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    To the read the rest of my award winning essay (the Q at Parkside Award for Dynamic Bloggering) be sure to go to Romper.

    We wanted to live in the big city. We wanted to stay in the City. Then we wanted a house or big apartment in which to raise kids. Seemed straightforward. But that's when the struggle for our very souls began in earnest. The next big question facing us is existential: which school will we send our children to?

    Who's we? We are the mostly white, mostly middle- and upper-middle class, schooled in liberal arts, culturally attuned to NPR and the New York Times, The Atlantic and the New Yorker, with a smattering of Mother Jones or The Nation issues in our lobby mail slots. We can go to parties and talk about racism and bemoan white supremacy in a gorgeously renovated living room with a Black Lives Matter placard in the window. We want to fix X and Y problems, and yet when it comes down to it, we support charter schools, “forest schooling,” and testing our children into the “gifted” school.

    Living in Hipville, USA, is exhilarating and challenging in equal measures. Smart, funny, fascinating, and quirky people are everywhere. Jobs come in every style, size, and income. Culture and cultures surround us, making us feel like a citizens of the world. We're never more than a subway or bus ride from intellectual stimulation. We become hooked on the daily high of intense, tightly-packed living, full of surprises and adventure. We're often car-less, and take pride that we're leaving less of a carbon footprint than our rural and suburban brethren. We try hard to hide our smugness.

    Having developed a pair-bond with a like-minded mate, we decide to mate and spawn offspring. But having a child upended our carefully calibrated sense of moral balance. This was the first time we looked up from our navels and took full stock of where and how we lived. Is the neighborhood safe? Is it clean? Is it too noisy or hectic? Are there other new families to bond with, playgrounds nearby, nurturing day-cares and good schools?

    Most of our specific "settling down" decisions were informed by how much money we had or could poach from relatives. (In the minds of every city-dweller you'll find a collectively determined running list of best and worst neighborhoods to live in if you have kids. The personalized version of the list fluctuates with one's own financial condition, the vagaries of hipness, trends, age, and various insecurities and prejudices.) A round of musical chairs ensued, and we all sat down in our various neighborhoods, though some couldn't find an affordable "chair" and had to leave the game. A bonus: we were finally able to confirm our suspicions about who was actually wealthy; you can't hide a four-bedroom townhouse in the middle of a real estate boom.

    The rich friends moved to their first-choice neighborhoods, and bragged of the good schools therein. The middle-classes began to re-assess previously undesirable neighborhoods or assail the pricier zip codes as "over" and dull. We started talking about real estate — obsessively. We started to become our parents even before we became parents ourselves. But we're NOT our parents, we'd say. We're more progressive, more open-minded, more attuned to the needs of others and the world's ills. So we convinced ourselves it's desirable to live around other races and cultures and economic classes. We liked to chastise others for living in nearly all-white enclaves.

    The RD was greatest for the first to arrive — the Early Bird Special. My wife and I weren't even married when we purchased our house in the Lefferts Gardens area of Flatbush back in 2003. There were just two other white folks on the block, as far we could tell, a block with somewhere close to 1,500 residents living in 30 old town-houses and nearly 500 pre-war apartments. We were a serious minority, and we took great pride in our ability to look past race and poverty. The whites didn't show up in numbers ‘til years later. In all honesty, those early years were awesome, and the least soul-crushing. We were welcomed, and we felt alive.

    The black and brown residents of our block were as varied as the world itself. A great number were African-Americans whose families arrived during the Great Migration, some sending their kids down South in the summers to be with relatives, some making plans to move back down permanently once retired. Like immigrants from within their own country. There were hundreds of Caribbeans from every nation, lots of Yemenis, some Puerto Ricans, Africans, mostly citizens but plenty were just residents. No one cared about such things. And not everyone was poor.

    Still living four doors down is the two-home-owning gay, black judge, and the Vietnam War veteran who was the first black electrician in the union, the black female sanitation worker who won a multi-million dollar lawsuit, lots of nurses, salespeople, social workers, business owners. There were also lots of Section 8 families, folks with little or no income but who possessed the prized housing vouchers. (Back 15 years ago, landlords would still accept them readily, as the vouchers were a steady and certain source of rental income.)

    Some of the single-family homes had become boarding houses. Our three-floor 20-foot-wide row house had eight separate one-room apartments when we bought it — "SROs" in the lingo. It was mostly immigrant men living there, looking only for a place to lay their heads at night while working three, maybe four jobs.

    We didn't think about the schools. We thought about how lucky we were to live near the subway, the Park, the Botanic Garden, the Museum. The other side of the park cost three times as much. The racism discount was steep then; the price differential is closer to double now, as more and more white folks have moved east. It's incredible how one can quantify people's discomfort with minorities, but there it is, right on the Zillow listings.

    The schools? Education was being delivered, for sure. But our zoned school and the others nearby were nearly all black and all poor. Even the wealthier black and mixed-race couples we'd met sent their kids out of the neighborhood, many to private or parochial schools. Solid, progressive liberal arts grads would say, with straight faces, that their conscience told them to go local, but they didn't want their own kids to be guinea pigs for a school's diversification. It should be noted that most of these parents have still never set foot in any of these schools, let alone taken the time to meet the principal or take a tour. Many used test scores to decide whether a school met the acceptable threshold, even though, as Leonie Haimsen wrote in the New York Times, they are vulnerable to cheating and tend to respond directly to injections of money. On top of which, “the National Academy of Sciences has not once but twice spoken out against imposing this sort of high stakes accountability scheme on our schools.”

    A few white parents went as far as to create a charter school to address the lack of good options in the area. Initially, a fair number of white families proudly attended the newly minted Charter School, which had been gracelessly co-located into a beautiful old school building housing longtime neighborhood school PSXY, which was suffering a steep drop-off in attendance. Which, by the way, was a direct result of the accelerating gentrification in the neighborhood that was bringing more school-aged families - plenty to fill the seats at the two under-enrolled zoned schools. But not one (quite literally, not one) of the newcomers felt comfortable sending their kids to the local-zoned schools. The excuses were always a variation on the guinea-pig defense.

    I tried to convince playground friends to give it a shot — together if necessary — to just go to the zoned school. A few meetings were held, but one by one our preschool friends chose other options. A couple Montessories here, a couple fancy private schools there, a few homeschoolers and lots of out-of-neighborhood schoolers. The well-regarded local private pre-school actively encouraged parents to go out of zone, even out of district. That well-regarded school leader coached parents on how to "work the system" legally, and how to find schools that were still accepting out-of-zone students to fill their seats. The unstated irony? Her own children were bi-racial.

    As in any massive clandestine effort, code words were used to hide the issue facing parents. The Racism Discount had provided for cheaper housing. But it didn't mean the local public schools would also gradually add new wealthier residents at the rate of home equity increase, and the longtime local proud experienced principals weren't going to beg parents to come "save" their schools from lack of cultural and fiscal capital. For many well-bred whites, this was the first time their privilege met a dead-end. Local elected officials weren't much help either. They, too, were black and proud, or white and smarter than to play race games, and they weren't interested in hearing solutions that didn't involve parents simply crossing out of their comfort zones and going local...

    To the read the rest of my award winning essay (the Q at Parkside Spot On Award For Accuracy In Bloggiphying) be sure to go to Romper.

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    Until recently the Q could have told you with a straight face that Jesse Hamilton was a strong leader. Working hard since winning his seat, he's been at every march and forum you'd expect from a State Senator. He's put forth spicy legislation. He's been responsive to his constituents and an advocate for the needs and rights of the African-American community. But something happened when he dallied with the Dark Side - i.e. the Republican leadership and Independent Democratic Caucus. He chose expedience and power over process and loyalty to the Party that elected him. One could forgive his naivete (being essentially used by the IDC leadership) because he was offered a lot in return, and he slept at night by telling himself he'd done it for the good of his district. But...

    He's not sleeping so good anymore. And we're not sleeping either, Jesse. We can see what you've become.

    Not long ago, Jesse chose to send a nasty note from what appeared to be a new #BLM group called "Woke Brooklyn." In it the supposedly anonymous writer tried to tear NY Assemblymember Diana Richardson a new one, basically for not being black enough and putting the needs of others above her constituents - essentially a sell-out. (Tell that to Diana's face and see how THAT goes.) Ultimately Jesse was uncovered as the author (due to his own poor judgment), and the criticisms proved to be a desperate tactic from a beleaguered incumbent.

    Interestingly - I got the note, and so did everyone who follows Queen Alicia through her MTOPP email list. So I says to myself, hmmm, seems Jesse and Alicia Boyd have some alliance going on here. And since Alicia is nothing if not brazenly tactical, I suspect there's something in it for Aunt B. besides warm fuzzies.

    Then yesterday, I get a venomous attack note from MTOPP, targeting none other than the surging Zellnor Myrie, who's managed to rack up a stunning list of endorsements - as in just about everybody who's anybody in the Democratic Party. The nasty note from MTOPP (obviously in coordination with Hamilton, see above) knocks Myrie for comical things like "living in the Bronx" after college and "going to college" in the Bronx. (He grew up right here in Lefferts). The most potentially damaging thing that the grammatically challenged note said was that Myrie had been lying about passing the bar. Then this morning, in a rare show of almost-contrition, Boyd apologized and said (like the Fonz 40 years ago) that she was wr-r-r-r-r-r-r-ong and that her "research" had been mistaken. Fancy that. In years of error-filled missives, this is the first time she's ever uttered an apology. Perhaps a lawsuit was threatened?

    If you're sick and tired of Jesse Hamilton, and you should be, vote for Zellnor. If you're sick and tired of Alicia Boyd, then I've got a very solid lead for you.

    Alicia raises money through MTOPP, which she says is a non-profit, though it's actually using her other non-profit New Directions In Healing as its shell, accepting tax-deductible donations. And in case you were unaware, it's illegal to electioneer using your 501c3.

    Alicia is fronting, literally, and I suspect she has other secrets to hide, since she recently and mysteriously paid off her mortgage despite having no job and lots of time to hold the community hostage and most important, to Keep Empire Blvd Shitty for all.

    Don't forget to vote on Sept 13 for either Zellnor, or, below, feel free to stick with the Captain and Tennille. Or better yet, watch my favorite C&T video, with a winning message to boot for these troubled political times.

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    A lot, a lot, a lot to unpack here.

    We get that Alicia Boyd and her few remaining friends want Jesse Hamilton for State Senate. We also know she illegally uses her non-profit to raise money for these political shenanigans, even sometimes colluding with Hamilton. And we've seen Hamilton create fake groups to endorse him, like "Woke Brooklyn" and even "Michelle Obama Political Club" (that's the best you could do? like Michelle would consider supporting a dude who caucused with Republicans? you must think we're all dumbasses, Jesse!)

    And yet both Ms. Boyd and Senator Hamilton make truly relevant points on a whole host of issues, which makes their dirty tactics so much more perplexing. Were she able to handle a bit of civil dialogue, were he able to simply stand behind his own actions without race-baiting, we might even get to the meat of the matter.

    Suddenly, softly, in the dusk of a hot hot day, we get a new email from the MTOPP club (Militant Tantrumming Obstructionist Political Party) playing the Love Card. The email's header is "Love Over Hate" and so we read on to learn exactly how love might once again save the day against all that is dark and foreboding.

    Psyche. It's not about love at all. It actually IS about hate. But read on. She actually claims that the hate group "the Progressive Left" has a problem with Hamilton because of his blackness. When in fact, no one had a problem with any of his able senatorness, til he denied his party power in Albany and allowed a couple of shysters from Jerktown run the show for awhile. And while he claims he received threats from the Liberal Left, the fact is he received the sort of threats that all politicians get, from a few unstable crazies. I mean theQ gets threats, and I'm not even making laws for everyone. Though that would be pretty cool, and the first one would be to declare the Age of the Wrap over. Stop making wraps. No one likes them, and they don't even save you calories. They're just shitty burritos.

    When are people going to realize that crazy emails and twitter rants and facebook posts are not to be taken as more than trolling? The lone black state legislator from Vermont felt compelled to drop out of the race because of...a twitter flurry. That makes me so sad. But also, people, come on! Now's not the time to let an Asshole On Twitter get us down, is it? I can't hear you...IS IT??

    Were Hamilton's opponent a white gentrifier, rather than a black guy from the neighborhood named Zellnor, maybe you could stomach his and her take on "identity politics." But it's just lame, and patronizing, and manages to talk down to both his supporters and detractors alike. Yes, voters can think for themselves Jesse. Even when they think it's time for a change. Which, it is. Vote Sept 13. Yes, that's a Thursday. Ridiculous.

    Identity Politics - A Grab For Power!
    What is Identity Politics? 

    This is when a voter simply identifies with a political party instead of a candidate's record and actions.  Since Trump came into power, the Democratic machine has been focusing on this concept and swaying the minds of the people, basically making this a party war.

    However, right under our noses, there is the push for real estate dealsgentrification, the selling off of our public land and now the endangerment of one of most precious green spaces in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, by the Democratic party.

    The danger for Black folks is our loyalty to the Democratic party, coupled with a serious campaign against the Republican party. This has created to a system in place to dis-empower us!
    New Hate Group - The Progressive Left
    There is a new group of people, the white gentrifiers, who call themselves the progressive left, attempting to gain power in our community via identity politics.  They don't have voting power, that still remains in Black people's hands, but they have money and a plan.

    This group has been on the scene in our community for the past several years and one of their main targets has been Senator Jesse Hamilton, because of his pro-black stance, and the litigation he has been pushing forward in the State Senate.

    Their Actions.

    The Progressive Left have been protesting Senator Jesse Hamilton every time he has pushed to protect Blacks against displacement or empowering us via education. Their message of hate has been felt and observed by many of the people in our community.

    For example, last June, during the Bedford Union Armory hearing, where Senator Jesse Hamilton was denouncing this development, as simply a give away of public land, which would further the displacement of Black people in our community, the  Progressive Left demonstrated against Hamilton.

    This year when Senator Jesse Hamilton was pushing for all year around Black History education he was subject to abusive behavior, being called the "N" wordetc..  Even the Editor of  Kings County Politics online magazine stated the Progressive Left were the senders of this hate.

    "Editor's Note: As the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of KCP, I have  been made aware of the and seen a number of examples of Twitter/Facebook Campaigns as well as emails and letters directed both towards myself and State Sen. Jesse Hamilton (D-Central Brooklyn) that either border on being hateful and racist or actually are hateful and racist.  To be clear some of these messages appear to be coming from the extreme right, but a majority of them are coming from the progressive left.

    This group also did a negative campaign against Jesse via the Facebook platformwhen he was opposing the Nail Salon incident, where black women were beat.

    It is clear what their political agenda is - to dis-empower and remove any elected official who is pushing pro-black legislation and stopping development that would displace us.

    Their justification for all of the protesting is the fact that Jesse Hamilton was once a part of the now defunct IDC.  Simply disregarding all of the positive legislation and money Jesse Hamilton has obtained for the Black Community.  That is because they don't represent people of color they represent themselves. 
    We Must Not Remain In the Dark!
    Loyalty to the Democratic Party is our weakness.  We need to break away from Identify Politics and start choosing candidates for what they do for us and not what party they stem from!

    We also have to beware of the power struggles coming into our community!  We should only support candidates that are actively engaged in empowering us, not by making grand speeches but by pushing legislation that does empower us!

    For example, Senator Hamilton is now pushing a bill to make calling the cops on  Black folks a hate crime!  That is what we want all of elected officials to do.  We need to ensure that the ones who are supporting us,stay in power because rest assure that the ones that are being supported by the progressive left like Zellnor, will not!

    We should not allow Zellnor's campaign representatives influence our decision, simply because they scream that Jesse Hamiton is a Republican!  That he supports Republicans.  That he is the reason that Trump is still in the White House.

    We have to see behind the lies and untruths; the poltiical jargon.  We must see what is there right in front of us.  A Black Puppet, being pulled by people who hate!
    Choosing Love Over Hate!
    Do not ever under estimate the power of Love.  We know these new folks bring hate and racism to our community. However we stand strong with love in our hearts for our people, our way of life, ourculture and the people who choose to protect us and empower us.

    We even send love to those who hate knowing that whatever you send out you will get back ten time fold.

    We will not submit to hate mail, name calling, outright lies and deceit.  We will hold our heads up high, we will be apart of the light and we will prevail as we always have under racism and hate.

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     Head to the early morning J'Ouvert and you might be greeted by a Blue Devil.
    The Q recalls the first time he learned of J'Ouvert, the party beFORE the West Indian Day parade. It was 2004 on Clarkson Avenue, our first year on the block, and in the middle of the night, like maybe 3am, my lady and I were awakened to the most outrageous sounds of drumming and horns. We pulled back the temporary shades to witness wild dancing, people covered in paint and baby powder, making their joyous way down the street. I thought I must be dreaming, but Mrs. Q saw it too. I'd been to the daytime parade a dozen times without knowing about the all-night festival that proceeds it, one with deep symbolic roots wherein slaves mocked masters who had mocked them - all related, of course, to Carnival, which also has an extraordinary history throughout the African Diaspora. I mean this is some DEEP shit. So...

    Ah hell. The best explanation is to go for yourself. Where it used to start around 2 am, the City's efforts to curb Labor Day violence (often not directly related to J'Ouvert, it must be stated and restated), now you can get up at the easy hour of 5:30, bike or walk (don't drive!) up to Grand Army Plaza, enter the fray or, conversely, wait for it take a left at Empire Blvd. Show up around 8am and you should get a good splash of blissful insanity. There is nothing, NOTHING, like it.

    The first terrific video on the event below:

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  • 09/06/18--05:08: Garden Shadows? Not So Much
  • Wow. Did you see the latest DC Palace Intrigue? It don't get much intrigue-ier. Senior Officials inside the White House calling out the President as immoral? Or amoral? Both? Like as know what that is, right? Sociopath. We already know he's a narcissist, and probably borderline personality. And a pathological liar. Why aren't we out in the streets? If ever there were a time the world needed moral leadership... What's that got to do with a meeting about Franklin avenue rezonings? Nothing. Just blogging. Back to the local beat...

    Here was the Tuesday meeting at BP Adams' Borough Hall, where-at yours truly gave a tearful testimony to the need for affordable housing, as in rent-stabilized apartments less than $1,000, because working people really can't afford to live here any more. But the Q's voice was drowned out by the activists who claim the Garden will become a dust bowl due to the rezoning of a couple of plots (40 Franklin for one) to make way for hundreds of new apartments. Hundreds of which they'll build anyway, but through the City's Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, we would give them a few extra stories and we get a boatload of affordable units. AND the market rate units are stabilized too. A few years ago such a bonanza would have sailed through. Not now, thanks to scare-pictures like this one:

    Yep. A planned 17 1/2 story building will, after rezoning these specific spots, miraculously grow to be twice that height, brownish-orange, with no windows. Or, if you are less prone to propaganda, you might consider the following rendering:

    Yep. Shorter than Ebbets. Shorter than Tivoli. Not postcard-worthy, but hardly a catastrophe of epic proportions.

    The Q is damn sick and tired of these arguments, fraught with notions of how adding a few stories will lead to MORE gentrification. Jesus, like it ain't on hyper-drive already. Like we don't actually need more apartments in decent neighborhoods. Like the plan isn't already for HUNDREDS of new market rate apartments Not stabilized.

    Of course no one but me and a guy from a Haitian civic org came out in support, so I might as well sneak back behind Blogger where most fear-mongering activists would prefer I stay.

    Or as one guy said to me - "your opinions aren't wanted here."

    That's where we're at folks. Discourse is not wanted around here, whether in Congress or at Borough Hall.

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    From Curbed, architect Alexandra Lange argues:

    Brooklyn needs new housing on major arteries near transit. Brooklyn needs new schools. Subsidized apartments cannot all be located in remote locations. And New York is in the midst of a major economic boom, the likes of which haven’t been seen in 70 years. Those who can should share the wealth.

    It's great that NYC has Historic Districts - like Lefferts Manor, Greenwich Village, Boerum Hill. But that means new housing has to happen elsewhere. And when you grow, there's nowhere in this city to grow but up. 

    The Q thinks it's past time people started thinking less about protecting their own precious version of the City, and start thinking WHERE are we going to grow - because we WILL grow. That's what happens to successful cities. Anyone who's followed the Q will tell you we were given the opportunity to work with City Planning on just that kind of future visioning, but a combination of rabid lies and apathy led to CB9 becoming a bad long-running joke. And so now we're forced to sit back and watch the neighborhood get picked over bit by bit, as longtime residents disappear, making the arguments by homeowners sound all the more hollow and shrill. 

    Is any of this "tall" stuff really so bad? Read Alexandra's piece and let me know what you think. Hell, at least the downtown boom takes some pressure off Lower Flatbush, or LoFla.

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  • 09/13/18--04:00: Give 'Em Hell, Zell
  • It's simple.

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    As Hurricane Florence crashes the beaches of North Cackalacky, a tropical political storm hit locally, as Jesse Hamilton lost to insurgent Zellnor Myrie for State Senate. Even IDC founder Jeffrey Klein lost his Dem Party line. Congrats Zell - wishing you well in November.

    Seems Ms. Alicia Boyd of MTOPP was none to happy with this piece in Politico, knocking her tactics fighting for Jesse and against Zell. In fact, she was so mad she had lawyer pen a cease and retract note to the Q for calling out her misuse of her non-profit "New Directions For Healing." Who knows who's been giving her money...she doesn't follow basic rules for 501c3's, like not electioneering, or having a functioning Board of Trustees and filing annual reports. So how does she respond? By threatening to sue a lowly blogger (moi) for calling out her corruption. I suspect I haven't heard the last of her calling me out as a racist, publishing untrue stories about my ties to developers (whom, I wonder?) - essentially for disagreeing with her politically. Very Trumpian if you ask me.

    In the end does any of it matter? The neighborhood continues its swift though roundabout march towards wholesale change, despite the rhetoric. A great example this:

    146 Linden Blvd

    A sterling example of what's becoming to skinny lots as a result of NOT engaging in neighborwide rezoning to protect inner blocks. Whatever. I'll just start calling these Boyd Buildings.

    This is what it was. Coming to your block if it hasn't already.

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  • 09/21/18--06:39: The Q In the Crosshairs
  • I guess some folks haven't heard of the 1st Amendment. The one that allows criticism of public figures - particularly those using non-profit donations to electioneer and smear political opponents. She's sending all manner of emails to her minions and having her lawyer send me threatening letters. Why? Because I criticize her tactics, which of late have become more and more shrill and destructive to political discourse. But I need to be clear, to myself, and to her and her lawyer who clearly read the blog:

    I don't for a minute dispute that Ms. Boyd has a right to express herself, no matter how loud, obnoxious, mean-spirited or nasty. In many ways, I've hoped to shed light on a strange corner of the NYC Universe, where one single-minded individual with chutzpah and anger can make a HUGE difference on the course of a neighborhood's liveability. There are still people willing to put themselves on the Community Board in good faith - they too will likely become disheartened that it has become nearly impossible to share opposing views with civility. As a result, City Officials are loathe to deal with us. In one case, staffers at an agency actually picked straws to determine who would HAVE to show up at our door.

    How does this play out in the day-to-day quality of life here? Just look around. Public spaces are being neglected. Trash collection is haphazard. Relations with police become fractured. Transportation issues like speeding cars and bike lanes are ignored, not to mention traffic problems and intersection safety. Schools? Public Trans? It used to be you could pick up a phone and a problem would be addressed, if not immediately by Boyd's first victim District Manager Pearl Miles, but at least the message would get to the agency for which it's intended.

    Take the lakes that form at intersections after rains. DEP is in charge, but what neighborhoods get the first attention? Not ours, and not because the district is largely black - it's because no one is advocating on our behalf. The committee chairs have been in constant flux - how could they not be with 5 Board chairs and 3 DMs in 5 years? If CB9 were its own City, we'd be bankrupt and run by the State by now.

    So now Boyd's on the warpath again, with the Q as her primary target. Personally I don't give a shit - I can take it. But lately she's started demanding that her minions email my colleagues AT WORK to tell them what an ANTI-WOMAN RACIST I am. As a civil-rights loving feminist, these are hard words to hear. But they're protected by the Constitution, and there it is.

    The fact is I don't hate blacks and women. I strongly dislike ONE black woman. But I also strongly dislike one white man, and he happens to be my President. So Boyd, Trump. Trump, Boyd. You get the idea..

    Friends, don't fall for and of it. She and other vicious community activists (Imani of E4F I'm looking at you) want you to question your right to be here, to be involved in the neighborhood and to express your opinion, no matter how progressive or forward-thinking or (god forbid) yuppie it may be. It is racist to want blacks to suffer, to languish, to not have access to the same opportunities as whites. But it is NOT racist to want your neighborhood to be better, as long as you're not actively thwarting the needs of others. We get better when we debate ideas on their merits, and listen to all voices. We improve our communities when we decide TOGETHER and with as much input as possible. Then we use whatever political capital we can muster to express those needs to elected officials, and the media if necessary. A well-run Community Board can help that process - Boyd wants to shut it down and remove all members who run afoul of her personal vision, which is very much NIMBY, about as NIMBY as you can get in fact. (She loves to tell folks how I coined the phrase Not In My Black Yard as a post title to describe how she wants to dictate zoning based on her belief that black folks don't want it. Of course, she takes it out of context, and robs it of the crass wit. Oh well.

    The question the Q must answer is...validate her nonsense by addressing it publicly? I won't deny that it's a bummer to get called an anti-woman racist. Those are kinda the worst things you can call a white dude these days, so I know why she's doing it. She knows I've seen through her shit, and now wants to inflict maximum damage. The personal bait I won't take; I know what's in my heart. My Struggle, indeed!

    But today she sent out an email asking her followers to email MY COWORKERS demanding that I be held accountable. job? What the hell does that have to do with my personal political life? Next to nothing, I'd say. Ah yes. She's looking to inflict more damage! Maybe get me fired? Now THAT would be grounds for a lawsuit! Monetary damages...maybe retirement isn't as far off as I thought!

    I mean look at this shit below - k-r-a-z-y k-a-t. In the actual email she rips off work logos, prints emails of coworkers and practically begs them to reprimand me. As if they're my parents, and I deserve a spanking. It would be pathetic, if it weren't so damn...dare I say, cruel? Truly if anyone deserved a countersuit, this would be the lady. And so...I'm retaining counsel. But I'm never going to take back musings in the past that are clearly my opinions only - taken out of context her to paint a picture of a monster. Because that's the heart of the 1st Amendment, and while the President thinks otherwise, I have a tremendous appreciation for what it's done for the Republic generally.

    Now I ask you...would YOU put up with something like the below sent to hundreds of your neighbors? I'll tell you something that might surprise you. I'm fine with it all - she can say whatever she wants - but I'm not fine when she draws in perfectly unsuspecting and uninvolved people from outside the neighborhood with whom I work every day. This is harassment - they don't deserve it.

    So Boyd, if you're reading - attack me as you will, but leave my work friends and colleagues alone. It's one step over a line you really shouldn't cross. And if you hadn't noticed, there is one person to whom all of your statements purporting anti-woman racism reflect - you. My feelings aren't general at all. I simply don't like you, your organization, or your litigious ways. Any other reading of my blog is FALSE, and therefore qualifies as exactly the sort of defamation you accuse me of. 

    And check it out! She's STILL using her non-profit to raise money for MTOPP. Like I said, chutzpah.

    Stop Racist and Anti-woman Actions!

    The Development Director, Tim Thomas, of XXX, a non-profit cultural Arts organization in Brooklyn has for the last four years spread hate and racism on his blog to support major real estate development in our community.  Now he is focusing his hate and slanderous lies to dwarf our efforts at protecting the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
    For the past four years Tim Thomas, who is the primary fundraiser for XXXXX, has a blog called the Q @Parkside.  He is a former Community Board 9 member who was removed off of his committee and eventually off the board because of his hateful, divisive, anti-women and anti-black sentiments that he has widely and gladly displayed.

    His main bone of contention has been the fact that the community residents, who are predominately Black have been able to stop a massive rezoning and who are now attempting to stop a rezonng that will have detrimental effects upon the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Community.

    He has come out publically, both at the hearings and on his blog for the support of the 17.5 - 22 story buildings that are being planned in the 6/7 height limited zone along the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
    Tim Thomas' Actions

    1. Coin the Phrase “Not In My Black Yard, when Black residents were fighting against a massive rezoning on the scale as Inwood, East New York, Bushwich, East Harlem, Williamsburg, Downtown Brooklyn etc: Q-note: THIS REFERS TO MTOPP

    2. Described Black Residents:
    Powerlessfearful, marginalized, angry, rebels without a cause, looking for somewhere to place their anger, nutjobs (Blog posts 8/30/14, 9/27/14) Q-note: THIS REFERS TO MTOPP AND BOYD

    3. Called Black Activists Leaders: 
    Assholics, who will die frighten and alone, frauds, fear soaked hate, border line personality, raving lunatic, (Blog posts 9/23/14, 2/5/15). Q-note: THIS REFERS TO MTOPP AND BOYD

    4. Wished harm onto a Black woman leader
    “Maybe we will get lucky and [she} will break her jaw while gardening at her townhouse” (Blog post 3/20/15) Q-note: THIS REFERS TO BOYD, and is in poor taste

    5. Called women members of his committee on Community Board 9 in public 
    Fucking Clowns”. (Stated at public meeting).Q-note: THIS REFERS TO MTOPP AND BOYD

    6. Described Black Community Board 9 Board Members
    Gutless, lunatics, fools, embarrassments, crazy (Blog post 9/23/14, 11/5/14, 1/1/15, 2/4/15) Q-note: THIS REFERS TO MTOPP AND BOYD

    7. Described God as the “Big Ugly Guy” (Blog post 1/27/15) HUH? COME AGAIN?


    Descriptions of Tim Thomas' Behavior

    The Black former Community Board 9 chairman Demetrius Lawrencedescribed Tim Thomas’s behavior before he removed him as the Chairman of the Transportation Committee;  “combative, rude, inappropriate language, lack of decorum, lack of proper behavioral boundaries and [he] behaved totally irrational”.

    Members of his committee stated "He's rude and disrespectful."
    Community Activists; "He stood up time and time again yelling at the public, making personal attacks against members of the community."

    Online Petition and Paper Petition Against Tim Thomas
    Tim Thomas anti-woman and racist attacks were so offensive to residents that a group of white people in the community created an online petition demanding that he be removed off the Community Board.Q-note: THIS REFERS TO AN EFFORT BY MTOPP AND BOYD, PLUS A DISINGENUOUS PETITION EFFORT W/ PAL IMANI HENRY
    How You Can Help?
    Please copy and paste and email the the below letter addressed to Bang On a Can as a concerned resident.

    Dear Ban On the Can

    I am appalled at the conduct of your Development Director, Tim Thomas, especially in light of the hate filled anti-woman and anti-Black sentiments that are now on the National scene. To have such a prominent person in your non-profit organization using his blog to divide a community and to support the destruction of our green spaces is a concern for me.

    I am aware that freedom of speech is a protected first amendment right and I am in no way want to stop anyone from exercising that right, but it is clear that Tim Thomas’ behavior is divisive, racist and anti-woman which is something that the public should not have to tolerate from an organization that is suppose to be supporting the arts from an integrative cultural and ethnic perspective.

    I am also aware that you may not know of his behavior but now that you do, I hope you will address the concerns of the community activists who are fighting to protect our community and our public green spaces.


    Please send the email to 
    Executive Director - XXX
    Program Manager - XXX XXX
    Press Contact - XXX

    Please cc us at -
    Make a Donation
    Please consider making a tax deductible a donation to our cause, as we continue to fight for the protection of our community and its green spaces! 

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    The Q weepingly watched as workmen wheeled away one window and brick after another, as three beautiful old wood frame Victorians came down across the street. Years ago. The crappy fencing and empty lot remind me daily how rotten it is to live on a street with unfinished business.

    I was again reminded of this fact when I saw the plans for NY Ave, down near The Junction, to tear this puppy down for a 22-apt six story building. I suspect it's too late for a community led zoning discussion down there, but who knows, maybe there's a will to fight this sort of thing.

    It's not that we don't need more apartments - we do. But I've spent a fair amount of time down here, since my girls are friends with kids who live just a couple blocks away from the above house. It's a lovely neighborhood, and it seems most houses are going to developers for just this sort of thing.

    More on YIMBY.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I will shut down the Q at Parkside permanently.

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

    So long Flatbush.
    tim "the Q" thomas

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

    This will be my last post.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Q, over and out.
    tim thomas

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  • 10/09/18--11:57: The Terrorist's Demands
  • Alicia Boyd via 

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

    Here are the terms

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

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

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

    You will shut down the Q at Parkside permanently.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • 10/13/18--21:58: That Was One Weird Week
  • Ever wanted to be a fly on the wall at your own funeral? This week, the Q had a miniature version of the experience, when he shut down the blog as a result of having a metaphorical gun placed to his temple. It's been quite a whirl, whiplash and wrecking ball. But then something was said that was so untrue, so offensive, and so hurtful that I simply couldn't let it stand. So here I am to tell you all, once and for all:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • 10/18/18--13:14: Garden Living
  • Twas inevitable. The jewel of the neighborhood - The Brooklyn Botanic Garden - has inspired a steady stream of speculators, and many of the massive buildings in the pipeline will rise in the next couple years. The Q thinks it's worth noting what 12 stories actually looks like. The streetscape and skyline won't radically change, but it's safe to say that the shops, culture and density will feel very, very different. Wondering too what this means for the nearby schools...

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

    New Rendering of 111 Montgomery

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

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

    Read about the legal issues from Gothamist

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

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

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

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

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

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

    See you there.

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  • 10/23/18--05:54: Are You a Brooklyn Bloke?
  • Wayne Fortune, Brooklyn Bloke
    If you're strolling the Flabenue and happen to see a sleek little pop-up shoppe next to Awesome gifts at numero 617, you'll likely see one Wayne Fortune, a/k/a Brooklyn Bloke, a London-born designer/musician peddling his lifestyle brand.

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

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

    Cheers mate.

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