On a previous post, we optimistically chimed in with, "New development is great! It can be really architecturally interesting and just fabulous!" Then we took a walk down Fenimore III (between Rogers and Nostrand Avenues) and took these photos.
WOW these things are ugly. There's not a whole lot we can say except that, unfortunately, expanding the PLG Historic District is probably the best way to go if we want to keep the neighborhood remotely aesthetically pleasing.
We don't make it up to Empire Blvd. too often because we don't really drive and it's a horrible street to walk down. With all the talk about the Roller Rink's imminent closure (maybe), we decided to take a hop, skip and a jump down our least favorite local truck route.
Photo #1: We might be way behind the ball on this one, but we just noticed this wine and liquor store on Empire and Rogers. In and of itself a new shop for booze isn't so special, but upon closer examination you'll notice that this one does not have bullet proof glass, the substance that isolates the hound from his liquid prey. Pretty classy.
Photo #2: Recently installed plywood on what appears to be a gutted building. A sign of something new to come?
Photo #3: Something was knocked down and/or cleared out from this lot, the building permit indicates something about a maximum of two stories, commercial only. Again, a sign of something new to come?
The good news is that this storefront, 430-something Flatbush (between Lincoln Rd. and Maple St.), is probably too small to be a nail or hair salon. Also available is the former Access Point on Lincoln Rd. between Flatbush and Ocean Ave.
Let's gather in a circle, hold hands and collectively visualize something other than a crappy, useless business in one or both of these spaces.
We almost gave this post the title "News: Good and Bad," but then we decided that would be much too loaded. Instead, we gave it an innocuous title and left our opinion very mildly disguised. This one is sure to be a doosy.
The news is that these two buildings, though undergoing simultaneous renovations, are completely unrelated. The building on the left was purchased by a developer who will sell off units as condos.
The building on the right is owned by the city. Ultimate use for the building is unclear, but it goes without saying that it will be part of some city housing project. It could be used for people without homes or city employees - to name a couple of possibilities. The city runs many nuanced housing programs, and without further investigation it's unclear what this building will be used for... though we probably shouldn't say so, we're hoping it's not transitional housing.
A special thanks to Bob Marvin for supplying these images. These images aren't exactly to scale, but if you squint and relax your eyes the right way you'll see a sailboat.
On the left we have the actual PLG Historic District. On the right is the proposed historic district from the 1970s. Note that the proposed district is larger and strangely fragmented. The actual historic district does not include some blocks further from Flatbush Ave. and some blocks of Lefferts Ave. and Sterling St.
On the idea of expanding the historic district, we're on the fence. On the one hand, preservation is important. However, some attractive new development wouldn't be a bad thing, either. Some of the newer condos built in Brooklyn are downright attractive and look great against the brownstone backdrop. Yes, some are ugly, but there's no point in being overcautious and preemptively resistant to change.
First of all, everyone reading should know better than to take an endorsement from ATP too seriously. For real, McNally is the only candidate we've heard a peep from, so in usual tongue and cheek fashion we've endorsed her. That's just what we do.
Second, all of you interested in actual political process will have a chance to experience these candidates in the flesh on Tuesday, February 13 at Church of the Evangel, 1950 Bedford Ave. (at Hawthorne St.). There are 13 people in the race and hopefully the majority will participate. All the big hitters are sponsoring: PLUS, PLG Arts, Lefferts Manor Association, PLGNA and Ocean by the Park.
Now, back to our non-serious endorsement: in all non-serious seriousness, we really do not want another Yvette Clarke in this City Council seat. From what we could tell, she was all lip service and couldn't be bothered to do something as simple as get streetlights repaired. In contrast, McNally specifically addressed basic neighborhood repairs and infrastructure as part of her agenda.
Honestly, in addition to her opposition to out-of-context development, that's all we need to hear. There ain't much else individual City Council members can do for their districts. Citywide issues - that's another story. One that we decline to tell.
On January 22, 2006 ATP was born. It's been one full year as of today, and we received not a single bouquet. Remember this initial post?
Welcome. Today and on all future days, we at Across the Park (ATP) will be blogging about our home - which, by any other name, is still across Prospect Park from Park Slope. Topics will include (but will not be limited to) local triumphs and challenges, business and commercial development, real estate, public events and safety - generally anything of interest to folks who live between Empire Blvd. and Clarkson Ave., otherwise known as Prospect Lefferts Gardens.
As first time bloggers, we had no idea what to expect when we birthed this thing. Except for the one of you who decided to post porn links starting this past holiday season, thanks for reading and commenting. The past year brought many pleasant surprises - the best being the warm reception we've received from the community.