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.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Vigilante Justice For the Q`

If you're just joining the show, you could do worse than to read this from BKLYNER about the Q and his sad travails.

It would seem someone appealed to Alicia Boyd and Imani Henry and got Proud Bastard Gavin McInnes removed from the list of Flatbush's Most Wanted. Now it's just down to the two major "White Supremacists," the guy who writes essays and news about the neighborhood without pay or patrons (yours truly) and a serial harasser who has repeatedly threatened to call cops on her building mates, then traumatized a 9-year old boy and whole family by wildly accusing the child of groping her when clearly (as body-shaming social media posters have noted) there wasn't much there to grope. She then pretended to call the cops, which elevated the video-taped situation to a whole new level of zeitgeist outrage. Despite the fact I've never met nor condoned "Cornerstore Caroline," she and I apparently now embody all that smells rotten in Denmark. I mean Flatbush. I always DID confuse the Danes and the Dutch...

(Let me reinforce the message if it wasn't clear - don't call 911 unless it's an actual emergency. And if that's the first you're hearing of that advice, you haven't been paying much attention to the last few years of news, both mainstream and non.)

Given the recent tragic national events that have arisen from frothy and nasty political rhetoric, I condemn the poster advertising an otherwise worthwhile protest from Imani-Alicia and hope that he and she can focus on the bigger prize - creating a firewall against the biggest threat to democracy, tolerance and decency the nation has seen in at least 100 years. And no, its not CC or the Q. The Q, for his part, plans to spend the day canvassing for Democrat Max Rose, who might just catch the multi-term incumbent who's biggest claim to fame is a bill to get Trump's picture hung in every post office across the land.

There it is. 2018. A year to remember none too fondly.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

PLGNA Rising

With all the hubbub on The Facebook and CB9 and the various and sundry smear campaigns from lovable local hate groups, its nice to see that the peoples can come out in peace and fellowship and get down to supporting one another. Had their been a fire, I suspect we'd have toasted smores and sung a rousing few verses of Froggy Went A'Courtin, my all-time fave being "without my Uncle Rat's consent, I wouldn't marry the Pres-I-Dent, mm-hmm." In fact, adding an mm-hmm to just about everything makes the day a shade brighter, mm-hmm.

It's hard to remember, but a just a few years back their wasn't so much attention being paid to the neighborhood, by forces inside AND outside. My first Community Board meetings were snores. It was hard to get a rise out of ANYone. You had to scream to wake people up. In a snap, we've gone from yawns to howls.

Many of the faces you see in the picture were there then and still there now. With some new energy, stronger organization and creativity, PLGNA will take its rightful place at the Round Table of Brooklyn under King Adams (soon to be term-limited out) so I'm thinking it'll be Queen Cumbo. No joking - seems to this armchair politician like the right move for her (you reading, Laurie?)

What we saw and heard the other night could was both inspiring and potentially voluminous, so I ask only that you consider hyper-jumping to the various links below to learn more from:
  • Shelley Worrell and her mobile offgrid caribBEING house on the Parkside Plaza
  • Carmen and the widly eclectic Kiddie Science center on Rogers Ave - doin' it all in our backyard!
  • Deborah Mutnick and the now published Voices of Lefferts available at Greenlight Bookstore
  • Nancy Hoch and great news about permanent park status for Maple Street Community Garden 
  • A gentleman with an incredible opportunity to support Jackie Robinson School from Greenlight Bookstore to easily purchase needed books (just do it here!)
  • PLG Arts' Hollis Headrick clued us in to the dulcet sounds of neighborhood tunage
  • If you want to support neighbors fighting greedy landlords you need to know all about Flatbush Tenant Coalition - FTC
  • Josue Pierre/NYC Comptroller's Office was there talking Scott Stringer, but let's be real, he'll be running for office real soon - Council in 2021? I'd bet on it
  • The newly renamed Pratt Area Community Council is now IMPACCT Brooklyn focused on helping people band together on all sorts of progressive issues - Dale was in the house.
  • Lindiwe and Pia came touting your lovely Nostrand Avenue Merchants Association which successfully lobbied the City for more parking after the swift and rugged SBS came to town
  • There was the ever-affable Dr. Cuts himself, Desmond Romeo, hailing the holiday lights that have become part of Flabenue tradition via the Parkside Empire - Flatbush Avenue Merchants Association
  • Local heroes from The Parkside Plaza reiterated how important it is for the community to give a bit of money each year to cover insurance so we can keep getting funding for the maintenance - fundraising campaign coming soon!
  • MINKA brooklyn came to share its secrets for holistic happiness and mindful meditation - visit them below the giant Apple billboard!
  • Janet showed up ON HER BIRTHDAY to tell us about Live Here, Learn Here: Friends of District 17 which asks with farily little judgment "So, why AREN'T YOU sending your kid to a walkable school, thereby helping integrate a horribly segregated district?" Though she's really nice about it, it's clear that it's way past time Lefferts parents started considering 241, 249, 376, 92, 6 and more and stop spending a couple hours a day just commuting
  • Lefferts Community Food Co-op is still in the game baby! And expanding! Get in while you can still claim to have been part of it when...
  • Colleen McNeil & Jawara Hudson/Flatbush Beacon Center - This one deserves its own post, because there is SO MUCH GOING ON over at MS2 just down Parkside way - for kids of all ages, and its all free, free, free.
  • Brooklyn Voters Alliance! #strongertogether is busy getting people to the polls in a non-partisan manner (straight face) because goddammit if we don't exercise this right it gets taken away, just as it is for millions of your fellow Americans AS WE WRITE/READ THIS!!!!!!
Watch this. It'll brighten your day, and remind you just how important this November 6 is for us and for future generations.

Cul de Sacked

Unless you pass by every day you're unlikely to see the drastic change that's taken place on St. Paul's dead-end half-block just south of Church. In just a few short months the sleepy block has given rise to dozens of new fancy-ish market rate apartments. Once open and filled, lively Church Avenue will likely see big changes. So while certain self-styled activists hold protests against yours truly and other civic-minded blokes, the pace of wholesale neighborhood change barrels forward, with only the promise of a total economic meltdown to slow or stop it. Number of rent-stabilized semi-affordable units added? 0. Zero, Nil. Nada. Nilch, Naught, None.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Q Forms New Trio Called R.O.N.

The Q is tired of this stuff too, but I must honor my commitment to publicly share my ongoing experience with the neighborhood I love. I've essentially been creating an archive of "what happened" and I can't leave out the most bizarre parts for fear of ending up carved into little pieces and stashed in a white-guilt-confused anti-gentrification gentrifier's icebox.
Gavin on Drums; Caroline on Guitar & Vocals, the Q on the Electric Lyre.
Pitchfork gave it 8.3!
Really now. After 2500 posts, hundreds either lamenting gentrification's worst excesses or promoting understanding on issues related to race, the Q has been lumped with the ACTUALLY insane Cornerstore Caroline (who cruelly targeted and terrorized a 9-year old black boy) and the ACTUALLY white supremacist Gavin McInnes of the Proud Boys. Not only do I find both humans offensive to humanity, I don't even have a beard, drink beer, or ascribe to any of their other, um, rules. (The Proud Boys, I shite you not, abstain from self-stimulation in a character-eroding program they call #nowanks. It's all true, and this is more evidence in my mind that Trump's election has left the country in a deep state of PTSD).

And that's why I know Boyd et al are deeply confused. The only reason to lump me into that crowd is sheer hatred and resentment at being criticized for their anti-democratic and anti-people behavior.

The band, however, kicks ass.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Don't Bank On It

Back at the dawn of the 21st century, twas a bank on the banks of the Caton. HSBC was its name-o, but it closed not long after the Q opened his account there (unrelated). Right now it's my favorite local 99 cent store, bright and full of all the knick-knacks you could possibly need and even more that you don't. My girls love it. And I'll be sad to see it go.

Because this is (was) a truly grand building. In its heyday I'm quite sure it was one of the lovelier banks about along the Middle Flabenue. Without question the rush to develop Flatbush Avenue is on. You've seen some of the mid-block buildings that have gone up, and there are tons of squat "taxpayer" buildings with retail that are easy pickings. Some of the Flatbush mixed-use buildings have had their apartments boarded up for years. It's safe to say that Flatbush will look very different in just a few years time. This new building is on the SE corner, but as you know a massive affordable housing complex will soon replace the now shuttered Caton Market. Talk about sea change. 

Read all about it here on Real Deal

Well past time to pull your money out of the HSBC that used to was
 And for more perspective, here's the Caton building that's going up kitty corner. I love that they left the world's nastiest Key Food in the rendering. Hard to imagine it will survive the upsell.

Are You a Brooklyn Bloke?

Wayne Fortune, Brooklyn Bloke
If you're strolling the Flabenue and happen to see a sleek little pop-up shoppe next to Awesome gifts at numero 617, you'll likely see one Wayne Fortune, a/k/a Brooklyn Bloke, a London-born designer/musician peddling his lifestyle brand.

For those of you too old or old-skool to think you care, a brush-up might be in order. "Lifestyle" is a bit of an all encompassing marketing concept, wherein the wearer/user/listener/viewer identifies strongly with the brand and its aspirational message, spiritual identification or world-view. Think you're above such silliness? If you ever considered yourself grunge, did you wear flannel and listen to Pearl Jam? Ever listen to a musical artist and think they perfectly embodied your outlook and sense of who you are? Ever wanted to look like someone whose style you dug? Ever worn a brand of shoes because you wouldn't be caught dead in another brand? And here's one for the liberal college educated parents out there - ever purchased or considered purchasing a Subaru Outback? Then you know what we're talking 'bout. Hell even political causes and candidates can be associated with your sense of identity. Bumper stickers, baby.

The Q loves the 'Blokes gear, though I'm more of Burlington Coat Factory man myself (we go by BCFM's so don't mess with us). Back at the shoppe, the pinball machines are a nice touch, and while BB is only here for a month, his brand will likely live on. Pick up a hoody or two for that special hard-to-please bloke on your list. And tell Wayne the Q sent you. I'm sure he'll offer you, I dunno, a shilling off or something.

Cheers mate.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

You Love the Neighborhood - Please Come Monday Eve

The Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood Association (PLGNA, pronounced PLeGNA) is nearly 50 years old. The time for a serious renaissance is overdue. The leadership is strong, but they need bodies. People who love and live or work in the community, who feel understandably overwhelmed by local politics. The boundaries of PLGNA will be more porous than you've heard. Woodruff, Lenox, Parkside west of Ocean, Caton, Martense, whatevs - you're the one who decides you belong, and you're a member when you say you're a member.

Please come out on Monday night to find out more and get your name "on the list." And if you can't make it just email me and we'll hook you up on the listserv. We need Board members and we need point people for projects big and small. If you need a fiscal sponsor for your local plan, let 'em know. PLGNA can become a recognized leader again on issues from housing to advocacy to business improvement and sanitation, arts and open spaces and celebrations and organizing. Brenda Edwards is currently president, and I can think of no other longtime resident to usher in a new era. You'll meet the other board members Monday night, but one of those board members could and probably SHOULD be you. This is not the quasi-governmental CB9 or 71st precinct council. It's an independent 501c3 ready to be what we want it to be.

See you there.

Friday, October 19, 2018

From Formerly Homeless To Probably Homeless

The long agonizing saga of 60 Clarkson and slumlord Barry Hers just keeps getting agonizinger and agonizinger. The many once-homeless families who decided to fight eviction have been dealt a blow to their hope to stay and get a rent-stabilized lease. After years of thumbing his nose at housing law, the guy who runs a bogus non-profit called "We Always Care," jerks like Hers are one step closer to exiting rent-stabilization for good. Because a judge in his infinite wisdom and mercy has determined that homeless people don't really live in the apartments they've lived in for years.

Read the decision that effectively says homeless folks housed in cluster-site housing have no rights to stay in their apartment some after nearly a decade of residency.

Read about the legal issues from Gothamist

Read the Q's original blog post and start of his obsession with the obscene saga.

Read an ad from Nooklyn trying to get young professionals to rent here, find out its a dump, then move out allowing Hers to take advantage of the vacancy increase

Read about what Roger Hodgson, former lead singer of the classic-era Supertramp, has been up to lately, via his tremendously stylish website that places those social media icons front and center and uses wonderfully outdated fonts and design. Then listen to "The Logical Song" again and marvel at the days when LPs were actually made out of pure cocaine.

 Then listen to "Take the Long Way Home," which is a bit of a metaphor for the plight of tens of thousands of New Yorkers struggling to get by.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Garden Living

Twas inevitable. The jewel of the neighborhood - The Brooklyn Botanic Garden - has inspired a steady stream of speculators, and many of the massive buildings in the pipeline will rise in the next couple years. The Q thinks it's worth noting what 12 stories actually looks like. The streetscape and skyline won't radically change, but it's safe to say that the shops, culture and density will feel very, very different. Wondering too what this means for the nearby schools...

111 Montgomery is but one of four big projects in this relatively quiet zone around the garden that are happening either as-of-right or with spot rezoning. Conclusion? Hemming and hawing have done little if nothing to slow or stop new building or gentrification. The only way to get the City's attention? Duh. Planning study. But it's probably too late to have much leverage, and there's almost zero political will. Meanwhile, these units will probably go like hot cakes. Garden, views, park, bars, transportation, Da Hot Pot - what more does a young professional need?

New Rendering of 111 Montgomery

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Best Trick-er-Treating in NYC

That's right parents. You don't have to leave the neighborhood for a pleasant, safe and spooky candy grab. Just head up (or down or sideways) to the Manor. It works like a de facto tax on parts of the Historic District - at least those Brownstones that choose to participate. Some of your neighbors hand out more than 1000 pieces of candy in a couple hours. (This trickster prefers Kit Kats and $100,000 bars - in case you want to get on the Q's good side.) If you do the whole route you go from Flatbush at Rutland zig-zagging all the way to the 71st Precinct on Empire. But you can just join anywhere, and there's a good chance you'll run into neighbors and your kids' friends.

Bar none, this is my favorite night in the neighborhood. All my Sesame Street fantasies come alive, and my werewolf mask really IS terrifying.

There is something deeply reassuring about the annually re-purposed flyer from Vinnie Martinos (below). Yes, despite all the nasty rhetoric, the Cop the Cat and the Pirate really can all get along, living side by side in peace and harmony and cavities. See you on the route.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

That Was One Weird Week

Ever wanted to be a fly on the wall at your own funeral? This week, the Q had a miniature version of the experience, when he shut down the blog as a result of having a metaphorical gun placed to his temple. It's been quite a whirl, whiplash and wrecking ball. But then something was said that was so untrue, so offensive, and so hurtful that I simply couldn't let it stand. So here I am to tell you all, once and for all:

I GREW UP IN IOWA, DAMMIT. NOT IDAHO. NOT OHIO. IOWA. As in The Music Man and corn and shit. I've lived in Brooklyn since 1988, but good golly Miss Molly get my damn homestate right.

The whole point of this blog is to tell y'all what happened, so here's what happened, and at the bottom of this post you'll find the emails sent by Ms. Alicia Boyd, MTOPP founder and the sole board member of her non-profit New Directions In Healing that accepts tax deductible donations that help fund MTOPP's activities including intense and deceitful electioneering. That's the truth, I'm sticking by it, plenty of evidence. I don't mean to say she should be dragged off in handcuffs; it's not really that serious an offense for a small operation anyway. Don't believe me? This is on her website, I don't need a Deep Throat thanks:

**Please note that New Directions In Healing, a non-profit organization, is accepting donations on our behalf and we thank them for their contribution to our cause.

Listen, I know I've said plenty of negative things about MTOPP over the years. Why? Because I've watched her destroy people and somehow get away with it. Ask yourself - why on earth does the community put up with it? She basically runs CB9 meetings by push, heckle and shove. Has any of it benefited the community? Have landlords dropped to their knees and begged for forgiveness for their greedy ways? Has the City rushed to aid in the form of much-needed public housing? Have developers been thwarted from building thousands of units of market rate housing? Has Empire Blvd stopped being shitty? Have houses stopped being torn down, or have ugly skinny apartment buildings stopped appearing mid-block? Have people stopped being pestered to sell their homes at below-market prices in cash? Have developers given in, given up and moved along? Hell no. It's only accelerated. I've taken to calling those mid-block eyesores Boyd Buildings.

In this blogger's opinion (and they're ALL just opinions) MTOPP has inhibited dialogue and created a level of fear and distrust that is completely destructive. People I care for have been hurt. And that is something up with which I cannot put. I've posted more than 2,400 times to this silly site, and I'll admit in my haste for a punchline I've stuck my keyboard in my mouth a time or ten. But I'll be damned if I'm gonna shut down now that I have my legal strategy in place, and since dozens of you have sent kind words of encouragement, and even Steve Witt at Kings County Politics gave me a moving eulogy. Quite honestly I was eating a momo in Jackson Heights when I read it, and I shed a tear right into my white sauce. Thx Steve. The white sauce actually wasn't salty enough.

It's humbling to think that when I started this blog Obama was in the White House and #BLM was but a simmering glimmer. Most of my writing is silly, but sometimes I kvetch about corruption and racism, and I always try to be honest with where I'm at, learning, making mistakes, making jokes in poor taste, and in fairness, apologizing when I get it wrong.

But I have never, ever made statements attacking the black community, or against women, or pro-developers or pro-gentrification or any of the other garbage Boyd is attempting to "destroy me" (her words) with. I have criticized SPECIFIC people for SPECIFIC actions, and those people come in every hue and flavor. Look, we here in Central Brooklyn are blessed with tons of black civic leaders. But guess what - they're not all good leaders, the right leaders, or even particularly honorable. Most are, sure. And I've never, ever once suggested that they be replaced with whites. I consider that the worst assumption of the gentrifier - the colonial notion that what the natives need is outside governance. That somehow there wasn't ALREADY A GENTRY HERE. The white savior notion is repellent and odious and all sorts of good SAT words meaning awful. And hell there's a whole new generation of Caribbean and African American leaders ready to take the helm. They need our support and respect. But folks, not MTOPP and frankly a couple of their sister orgs, who've decided terrorism against their own neighbors is a legitimate way to win an argument.

I love people. And I've tried very hard, sometimes successfully and other times less so, to let that show. It would appear that I was woefully naive, thinking that holding black and white public figures to the same standard was somehow progressive, even needed. And so I wrote headlines that I thought were hilarious and that got to the crux of the matter - ones that I have since apologized for and removed. I've been harsh about community leaders who talk out of both sides of their mouths. But I've also taken "white assumptions" to task when they don't pass the smell test. In other words, I'm trying to figure shit out, and do so with transparency and integrity.

So buy me some time I apologized to get her to call off a potentially career-damaging protest. She didn't like the first one, and called with more threats, and I know that no matter what I do the blackmailer will always ratchet up the terms. And so I was literally forced to post that I would never again comment in any way shape or form about the neighborhoods of Flatbush, Crown Heights or Lefferts Gardens. But this ain't Frontline, baby. I also once posted that the Park Slope eatery al di la was opening its newest outpost where the McDonalds currently resides across from my beloved Q at Parkside. I've signed nothing, and wouldn't. I support Ms. Boyd's first amendment rights more than she will ever know. But I fully expect mine to be respected as well.

There is something so Trumpian about her behavior, that I fear the President has rubbed off on our society to such a degree we may never recover. Imagine - tens of millions of kids are growing up thinking that bullying, demagoguery and tribalism are effective means of getting precisely what you want. And in Boyd's case, she's managed to smear and/or sue Pearl Miles, Jacob Goldstein, Carmen Martinez, Dwayne Nicholson, Demetrius Lawrence, Eric Adams, Laurie Cumbo, Ben Edwards, Michael Liburd, Warren Berke, Winston von Engle, Laura Imperiale, Musa Moore, Zellnor Myrie, PLGNAP and anyone who's dared to speak to an opposing viewpoint. To all of you, even though I've disagreed with some of you from time to time, I thought of you a lot this past week. You might have said to yourself "man, I really don't need this shit" and I hear you. Because man, I really don't need this shit.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Terrorist's Demands

Alicia Boyd via 

Oct 5 (4 days ago)
to Tim
Dear Tim Thomas
To ensure that the terms of our agreement are adhered to I’m writing this letter.

Here are the terms

You will apologize to the Black Community, its residents, leaders and especially Alicia Boyd for the comments and behavior you have exhibited via your Blog.  You will not explain why you making these apologies but will simply state them.  You will not tell the Black community that you love them or any other sentiments.  This is an apology not an opportunity to save face for yourself.

You will recant your statements about NDIH and MTOPP regarding the electioneering, stating clearly that you had no evidence to make the statements.  You will also state that you have no evidence that Alicia Boyd no longer has a mortgage on her home.

You will put it in writing that you will not be moving forward writing about Flatbush, Crown Heights, Ditmis Park and Prospect Lefferts Garden, either in your own name or any other alias.
This includes making comments via other online platforms, social media etc.. either in your name or an alias.

You will shut down the Q at Parkside permanently.

You will not allow any comments to be added to your blog post when your apology is placed on your Blog.

You will not during your apology describe in any negative terms the Black community, its residents, leaders or Alicia Boyd.

These conditions must be stated in your apology and must be posted for two days on your Blog, with no ability for our readership to make comments etc…

You will remove your blog post that you are now making the claim is an apology.  We still find it offensive by 7:30 am.

You will not share this email thread, with anyone and you will not post my comments to you regarding this agreement.

These conditions must be met by 12 noon on October 5, 2018

In Return to your compliance, the demonstration that has been planned at the Bang On a Can event happening on October 7, 2018, will be called off.

This Was the Apology That Alicia Rejected

The Q would like to formally apologize to Alicia Boyd and MTOPP and any black leaders who have taken offense for any of my gadfly ramblings. I have a big mouth. I like wordplay. And despite fighting with Ms. Boyd in public, I've continued to remark both on the blog and privately that she is an extraordinarily ambitious and effective activist. I thought we were engaged in political debate, but she believes I have attacked the black community as a whole, which she says she represents. She made it clear that by attacking her I'm attacking African-Americans generally. And so...

This will be my last post.

I'm very sorry to have offended. Truly. I enjoy a vigorous back-and-forth; I guess I went too far and for that I apologize.

I also made statements that Ms. Boyd is using her non-profit for electioneering. In fact, I have no inside knowledge about how she uses her money. Though I am a trained professional in the realm of non-profits (my day job), I could be mistaken. It's not up to me to decide who has broken the law - that's for law enforcement and the judicial system. 

And while out of context some phrases in my more than 2,000 posts could seem to suggest that I want anyone to come to harm, I really don't harbor any violent or malevolent feelings for Ms. Boyd or anyone else in this community for that matter. I love my black, brown, pink and tinted brothers and sisters. I really do. There are particular politicians and public figures who I strongly disagree with, or find to be corrupt or ineffective. But I have never advocated for a white politician in Central Brooklyn, nor do I intend to. All of my heroes in this neighborhood are black or brown, and I've tried to call attention to their exploits when I can. When I wrote "Bye Bye Black Brooklyn" it was a lament, since Bed-Stuy will be mostly white by the next census, and that just seems crazy to me. I love black Brooklyn, and if that post title hurt feelings then it wasn't worth the wordplay. Not everyone shares my dark humor, and anyway, if you don't find it funny I can respect that. These are stressful times.

The Q came to this neighborhood 15 years ago. I've now been in Brooklyn for 31 years. I love Brooklyn. I felt like I came home when I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge after college. I've watched it change tremendously, and on this blog and elsewhere, I've sought solutions for the very real problems of shitty landlords, displacement, affordable housing, racism in the schools, electoral apathy, and most of all white hypocrisy. Man do I hate hypocrisy! Especially among liberals. Which means, I guess, that I hate me when I'm hypocritical. That's been part of my process - understanding how my life went from college radical to middle-age bore.

I moved onto a block of nearly 2,000 people when just 3 were white, besides me and my wife. Now the street is lousy with whitey. The subways, the 8 coffee shops (can you believe there were basically none for my first half dozen years?), the restaurants and upscale businesses, thankfully many of which are black-owned. So guess what, I'm part of the "problem." I could be counted among the very first gentrifiers of (yuck I hate the name) PLG, outside the coveted Lefferts Manor, where the single-family covenant and house tours have attracted some whites to stay or buy even after red-lining and block-busting.

What brought me to my knees was that MTOPP and BAN planned to protest and call me a racist in front of my job, my colleagues, bosses, and very critical donors to my workplace that I love dearly. I simply can't let my reputation and job be destroyed for...for what, a blog? I've only ever written opinions and profiles and snapped a few pictures. It's basically a glorified scrapbook. And MTOPP and BAN and any other acronym - I firmly believe in their right to organize, protest, mobilize and even rough things up a bit. But my family is more important than calling bullshit on people or ideas. And I don't want to have to defend what's in my heart, even when I lash out at things I find distasteful. 

Mostly I've wanted to understand. I'm curious. And when I write I tend to think about stuff clearer, and then the commenters get to argue and I have to defend my positions. And then sometimes I change my mind, or get it changed for me.

And as I've been reminded a lot recently - nobody wants to hear what a paunchy middle aged white guy has to say about race anyway. Or anything, really. It's time for us to shut up and listen. Obama had just been elected when I started this thing, and I felt optimistic, that it was time to talk turkey, get real, lip up a bit, get smacked down, the whole nine. Times have changed. The country has become a hell-hole of hate, resentment and out-liberal or out-conservative each other. It's gross. I don't need to add to the putrid olio.

Today I'm apologizing and shutting down the Q on Sunday, per my arrangement with Alicia. It's been a fun ride. But there are more important things than rides, and I wish Alicia success in stopping gentrification and displacement. At least she doesn't give up.

The Q, over and out.
tim thomas

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Need a Mission? Bring It All Home To Staten Island

I know, I know. Where to begin? Head down to DC? Try to get stuck in an elevator with Lindsay Graham so you can knee him in the groin? Actually as he was mouthing off last week I realized just how much he looks like the Cowardly Lion. Really quite striking.

With one bitter political day following another, it's hard to know where to plug in to save the Republic. One thing's for sure though. The Republicans made a deal with the devil (the Southern Strategy) and not surprisingly it came back to haunt the country. To win elections they wooed racists and evangelicals, feeding them the red meat they weren't getting from Washington post-Kennedy-MLK-Johnson. And now the "basket of deplorables" has thoroughly emerged as the dominant force in the never-should-be-called-again Party of Lincoln. More like the Party of Pat Buchanan. Actually Pat and Putin made quite a team in 2016...

From the Q's not-terribly-deep well of wisdom, he offers you a simple, local way to make a big difference. You and I have done our best to break the stranglehold of the Kings County Machine by giving bumbling Mathieu Eugene a run for his money - twice; bolstering the powerhouse truth-teller Diana Richardson past the machine candidate; nearly toppling the hapless Yvette Clarke in a primary, and putting Zell Myrie in a great spot to take the State Senate seat from the shameless turncoat and machine-vestige Jesse Hamilton. Someone asked me recently if this blog was political. What?? Not on your life!!!! Would never, could never, should never! Hey, at least I'm not hiding behind some bogus non-profit...

Here's the two words you need to know if you don't already: MAX ROSE. Mnemonic: Max like "Mad Max" and Rose for, say, "Rose McGowan," the loose-lipped champion and sometimes-distraction of the #MeToo moment. (Actually, you can use McGowan if you want, but I'm going to use my bass player friend Rose, or better yet, Rose Stone, keyboardist and the sister of Sly from the Family Stone.)

Max has a pretty good shot at turning Red Staten (Red Satan? Hmmm) to Blue Satin. Staten. Whatever. You get the idea.

Either Max Rose has the best of consultants or the surest of political instincts, because he is running the kind of positive non-Trump-centric campaign that Dems need in order to win back the bicameral. That's right. NON-Trump-centric. Why? Because everyone who already hates Trump already hates Trump and is likely motivated to vote - the trick is getting them to the polls.

This time out, you can run as lefty as you want as long as you run FOR something, whether health care or immigration reform or economic justice. To win in conservative districts, you can actually take all the positions from the left that you want - but if there's a position that's a tough sell in your district, for GOD'S SAKES don't lead with it!

Because we may have come a long way in this country, but white people have WAY farther to go. And right now even the not-racists are defensive and scared, and that's a recipe for dictatorship. Ever noticed that dictators often emerge when they feel their minority hold on power is crumbling? Bingo. That's how we got here, and in my opinion, it's better to talk about this stuff from a place of strength. Say, Obama in the White House, or Dems in control of at least ONE house of congress.

This is Max. He needs your support. He needs people to help get out the vote and phone bank. And he even has a sliver of South Brooklyn!! C'mon now. Let's get Max in the congress - it's a huge turnaround to change even ONE seat from Red to Blue.

And while I've got you, take a look at the BRILLIANT piece for Andrew Gillum who might actually become governor of the (among others) the rednecks in north Florida. And his new TV Ad is PERFECT. I'm gonna give you both below. So...Don't lose hope friends. You're about to see something this country hasn't seen since...well, 2008!! Go be a part of it.

Friday, October 5, 2018

A Mea Culpa and the End of the Q

I apologize to the Black Community, its residents, leaders and especially Alica Boyd for the comments and behavior I have exhibited via this blog.

I recant my statements about New Directions In Healing and Movement to Protect the People (MTOPP) regarding electioneering. I have no firm evidence to make those statements. I also do not have evidence that she no longer has a mortgage on her home.

I will not be moving forward writing about Flatbush, Crown Heights, Ditmas Park and Prospect Lefferts Gardens, either in my own name or any other alias. This includes making comments on other platforms, social media, etc either in my name or any alias.

I will shut down the Q at Parkside permanently.

I will leave this post up for two days with the comments section shut down.

So long Flatbush.
tim "the Q" thomas