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, December 24, 2016

A Local Gift That Goes A Long Way

The Q spends loves to identify the failings in some and champion others. I don't know why I do this. It's the way I think I suppose, and the whole purpose of this blog is to better understand WHY I think this way, and to better hone my understanding of the world around me. I can't say that it's working, but for whatever reason I can't stop, at least not yet.

If you spend anytime reading the Q, whether to become infuriated or check for spelling and grammatical errors (I know, but I write so quickly with very little time to edit), or perhaps occasionally you find something herein worth sharing or ruminating on or better yet commenting in the wee box below, or if you've ever wondered why the Q's sentences run on and on with seemingly no end in sight, wondering if in fact he ever DID learn the basics of written communication or if he thinks, perhaps, that long sentences give him the air of some sort of important essayist rather than a lowly blogger who, just this year, was taken down a peg with a pesky call from one of his heroes Ta'Nehisi Coates, whom it should be noted I still think way overreacted about a house he bought in the neighborhood, thinking that knowledge of his whereabouts would somehow lead to an unsafe life for him and his family when in fact anyone can find anyone at anytime with a few strokes of the keypad, and anyway if someone wants to do him harm it's not like he travels with a security team, and frankly few people know him from Adam anyhow outside black intellectuals and wanna-be leftists with subscriptions to the Atlantic, but still I appreciate that he picked up the telephone to call me and blame me for something someone else would have done anyway, and besides I was just repeating what some douchbag realtor had been saying anyway, and I suppose it sounds like I'm making excuses but you can't undo the past and frankly I wish it had been another of my heroes calling to say "hey man I really dig your whole vibe" but that's cool I'm 50 years old and can't expect much beyond the occasional warm fuzzy from my adorable daughters and lovely spouse. Um...what was I saying?

Oh yes, if you've ever enjoyed anything on this blog I'd be grateful if you'd consider a donation to one of the few organizations that's actually doing something about the plight of those for whom gentrification has put their very homes in jeopardy. Landlords are looking to get the most vulnerable tenants out so they can take advantage of the neighborhoods' outrageous market rates, and The Flatbush Tenants Coalition puts feet on the ground and tools in the hands of people who have every right to stay in their homes due to the progressive, albeit flawed, rent laws of this state and city.

Here's their pitch below. Please consider a gift? Feel free to note the Q sent you, or not. I need no credit, just the knowledge that someone, somewhere, actually cares that this Holiday Season some are feeling insecurity and hopelessness. Go FTC.

Earlier this month, more than 80 of our tenant leaders gathered for an amazing post-election convening to discuss the new political landscape and what it means for our fight to build tenant power.  Our key take-aways:   fighting repression and injustice across the country means fighting locally, and … WE WERE BUILT for this fight!   Help us power up the fight today by making a generous year-end donation to the Flatbush Tenant Coalition!

Over the last five years, the Flatbush Tenant Coalition has built up an army of skilled & dedicated tenant leaders spreading the word about tenant rights and spearheading campaigns for safe, decent, affordable housing across the city. 

In 2016, we:
·         Grew our base to more than 65 active tenant associations collectively representing more than 20,000 tenants winning thousands of repairs and tens of thousands of dollars in rent reductions

·         Supported our member associations to challenge rent increases and illegal rents, including filing a court case – together with the amazing Brooklyn Legal Services – to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent overcharges

·         Spearheaded Brooklyn Tenants United to win the first-ever Brooklyn Housing Court Taskforce so tenants have a real voice in how the court works (shortly after winning $100 million in the city budget for a new Brooklyn Housing Court building!)

·         With other NYC tenant groups, made history again by winning NYC’s second-ever rent freeze!

We’re ready for what’s ahead.  Support the fight!!


Anonymous said...

Ta-Nehisi Coates went delusional.

Has any successful writer other than Thomas Pynchon remained invisible? No. Even reclusive J.D. Salinger was bothered by people who dropped by his place in New Hampshire. However, even though his fans knew where to find him, he was never attacked by unbalanced readers. His closest call occurred when he appeared as a character in the novel "Shoeless Joe" the book that became the movie "Field of Dreams."

On the other hand, the Lindbergh family was regularly tormented by people knocking on the door of their CT home claiming to be the kidnapped son of Charles.

Coates realized something else. The PLG he left after stiffing his landlord 15 years ago wasn't the PLG he would return to. But there were two changes underway. One change was in the character of the neighborhood. But the far larger change was the transformation in him. He had become the embodiment of everything most despised by the long-term black residents. He had become the oppressor. The ultimate gentrifier. The black guy with serious money.

He was recoiling within himself, unable to reconcile what he had become -- a success, comfortable and at home among the "elite" -- with the loss of his youthful appreciation for jerk chicken and the downscale culture it now represents to him. It must have saddened him, depressed him when he came to understand that he would be stooping, condescending every time he would enter a shop on Flatbush.

His affluence came to him through the usual channels that benefit the handful of writers who make a little money. The white channels, not least of which was the MacArthur Genius Award of a million buckaroos. Then it struck him that he was dropping all that money from whites into a neighborhood home to a lot people who are angry and want to stop the resettling of the neighborhood by whites.

He was embarrassed. He felt a perverse shame and humiliation. So he bailed...

Will he get lost in the thicket of writers in Park Slope? Or stick to wherever he's been? Upper West Side? Harlem? If worries about crazies getting too close are truly the issue, he should probably give up his gigs teaching writing. You never know when some student will go off the deep end. Ask James Lasdun about that.

diak said...

Wow, a helluva lot of speculation about what's going on in someone else's mind.
But just as a matter of fact, the MacArthur grant isn't a million dollars. According to the MacFound website, it's $625,000 paid out over five years. (But when have facts mattered in the comments section?)

Uh huh said...


Your writing is truly engaging. As I read, I could barely wait for the next sentence to find out what else you would project onto someone else.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

I just think that it's a shame Anon at 11:10 wastes his considerable intellect and energy on such negativity. And I thought I was cynical!

Anonymous said...

Negative? Me? Ahhhh, no. The negative guy is Coates. He's the one who dumped on the neighborhood for no good reason. And on that score, Obama, by claiming he would have beaten Trump if it weren't for the 22nd Amendment, let loose a major dump on Hillary.