and parking to recognize the very real possibility that a safer, saner intersection might save lives. So what did I learn tonight? That many attendees tonight were:

1) Anti Safety
2) Anti Housing (yes, and I'll explain further another day)
3) Anti Gentrification (that was a given)
4) Anti Greenspaces and Trees (the plan at Empire/Franklin included a nice pedestrian plaza)
5) Anti pretty much everyone who works for the City and gets invited to the Board to present their projects for improvements to infrastructure
6) Anti All Community Board Members
7) Anti Chair Demetrius Lawrence
8) Anti Tim Thomas (another given)
9) Anti longtime chair Jacob Goldstein
10) Anti Due Process
11) Anti Bike Lane
12) Anti Pedestrian
13) Anti Traffic Calming
14) Anti Bicycle (tonight I was called - gasp - one of those bicycle people)
15) Anti Social (the lack of respect for the Board and its speakers is really quite shocking, given that they're pretty much all dedicated servants to the community)

Civility, shall we say, was not apparent, really, I must say, until the Board deliberated alone. With a few exceptions, the conversation was heated but never nasty, and Chair Lawrence did a terrific job of running the show. Which makes me wonder how much better the Board would operate without the running commentary by MTOPP and its cronies.

All well and good I suppose. Democracy was served, and I lost pretty much every issue. I have no intention of stopping sharing my opinions, though, and I do hope that somewhere down the line those of you with some horse sense will join the effort to plan for a NYC and world 5, 10, 50 years hence. One where DOT can drop the statistic that 29 people were killed or maimed at two intersections will be met with concern, rather than selfish defense of their need to get from point A to B without interference from pesky safety improvements.

My last point is one that the Board will have adequate time to digest long after the night's "celebration" wears off. Pearl Miles does not have any intention of letting her poorly conceived dismissal letter go unchallenged. She will file suit. She will probably win, since personality is not a disqualifying factor against 30 years of competent, even exemplary, hard work and attention to detail. She runs a clean, organized office. She knows the position backwards and forwards, and I imagine over the years she's learned plenty of tidbits that could take people down if she's feeling vindictive. And why wouldn't she? She wasn't given so much as a warning. Granted, it wasn't even close. The vote was, like, 32 to 7 to 3 abstentions. Who knows maybe she'll get a better job offer elsewhere. She has lots and lots of admirers in City Government, who I believe appreciate her no-bullshit attitude. But her Achilles heal was her pride, which blinded her to the need to be polite and warm. I'll miss Pearl Miles. She was feisty, but she was bold.

Lastly, to one complaint against Pearl that I found absolutely ludicrous. She posted some comments on her personal Facebook page that were so generally misanthropic that no legal expert could pin them to a disdain for the neighborhood and those in it, as was alleged. She was having a bad day, and said the world was full of stupid people acting like assholes (I paraphrase). No mention of our neighborhood, or ethnicity or race, or anything other than general disdain for mediocrity and ignorance. And who among you hasn't privately thought the same? And so now private Facebook confessions of despair are reasons for termination? Close my account. Actually, close my blog.

Actually, I might have to borrow some of that language from Pearl's comments on Facebook. I'm feeling a bit misanthropic myself tonight.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Kalushkat Opens This Weekend

DNA INFO on "Gourmet" Falafel just off the Flabenue

Sure the Q posted on this before. But this is place is GOOD y'all. On Washington at 1137, near Lincoln Road.

Trick or Treat (Mostly Treat)

If you have kids and want a fun, safe, easy Halloween trick or treating experience, this can't be beat. A small geographical area is key. You'll have enough candy to cause a trip to the Extractor within the first 20 minutes. Thx, of course, to our gracious good Townhouse loving friends in the Manor. Satan bless you all for your generosity!

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Haunted Crosswalk?

Shot this pic on Flatbush at Clarkson, as if it had been placed specifically for me to go insane puzzling. So many possibilities...

Friday, October 23, 2015

The More Things Change...

Just a couple doors down from ParksideZ you can soon quaff a cordial at Park Side, the new bar/restaurant going up where hair salon Grace Monica used to was, tween Parkside and Winthrop on the Flabenue. I'll be taking a peek and sharing the inside scoop in another post, but for now you'll have to be content with this lowly content - just the sign (poorly shot to the left) - and the knowledge that if I were to spend some time in the joint it would be quite accurate to say, by way of the vernacular, that The Q at Park Side. When the Q began his Q'ing he was looking for a logo and came across this:

I thought how quaint and silly and utterly inappropriate to the neighborhood. Then I thought, must use. More appropriate for a place off the Common in a well-to-do suburb of Beantown. But it doesn't seem so far-fetched now, does it?

Meanwhile, east and north of here, members of the ULURP committee met at the CB9 clubhouse last night to discuss the major new Text Amendment for Quality and Affordability, which, if you actually read it and absorb its innards, then you probably have a degree in City Planning. The gist is intended to spur the creation of affordable housing and senior housing, and yeah give builders a bit of flexibility in their construction and layouts, adding a few feet to height. These hardly revolutionary changes, designed as they are to incentivize the creation of permanent means-tested housing, were met with predictable scorn by the usual players, and not a wee bit of misinformation was tossed about to boot. Richard Bearak of the BP's office held his own, responding to questions and trying, sometimes in vain, to correct gross misreadings of the proposal. That is, when he wasn't politely allowing the increasingly bizarre mispronunciation of his name. Local activist Suki Cheong's has mastered a lot of the zoning language, and this makes me wonder whether she'll be the person able to cobble together a coherent response for us, meaning the ULURP committee, not that it'll make a whole hell of a lot of difference. It would be nice to have an intelligent, well-written document to refer to though. Unlike the upcoming Zoning Study, our voice here is severely limited, and from what I've seen, thank goodness. We're not exactly the Municipal Art Society, which, along with senior advocacy groups has come out in support, with slight modifications. I look forward to Suki's draft. I hope it will be fair. Somehow I doubt that many folks in the community will do more at the public hearing than scream about how they don't want Brooklyn to become the Bronx. For the record, I don't want Brooklyn to become the Bronx either. But this Text Amendment is not a Bronxifier. It's a modest attempt to address some of the things that deter developers from building what we want them to build. Or at least, I THOUGHT what we wanted them to build - as much affordable housing as possible. Apparently some people would prefer to punt it all forward, to a time far in the future when we put the finishing touches on a community led proposal that goes absolutely nowhere. But it'll look nice on the coffee table!

All over NYC folks have been looking at this stuff, and when their eyes aren't glazing over with Letters, Numbers, FARs and Lot Coverage, they're rejecting policy changes that would create and promote positive economic diversity, not now but in the future, like prioritizing the building of apartments over the building of parking spaces. To which CB9 predictably counters with the tired concerns of car owners who are needlessly forced to search for parking into the wee hours (cue the tiny violins) because they somehow chose to live close to the subway and downtown Manhattan while at the same time expecting free parking and clog-free driving for life. Want to hear how in denial some people are about their own selfishness? Just come down and hear full grown million-dollar home owners actually argue that their parking privileges trump a home for a poor senior citizen. A senior citizen who, the numbers tell us, is HIGHLY unlikely to own a car. Try owning and maintaining and fueling and insuring a car in this City on Social Security alone. (Someone actually said "but that senior citizen may have sold their house to their children and that's why they need housing but they still have a car but they have no money." Huh?) That person needs a parking space! Give me a break. Access-a-ride exists for a reason. I'm getting really sick of this shit. Most New Yorker DON'T own cars, and therefore aren't so damn uptight all the time about parking and traffic. Maybe road rage enters into the blood stream and creates some sort of weird hostile reflex to anything remotely cognizant of the world we're heading into, one hurricane and melted glacier at a time. And the complaint that people come and park in OUR neighborhood to take the train, stealing OUR parking? Did anyone bother telling y'all that they are PUBLIC PARKING SPACES, like for the public? First come first serve baby. You don't own them, and there is no City Charter guarantee to parking. Wait I'm checking...nope. No guarantee. Zilch. Ditch the car, or quityerbitchin'. Actually I like that. For a bumper sticker, natch. On an SUV.

In East New York the rhetoric has ratcheted up considerably beyond even ours, in no small part because of the Barrons, not Robber, but rather Charles and Inez. Longtime defenders of the City's underclass, they've made quite a name for themselves decrying the tactics of just about anyone foolish enough to try to sell them a policy solution. In an article in DNAInfo  Charles Barron is quoted thusly, regarding the Text Thingy:

Attendees at the Brooklyn Community Board 16 meeting expressed distaste with the language used in the city’s presentation, with many saying the jargon and figures were “hard to absorb” for everyday citizens.

“You know what they’re going to tell you? ‘We need a diversity of income.’ You know what that means? ‘We need more white people,’” Charles Barron told residents. “We don’t need more white people moving in to have a prosperous economy...Let them know you’re intelligent enough to determine what is affordable for your neighborhood. Say no.”
I have no problem with the substance of what he says there. Diversifying East New York's income is almost assuredly going to bring white people to the area because it's very hard to cherry pick your new arrivals on the basis of race, and if you don't want white people, you might want to do whatever you think you can to keep them out. Which would mean, probably, in this City anyway, keeping it poor. Fact is, you don't need this Text Amendment for white people to move in. Look all over the City. It is happening already. What boggles the mind though is that while admitting that the jargon and figures are "hard to absorb" for everyday citizens, Charles Barron wants to tell you what to think and how to vote. Don't decide what you think is best based on your "intelligence." Say no. Just say no. Don't bother finding out what those "hard to absorb" details are. Just trust Papa Chuck to tell you what's what.

The saddest part of his political ego nonsense is that he's got some folks convinced that they can actually protect the blackness and affordability by saying no to this text amendment. Or that by saying no to the big ENY rezoning they'll hang on to their current quality of life. This City does not work that way. It changes, changes fast sometimes, and if you're not prepared for it, you will be bulldozed by capitalism, racism, classism, and in some cases by actual bulldozers. And if you think I'm exaggerating, I've got two dozen other neighborhood histories in NYC to tell you about. Neighborhood that never thought they'd go white and middle-to-upper class.

It's hard for me to imagine something more patronizing. "Let them know you're intelligent enough..." to do EXACTLY WHAT I SAY.

The fact is, and Barron knows this of course, you can't have a prosperous economy in a poor neighborhood.'s poor, silly. Stores and jobs and industry aren't going to magically appear. There's no anti-capitalist pill you can take to keep down housing costs. That's fantasy, unless of course there's a planned takeover of City Hall, Albany and Washington D.C. by a bunch of anti-business socialists. Not gonna happen. Not saying it would be a bad thing, but in a country where Trump can lead polls, it's not bloody likely.

And so, another common sense plan to build more affordable housing the only way the City can seem to afford - which is by having other people build and maintain it - is about to succumb to the worst excesses of anger towards anything associated with the Government or Developers. We will continue to get nothing, the City will continue to get denser without affordability, and the wealthy builder will continue to scratch his head at why small changes to the code that might give working people a fighting chance to live here can't survive. I don't think they're necessarily laughing at us; some of them are undoubtedly decent human beings. Some. But they are certainly not being encouraged to do anything civic-minded that will still make them a profit. Which is kinda what they're into. You know, businesses that build buildings, buildings that cost millions of dollars to build, millions of dollars we apparently don't want to spend building them ourselves. Apparently though, we don't want them to be civic-minded. We want them to keep on doing things exactly as they have been. Tearing down houses, building shit buildings that have crazy expensive apartments, moving on to the next "desirable" neighborhood. Meanwhile, someone will be writing a community-led zoning study that will be read by no one, collecting dust as the City moves on to a neighborhood that actually wants its help.

Schtoop Sale

 Looks like a kickin' stoop sale is happening tomorrow.

Multi family stoop sale
Saturday oct 24
10am - 3pm
255 Lincoln Road

What a terrific opportunity to once again share the hilarious rapper MC Frontalot's "Stoop Sale." Anyone know if he still lives in Lefferts? "At the Stoop Sale, which is a Garage Sale, if you lived in Brooklyn, which I do." Priceless.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Lotsa Sauces

'Member that carpet store just south of Clarkson on Flatbush? Near Mango Seed? Seems the Mango Seed clan is opening a boutique pizza place there called Zurilee Pizza Bar. 755 Flatbush y'all.

Speaking of doubling down, the Oaxaca Mexican place that just opened on Rogers at Sterling is going to have a sister as well - a barbecue place, with roof access (if rumor is to be believed).

Do You Falafel? Well Then You Won't Feel Awful Today!

photo Sue Cooke

Wow. Didn't see that coming. Kulushkat coming to Washington between Lincoln Road and Lefferts Ave. Gourmet Falafel. Great Reviews. The Q has eaten at their Dean Street location and thinks they're the bomb. Great addition and a nice change of culinary pace.

Come Show Your Support For Maple Street Garden

From Tom La Farge of the Maple Street Garden, comes some pretty good news on the Elected Officials front. Don't know if it'll work, but we'd basically be gaining a garden/park for realsies.

Come by for the formal announcement of a plan to take back the garden from crooks. Sunday October 25 at 5pm-ish is the press thang. But come early and volunteer in the garden!

The Maple Street Community Garden is holding a work-day/rally/press conference this coming Sunday, October 25th, from 2-6 pm. The press conference, likely to begin at 5 pm, will feature some breaking news to be announced by State Senator Jesse Hamilton, namely that he is putting his name to legislation that will permanently secure the garden by condemning it by eminent domain. That legislation will be introduced in Albany as early as this coming week. Paula Segal, our attorney, and garden members will be on hand to bring you up to speed on our efforts to fend off the attack in several courts , and also to locate an heir to the last known owner. Both initiatives are looking promising.
We hope that our other elected representatives will also attend.
If you haven't yet seen them, two fine articles, here and here, have come out in the last few days to report on the garden's struggles with felons who claim title to the property.
We'll hope to see you at the garden, 237 Maple Street between Rogers and Nostrand in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, this Sunday around 5.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Look familiar? Help Get Him Home! According to the below he has no he's definitely not a robot dog.

A lost dog was found on Lincoln Road 2 nights ago. Very sweet, about 1.5-2 years old, not fixed, male. No tags and no microchip. Gratitude Cafe, Paws and Trixie's did not recognize him. He came with a blue leash and a brown sweater with the hand of fatima on it (also photo'd). Please share these photos with others. If you have ANY info, email me at: We want to get him home safely.....

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

DW Gibson Piece In Nation On Community Gardens

Including local heroes fighting for the Maple Street Garden:

Le Nation

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Community Board Moves To Oust District Manager Pearl Miles

Well now. Was it housecleaning? Revenge? A bit of both?

On a Friday night (yes, shabbat no less) word comes from the CB9 Executive Committee that it has moved to remove the longest serving District Manager in NYC - Pearl Miles. While Pearl is known for her blunt and gruff style, she's admired by many in City Government for her effectiveness. And the complaints against her (see below) seem to be mostly about her style, rather than her ability to get stuff done. I've personally seen her be extraordinarily effective in bringing together agencies and provide services. Her work on budgets is particularly adept, since almost no one on the Board ever engages that aspect of their mandate. But...maybe that's because of her style? Hard to say. Each Board member will vote their experience I guess.

Who's behind the move? Like an Agatha Christie mystery, there is no shortage of suspects. Over the years Pearl has made many enemies, often in the name of truth-telling, but let's be honest - in politics, the truth is not always received with applause. Still, the Q would be lying himself if he said he enjoys the environment of rancor that permeates CB meetings and meetings of their committees. It takes a hearty constitution to hang in there, and I've done my best to do just that.

Let's be clear; this is the serve, and Pearl has a chance to return it. It's not necessarily an ace. Look for the issue to be on this month's agenda - not next week, but the week after on a Tuesday, October 27.

I don't know what it is about middle-age, but I'm embroiled in "board" issues throughout my personal and professional life - PTA's, non-profit boards, and now this. Actually, this one I'm watching from a comfortable distance (as a Board member not on the exec), and while I can see why the current executive committee is making this move, it wold seem the timing is very much related to what I like to call Year I in the Calendar of AB. Alicia Boyd has made it her expressed mission to oust Pearl, and many of the complaints listed above are replicas of her very public complaints about Pearl. Not fair say I. Removing Pearl for her personality and professionalism is one thing; knocking her out for her behavior over the last year is another altogether. She's done an admirable job of keeping the office open while being bombarded with lawsuits, abuse and verbal attacks, even physical on a couple of occasions. It's my hope that the Board will look at her career in its entirety rather than just the past 14 months or so.

One last note of analysis. The above documents were very carefully crafted. One must assume that counsel was involved, if not NYC Corporate Counsel then certainly someone familiar with the tools available to depose a District Manager.

To be continued...

Friday, October 16, 2015

Count Your Blessings! She's Back In Biz

After a long-seeming short hiatus, Lilli and company at BLESSINGS are back in business at 663 Flatbush tween Winthrop and Hawthorne! 8am - 4pm daily, and brunch on weekends 9:30 - 3:30. Congrats. Again! We love you Lilli!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Erv Turns One

Hard to believe it's just a year. The little cocktail bar that could certainly has.

And for those of you who prefer a little gossip with your flyers, Erv's will soon triple in size. Don't think I need to tell you how that's gonna happen.

Warms the Q's Heart

Cleanup Day for the Flabenue. November 7. Be there! More info to come.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Closing In On Landlord Gold

Couldn't help but take note of the price on a two-bedroom at a pre-war buidling at Flatbush & Rutland. $2400. Reason being I recall that a two bedroom a decade ago could run you $1200. That number stuck in my mind, because folks were complaining that apartments had topped the $1,000 mark in the neighborhood. From my own experience, I remember thinking geez that's do-able. Get a roomate, pay $600. Wait tables, work a shit job. You could do it, no problem. That's for young folks though. A family typically has fewer options for upward mobility, and is looking to put down roots. Hard to do that once an apartment leaves stabilization. And we're getting closer all the time in Flatbush/PLG/Lefferts.

So what's $2,400 in 2015 dollars? $1,464, according to ye old inflation calculator. NYC median income has barely budged, after dropping through the Great Recession.

You're smart. I don't need to tell you what it means. NYC continues to become more and more unaffordable to working and creative classes, by which I mean folks earning less than median but still working their butts off. Those working as teachers, city workers and non-profit employees are wondering if this City has a place for them in its economic stew. Certainly NYC is in no peril. It will continue, even thrive. But it's rapidly becoming a different City than the one most of us moved to or were born into. Thus, fear. Thus big policy changes proposed by the current administration.

The question the Q poses is this: are we prepared to change the way we think about our City in order to create more means-tested housing? Housing for teachers, artists, low-income workers. Of course there will be trade-offs - parking, height, density and more. But in my opinion, if we're too protective we risk losing NYC's greatest strength, both culturally AND economically - the incredible diversity of its people. An economic ecosystem is a delicate balance between trades, government, service workers and high earners. Plus, there will always be those who, for a variety of reasons, need support. Elderly, infirm, crisis-torn, unemployable. The percentage that fall into that last category are unlikely to fall just because overall income rises. It's an inevitable consequence of capitalism; we seemed to have made our peace with that as a country, though some would rip even the social safety net apart.

It's not for nothing that some very smart people are taking this very, very seriously.

Here's the ad:

Prospect Lefferts Garden
Flatbush Ave At Rutland Rd B.Q.S. Trains

All New Renovated 2br HH Water Inc Hardwood Floors High Ceiling Brand New Kitchen With SS Appliances + Dishwasher Lovely Common Room Equal Size Bedrooms Closet Space This Unit Will Go Fast!


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

You're All Invited - Even the Dieters

The Q's such a country bumpkin he don't know a beignet from a beanie. But I'm sure they taste dang good, especially as done by expert dessert maker Michael Allen. Free too! See you THURSDAY on the 'Strand.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"Ambassador's" Housing "Council" at "Crown Heights" Library

They may call it the "Crown Heights" branch of the Public Library, but we know better don't we. And I have no idea what "Ambassador" is being referred to here. But no matter, our girl Diana is taking the fight to the people and that's what matters."

Monday, October 5, 2015

FAR To the Max

Apparently this dude wants to build to the limit on 88-92 Linden Boulevard, according to The Real Deal.

Actually the article says Boaz Gilad of Brookland wants to build big as he can, meaning it's "as of right" and ain't nobody gonna stop 'im. But more to the point, this rendering really nails a vision of the neighborhood that shows what you can build up next to one of these older six story buildings. A hodge here, a podge there. And lots of glass, supposedly because no one needs privacy anymore. Actually in the age of Google and the NSA we sold out our privacy already. For ease and convenience and Facebook stay-in-touch we gave it all away. So why not dance naked in our apartments for all to see? There's nothing left to hide anyway.

Is it my imagination, or is the renderer of this property a cut above? Seems almost impressionistic. Look at the trees and sky - a frustrated high artist? Might look nice above the living room sofa. Hmm. Let me take a look at it again...


The Q didn't even know that a sheet like this existed. That's what happens when you don't ask...don't ask, don't find out. So many questions can be answered through the District Manager. More demos and excavations on the way, fyi.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Wind Warning: Beware the Sukkah Punch

You know you live in Brooklyn see adds for Sukkah Depot and you don't bat an eye. Or you see a scene like the below and know exactly what's going on. Maybe you crack a smile, but you got to get to work and maybe you've forgotten it by lunch.

Pedi-Sukkahs on Eastern Parkway
Then you walk by a building and see a bunch of small structures on the balconies. And maybe you read up on your Sukkah history. And maybe you know that sukkah sometimes gets spelled succah, like in the concerned email I got from the cops. Read on:
All community members of the 71 Precinct please take  moment and check your yards, windows, and roofs and remove any possible objects that may become air born with high winds.  
Please check all Succah's to assure they are firmly assembled and free from any objects that may become air born with high winds.  Please use extreme caution inside these structures during sever wind conditions. 

The bicycle succah/sukkahs are actually part of a long tradition of Mobile Sukkot Shacks. As in...

As far back as Roman times, the ancient sages of Israel taught that it was permissible to build a sukkah on a boat, chariot or even on the back of a camel. They also established that a sukkah must be at least 10 handbreadths tall. Yet it is hard to imagine that anyone foresaw the same laws being applied alongside those of aerodynamics to design a sukkah on wheels. 

Hey man. The laws the law.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

It's Official! Greenlight Bookstore Dips Toes In Lefferts

The Q's too busy and bruised (don't ask) to be all chatty today, and what's there to say anyway? Books. Books are good. Reading Is Fundamental. (old enough to remember RIF?) Until Greenlight manages to get a whole storefront in the nabe (no he didn't!) parents will settle for an awesome next best thing - Lefferts mom and co-owner Rebecca Fitting's award-winning independent book store is coming to the Flabenue. Co-locating with Shelley Kramer's Play Kids means now you'll leave that store having spent DOUBLE what you already didn't expect to buy in the first place. (Daddy, you promised!!!!!)

The Press Release is the text below, since paraphrasing it and pretending I wrote it is something that professional journalists do, and I'm not a professional journalist. I'm only paid like one.

Greenlight Bookstore Opens PopUp at Play Kids

Brooklyn business collaborate to bring books to the families of Prospect Lefferts Gardens Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood favorite Play Kids is teaming up with Brooklyn’s own Greenlight Bookstore to host a bookstore popup in the beloved toy store. Beginning in October 2015, Play Kids’ Flatbush Avenue location will feature a selection of children’s books stocked and curated by Greenlight, offering a richer experience for local families.

"Shopping small & shopping local is near and dear to our heart,” write Play Kids owners Carl Black and Shelley Kramer, who live in the neighborhood. “Greenlight has always been our favorite bookstore to shop for ourselves & our kids, and we've often referred customers to their Fort Greene location. It's so exciting for us to now have their well curated selection of kids books at Play Kids. We've brought the best of Brooklyn together at one location."

“Greenlight is excited to partner with Play Kids,” writes Greenlight’s coowner Rebecca Fitting, who also lives in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens neighborhood. “It's not only a great opportunity for two small businesses to collaborate on a project, but having this popup shop inside of their toy store makes it possible for us to bring books to the neighborhood in a way that feels special.”

Play Kids was established in 2011, born out of Black and Kramer’s desire to create a toy store that catered to the neighborhood they called home. The store’s focus is on open ended toys that grow with the child and family, and toys and games that stimulate children both mentally and physically, sourced from small, locally owned companies whenever possible.

In 2014 the store added an event space and began offering classes in art, science, and music. Play Kids was named New York Magazine 's Best Toy Store in 2012, and was also recognized by the N ew York Daily News as one of New York's Best Toy Stores. Greenlight Bookstore was founded in 2009 in the nearby Brooklyn neighborhood of Fort Greene / Clinton Hill, by Fitting and coowner Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, who had over 28 years combined experience working in independent bookstores.

Named one of the best indie bookstores for kids and families by T ime Out New York in 2015, the bookstore has received national and international attention for its innovative communitybased
startup model, its curated book selection and customer service, and its flourishing program of author events. Greenlight partners with many Brooklyn businesses and institutions for sales, events, and more, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), the Brooklyn Flea, St. Joseph’s College, BRIC, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration, and others.

“Local partnerships are the best way forward for independent businesses like ours,” writes Bagnulo. “Our partnership with Play Kids is a new model for us, but it’s in the spirit of our ongoing commitment to becoming a local Brooklyn institution that serves its community. We’re thrilled to extend that community beyond Fort Greene to Prospect Lefferts Gardens.”

The popup shop is managed by Greenlight’s offsite sales manager Annie Trizna, who works with both businesses to curate a selection of children’s books covering all ages, interests, and price points. The selection at Play Kids will be updated regularly, with attention to neighborhood needs and interests. For more information