Articles on this Page
- 04/08/15--12:26: _Extra! Extra! Echo!...
- 04/08/15--14:41: _Coalition of Commun...
- 04/09/15--07:00: _Neighborhood Develo...
- 04/09/15--13:32: _Blood Drive This Fr...
- 04/09/15--19:06: _Empire Boulevard Is...
- 04/10/15--09:25: _Burger Mexicano
- 04/11/15--05:47: _Help Reduce Feral C...
- 04/11/15--19:08: _Rainbows, Blue Skie...
- 04/13/15--08:27: _No Cat Calls
- 04/13/15--09:44: _The Artful Rogers
- 04/13/15--10:35: _Parkside Plaza: You...
- 04/13/15--19:24: _Building Right Next...
- 04/14/15--06:41: _Roomies for Toomey's
- 04/14/15--12:54: _I.M. Pastry Opening...
- 04/14/15--19:32: _A Pinnacle of Propa...
- 04/15/15--07:38: _Psssst. It's gonna ...
- 04/17/15--10:12: _Clarkson and Vicini...
- 04/18/15--05:52: _Bar Coming to Mid-L...
- 04/18/15--11:51: _A New Low
- 04/21/15--15:29: _Race For Student Co...
- 04/08/15--12:26: Extra! Extra! Echo! Echo!
- 04/08/15--14:41: Coalition of Community Groups to Fight 421a Tax Breaks
- 04/09/15--07:00: Neighborhood Development Map Updated
- 04/09/15--13:32: Blood Drive This Friday!
- 04/09/15--19:06: Empire Boulevard Is Developing, Like It Or Not
- 04/10/15--09:25: Burger Mexicano
- 04/11/15--05:47: Help Reduce Feral Cat Population
- 04/11/15--19:08: Rainbows, Blue Skies and Sushi
- 04/13/15--08:27: No Cat Calls
- 04/13/15--09:44: The Artful Rogers
- 04/13/15--10:35: Parkside Plaza: Your Time Has Come
- 04/14/15--06:41: Roomies for Toomey's
- 04/14/15--12:54: I.M. Pastry Opening on Nostrand
- 04/14/15--19:32: A Pinnacle of Propaganda
- 04/15/15--07:38: Psssst. It's gonna be Mexican...
- 04/17/15--10:12: Clarkson and Vicinity - Meeting With D.A. on Monday
- 04/18/15--05:52: Bar Coming to Mid-Lefferts on the Flabenue
- 04/18/15--11:51: A New Low
- 04/21/15--15:29: Race For Student Council President Marred By Hijinx
Not since college; when I would eagerly await the new Prince, Replacements or R.E.M. record; have I become so attuned to the release of the Lefferts Manor Echo. With Milford Prewitt at the helm, the Echo is a polished source for all things PLG. Thus, it gives me great pleasure to attach some for all the P's, L's and G's in your life. The PDF will be available forthright on the LMA website.
You know things are getting fierce when the activists start attacking specific parts of the tax code! In the case of 421-a, the outdated property tax breaks that give developers added incentives to build, most people would agree that it's time to consider whether it hinders rather than encourages the growth of affordable housing, or whether it's basically a give-away. If you believe it's a travesty, you'd do worse than to join the Crown Heights Tenants Union, Flatbush Tenants Coalition and the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board at the hard-to-miss 626 Flatbush, an address that will undoubtedly outlive the current crisis, yet galvanizes the outrage felt by many about the cruel circus of change that's come to town and put down stakes. The pink elephant in the tent? We've been over that one many, many times here.
Please do keep sending us info as you discover it. This fascinating map, courtesy of reader Jacob Garchik, helps visualize the historic transformation that has come to our neck of the borough of Kings.
How many of you have seen the news that the lot on the NE corner of Empire and Bedford is going to be...drum roll...another Self-Storage Building! We've got more storage space on Empire now than in ALL of Hackensack!
|Bring Your Architect and Your Own Zoning Variance Expeditor|
More remarkably, as pointed out by Mr. No-Sleep-Til-Brooklynian Mike F. WhyNot, the nightclub The Buzz will soon be playing its last dancehall jam, because the 16,000 square feet that it sits on is for sale for a staggering $10,000,000, or more thane $600 s/f. As Mike points out, by sitting on more than one zoning slab it might be a shoe-in for a variance, in which case all this nonsense at CB9 becomes monstrously moot. Will MTOPP be able to count on Eric Adams to save them? Not now that they've created an enemy for life in the BP slot, and who knows, next Mayor in 2019?
Or they could do a pretty tall hotel. And why not? It's right on the Garden and Prospect Park. And from the trendy roof bar rich German Tourists could look down at those gorgeous storage facilities and laugh at the schlocky use of a grandly named boulevard. But the many former residents of Lefferts and Crown Heights will at least have a place to put their stuff until they hear about the affordable housing lottery...in Cleveland, where they actually build the stuff.
Can't make it up. Can only live it.
As reported here a few weeks ago, Burger Mexicano is ready for its closeup:
That's the old Meytex space on Flatbush. 545 to be exact.
Yes, it's true, we're getting TWO count them wine stores on Flatbush, one at the current Garden Deli across from Planet Fitness. The other will most likely take a space near Playkids.
And yes, LPT is becoming Mexican as well.
And now I hear a Japanese joint is opening on Rogers at the old funeral parlor, c/o neighborhood info-source Barbara Rogers, whose ancestors must have been friends with the Lefferts' given how up on things she is! (Though they were likely perpendicular friends, the Rogers' and the Lefferts', if the streets are any indication.)
Let the complaining before the place even opens begin!!
Fat Cats. Phat Katz.
|Each gift, no matter how small, helps|
Then we had kids. And the cats became...cats. Michael Showalter, three doors down, took over cat duties about five years ago, and with our help managed to capture a half dozen or so of the newbies. Well done. But now MS is on sabbatical in Smell A., and what great fortune, a new neighborhood group has sprung up to capture, neuter then release dozens of cats in the area! Fat Cats. They need just a wee bit of money to make it all happen. There are costs, after all. But the benefits will be HUGE, and it will be enormously helpful to have a little organization that you can reach out to when the felines get out of hand.
Give a little? Here's their GoFundMe. Go Fund Them!
Thank you so much for all of our new donations! Let's keep them coming, please share this link wherever you can and help us reach our goal before we have to begin trapping in less than a month!Here Come the FAT Cats!
Prospect-Lefferts Gardens and Flatbush cat colony caretakers in Brooklyn are pooling resources to get 30+ local feral cats spayed, neutered, vetted and released in a mass project on April 28, 2015. Our new collaboration deserves a name: we’re the Flatbush Area Team for Cats, a.k.a. FAT Cats!
While the ASPCA does provide spay and neuter services, there is much more needed in order to trap the cats safely and to care for the colonies year-round.
We are currently caring for over sixty cats in colonies throughout the neighborhood and expect the numbers to increase as new kittens are born. Whether you love or hate cats, they are a big part of this city. When people unlawfully kill or remove cats, new ones will take their place. There is no way to get rid of them permanently, but there is a way to limit their numbers, which is to cease their reproduction and to provide them with a safe place to live.
Reasons to Spay and Neuter Feral Cats:
- Cats will not allow large numbers to live in their colonies, which naturally keeps numbers at a minium.
- Cats keep rats and mice at bay.
- Neutered and spayed cats make less noise and won't "perfume" your outdoor spaces.
- Spaying and neutering is good for cat health and ultimately results in less stress on their bodies.
If you love cats, know that these ferals are happier outdoors and just need the care that some very good-hearted individuals are happy to provide. For the friendly abandoned cats outside who are not feral and who crave human companionship, we find loving adoptive homes once they are spayed/ neutered, tested, and vaccinated.
All of this is not free! If you can offer just a few dollars it will help us to move toward our goal of being able to afford appropriate care for our community's local ferals. Your money will contribute to the purchase of:
- Weather-proof shelters (using low-cost or recycled materials)
- Cat food (wet and dry)
- Feeding/water stations
- Medication and vitamins as needed
- Veterinary care for emergencies
- Cat and kitten food for up to 2 days prior to trapping and 3 days after, and longer for cats who need extra care
- Additional veterinary care for sick cats
- Laundry (for sheets to cover traps)
- Tarps (to protect recovery space)
- Sanitizing wipes
- Paper towels
- Disposable gloves
- Garbage bags
- Flyers for publicity and education
- Some of these supplies can be found on our Amazon Wish List .
Other ways to help if you live nearby:
- Volunteer to help with this Trap/Neuter/Release project in late April, even for just an hour. Contact Naomi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Consider adopting a friendly kitten or cat! Contact us for more info.
We thank you from the bottoms of our furry hearts!!
- FAT Cats
On a day of renewal, a day of open windows, a day of coat-questioning, word came through of more changes afoot. Do you like muffins? Well apparently so do lots and lots of people, to the point where they can't shut up about those Blue Sky Bakery muffins over on the Yelp. As someone who keeps a jaundiced eye on his waistline, the muffin is generally considered verboten, one of the few items that rarely pass the Q's lips, lest they spend a lifetime on the hips. Hence the fabulous deep resonance of the phrase "muffin tops." Which in the sexist dialect of the species becomes "love handles" when speaking of men's middle-fat. While the obvious answer to the muffin top is to wear more appropriate clothing, the love handle on the other hand is most often affectionately invoked during a playful embrace, or to share in a chortle about getting older or office work. Plumber's Butt on the other hand is just plain mean, though it sure comes in handy to describe a much too often seen tragedy. If you're relating a story, the image lands neatly in the cranium. This is not really what I'm trying to relate.
The Q was certain his "Etaly" spoof on April Fool's Day would fool no one but the culinary-desperate, but boy was he wrong. Not only have most folks I know 'fessed to believing its veracity, at least briefly, but more than 4,000 eyes viewed it. Folks this is hardly ordinary. A well-considered lengthy essay on issues pertaining to race will garner 600 viewers. A dull post on the opening of a new upscale business will get 750-1000. If Brownstoner links to me it's not uncommon to top 1,000 no matter what jive I'm spouting. But 4,000! Not since I shamed ex District 17 school superintendent Buffie Simmons have I seen such numbers.
So that begs the question...what WILL take the place of the GEM discount store? Why Rainbow of course. You know, ladies fashions and accessories. It might just do quite well in that location...we'll see. The Q still believes that that building is sure to be a goner if current real estate trends continue. The land is simply much to valuable as apartments.
|ahoy! is that a GEM I see to the left?|
Lest you think it's another April Fool's joke, here's the proof at Sterling and Rogers:
|thx Thomas B for the pic|
Blue Sky Bakery has been confirmed. Japanese restaurant...anyone got the 411?
The poster says it all. For a trip down memory lane, to the moment when it all began, almost exactly 4 years ago, read here.
|15 Crooke & 620 Flatbush, from Real Deal|
The Q's discussed Jonas Equities before, a relative newcomer to the scene that seems willing to pay crazy prices for rent stabilized apartments - like 620 Flatbush, the building that not incidentally happens to lease to local Ital destination sensation Scoops. Jonas also scooped up 15 Crooke Ave over in Caledonia for about the same , and for that price Real Deal calls it $265,000 per apartment. 15 Crooke, for you northerners, is over by the Parade Ground, and the Q is confident that all of Caledonia will one day fetch a pretty penny. Maybe that one day is...tomorrow?
Think about it. Were it coops or condos, 15 Crooke would be $265,000 per apartment. But they're NOT coops or condos. They're stabilized apartments, perhaps fetching (currently) on average $1,000 a month, in Brooklyn's densest sub-neighborhood (Caledonia) that until oh so recently wasn't on any investor's map. All this money! I mean, the math don't figure. I know something is happening here, but I'm simply not clue in enough to understand it. Yes, yes, they'll force or buy out as many tenants as they can. We've seen that strategy many times before. But will another buyer actually top $15 million bucks for either of these modest sized buildings? On what valuation is this sort of price warranted? And remember, this is the same company that bought longtime slumlord hellhole 115 Ocean Avenue for TWENTY SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS, or $290,000 per apartment. Hey, it's on the park, but...what the HELL GIVES?
Are we witnessing the influx of "sheltered money" from someplace else, or has the whole world gone absolutely mad and started buying hamburgers for fifty bucks without batting a french fry? Actually, an article in the Old Gray Lady about how hedge fund Blackstone has accumulated an enormous portfolio of real estate seems well-timed to provide one possible answer. With the world's deepest pockets putting their largesse into big ticket houses, buildings etc. one wonders whether it's all a Ponzi Scheme in process. God knows we've been through it before, and Big Finance has short memories. Musical chairs, and the last one with their pants down loses. Actually, that's not how musical chairs is played, nor in my opinion should it be. Pants stay on. Mixed metaphor, sorry.
All the details of the above from Real Deal.
•Rising rents, one of the highest rent increases in any neighborhood in Brooklyn.
•The property is located two blocks from the Sterling St [2,5] train station. - See more at: http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/44783/341epw-folks-to-develop-toomey039s-old-spot#Item_2
Been looking forward to this one (read here)! I've always been more of a Cupcake Cowboy than a Muffin Man. Be one of the first 33 people to show up on Friday after 8 am and get a free mini cupcake! I'm guessing however that if you're number 34 you won't be shown the door. Score!
And you KNOW the Q approves of the pun in their name. Sweet, indeed.
The Q was trying so hard to ignore her. But this poster really got my goat. (My goat is getting got way too often for my own good these days).When you see it, it's outrageous isn't it? These poor protesters, surrounded by surly cops. So gruesome! So inhumane! So...so...mean!
The whole point of doing a study is to minimize the insane explosion of ill-conceived luxury (market) housing at the expense of affordable housing and to create decent sized buildings that don't dwarf what's around them. Clear enough? And while we're at it, maybe we can look at the effect of 30+ new projects already going up, with many more to follow.
Meanwhile Alicia deserves an Oscar for her memorable performance as aggrieved citizen number one. She's admitted that it's all a show, overheard laughing to a friend about how she really turns it on for the public. Meanwhile, half the Community Board she so reviles is up for reappointment or not. One would hope that good people are retained and dead-weight let go - without regard to political orientation or allegiance, so that the board could continue (yes, I said continue) to reflect the diversity of the neighborhood. A few dedicated souls are trying to right the ship and one can only hope they're allowed to continue in the right direction. Let them keep at it. A number of folks have already turned in their resignations or chosen not to reapply. It could be yet another fresh crop of faces by May. I obviously crave the mayhem or I would have joined the exodus. I'm still asking questions, being curious, being amused. I never intended to get this close to the action. But it's sure entertaining - no cable subscription required. I'll know in a week or two whether I'm back on or not. Don't hold your breath...I know I won't. I need all the brain cells I have left!
I still have faith that a lot of folks really DO have the needs of the citizenry at heart, and are working to create a better future. But it's hard to feel that way, when everyone's talking over each other. Fear, anger, disappointment...they're powerful intoxicants. And you should never try to assume reasonableness in a roomful of drunks.
Do you like burritos? Tacos? Beans? Well, have I got a neighborhood for YOU! Nope, not in Mexico. Central Brooklyn! NY!! USA!!! And Oaxaca is its name-o.
|The one on Smith St. Wow! And an ATM!!|
Flatbushed.com strikes again! From the excellent upstart blog comes news that a saloon will be coming to the previous Compere & Compere tax and accounting shop, that was also a temporary DOT center during the examination of Flatbush traffic patterns. That is, 653 Flatbush. I note the Compere & Compere connection primarily because Wilfrid Compere was involved for many years with FECMA, the merchant's association that predates the Parkside Empire, group that's really come on like gangbusters after years of lackluster merchant organizing. And Flatbushed has the below astounding picture of Flatbush at Hawthorne to give the really, really longview:
And put July 26 on your calendar! The Parkside Empire association is planning its first street fair, a modest chunk in the middle of the Flabenue that will include tons of local vendors and a stage for local musicians. Yeeeeehawww! Will there be horse and carriage rides to celebrate ye olde Flatbush experience per above? How Brooklyn would THAT be?
The effect of 626 Flatbush will most definitely speed the process of commercial turnover. And clearly, the early birds expect to get the worms. Though I'd never describe new movers to the neighborhood as worms!
The Q's heart is heavy today. It's time for soul-searching I guess. As much as I'm certain the neighborhood needs a long-overdue opportunity to strategically plan for the future, I don't have the stomach for the latest batch of invective. I'll let you read the latest outburst to MTOPP's list; sometimes it's just best to let Ms. Boyd say it in her own words. This one put me in a reflective state, particularly since it's readily clear she ain't going anywhere, and the rhetoric is only becoming more incendiary. Imagine if we DID pass the motion to start the planning process? What then? One can only imagine that every meeting, every proposal, every aspect of the study will have to contend with this behavior.
She continues to make what should be a conversation about how to build and protect affordable housing and limit the negative effects of a wildfire of new development into a heated fight over race, gender, class, wealth and even religion. Following on the heels of painting herself as a Gentrification Freedom Fighter (GFF), now there's this diatribe, clearly meant to elicit more anger at everyone on the other side of her argument. Given the number of people of color, religious Jews and yes even respectful white men (and women) involved in the process, this stuff is so unnecessarily incendiary. The suggestion is...oh just read it. You'll see where she's going, and why I'm nearly certain it will be impossible to hold frank and fruitful discussions.
Black Women: BE SEEN but NOT HEARD!At the Police Precinct meeting with the community,on April 16, 2015, a Black woman stood upand described an incident that occurredAt the last CB9 ULURP meeting,where there were [White] board memberscalling [Black] women residents “Cunts” and “Fuck You”.In response Stuart Balberg, [White male],Precinct Board memberstood up and admonished this woman,because he felt that stating the curse wordsor even describing them with an abbreviated lettersuch as the “F”, was offensiveand goes against the bible.Now he wasn’tupset aboutthis incident;that women were being verbally abused byCB9 board membersjust the reporting of it!How dare he admonish this woman for describingabusive behavior being donetowards the black women in this community!That is why there is the Precinct meetingwith the community so that we can voice our concernsand let the Police know what is transpiring.But this isn’t the first time Black women in publichave been admonished for speaking their mind,stating facts or even asking questions.At the last CB9 meeting, March 24, 2015.Twice during the meetingRabbi Goldstein, CB9 member,requested that events be circumventedand postponed because they would either occurduring the Jewish Saturday observance orthe 2 week long Jewish Holiday.In the latter case, a ULURP meeting was trying to be scheduled,because an immediate response was required by this committeeand the 2 week long holiday, might prevent it from happening.As a result of this a Black Woman board member stood upand asked how many Jewish people were on the ULURP committee,because if the ULURP committee can still have a quorum(enough members present to have a legal vote)it should still meet. The answer was 1.In response, however, Rabbi Goldstein, CB9 member stood upand stated that this question was anti-Semiticand she shouldn’t be asking this type of question etc…Again it shows that Black women are not allowed to ask questions,to report issues and to state offensive behaviors being displayedbecause they are seen as anti-Semitic or violating the bible.Our Community is made up of many diverse ethnic groups,cultures and religious beliefs,being respectful is the understanding that everyone has the rightto ask questions and to present facts.The Board members of these community organizations need to understandIt is their job to hear and not to curtail the voices of the community!The Black women of this community have a right to stand upand speak, to voice their opinions, to state the facts(no matter how offensive it might be to others),to ask questions, without White male board memberson these various community organizations admonishing them.These are the behaviors that are racist and sexist!We will not be silenced!We will continue to call out behaviorsThat are abusive, divisive, separatist, and racistOur voices will not be silenced!We will be SEEN and HEARD!
White male Board members calling Black women "cunts?" Believe me, I would have remembered THAT. The word doesn't even cross my lips - I learned that lesson a long, long time ago - ask my wife! Jake, the rabbi, wouldn't say that. Warren Berke? No way. What other white male members are there? Quest Fanning? What a sweet and gentle soul. Seriously, who are they talking about? I'll give you a "fuck you" here and there. That's been uttered many times on all sides. In NYC it's practically a greeting, especially if you're being disrespected. It's also used as a synonym for "oh, c'mon!"
The baiting of the Jewish community is unconscionable. And not to quibble, but Passover is not TWO WEEKS, especially this year falling as it did on the Sabbath. I mean, seriously? And since when has POSTPONEMENT been a big issue for MTOPP? They've been pushing back, and pushing back, I don't even know how long it's been since the Board even held a vote. Look, you can't say "how many Jews are on the committee - why not just hold the meeting without them?" and expect everyone to say "oh yeah, that's a good point you have there." Fortunately there a lot of Christians and agnostics on the committee, so it's pretty certain a quorum can be reached. Forget the secular Jews. Even if they do celebrate Passover they'll bounce right back on day three. Oy, and thank god there's no Amish or Muslims!
But rather than dig into that fight, I want to suggest another option. Nothing. That's right, nothing. In this one email, Alicia made it clear this can only get uglier, and uglier. She will not allow consensus on ANYthing, and she might just drag us down into a 1990 pre-riot sensibility. Her followers are getting angrier and angrier. The whole City has gone anti-rezoning crazy, as if THAT's the real problem causing rents to rise. Ugh. This is such intense ignorance of how capitalism works, how the City charter works, how the DEVELOPERS work, what as-of-right means, how little the City has in its tool kit to prevent neighborhoods from completely changing complexion and wealth.
But if the "leader" for the opposition to a study stoops to such lows, and considers the Community Board the problem...maybe it's time to remove the "problem" from the conversation. A bunch of members have resigned. Most don't speak up at meetings. There's no sense at all that people realize what's at stake, save maybe a dozen concerned Board members. So...maybe it's time to take one for the team. There's simply no winning, even if we "win."
All I know is, there's a meeting Rebecca F and I are hosting on Monday night, same time as the ULURP, since it was rescheduled, again, at the last possible minute. And for the first time since this whole thing started, I don't seem to care that I won't be there. The well has been poisoned, and even my friends and allies stay mostly silent, unable to counter the strength and volume of a few very, very angry residents.
I'm going to be at my block's meeting at 40 Clarkson Monday night. We'll be talking crime. You're all invited. Hope to see you there.
I just hope all these negative voices realize that the worst excesses of developers, and the lack of affordable options, will be on their hands. They claim they're fighting for no more unwanted buildings like 626. I wonder how much they'll be able to deliver? Remains to be seen, I suppose.
In a bizarre turn of events, much-endorsed candidate for your 43rd NY State Assembly seat Diana Richardson, made this statement this afternoon:
"Several shop owners started calling me around 4pm today.A man who identified himself as working for Diana Richardson's campaign was storming into businesses and ripping the posters out of the window.
I was given a description of the man and was told he was going north on Nostrand Avenue with a black garbage bag full of my posters. I grabbed a friend and headed in that direction. After walking several blocks, I caught up the person described. The video is bad but the audio is clear.
If this is true, and I don't know Diana to be a liar, nor would she gain anything by making it up (it is just flyers after all), well, 'nuff said. Ms. Patterson's campaign has also been dogged by concerns about her relationship with developers, in particular Glenwood Management's infamous Leonard Litwin, utilizing a loophole to take more than the legal limit from a single donor.The man states that he is "heading back to the campaign office on Montgomery & Nostrand""they told me to rip it down...so they can put up new ones......I don't know...I'm doing what they paid me to do"Whose campaign is on Nostrand & Montgomery? Shirley Patterson. (Address 418 Montgomery Street). See attached picturesAttached is a copy of the video. I will send a picture of her campaign office on Montgomery as well."
News at 11.