MTOPP/Empire Study Group presented their hopes for Empire, as I've noted previously. Professor Tom Angotti continued his spurious claims that only his version of "planning" is actual planning. He's tussled with NYC City Planning for years about his distaste for new housing, so there's no surprise there that he thinks Planning does not actually plan. Actually, I think he's a bit out of touch, locked in his Ivory tower, having long ago left the NYC agency. In a private aside, he told me that demanding affordable housing from developers is a terrible idea. While I'd agree that the City should do more to build deeply affordable subsidized housing on its own, I hardly see why it's a problem to get some lower-income working-folks housing built during boom times. I guess, as they say, we can agree to disagree? Actually, no, that's not the MTOPP way. There shall be no disagreeing; just shouting and demanding utter allegiance, and there was plenty of THAT last night.
The Brooklyn Flea founder Jonathan Butler was there. The Board voted lopsidedly to support his request for a full liquor license for his Smorgasbord thingy in Prospect Park on summer Sundays. It proved successful last year, though the Q doesn't particularly care for all the new fangled sliders and Korean Tacos and veggie things that really shouldn't be veggie, OR $10. To each his own. I've decided to support any new business, so long as its not run by felons, felon accomplices, or ne'er-do-wells more generally. (see comments for disclaimers on that.)
Blessings got full support for wine and beer license, as did Castillo de Jagua. Both joints are near each other in Lower Flabenue. Lakeside will add outdoor liquor space.
The contentious liquor license app-of-the-eve came from a new restaurant/bar tentatively and poorly monikered Crow Bar. You might recall the gay bar of the same name in Manhattan, but that's not why I say poorly named. If anything we could use a gay bar around here. The Crow Hill area of Crown Heights was named, many say, for the prison that stood there, and was a derogatory reference to black folks. Others contend a less racial derivation, though I'm inclined to side with the story that exposes the worst of human nature. The vote on that one - at 820 Franklin at Union - was 17 yes, 12 no, 5 abstentions. That means there wasn't a majority in favor, so the app did not pass. Or DID it?
Chanina Sperlin contends his vote wasn't counted!
|Chanina Sperlin: Did he, or didn't he?|
Mr. Sperlin, it must be noted, has a habit of getting up and walking out of the room to take or place phone calls. What to do about the dispute? His name is strikingly similar to Rabbi Spellman's! Was that the cause of confusion? Or was he, as Chair Lawrence contended, out of the room at the time of the vote? Well...there's tons of video tape going on these days. More intrigue...will the video-makers allow the use of their film for this purpose, as it would potentially contradict their desire to see the application rejected?
Oh, the suspense. As Jonathan Butler, who is also the Founder of Brownstoner.com, said to me - "I've never seen anything like this, anywhere." Well said. The Greatest Show On Earth continues to wow and amaze. No need for elephants or tigers or PETA protests.