Articles on this Page
- 09/19/15--10:56: _Another Fix Propose...
- 09/22/15--18:26: _100 Year Old Breaks...
- 09/22/15--19:35: _A Little Bit About ...
- 09/23/15--09:06: _The Christopher Col...
- 09/23/15--19:34: _Tonight at Tugboat ...
- 09/24/15--08:45: _Ali's Shooting and ...
- 09/25/15--06:53: _Help For Tenants In...
- 09/27/15--07:47: _The Q Wants to Make...
- 09/28/15--07:07: _Important Read: Gan...
- 09/29/15--06:19: _Road Closures For S...
- 09/30/15--06:05: _Take Her Up On It
- 10/01/15--07:50: _It's Official! Gree...
- 10/02/15--12:14: _Wind Warning: Bewar...
- 10/05/15--09:34: _Demolitions
- 10/05/15--20:01: _FAR To the Max
- 10/06/15--10:54: _"Ambassador's" Hous...
- 10/13/15--07:48: _You're All Invited ...
- 10/14/15--06:08: _Closing In On Landl...
- 10/15/15--07:24: _Warms the Q's Heart
- 10/15/15--09:40: _Erv Turns One
- 09/19/15--10:56: Another Fix Proposed For Parkside/Ocean Intersection
- 09/22/15--18:26: 100 Year Old Breaks World Records For 100 Year Olds
- 09/22/15--19:35: A Little Bit About A Couple Things
- 09/23/15--09:06: The Christopher Columbus Of Brooklyn
- 09/23/15--19:34: Tonight at Tugboat Breathe In the Trees
- 09/24/15--08:45: Ali's Shooting and J'Ouvert Shooting Probably Linked
- 09/25/15--06:53: Help For Tenants In Need Of Legal Assistance
- getting repairs from negligent landlords
- getting adequate heat in the winter months
- dealing with the threat of eviction
- questions about leases and lease renewals
- legal rent increases for rent-regulated apartments
- 09/27/15--07:47: The Q Wants to Make It with YOU
- 09/28/15--07:07: Important Read: Gangs and Guns
- 09/29/15--06:19: Road Closures For Saturday Oct 10's (half) Marathon
- 09/30/15--06:05: Take Her Up On It
- 10/01/15--07:50: It's Official! Greenlight Bookstore Dips Toes In Lefferts
- 10/02/15--12:14: Wind Warning: Beware the Sukkah Punch
- 10/05/15--09:34: Demolitions
- 10/05/15--20:01: FAR To the Max
- 10/06/15--10:54: "Ambassador's" Housing "Council" at "Crown Heights" Library
- 10/13/15--07:48: You're All Invited - Even the Dieters
- 10/14/15--06:08: Closing In On Landlord Gold
- 10/15/15--07:24: Warms the Q's Heart
- 10/15/15--09:40: Erv Turns One
The Q doesn't need to tell YOU how frustrating and dangerous it is to walk or bike into or out of the Park at the always-busy intersection of Parkside and Ocean. As long as I've lived in the neighborhood, concerned citizens have set their sights on fixing the problem. We've already lived through a couple fairly major changes, the latest involving those "rescue" islands. But after further review, DOT came back to Community Board 9's Transportation Committee (full disclosure - I'm the chair) with another fix that they believe will once and for all make crossing safer.
From their presentation you'll see the below slides, that Greg Haas of DOT was kind enough to send along. See if you can make sense of it all. The only that concerns me is the "blinking yellow" when taking a left turn from northbound Ocean. What's a blinking yellow light, one might ask. Exactly. Come out to Monday's CB9 meeting if you want to hear more or weigh in.
A couple other slides below that may or may not be self-explanatory. I'm sorta too tired to get into it right now. Suffice to say Lincoln/Flat/Wash need a bit more clarification for motorists and a slight change to the signals. And folks have been asking for signals at Hawthorne and Rutland for some time. DOT says there's a Federal mandate that would prohibit it, as it doesn't meet some qualifications (because it empties onto seldom used one-way streets that begin at Flatbush). Like, whatever.
The Q doesn't do this very often, stray compLETELY out of the neighborhood. But a couple quotes brought this one to my attention. 100 year old Don Pellman broke a bunch of world records for 100 year old guys. And if you listen in to the post race interview, you'll hear a couple beautiful quotes like "it's a 12 year old record some Japanese guy has" and "I seemed to run out of gas at the end." So true. We all seem to run out of gas at the end in the end.
I've watched this five times already. I feel like I'm just on the cusp of a video about to go viral or something. I've never done that before - been part of the first few thousand of a video that goes into the tens of millions. So here's my push! For years I've been trying to coin a phrase. You know, one that will come back to me from a stranger years from now?
Last night's CB9 meeting was memorable for its sanity and lack of drama. Guess who wasn't there? AB apparently had a prior engagement and had sent a nasty-toned but typically stanza-ed shout-out to her minion (you know who you are!) blasting the Community Board for one lie or another and for having the audacity to change its meeting from the fourth Tuesday of the month to the previous Monday due to a little unknown holiday that affects almost no one in NYC called Yom something-or-other. Not like there are any religious Jews in Crown Heights or anything. Or Jews in NYC. What did Jesse Jackson say once off the cuff? Anyhow, trust me, that one got noticed. Rabbi Goldstein in particular had some choice words. I love it when Jake gets ticked; he's good for a great comeback.
But then here's the hilarious thing. After making all that noise about how insensitive it was to the community (read: her) to change the meeting date, she then goes around the neighborhood putting up flyers about her "Town Hall" meeting scheduled for Thursday. In a church. On Eid al-Adha, one of the most important holidays in Islam. Don't know it? Well, it's enough of a big deal in NYC that the schools have the day off. Frankly, I don't really give a shit about how misinformed, egomaniacal and mean-spirited is Ms. Boyd. But I do give her big points for managing to piss off the Jews and Muslims in a single day. The diatribes she sent to Board members citing paranoid theories and calling District Manager Miles names aren't worth the waste of 0's and 1's.
The only potential controversy was that Tom Anderson, owner of the building, has been granted an extra 10 feet in height through a City program that started in 2009 (remember what a bummer that year was financially?) to get more fresh foods into underserved neighborhoods. And while you couldn't exactly call Lefferts underserved anymore, the whole District (out to Utica) could use more options, and a few years we signed on to the program. Ah hell, I'm finding it hard to care. 10 feet is 10 feet. Suck it up. 10 stories? Now I'll give ya a battle! You'd have to give me a Home Depot on the ground floor for that, Mr. de Blasio!
The traffic fixes I described a couple posts back, those sailed through. The head of Public Safety Avi Lesches hadn't provided minutes from his committee meeting. (Naughty naughty!) So we couldn't really vote on the liquor/beer licenses that were up for renewal. All of the businesses "summoned" before the Board had blemishes of some kind - police reports etc. One joint called Loki was a "big problem" according to (newly promoted) Inspector Fitzgibbon of the 71st. Congrats, sir.
Oh and guess what? They caught the guy that shot the guy in Ali's Roti Shop a few weeks back. Okay, sorry Joyce David. The guy who allegedly shot the guy at Ali's Roti Shop. Word from the brass is that it was a bad guy shooting a bad guy. Why is that comforting? I guess because it is. This idea that bad guys don't go around shooting good guys very often (on purpose anyway). And word is he's going away for a long, long time if they get the charges and prosecution right. That shooting, at least according to the Fuzz, was gonna happen. It was just a matter of where. And THAT'S why you need to frisk people down before they go into a club. I'm not kidding. We ask for I.D., we should know you're not carrying heat. The bigger nightclubs do it. Time to start thinks Q.
Lastly I took a peek inside the soon-to-open restaurant/bar at 705 Flatbush 'tween Parkside and Winthrop. The guys are nice, earnest, really pumped for their first big venture. (No, they're not all white. Some wise-cracker was making comments that I ended up deleting about how all the new business are white-owned which is just 100% bullshit. That guy obviously hasn't gone around talking to new small business owners or he'd know it's been a bit of a rainbow coalition so far, which is actually also true in Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy, but I guess white is often a stand-in for class anyway, and not many poor folks of color are starting businesses anyway because the costs of entry or so damn high. Not a lot of poor white people starting businesses either, by the way. And as if what upscaling communities are really clamoring for is more downscale businesses. It's just all so silly sometimes, the hand-wringing, and yet so tragically deep and emblematic of the true entitlement-power-cultural-class-race-dynamic. Guess who wins? I'm putting my money on the entitled elite. I'll bet the payout isn't very good though.
I'll save those hyphens for another one of my exceedingly long essays that I write now and then to make sense of things. Posts that I'm sure induce no end to eye-rolling, but whatevs).
Hey as long as I'm helping make videos viral, I might as well go with this guy. He's pissed, sure. What seems to have gone down is he said "excuse me" to fellow white guy with a stroller (looks like construction created limited moving room) and that guy, much like I might've in my less mature moments, said "fuck you." To which first white guy takes offense and goes ballistic. Stuff like this happens all the time in the big city, and usually after the testosterone/adrenaline settles down, the whole shebang ends. Often in apologies I might add. But not this time.
In fact, the aggrieved excuse-me-er gets so miffed he claims to have settled downtown Brooklyn, so that guys like the one with the stroller feel comfortable moving there. Is this just a matter of baby envy? Rent increases? Trader Joe's low on inventory? Uber account suspended? I guess we'll never know. Certainly, the acknowledgment of what's really happening in Brooklyn is refreshingly honest. Though we could do without the Alpha Ape Chest Beating.
Okay, now it's starting to sort out. As the Q has been squawking for awhile, the gang related shootings at Ali's Roti/Hookah Shop and the Ebbets Field J'ouvert shooting are about retaliation and (sadly) typical crew warfare. The Daily News does the journalism.
The Eight Trey Crips and Folk Nation have been an unbearable presence in the Ebbets Field area for a longtime. The Feds supposedly busted up Six Tre Folk Nation awhile back, though perhaps unintentionally setting off turf wars. The only thing good about these groups is their rockin' names.
The Q takes no pleasure in previously suggesting the real cause of this violence. I was working on a hunch and bouncing ideas off people who know about these things. And I stand by my claim that it was incredibly misguided to blame these shootings on outside issues. The existence of a bar at Ali's, or J'Ouvert itself. These shootings were going to happen anyway. What is particularly scare and troubling is the way that they were done in the presence of many, many bystanders. It's as if the psychologically twisted violent sociopaths don't have any respect for human life! Go figure.
One beef I have with the article in the News. By identifying the bystander victim of the J'ouvert shooting as "Harvard Educated," I can only imagine that the suggestion is that such prestige elevates the status of a victim of violence. That is a sign of a deeper societal problem to me, one that places value on the heads of law-abiding citizens that goes beyond their human decency. It's gross, it's old as humans, it's at the root of a lot a lot a lot of problems. Sigh.
Hats off to Jesse Hamilton. He's not my State Senator but quite probably YOUR State Senator (the district lines changed since Eric Adams held the office). Hamilton's been addressing the issue of housing head on, particularly as it hits the neediest hardest. The biggest issue facing longtime rent-stabilized tenants is that landlords have grown increasingly brazen, crafty and sometimes downright unlegal (my term) in the way they try to convince lower income folks to move. These tactics, as we all know by now, often border on or cross the line into racism and ageism. Such unlegality is a source of much pain and heartbreak. I see it all the time on my block, and you probably do on yours as well. So...
Folks need lawyers. They need to know their rights, and they need to know that someone's on their side in the fight to keep their apartments. If you or someone you know needs help, please consider the following "Walk-In" Clinics with Brookly Housing and Family Services (BHFS). It would be petty of me to call it "walk-in' and then say "by appointment only." I suspect you can walk-in and make an appointment though! Thanks Jesse, for staying in the fight.
|Jesse Hamilton - Putting Family First (literally)|
You're looking real sexy, Lefferts. I can see in your eyes that what you'd really like just about now is a bottle of red, just you and I. Kick off your shoes and get comfortable. Because Baby I'm-a-want-you. Baby I-a-need-you. And yes, "I Want To Make It With You."
(FYI, Mark Schwartz tells me the liquor license came through, so his Little Mo Wine Shoppe will be up and running, maybe even by Thanksgiving. Another option for vino is probably welcome news, especially as his joint is opening up on Middle Nostrand near Midwood. Also, with all the mainstream attention to S&M via the "Shades of Gray" series, I thought I'd ask...when you're getting ready to get it on, instead of "get comfortable" do you say things like "why don't you slip into something a little more constricted and painful?" Just curious.)
Nothing speaks to neighborhood change like music. And this morning, fully 12 years after being daily subjected to bass heavy Dr. Dre, I woke up today and stepped outside to hear the voice of David Gates wafting from the fifth floor window of the large apartment building near me. That's right. Bread. If you're too young or not white enough to have owned "Best of Bread," I give you a live performance from the awesome late night music showcase "Midnight Special." While other TV programs had the band lip sync along with their hits, MS was the place to see if the band could really rock. And Bread, it must be said, could not rock. What they did, however, was really quite extraordinary. Gates has one of the mellowest tenors I've ever heard. His most melancholy moments are delivered with the same sauce as his most upbeat; hard to tell if he's coming or going. And that's what makes it great. Not even the least bit of excess. Just the notes ma'am.
"More than half." That's what they're saying. More than half. When you think about how crazy that is you'd hope that the number one shooting prevention programs would keep that in mind. I've noted in my own vicinity how this plays out, with shootings that have happened in a six block radius.
"More than half." To better get what the Q's referring to, another timely story from DNA Info's Rosa Goldensohn:
More Than Half of the Shootings Crew & Rikers Related
Why they gotta call it "half?" By the time you're running foot races over 10 miles I think it's time to call it something other than a Half Marathon. Makes it sounds like a wimp-sport. I'm lucky to hustle for the B41 all the way to the corner from mid-block, so what do I know. But while it's not an actual Marathon of the historical but arbitrary length of 26.2, it's looooong y'all. One might even call it a wee bit absurd. Maybe you could call the "Long Race" or the "Widow Maker" or the "Damn Hard But Not So Hard You Have To Drop Your Whole Life To Train For One" Or maybe just the "Sane Run." Even the Humble Marathon would be better than "half."
Here's the road closure info, so you have plenty of time to plan. It really only effects the morning and some parking. Still, it's kinda fun to see where the run happens. Perhaps you could consider running it with a friend? That way you could say "hey man let's go do a Marathon and go Dutch."
The Q's liking it. No issue too big or small. If you've had your eyes on making an improvement or eliminating a problem within our Assembly District, remember that elected officials LOVE to be part of solutions, especially ones that reflect positively upon them. Plus, Diana's fun. Not haughty. She's approachable, candid. Rare qualities. Let's hope she keeps 'em!
The Q's too busy and bruised (don't ask) to be all chatty today, and what's there to say anyway? Books. Books are good. Reading Is Fundamental. (old enough to remember RIF?) Until Greenlight manages to get a whole storefront in the nabe (no he didn't!) parents will settle for an awesome next best thing - Lefferts mom and co-owner Rebecca Fitting's award-winning independent book store is coming to the Flabenue. Co-locating with Shelley Kramer's Play Kids means now you'll leave that store having spent DOUBLE what you already didn't expect to buy in the first place. (Daddy, you promised!!!!!)
The Press Release is the text below, since paraphrasing it and pretending I wrote it is something that professional journalists do, and I'm not a professional journalist. I'm only paid like one.
Greenlight Bookstore Opens PopUp at Play Kids
Brooklyn business collaborate to bring books to the families of Prospect Lefferts Gardens Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood favorite Play Kids is teaming up with Brooklyn’s own Greenlight Bookstore to host a bookstore popup in the beloved toy store. Beginning in October 2015, Play Kids’ Flatbush Avenue location will feature a selection of children’s books stocked and curated by Greenlight, offering a richer experience for local families.
"Shopping small & shopping local is near and dear to our heart,” write Play Kids owners Carl Black and Shelley Kramer, who live in the neighborhood. “Greenlight has always been our favorite bookstore to shop for ourselves & our kids, and we've often referred customers to their Fort Greene location. It's so exciting for us to now have their well curated selection of kids books at Play Kids. We've brought the best of Brooklyn together at one location."
“Greenlight is excited to partner with Play Kids,” writes Greenlight’s coowner Rebecca Fitting, who also lives in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens neighborhood. “It's not only a great opportunity for two small businesses to collaborate on a project, but having this popup shop inside of their toy store makes it possible for us to bring books to the neighborhood in a way that feels special.”
Play Kids was established in 2011, born out of Black and Kramer’s desire to create a toy store that catered to the neighborhood they called home. The store’s focus is on open ended toys that grow with the child and family, and toys and games that stimulate children both mentally and physically, sourced from small, locally owned companies whenever possible.
In 2014 the store added an event space and began offering classes in art, science, and music. Play Kids was named New York Magazine 's Best Toy Store in 2012, and was also recognized by the N ew York Daily News as one of New York's Best Toy Stores. Greenlight Bookstore was founded in 2009 in the nearby Brooklyn neighborhood of Fort Greene / Clinton Hill, by Fitting and coowner Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, who had over 28 years combined experience working in independent bookstores.
Named one of the best indie bookstores for kids and families by T ime Out New York in 2015, the bookstore has received national and international attention for its innovative communitybased
startup model, its curated book selection and customer service, and its flourishing program of author events. Greenlight partners with many Brooklyn businesses and institutions for sales, events, and more, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), the Brooklyn Flea, St. Joseph’s College, BRIC, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration, and others.
“Local partnerships are the best way forward for independent businesses like ours,” writes Bagnulo. “Our partnership with Play Kids is a new model for us, but it’s in the spirit of our ongoing commitment to becoming a local Brooklyn institution that serves its community. We’re thrilled to extend that community beyond Fort Greene to Prospect Lefferts Gardens.”
The popup shop is managed by Greenlight’s offsite sales manager Annie Trizna, who works with both businesses to curate a selection of children’s books covering all ages, interests, and price points. The selection at Play Kids will be updated regularly, with attention to neighborhood needs and interests. For more information
You know you live in Brooklyn when...you see adds for Sukkah Depot and you don't bat an eye. Or you see a scene like the below and know exactly what's going on. Maybe you crack a smile, but you got to get to work and maybe you've forgotten it by lunch.
|Pedi-Sukkahs on Eastern Parkway|
All community members of the 71 Precinct please take moment and check your yards, windows, and roofs and remove any possible objects that may become air born with high winds.
Please check all Succah's to assure they are firmly assembled and free from any objects that may become air born with high winds. Please use extreme caution inside these structures during sever wind conditions.
The bicycle succah/sukkahs are actually part of a long tradition of Mobile Sukkot Shacks. As in...
As far back as Roman times, the ancient sages of Israel taught that it was permissible to build a sukkah on a boat, chariot or even on the back of a camel. They also established that a sukkah must be at least 10 handbreadths tall. Yet it is hard to imagine that anyone foresaw the same laws being applied alongside those of aerodynamics to design a sukkah on wheels.
Hey man. The laws the law.
The Q didn't even know that a sheet like this existed. That's what happens when you don't ask...don't ask, don't find out. So many questions can be answered through the District Manager. More demos and excavations on the way, fyi.
Apparently this dude wants to build to the limit on 88-92 Linden Boulevard, according to The Real Deal.
Actually the article says Boaz Gilad of Brookland wants to build big as he can, meaning it's "as of right" and ain't nobody gonna stop 'im. But more to the point, this rendering really nails a vision of the neighborhood that shows what you can build up next to one of these older six story buildings. A hodge here, a podge there. And lots of glass, supposedly because no one needs privacy anymore. Actually in the age of Google and the NSA we sold out our privacy already. For ease and convenience and Facebook stay-in-touch we gave it all away. So why not dance naked in our apartments for all to see? There's nothing left to hide anyway.
Is it my imagination, or is the renderer of this property a cut above? Seems almost impressionistic. Look at the trees and sky - a frustrated high artist? Might look nice above the living room sofa. Hmm. Let me take a look at it again...
They may call it the "Crown Heights" branch of the Public Library, but we know better don't we. And I have no idea what "Ambassador" is being referred to here. But no matter, our girl Diana is taking the fight to the people and that's what matters."
The Q's such a country bumpkin he don't know a beignet from a beanie. But I'm sure they taste dang good, especially as done by expert dessert maker Michael Allen. Free too! See you Wednesday on the 'Strand.
Couldn't help but take note of the price on a two-bedroom at a pre-war buidling at Flatbush & Rutland. $2400. Reason being I recall that a two bedroom a decade ago could run you $1200. That number stuck in my mind, because folks were complaining that apartments had topped the $1,000 mark in the neighborhood. From my own experience, I remember thinking geez that's do-able. Get a roomate, pay $600. Wait tables, work a shit job. You could do it, no problem. That's for young folks though. A family typically has fewer options for upward mobility, and is looking to put down roots. Hard to do that once an apartment leaves stabilization. And we're getting closer all the time in Flatbush/PLG/Lefferts.
So what's $2,400 in 2015 dollars? $1,464, according to ye old inflation calculator. NYC median income has barely budged, after dropping through the Great Recession.
You're smart. I don't need to tell you what it means. NYC continues to become more and more unaffordable to working and creative classes, by which I mean folks earning less than median but still working their butts off. Those working as teachers, city workers and non-profit employees are wondering if this City has a place for them in its economic stew. Certainly NYC is in no peril. It will continue, even thrive. But it's rapidly becoming a different City than the one most of us moved to or were born into. Thus, fear. Thus big policy changes proposed by the current administration.
The question the Q poses is this: are we prepared to change the way we think about our City in order to create more means-tested housing? Housing for teachers, artists, low-income workers. Of course there will be trade-offs - parking, height, density and more. But in my opinion, if we're too protective we risk losing NYC's greatest strength, both culturally AND economically - the incredible diversity of its people. An economic ecosystem is a delicate balance between trades, government, service workers and high earners. Plus, there will always be those who, for a variety of reasons, need support. Elderly, infirm, crisis-torn, unemployable. The percentage that fall into that last category are unlikely to fall just because overall income rises. It's an inevitable consequence of capitalism; we seemed to have made our peace with that as a country, though some would rip even the social safety net apart.
It's not for nothing that some very smart people are taking this very, very seriously.
Here's the ad:
Prospect Lefferts Garden
Flatbush Ave At Rutland Rd B.Q.S. Trains
All New Renovated 2br HH Water Inc Hardwood Floors High Ceiling Brand New Kitchen With SS Appliances + Dishwasher Lovely Common Room Equal Size Bedrooms Closet Space This Unit Will Go Fast!