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, January 24, 2020

Crime Voyeurism: Melee at King Fusion

The Q wishes he could un-see this, since everytime he walks by he's going to re-see it. Mr. King Asian Food, at 803 Flatbush. There are a few moments of cinematic gold, like when the attacker grabs soda cans but they fly out of her hands, then she gets frustrated and just pulls all the snapples onto the ground. It's never as pretty as it is when staged on the set of the Sopranos. Luckily the wounds were minor, but gee whiz, what sort of dispute led to this?

Folks on edge, man. Folks on edge.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

"Go Back To Iowa" Says Your BP. Oh, and Ohio, too. (Idahoans can stay though)

So this is what it's come to.

Check out the video of Eric Adams grandstanding to cheering crowd of activists on MLK Day. He's decided that transplants from Iowa and Ohio have silenced and stolen from native New Yorkers. Don't get me wrong...there's a vital conversation to be had here. But it's a generation of politicians, like Eric Adams who have held power in parts of this borough, and who should be talking about structural change and explaining why they haven't come up with effective solutions to what essentially boils down to a SUCCESSFUL American city dealing with growing pains.

Easier, I guess, to blame a bunch of job seeking apartment hunters who, for the most part, play by the rules assigned them by the greedy and powerful of this City. They don't come here to steal; they come here to live, work and contribute. Do they need some tips on how not to be rubes? Hell yeah. But "go back to..." rhetoric will get you, Eric, sent back to the private sector quicker than it will win you the Mayoral election. It's not going to make life easier or better for anyone, and only encourage more division and mistrust. You sir, a child of the Black Panther generation who admires the trailblazing work of Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton, should know that the "GO BACK TO..." phrase has an ugly history of its own.

I've been in Brooklyn for more than 30 years, and I laugh that REAL New Yorkers like Eric Adams will never give me a pass. But you know who else are New Yorkers? Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump, Robert Moses and generations of outright out-in-the-open racists. Surely these aren't the native New Yorkers you want protected from Iowans?

The race-baiting is on and it's a real shame. Also calling out Starbucks is just plain weird in this day and age. It's one of the most integrated coffee houses around (barring the occasional dumb-ass managers), second only to Dunkin' Donuts, our de facto community center in the early evenings.

Shit. I liked this guy once. After taking a steamroller to our community board back in 2013, I started to wonder if his hench-woman Ingrid Lewis-Martin was more interested in settling scores than making the neighborhood more harmonious.

What I'm realizing is that politicians will rarely be real to your face. I think the guy in this video is speaking from the heart. And that's what disappoints me too; that I thought maybe he was one of the good guys, someone who knows that our sum is more than the parts of our story.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Work Starts at 931 Carroll and 40 Crown Despite TRO

This is what happens when you have no credibility, no power, and no room to negotiate.
Nada. Nilch. Nuthin'.

Portrayed as a David vs Goliath popcorn thriller by yours and my fave nabe terrorists MTOPP as a winnable fight worth the destruction of civil discourse and common decency, the end is nearing and David's about to be handed his slingshot in a muddy nutsack. The developers have restarted work at  931 Carroll Street, part of a more than 500 unit set of building that will top out around 17 stories.

All this stuff may seem confusing to you, and I can def relate. The Q has to relearn what's what every time I hear an update, and this morning we were asked by the 'Topp to brave the freezing cold at 8am to protest the excavation work that will lead to the pouring of concrete at 931. DoB apparently issued permits allowing the work despite a Temporary Restraining Order while a court case - Boyd vs Cumbo - works its way through court. Let's see. Court case pits irascible self-aggrandizer against popular caucus leading city councilwoman who has been mercilessly harassed over the years by said litigant? I'm placing my dough on the insider ball player.

Here's the simple version of the story.

This project to build 500+ apartments on what is really two separate parcels is now owned by Carmel Partners, no longer by Cornell Realty. Boyd et al have tried to argue that since the rezoning application (that was approved btw) was entered by Cornell the new owners must scrap everything and start over. That's not the case, but when has that stopped an activist from raising legal funds for their pro bono lawyer? (MTOPP's been raising money (illegitimately funnelling it through Boyd's non-profit New Directions in Healing) for all this hell-raising and harassment. Buy yourself something useful - her efforts are going nowhere but ruining people's days, weeks and even a few life-years (I hope Pearl Miles is enjoying retirement).

This is NOT the giant building planned for the Spice Factory location. That's a whole 'nother ball of wax. BBG doesn't like THAT project at all, and has been helping to organize against it. The Botanic Garden did not find THIS project particularly egregious, though, and essentially let the "spot" rezoning go through without objection. Why? Well, even though it's taller than most of us originally would have pushed for in a neighborhood-wide rezoning, it's still not taller than Ebbets Field Apartments or Tivoli Towers, which have co-existed with the southern Crown Heights area for decades.

To remind you, this is what we're talking about, though this is clearly just a block diagram (and not a scare-tactic rendering MTOPP has been circulating). You can Ebbets on the right and Tivoli in the middle of Carroll and Crown portions of the project.

Oh, and it gets better. And will keep getting better. This week we learned that an application has been filed to rezone the low-rise long-shuttered 103 Empire Boulevard. And of course, that will unleash a whole new round of outrage and fundraising from you know who.

Folks, I have it from insider authority - AB is now just a known "cost of doing business." She's neither a threat nor a viable foe. If you want to build big in our area, you just gotta put on your iron jockstrap and wait it out. That process becomes a tiny line on a big spreadsheet, written off, champagne under the bridge.

It's pathetic. So unnecessary. And so, so, tiring.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Hens the Name

So after a nice vacay with BOTH sides of the fam, the clan flies home into Newark after midnight. Upon arrival, the truth hurts. No milk. No eggs. No bread. How will we feed the children? How WILL we feed them? How??

So the Q puts his jacket back on and heads to Flatbush Farm (nee Suzie Farm) on the Flabenue near Woodruff. As always it's bright, stocked and friendly. It's my favorite place to shop, pretty much anywhere. The day-working woman my girls know as "Suzie" gives them $5 on their birthdays, I shit you not.

For milk? Organic Valley, probably because I read something years ago about how it's fairer to farmers, Whether that's true now, or was ever, I know not. Milk...check.

For bread? A loaf of local, from somewhere called "Steph's Cake Shop" in Rockaway. Why? Well, it's shaped like actual baked bread...with the tiny bits on the end that get wider towards the center. Steph is probably a woman, and I like women. And not too many ingredients. Real sugar. So bread...check.

Ah but now the hard part. The eggs. Mrs. Flatbed is a fan of hens living their lives in relatively natural surroundings, better to lay eggs in, and better on my conscience. And though I have no idea WHAT-SO-EVER what a hen really likes (social life? down time? the occasional shvitz?) I go with the packaging that makes me feel like I've made a moral consumer choice. The Sauder's. Because...well...let's take a look shall we?

Now don't those chickens look happy? And that word "Amish." Nothing Amish could be bad, right? And the silhouette of a buggy and horse? Surely these must be the HAPPIEST CHICKENS EVER, right?

Here's the thing though. The farms themselves aren't Amish. Rather, it says "Direct From Amish Country" in PA and OH. So these chickens were perhaps a buggy ride away from the Amish, but not necessarily pious themselves.

It gets better.

You see, these organic medium eggs come LITERALLY from "Hens Who Enjoy the Outdoors!" I won't quibble with the fact that some hens may NOT enjoy the outdoors and merely feel forced to head outside by coercion and peer pressure. But the statement implies that the hens spend a great deal of time basking in the Amish sun, does it not? But it doesn't actually say that. It could, in fact, mean that the hens enjoy the outdoors but NEVER GET TO GO. Language, as they say, is important.

Let's resolve this difficult quandary once and for all. Did you know that there's an incredible website that does the fact-checking for you? Go to And here-on you will find all manner of facts regarding the relative decency of organic farmers all over the country. Here's the eggs page.

How does Sauder's do on the survey? Miserably. As is so often the case, the packaging is a lie, a fabrication, a sham, a bait and switch. Remember when 45 said he'd replace Obamacare with something WAY better? It's true folks. Fully 40% of your countrymen are complete and utter assholes. You probably already suspected it. But now, it's official.

And the eggs? They taste only o.k.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Oy. Josue Pierre Jumps In For Council

Not a bad guy...quite the opposite. The ubiquitous and conscientious Josue Pierre has been making a name for himself round here for years. The gig he currently holds - as elected "District Leader" for the Democratic Party, has always been a stepping stone for higher office. The fact that there is a "male" and "female" District Leader in each Assembly District begs a snarky diatribe in and of itself. But what Pierre has done now - as reported by the brilliant local scribe Liene Zagare and BKLYNER - switching from a primary challenge to longtime State Senator Kevin Parker to a City Council bid in yours and my 40th Council District, could help throw the vote to the brother of the single most incompetent Council person in the City - Mathieu Eugene.

So here we are again. "Doctor" Eugene has a brother. And he hopes that brother Maxie has enough name recognition to take over for the good "doctor." And frankly it's name recognition that's kept Eugene in office for three-and-a-half terms despite doing absolutely nothing to distinguish himself save throwing bones to his most dedicated voters.

Why is this a potential wrench for local voters? Well, Brian Cunningham, the last general election challenger to Eugene in 2017 and a clear early fave for the job, will now face a primary challenge for 2021 from a serious contender.

This isn't the Q's place of course (wait...I'm a constituent...of course it is!) But were I Cunningham I'd start early with a Working Families Party endorsement and plan on a solid WP vs Dem contest in the general election. Because the Dem nom nod may end up a brawl between Maxie and Josue. BC could come out unscathed.

And so, after General Trump goes down to Bernie in 2020, we'll be watching the 40th for signs of real change. We already got strength from Diana Richardson and Zell Myrie at the State level (and in fairness, Parker holds his own, anger and all), plus Laurie Cumbo and Walter Mosley walking the tightrope on gentrification and affordable housing.

So many youngish strong non-establishment candidates to go around! Just say no to a Eugene dynasty and we'll be just fine.