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    Lest you think that the Prospect Lefferts Gardens Heritage Council isn't earning your donations, check out who just made the Six to Celebrate list from the Historic Districts Council. The info below. Will you consider donating now? Remember at the moment we're talking Ocean to Nostrand, Fenimore to Clarkson, roughly.

    Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn
    The Prospect Lefferts Gardens Heritage Council, the Parkside Avenue Block Association, and Concerned Citizens for Community Based Planning have worked to give residents a voice about current rapid development that has left this neighborhood with an unprecedented number of demolitions. With only one, small historic district and a much higher-density zoning that is ill-suited to the existing built environment, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens is rapidly changing in scale, character and identity due to rowhouses and other smaller buildings being replaced by speculative, high-rise, “luxury” development. Residents have begun to document and make the case for the preservation of portions of their unprotected historic neighborhood before it disappears forever.

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    Always a Terrific Event - Close To Home
    At a moment when the Prez-elect is slamming a true civil rights hero and icon (John Lewis), a comrade of the great Martin Luther King, Jr. himself, and calling his district (a very diverse district in fact) a hot mess and crime infested, let's take a moment to reflect on King's legacy. He was WAY more radical and powerful than even the tepid history books reflect. His presence is felt, and missed, in every important social and cultural and political battle taking place right now.

    Where do we go? Besides heading to D.C. next weekend, I say we head on over to Grace Church on Monday and remember the key phrase "we the people."

    This is not a test, America. I repeat, this is not a test.

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  • 01/17/17--07:15: Good Times, Good Vibes

  • So nice to see neighbors enjoying the MLK holiday. Local resident Carmen of Kiddie Science was there - above you can see how engaged the kids were in discovering that black is made of every color. Great experiment, great metaphor.

    Carmen, by the by, just closed on a lease for a space at 509 Rogers tween Midwood and Rutland, from which she can build her Frankenstein host classes for our young Einsteins. Once the lab is up and running, longterm goal is for more youth-oriented bizzes to become part of her Mall of America Community Center for Cool Classes (or CCCC).

    Carmen's great; Kiddie Science is great. For more info, you know what to do.

    Also at the celebration yesterday a hilarious reading by Javaka Steptoe, another cool neighbor, whose terrific book on the young Jean-Michel Basquiat called (of course) Radiant Child. If you're looking for a perfect gift for a youngster, I highly suggest you shout at Alexa hop on over to Greenlight Bookstore at 626 Flatbush and grab a copy.

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    Early this afternoon. No word on injuries. Anyone?

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    Busted at the Golden Crust. If allegations proven true, good riddance to Mr. Marcus Gamble. Anyone selling illegal guns in our nabe qualifies for a special low-hung rung on the Lefferts Social Registry, if you ask the Q, which you didn't.

    Was strange to note the same stock image of guns used across news outlets. Clearly we're living in an age of post and repeat. And repeat.

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    It's All About the View
    Lest we forget just how much a view matters to a big d Developer, the Q offers this evidence. Has Lefferts ever made a Downtown Brooklyn "Big Belly" trash bin before? I doubt it. The best way to sell the Parkline, a/k/a 626 Flatbush, or any of the other tall buildings soon to sprout north of Empire Blvd (and eventually all over the un-landmarked portion of the neighborhood) is to sell the view. Granted, many of the lower-floor apartments won't see much more than the sky and the Q train, with a frequent rumble as soundtrack.

    Of course, building up is the only way to make way for growth, growth and jobs being an essential part of what makes this City so attractive in the first place. As it has for 150 years, NYC has grown around transit, from boats to bridges to subways. We're the "next stop" on an never-ending march towards the City's very finite border. Barring the occupation of Long Island, the eastern edge of the City remains the barely noticeable DMZ, with the only obvious changes being the DOT signage and alternate side parking regs.

    Each day brings word of new purchases, plans and razings of 100+ year-old structures. We may, or rather we will PROBABLY, see a down-turn in the next year or so, which may once again require a radical rethink of policies and activism. The Q remains saddened by the inability of the powers-that-be and activists-that-are to recognize how we are missing the opportunity of a century to choose how and where we want to grow. The moneyed interests will continue to do the choosing, the buying of property and the influencing of politicians. And just as the billionaire oligarchs waltz into the seats of ultimate power, we seem willing to hand over whatever little negotiating rights we have. The moment has passed CB9 by...even the agencies aren't coming out to meet us anymore. We are a laughing stock. No, worse, we are being ignored. And who can blame them? We made them unwelcome and sullied their good names. And did we achieve anything for all the name-calling, race-baiting and chair-hurling?

    Nope. What a world-class waste of my time were the years on the Board. I can point to not a single thing I, or we, accomplished. Except the one thing that I swore I would see before I died. The awakening of the Flatbush Trees at Empire and Flatbush. Thank you Pearl Miles, Jake Goldstein and David Eppley for helping make that corner just a little more hospitable. Oh, and Rudy and the Parkside Crew for the Plaza at my beloved Q at Parkside.

    And now, off to Washington to add my fat-assed body to the resistance. I'm sure to have far more efficacy as one among 250,000 than I did as one among 50. Math, it appears, DOES lie on occasion.

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    Never seen anything like THAT before. Word is no one was hurt but the driver took off on foot.

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    Word just came to the Q that pretty much all the allegations against your Borough President regarding your Community Board were, well, not defend-able, let's leave it at that. A settlement of $200K is coming to Jake Goldstein & Pearl Miles as a result of their lawsuit against Eric Adams which claimed they were forced out without due process, or even a proper vote from the Board as it was then reconfigured. Jake was told he would not be reappointed if he ran for chair again - that's just not cool. Dude had served admirably for 30+ years. Look around - some Board chairs have been there longer than that! Alvin Berk of CB14 and central Flatbush, for instance, has done quite a number of years himself.

    The claim in the lawsuit of age discrimination against Pearl was perhaps overplayed. The BP maintains that he would never discriminate against anyone over anything. I'm inclined to believe him, though many in the Jewish community would disagree at this point. The words about Pearl being "too old" were out there though, on paper, and the judge was persuaded enough evidence of foul play existed to go to trial. But Corporate Counsel for NYC chose to settle, rather than risk an award much higher than the $200K. It should be noted that Rabbi Goldstein also won the right to go public with his grievances, rather than lose 25% of the payout due to disclosures. (Bet you didn't know about that gag rule, did you?)

    The BP may well be on the right side of many issues. He may be a hero for losing weight and changing his diet - publicly - to combat diabetes. He may be a man of firm convictions. But he's not above pettiness. This whole era at CB9, ever since Adams' election, has been a total shit-show. And while many CBs in the borough remained relatively unchanged after he entered office, CB9 has seen more than 32 (!) board members removed to make way for new ones more loyal to the team. This has destabilized the Board, providing zero continuity (to the point yours truly has had to inform members repeatedly of its own actions a mere two and three years ago) and even less accountability.

    (first to answer correctly gets a playful nugie)
    The Q has watched this unfold, and this is what he believes went down, and why.

    The BP wanted District Manager Pearl Miles fired, and when 30+ year Chair of the Board Jacob Goldstein wouldn't do it, Adams refused to reappoint Jake unless he stepped down as Chair. Why not let the Board vote its own conscience? Such flagrant disregard for the community he long served as State Senator feels to the Q like a punch in the gut. Why would Adams go to such lengths to fire Miles? The Q has gone into the whole hairy saga before, but the short version is that this was score settling, all pointing back to longtime hot shot Clarence Norman, Jr., once the Kingmaker of the Kings County Machine, who fell from grace as a felon, only to help undo the very man who put him behind bars (longtime DA Charles Hynes, who lost to Norman's man Ken Thompson, r.ip.). Ultimately, after cleaning house on the Board, and two BP-approved Board chairs came and went (Dwayne Nicholson and Demetrius Lawrence), longtime "friend" of Clarence's Carmen Martinez was hired. Somehow. Despite hundreds of submitted resumes, CM became PM's replacement at DM. (I'll continue to say it - CM is a fine potential DM, but this was hardly a fair fight.)

    Along the way, YOUR neighborhood has had to endure unending incompetence and inexperience at its Community Board, constant in-fighting, and miserable services delivery as top posts went unfilled. Pearl Miles didn't make a lot of friends in her time as DM, but she got shit done. Ask anyone in the City...PM was a killer DM, albeit without the BM (bedside manner) some consider a requisite for the gig.

    So where are we now? Unless The People start to take an interest in their local politics, it's really hard to imagine positive change in Albany and Washington. Don't think because you're a Democrat you're getting the best representation. You're simply being told what's best for you, and your vote or lack thereof will continue to be taken for granted.

    Please. Vote accordingly.

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    There is something eerie about watching a house be torn down from within. Especially when you only hear the breaking glass and plaster and can't see a sign of a human, just the occasional debris thrown from an upper window by gloved, seemingly disembodied, hands.

    The little church and two houses on Clarkson I in full demo mode
    Plans are for a big ol'"luxury" building with all market rate units. Of course. If they ever get to work on the empty lot across the street, I figure that'll bring another 400-500 people to the block, all able to afford the going rates. That's going from five Victorian houses and a cinder block Pentecostal church to...ah hell, you know the story.

    As the Q sloshed home from a meeting, a massive Fire Dept presence had taken over Winthrop and Flatbush, maybe 10 trucks in all. On closer inspection, a fire had torn through the upper floors of 35 Winthrop. Such a strange couple of images to see with a couple hours of one another.

    One can only pray no one was hurt. Not feeling too hopeful, but that's when you pray, right?

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  • 01/25/17--14:57: Help the Fire Refugees
  • It would appear that many people can't get back into their apartments at fire ravaged 35 Winthrop, and lots of property has been damaged and destroyed. So, some of your industrious and helpful neighbors put together a Google Doc where you can list your name and anything you have to offer. Some pretty clear-eyed folks will make sure that this list gets where it needs to go, so if you sign up you'll hear from someone if your offer is needed. How about actually real-world-useful piece of technology from your "do no evil" friends at Google.

    To sign up, click your clicker.

    Thanks to Craig, Jennifer, Ashleigh, Julia, Cheryl, Melinda and others for pulling this together.

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    Adding to their already gargantuan project at the corner of Nostrand and Clarkson (you've seen it - nearly done actually) comes word of their next door behemoth at 350 Clarkson. Fat and relatively short, these aren't the sorts of projects that raise too may eyebrows. Folks up the Nostrand 2/5 line can expect a bit more traffic, and rent pressure will continue along Nostrand and nearby. More restaurants and bars serving the new residences are surely gleans in savvy biz-eyes.

    More on the project from YIMBY.

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    The Q has already delved into the reality of the privately proposed rezoning of areas near Franklin Avenue just north of Spice Factory, by Cornell Realty. The fact remains that even this requested doubling of currently allowed density AND height is really just the beginning. Once these structures are built, there's more land that's part of the rezoning (including the Spice Factory itself) that could legally reach similar heights. This is about as big a change for the SoCro NoLeGa area (South Crown Heights, North Lefferts Gardens) as this bad hombre can imagine. Add to that recently filed demo permits to tear down the old Toomey's to make way for residential, and it appears that MTOPP or no MTOPP, developers find this part of the borough WAY too tempting to pass up. Being near the Garden is certainly a plus. But Garden views? Now that's something to sell, no? Hell you can see all of NYC from up there, since we're near the highest point in Kings County. A rough sketch below. Remember, Tivoli and Ebbets already exist and are prominently pictured. Clearly the point of the sketch was to show that the new buildings aren't even that high comparatively.

    More info on the project from YIMBY's Rebecca Baird-Remba
    Cornell will obviously make use of the density and height bonuses allowed by including dozens of below-market apartments. That's the good part. The bad part, or the part that most members of the ULURP found galling at its last meeting, we the proposed wall of buildings that will become part of your eastward view from the garden itself. Parking, dear parking, was also decried as a major concern, though I suspect lots will be created underground. Infrastructure etc. etc. etc. Remember, the neighborhood already said "no" to redoing the infrastructure under Washington and Franklin when CB9 went apeshit over a proposed rebuilding of the corner at Empire/Wash/Franklin.

    Bottom line - if your City Councilperson (Cumbo) and BP (Adams) approve of this idea, there's not much you or I or anyone else can say about it. Expect big, big protests at Community Board meetings, and more than a few public "actions."

    Also...where does the BBG stand in all of this?

    The City itself seems to think the project will cause little harm. According to DNA Info, the Dept of City Planning let the project move forward and into the ULURP stage, we go!

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    Some days, at certain moments in the news cycle, you wake up thinking you could be surprised by nothing short of an alien abduction. Yet, as the Q sits over his Bustello, he nearly spits the sludgy jump-juice across the room as he reads of the huge (like, really really huge) nightclub opening up INSIDE the new Thomas Anderson built apartments around the Q/B/S Prospect Park station. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a veteran of all things NYC and I was a hipster too once. (Some have tried to reassure me I wasn't, but I dressed like an old Jewish lady version of Grunge and played in a "never sell-out" indie rock band with two women friends from college, which I guess made them rock-n-roll coeds? and since we actually put out records we weren't wannabes so we weren't hipsters, but I kinda think anyone aspiring to the zeitgeist is a hipster so now I'm just an aging hipster I figure) Cool, weird, and even too-big-too-succeed utopian visionary experiments are what makes NYC the cultural capital of the world, right? So why should I be surprised that a late-night DJ-culture venue is opening in the middle of a market-rate adventure known as the Lincoln Apartments? Lest you think I'm joking, there's a video to prove it.

    The Space // Sonic Jungle - Brooklyn 2017 from Sonic Jungle on Vimeo.

    To those too old to get it, read the mission (below), and tell me you can't reach back into your creaky memory to find moments in your youth you spent flirting and shaking ass in a big trippy place where you felt free, young and uninhibited. SONIC JUNGLE indeed. Before you dismiss it out-of-hand, as many outspoken elected officials did when a rave was announced for the old Bedford-Union Armory awhile back, why don't we wait and see what happens? With proper soundproofing and security this could be a tremendously fun place for our little ones to unwind, mate and create future beings to inhabit the earth.

    The Sonic Jungle is a carefully curated Cultural Oasis, rooted in environmental and social impact, for the creative and the curious of New York City.

    In early 2015, brothers Andrew and David Goldin identified a missing link in the sustainability movement: the human connection to the power of nature, especially in our increasingly urban and technology-driven world. The Goldin brothers, passionate about environmental impact and holistic living, sought to bring nature back into people's lives.
    Andrew, a wellness and health professional, and David, an artist and designer, believe that reconnecting humans to nature begins with helping said humans to be their healthiest, strongest, and best selves. Through the prioritization of natural wellness, accessibility to music and art from around the globe, and exposure to eco-technology, people can collaborate, learn, and have fun while imaging a healthier planet. The Sonic Jungle is a playground where mental and physical senses are harnessed for impact. 
    In the winter and spring of 2017, The Sonic Jungle will produce four Pop-Up events in a newly built 44,000 sq ft concrete canvas, located in Brooklyn's beautiful Lefferts Gardens. The event series will showcase music, art, wellness, and eco-technology as catalysts for social impact, as well as the power of nature as a healer, nourisher, stimulant, and inspirational force that sustains humanity. It will feature four floors of live performances, meditation and healing lounges, art galleries and installations, interactive technology VR experiences, an herbal apothecary, film screenings, and all-night dancing.

    Oh, and get your tickets now, if you want to check out one of the big "pre-opening" parties. Honestly, I had to check three times to make sure it wasn't April 1 today. Just another kooky moment in contemporary NYC, before the fall, or the rise, of a terrible or beautiful new era.

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  • 02/06/17--19:52: Hate Free Zone
  • From your good friends at PLGNA, check out this statement sent to public officials, seeking to get some traction for an official endorsement that we are a "hate-free" zone. Though I'll admit it's going to be tough, this whole "hate-free" thing. I know that serious activists have dealt with this for years, so I guess I have a lot to learn about tolerance and restraint. I'm feeling some pretty serious hate coming up and will find it difficult to stuff it back down. Or "let it go" as Elsa likes to sing. Oh Elsa! Would that I could! From PLGNA:

    The Prospect Lefferts Gardens neighborhood has a deep history of valuing racial, ethnic, and economic diversity and inclusion. From fighting redlining, block-busting, and other discriminatory practices in the 1970s to encouraging the development of a successful multi-racial and multi-income neighborhood today, the Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood Association (PLGNA) and others in our community have long endeavored to make manifest the principles of diversity and inclusion. It is shameful that after these many years of progress we still witness acts (official and unofficial) across America that show hatred, bigotry, and an appalling lack of compassion. In the face particularly of the recent upswing in hate crimes, it is crucial that we vocally retain the welcoming nature of our community and continue to stand by our principles of diversity and inclusiveness. At this time more than ever our community stands as an example of the direction America should be headed. We therefore call for a public declaration by our local elected officials that Prospect Lefferts Gardens is a hate-free zone.

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    History suggests that martyr(s) come in handy when you want to take your political movement to the next level. And who might that be? Not hard to imagine, really. Could happen any day, as a matter of fact. One, ten, maybe a hundred martyrs. A guy on my block runs in this shadowy world, that recently has emerged in a spectacular way online. Masses of organized folks rushing walls of riot cops - this sort of overt confrontation (the charging mass) is frankly designed to create just such a martyrdom, and set off the crisis that seems almost inevitable.

    Imagine this scenario. The ever-growing Antifa movement stages a protest at a Pro-Trump event. Riot police are called. The "kids"rush the cops, shots are fired, it becomes unclear who has guns (probably not the protesters - they tend to shun them) and a dozen or more people are killed. Recruitment quadruples every week, cities brace for violence, the National Guard gets called (by you-know-who), unions take sides, churches take sides, the victims of riots strap on their weapons. And most importantly, the guy in the White House shows absolutely no interest in calming things down or reaching out to anyone in the name of domestic peace. This is the "race war,""class war,""war for the soul of America" that many have been pining for. Far-fetched? Google "Antifa protests" and witness, not from the NY Times, but from ground zero. It's real, and the paranoia of infiltration from rival groups adds to the sense of urgency and desperation. We can assume that every one of these groups is under surveillance. Politicians want to call these protesters terrorists, which depending on your perspective I suppose is accurate. (But so are the skinheads and republinazis of course). But they're mostly just kids, 20-somethings following 30-somethings, and they've been around the black bloc - World Bank, Occupy, Ferguson, Berkeley. They are a very small but growing fringe. But they get attention! Think of how hundreds of thousands marched on Washington on January 21st. But on inauguration day, the Antifa stole the show. It's the protest that's still being talked about.

    In many ways the current political shitstorm seems a crisis of, among other things, the Internet. How else to describe once barely noticed anarchist protests garnering hundreds of thousands of "views," with either rightist or leftist narration calling each other idiots, cowards, racists or commies?

    If you're like the Q, you've been snooping around, sniffing for meat on recent "black bloc" protests, you know, this whole Antifa thing. The radical left Anti-Fascist resistance is growing by tweets and bounds, drawn out by the high profile riotous protests on Inauguration Day, nazi-punchings and counter-beatings, then planned "happenings" at Berkeley and NYU. It's not hard to see why Antifa, Occupy , #BLM and anarchist groups in all manner of Ninja outfits are appealing right now. White supremacists took the White House. It's theory no longer. This shit is real.

    You're smart and curious, you read all about Trump's whisperers, the alarmingly persuasive birthers and conspiracy theorists and nationalist updated CCC thugs who now pass as policy wonks and regular ol' Steves. Bannon himself has left a long and tedious trail of films and writings that show exactly where he's coming from, and it ain't pretty. It's not even entirely surprising, or even unknown to the MSM. The very things that have been in decline (so goes the rhetoric) are the things Trump bemoaned the loss of in his bellicose bullying - Christian "values," patriarchy, white hegemony, pro-life anti-gay anti-PC anti-manufacturing you name it, if Trump hears it's in decline, he'll call it out. Of course he's really just another overweight Oligarch in search of meaning and validation. Big time daddy issues and a whale's belly of insecurity. Personality disorder. Serious nutjob, but don't cry for him Argentina - he's the President of these here United Sates.

    The sieg heilers are now on speaking tours to draw out the Antifa. The Antifa respond on cue, but their numbers overwhelm even the white nationals. Antifa is now more popular on liberal arts campuses than Jagermeister and EDM. Actually Antifa probably goes well with beats and shots, so I should shut my trap about what college kids get off on. I haven't been one for a long, long time - an undergrad OR a shot-drinker. I DO know sure as shootin' that young kids love a good idealistic fight, and boy howdy do we have a dandy right now. The hood's off the KKK (turned out half of white America were closeted card carriers), the billionaires aren't content with ACTUAL power - now they want government credentials as well, and Democrats haven't a clue how to keep up with the outrageous equity canyon. School's out! And revolution has always been sexy as hell.

    Of all the videos of black-clad rioters - from Ferguson to D.C. to (good lord) Omaha just the other day (I shit you not) the one bit online that stands out for me is a young woman defending the Antifa at Berkeley. She's like a Feminista Che, relaxed enough to articulate but determined as an Olympian shot putter. Check her out, absolutely destroying a local news anchor who probably assumed she'd easily shred her guest, but ends up looking ridiculous herself.

    So why bring up civil war, or at least widespread violent confrontation? Because the right is obviously fixing for a fight, and have been for a long time, and they feel emboldened. The left is feeling angry, cheated and helpless. All it takes is for one of these many, many bigger and bigger confrontations to devolve into lots of shooting, bombs and/or heavy casualties, and now you've got Kent State times 100. Rodney King times 1000. The riots, sorry Uprising, in L.A. is not so long ago. The Occupiers haven't all moved to Canada. The White Lives Matter crowd didn't suddenly grow up and apologize. And of course, the police, while often full of well-meaning decent people, have hotheads and rednecks on staff in every precinct in the country.

    Chilling? Maybe you're not buying my premise, and the Q hopes he's wrong. (sort of - I've been fixing for a fight for weeks.) But for unsettling, nothing gets to me like this ad for just the kind of firearm that could set off the national emergency.

    Civil War happens when all else fails. And lately, a lot of taken-for-granteds ahve failed. Miserably. Throw in a comrade to die for, and, well, I shudder to think.

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  • 02/08/17--20:03: Fenimore, or Less
  • If you don't know this house on Bedford you probably don't live in the area.
    As discussed here previously, your neighbors on Fenimore 2 (that's Bedford to Rogers, folks round here count their east/west streets from their Flatbush origin) have brought their plea for downzoning to the local community board, the fighting 9th. Despite protestations from Alicia and MTOPP, the Board decided to co-petition the City for the southside ONLY to be downzoned. They have an excellent case, as their houses have deed restrictions limiting homes to 1-family affairs, much like the acclaimed Lefferts Manor to the north (yes, there IS a group of men in the area who refer to themselves, cheek in jowl, as the Lords of the Manor). With word that the above historic wooden stand-alone is to be torn down to make way for an apartment building of some height, the neighbors are understandably alarmed, not just for this house but for the entire block. Sound familiar to some of you? I feel a need to remind that the entire neighborhood could have been downzoned on inner blocks had it not been for the distinguished Sultan of Sterling and her merry band of zoning zealots.

    To help Maura and the block gather the money they need to fulfill their legal and applicational needs, see their GoFundMe page.

    The narrative therein is republished herewith:

    Neighbors and Friends--

    The Fenimore Street Block Association learned late last month (Jan. 2017) that a beautiful house on the southeast corner of Bedford Avenue and Fenimore Street is being targeted for demolition.  A prominent Williamsburg developer recently filed for a permit to demolish 174-176 Fenimore Street. While no plans have been filed as of yet, we suspect that he will construct an as-of-right apartment building many times the size of the existing house. 

    For several years now, our Block Association has been fighting to preserve our neighborhood from non-contextual development that is quickly becoming the hallmark of new construction in PLG. We are currently in the process of initiating a rezoning application to change our current R6 zoning - which allows high density development - to R2, which only allows single family homes. This is due to our research, where we discovered that houses on the south side of Fenimore Street between Bedford and Rogers--including 174-176 Fenimore--have deed restrictions that explicitly prohibit the development of apartment buildings, as the language makes clear that only single-family houses may be built - like the rest of Lefferts Manor. We discovered that this side of the street was originally part of the Lefferts Farm and should have been included in both the R2 single family zoning which begins on the north side of the street as well as the Prospect Lefferts Gardens Historic District, which covers the entirety of Lefferts Manor proper. In fact, as of this week, all 19 properties on the south side of Fenimore Street have been found eligible to be added to the National Register of Historic Places as an extension of the existing Lefferts Manor National Register Historic District.

    The Fenimore Street Block Association intends to battle this developer in court with the understanding that we have a very strong legal leg to stand on. We are doing this because the courts have routinely deemed these original deed restrictions to be binding if found enforceable, which our zoning and land use expert has affirmed to be the case. However, we lack the necessary funds for a sustained legal battle. It is possible that there are other parts of PLG which also have enforceable deed restrictions as well and a victory in this case could set an important legal precedent for future court cases against developers.  

    If you live in the neighborhood and are sensitive to the unsightly skyscrapers being wedged into narrow lots on residential streets, and/or if you are generally a fan of a more reasonable zoning approach in the city overall, please support our effort and give what you can. We will update this page periodically to let you know how the court case is proceeding.

    Many thanks,
    Fenimore Street Block Association

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  • 02/12/17--17:09: Rolling a Spare
  • Nicely done gentlemen! A (presumably) Parks Dept truck knocked down another streetlamp. Will it be replaced? Keep your eyes peeled! (Actually, don't peel your eyes. That's...really unpleasant.)

    near The Q at Parkside entrance to our beloved park

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    His name is Kwenci, and he's a serious artist and community activist. Big heart. Big ideas. You know him from the gorgeous recently demolished mural at the MTA building at Flatbush/Ocean. Having loved and followed the saga of the mural for years I assumed he'd be devastated that they tore down his art to rehab the building. Instead, he had the below to say. Til your next project Kwenci Jones!

    I originally painted this mural in 1998. Richard Green of the Crown Heights Youth collective commissioned me to cover up the graffiti on this 120 ft. monstrosity. In the 18 years of its existence I’ve had to restore it twice.

    Fr the most recent in 2012 I decided to turn it into a community-building project. That inclusion over a four season period involved over 150 volunteers, alternative sentencing participants, students and donors that contributed to this iconic Central Brooklyn landmark. This huge painting was the largest single theme mural for a ground level mural in New York City. 

    But alas when I first met this wall it leaked. The small cracks have expanded after twenty years; the two layers of stucco have worn away in those areas. I’m not surprised…just a little disappointed. Considering all that we put into it, I wish it would’ve lasted longer, but MTA engineers stayed away as long as they could...but the water damage was becoming internal. 

    Over the years, I’ve seen children become adults, became a staple of the neighborhood; took pictures with and met tourist from all over the world. We all did some great work and getting almost twenty years out of a damaged building is a good run for any mural.

    I salute this great collective accomplishment…great mural, great people, great times.

    …the restoration is never an afterthought…it still lives…



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    So says this article in the Brooklyn Paper, the presence of $2 million dollar homes and $2K-plus rents is not enough for the landlords along Flatbush to reel in the BIG G stores. This despite bars, eateries and coffee places galore that cater to the middle class and youthful newer residents. (Okay, a lot of them are white, but not all.)

    pic by Colin Mixson, as is the aforementioned article
    It's a bit shocking...sort of. There is ALWAYS another level to go UP, until you reach, I dunno, Tribeca or DUMBO or Billyburg level gentrification (or the Upper West Side before that, or East Village or, uh, Dubai).

    So where are we in the stream of upclassing? Who knows. Depends a lot on the economy, which given the current political crises could implode any day now. Look for a lot of discounts on storefronts if that happens, the UPside of DOWNturns.

    Of course the whole narrative is slimy with irony at every turn. That shouldn't prevent you from having a good chuckle or snit fit when you read the piece. Happy reading!

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  • 02/15/17--11:19: So Painful I Could Cry
  • The Q can't contain his feelings right now. Digust? Sadness? Astonishment? Hilariousness? Gas?

    Your councilperson just sent a "press release" for an event happening at 3pm today. That's in less than an hour. I can't even bring myself to describe its contents. After almost zero communication with his constituents, zero web presence and zero work on your behalf, he sends this:


    (New York, NY) - Council Member Mathieu Eugene and members of the Haitian community will present Miss Haiti 2016 Raquel Pelissier with a proclamation at City Hall today to celebrate her recent achievement as 1st runner up in the 2017 Miss Universe pageant.
    A survivor of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, Ms. Pelissier is studying to be an optometrist while serving as a role model for young women. She is Haiti’s first runner up in the Miss Universe pageant since 1975, and hopes to use her role as Miss Haiti to empower the Haitian community.
    “We are so honored to welcome Raquel Pelissier to New York City, where we can come together as a community and celebrate her wonderful achievements on behalf of the Haitian people,” said Council Member Eugene.   
    The proclamation ceremony will take place today at 3pm in the cafeteria on the 16th Floor at 250 Broadway in Manhattan.

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