When I talk about dating different types of women, some people think that it’s bragging. I’m not. I do it to illustrate and compare and contrast the different and disrespectful treatment that these merchants seems to have for Black people in the area. I had another date with a White girl. She went into Bobby’s and paid with her credit card. What got me so enraged about this situation is that they didn’t ask her for I.D. Nor did they check her bag. Why is it that these merchants ask Black people for I.D and not White people? Why is it that they only ask for I.D in predominately Black areas? Apparently they are not required to ask for I.D if your card is signed in the back. They can compare the signature of the receipt with the signature on the back of the card. They may ask for ID if there is suspicion of fraud. Since they ask all Black people for I.D all the time and some White people some of the time, it is a Violation of your Civil Rights. From my understanding, Merchants may not refuse to honor a Card simply because the card holder refuses a request for supplementary information. The only exception is when a Card is unsigned when presented. However, "See ID" is not considered a valid signature. In these situations, a merchant must obtain authorization, review additional identification, and require the card holder to sign the card before completing a transaction. So is a merchant allowed to demand ID; they're not, unless the card is unsigned or says "See ID" as the signature. They are also not allowed to require a minimum payment for transactions. They do it because they have no respect for us. They think they can get away with it. It’s one of those subtle slights. They treat all Black customers as if we are criminals. Well I’m not a criminal. I refuse to go to any store that has bag checks or clerks behind bullet prove windows. It’s one of those stereotypical slights. You will not see this type of thing in White Neighborhoods. There is an unrealistic expectation that they should be suspicious of Black people. It’s one of those stereotype threats. It’s those types of actions that have made me less likely to shred a tear when these so called mom and pop stores are run out by Target. If these merchants have a Minimum payment requirement or I.D requirement you can file a Complaint online with Mastercard here.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
During the summer I went out on a date with a White girl. On our way back to my place we stopped for some groceries at that supermarket on Rogers Avenue. The clerk asked my date ,unabashedly, what type of organic products she would like to see shelved? She looked at him like wtf. Why in the world would you ask her such a question? Just because she’s white, the clerk assumed that she was new to the neighborhood and hence would like organic products. I see all these old time grocery stores on Flatbush with signs that say "we sell organic." Is that code word for we cater to White people?
An identity crisis is an analogous state of confusion occurring in a social structure, such as an institution or a corporation. So when I saw this new Merchant on Flatbush, it has gotten me very perplex. There is a Dry Cleaning service on the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Cortelyou Road. 2112 Cortelyou Road to be exact. That’s not too strange. What’s perplexing is that the name of this place is Kensington Fabricare. Why in the world would you call a place in the heart of Flatbush Kensington Fabricare? This is Flatbush. No confusion about that. Do they want Flatbush to turn into Kensington like how Bushwick is now East Williamsburg? I’m perfectly happy and proud to live in Flatbush. I got two words for you. NO THANKS!
Since I was young, legend had it that in Flatbush, the police used to steal weed and other drugs from drug dealers for their own use. No one could ever prove it… until now. Apparently 2 cops were arrested for stealing weed. Good to know that we are being served well by New York’s finest. Read more here.
Friday, December 28, 2007
According to this article, a stereotype threat is that when a person’s social identity is attached to a negative stereotype, that person will tend to under perform in a manner consistent with the stereotype. Is Flatbush plagued by Stereotype Threats? I see it all the time. It’s very disturbing how these businesses cater to stereotypes and how people follow like sheep. How many White people really do eat organic? Are they just saying that they eat organic, because that's what they’ve been told? How about those fake gold chains that are sold all over Flatbush? How many Black people out there who are just going alone with that wanna be Gansta look? First everyone wore White T-Shirts then those atrocious I Heart NY T-Shirts. Try to be an individual for once. It’s very possible. Also there are businesses all over Flatbush that are geared towards how people perceived Black people. I suspect that this might be the reason that we see Footlocker and Models in Flatbush. . It’s the assumption that Black people will buy only expensive kicks. So we see expensive sneaker stores all over Flatbush while everything else is cheap. It is also this same perception that makes people think that if a few white people come to Flatbush then all of a sudden the neighborhood will be better. I got news for you. It's all in your head. We already have the demographics here to have all those other amnemities. Its not the people that need to change. It's the businesses with their warp sense of who deserves better services. There is a hidden demographic of Flatbush that no one talks about. The College graduates who have professional jobs but still live at home with their parents. These people are loaded. I should know. I was one of them. They make good money, most don't pay rent or very low rent. They have plenty of dispensable cash. Where do you think they spend all that money that they make? Not on Flatbush. Most go to Manhattan for a night on the town. Most shop at Express and H & M. Most do all their shopping away from Flatbush because the businesses had already stereotyped all of Flatbush as being poor (until a few white people came alone who probably have more expenses). I personally haven’t shop for clothes in Flatbush for almost 5 years. The clothes are so obviously stereotypical of how Black people are supposed to dress. I personally like traditional clothes that's not too flashy. All my shopping for clothes is always done outside of Flatbush. I find the clothes at Jimmy Jazz and DR. J’s to be very stereotypical of how they expect all of us to dress. I suspect absence of these stereotypes H &M or even DSW would make a fortune if they opened a store on Flatbush. The good news about this threat is that it can be defeated. First by acknowledging that it is a stereotype. Second by affirming to yourself that you are an Individual and you will not live your life by some stupid Stereotypes. I find all these Kennedy Fried Chicken, jewelry stores, 99 cents stores and cheap take out places to be insulting. I also find that all these old time stores sprucing up and cleaning up their act now that a few white people are moving in to be even more insulting. Why do they need to change their act now? We could have afforded better stuff way before. I'm not a sheep. Keep your gold chains and cholesterol induce Fried Chicken. I don't have to take all this crap that I'm being fed. I personally think that this site about stereotype threats is a must read for anyone who live in a so called Gentrifying area. See it here.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
If there were a Flatbush Hall of Fame the first inductee would have to be the DOLLAR VAN. The dollar van has been a staple on Flatbush for a long time. Since I drive now, I haven’t taken a dollar van for almost 3 years. Last time I took a dollar van, it cost a $1.50. I think it might be more now. Does anyone know? The dollar vans were my life savior while in High School and College. I did not need a car to take my girlfriend to Kings Plaza. I had a girl who lived on Empire and we would be at Kings Plaza in less than 15 Minutes by dollar van. For all of you who don’t have a car, the dollar van is a great bet. It’s faster than the Bus. The only catch is that they will only go up and down on Flatbush Avenue and nowhere else. On top of that ever since Jullie Annie cracked down on illegal vans in the 90’s, the TLC now regulates the dollar vans.
I’ve dated many women of different backgrounds. I’ve dated Black, White, Asian and Hispanic women. I usually get different reactions from people depending one who I’m with on a date. If I go out on Flatbush with a Black girl, we don’t get any reaction at all. But if I go out with a girl of a different race, there is reaction. The reactions are mostly based on whomever I’m with. If I’m with a White Girl I get certain reactions from certain people. Younger Black Girls give me a piecing look. Younger white girls on the other hand usually give that curious look. As if to say hmm I wonder what he’s got going for himself. Older white men and some younger white guys always have that surprise look on their face. But only with a very good looking Asian or White girls. I never get looks from Asian girls unless I’m on a date with an Asian Girl. I only get looks from white girls if I’m on a date with a girl that is not black. I get more looks from all girls if my date is of a different race. Most people on Flatbush will give that a look, but try to catch themselves. The Asians, Black and White girls that I’ve dated are usually stunning looking. It might be because of their looks. I doubt it because I don’t get those same looks when I’m with a Black Girl or even a Hispanic or Indian Girl. It has never gotten nasty though. Even if it did, it’s my life. For whatever reason these looks never bother me. I’m usually more focus on the date and figuring out how to get her to want to jump my bones. Worrying about what people think is the last thing on my mind. Has anyone had any of these experiences on Flatbush? I can imagine from the looks of it that PLG and even Ditmas Park would be a haven for Interracial couples.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
I like to park my car near those free standing houses near and around Ditmas Park and Prospect Park South. It seems that the home owners are very stand offish to such things. A while back I parked my car on one of those streets in the mourning. On my way back from work I picked up my car. It had been awhile since I checked my oil. I looked under the hood. As I was working on my car a white family that was in a conversation was walking down the street. As soon as they saw me the conversation stopped and there was this silence. The mom hurried her kids into the house. Another white neighbor guy from across the street looked around and went back to his house. Less than a minute later the security patrol car came and decided to park his car right near where I was checking my oil. It was obviously my car and I had my work cloth on. This is something that I always did when I lived with my mother near Brooklyn College. I never had that happen to me there. Most of the home owners were Black. As a matter of fact, one time my car was stuck in ice and the 2 kids who lived in one of those large houses on Farragut Road help me out. I don't think I would get that kind of help here. It's sad but true. I then realized that this might have been a microaggresive behavior. Has this ever happen to other Black men living in the area? Part of the reason that I loved Flatbush when I was growing up was that I did not have to deal with that kind of subtle racism from my neighbors. These kinds of behavior can have it's toll on you. It can even effect your health and well being. Read more about it here.
I have to admit. I've been taking my dates to Flatbush as apposed to Manhattan lately. It is very convenient. Since I live in the neighborhood I might as well. I live smack dead in the middle of PPLG and Ditmas Park (Prospect Park South). As far as I'm concern PLG is the better deal. It has more stuff to do and places to see. That stretch on Flatbush Avenue between Lincoln Rd and Caton Avenue is very charming. It has that cozy feel to it. On Lincoln Road there is K-Dog. It can be very romantic at the right settings. I also like Ali's Roti Shop. It's very small and has only two tables. The tables and seatings are very cozy. Next to Ali's there is Jerk city. Also not a bad place. Mex Bar is great, as well as that new Sushi Place. I have not been to Lime yet, but it's a must see. During the summer, Prospect park is right up the block on Ocean Avenue. There is so much going on. You can just walk on that stretch and you'll find a place. Our State Senator Eric Adams has an office on that stretch. Yvette Clarke also has on office across from the Gas Station. They also have some funky style boutiques, there is an Halal Caribbean place and what I think is a beauty salon that has one of the most creative awnings I've ever seen. There seem to be more comrade amongst the people on that stretch. It doesn't have that same stench of desperation to be cool that Cortelyou Road seems to ooze. Their coolest just comes naturally. Maybe it's the way the streets are configured or maybe it's the brownstones that forces people to be more real with each other. Ditmas Park doesn't have that same charm. They come across as try hard. The people who live in those free standing homes are very cold and distant. Very detach and aloof. The 2 restaurants on Cortelyou Road are overpriced and not nearly as romantic as a smaller joints on PLG. Vox pop is the only cool thing on Cortelyou Road. Everything else is basically a waste of a good date. There is nothing Cool or charming about Connecticut Muffing. Looks like something you would find near Penn Station. There also seems to be that aura of superiority that the people on Ditmas Park have. Hey Ditmas Park. Breaking News. Just because you live in a Victorian house, doesn't make you royalty... so please take that wedge out your posterior.
Monday, December 24, 2007
For everyone living in Flatbush, you have a new tool to police the police. Apparently an NYPD detective was outsmart by a teen who recorded his interrogation. This detective lied on the witness stand. Had it not been for an MP3, he would have gotten away with it. Is this the type of service we should expect from New York's Finest? Read the story here.
There is an article on the NY Sun that talks about new unconventional singles scene in NYC. Apparently shopping destinations are the new pick up spots. This being a neighborhood blog, I've decided to chronicle the best pick up spots on Flatbush. My favorites are Stop N Shop and Staples, on Regent, C-Town on Church and Argyl and C-Town off New Kirk Plaza. These are great places to meet new people. After 5:30 to 7 on weekdays are the best. This is the after work crowd. Most of the women and men are single professionals. Also on Saturday and Sunday Mid Mourning till 2 PM. I also like the Variety store on the corner of Parkside and Flatbush next to the Duane Reade. I've found that places that are not too pretentious or overdone are great to meet down to earth people.
Although not part of Flatbush, this story is very perplexing. Apparently there is a new development going up in Williamsburg. Thats not news. The catch is that it's specifically made for Orthodox Jews. How in the world could that be legal? Can you imagine a headline that said new housing in Flatbush for Catholic Haitians or how about housing in Flatbush for Spiritual Hipsters? Read more here.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
There is a proposed section 8 Discrimination law and a Co-op disclosure law that has been buried by New York city Council speaker Christin Quinn. The speaker has been nothing but a coward when it comes to during the right thing for all New Yorkers. She has her pockets inline with Landlords and Corporations. What is so troubling about this speaker is that she went out of her way to stop a street naming bill for Sonny Carson. A silly little fight that no one cared about. There are streets in NYC that are name after worse people than Sonny Carson. The time that it took the speaker to have her little fights with Charles Barron could have been serve better by working to have a true equal society for all New Yorkers. It seems quite evident that the good speaker wanted to have her Sistah Soldier moment against Charles Barron. They both came off looking like fools and petty little children. The speaker has been an obstacle to progress and real social change. She does symbolic things like aligning herself with Al Sharpton against a purported wave of hate crimes in the city. In fact one can say that the real hate crimes are taken place in real estate agencies and coop boards who judge not on the content of your character, but the color of your skin, the landlords who discriminate against section 8 voucher holders and not to mention the ethically corrupted so called liberal politicians who gives cover to such subtle racism. One might wonder if there would be so much obstacle to section 8 if the holders were white hipsters? So much for the myth of an open and Liberal New York City.
Apparently some of the infamous nasty posts that we see throughout the Brooklyn Bloggersphere has been coming from the NYPD. I'm not saying all. I said some. Eli Kramer of the Brooklyn Junction has writing a letter to the Mayor and Police Commissioner about harassments that a Brooklyn blogger has been receiving due to her protest of NYPD harassment of Bikers. Read about the blogger here. Sad but true.
In monitoring the Ditmas Park blog there has been a number of Micro-aggressive messages pertaining to Blacks living in the area. I don't know the point in posting a picture of an Ipod thief in a neighborhood blog. In fact Ipods are stolen in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the other boroughs all the time. There was also some controversy over a doll that may or may not have resembled Black Face. Notice the subtle messages in these post. One might wonder if this is just an accident or might there be more to this? Stay tune.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Elliot Spitzer is probably one of the most beloved man in flatbush, and for good reasons. He is a stand up guy. Mr. Spitzer won office with an overwhelming amount of support from the Flatbush Community. A New York Times article points to how sensible and a good guy Spitzer really is. He pardon a local Flatbush man who was in danger of being deported by this no heart administration. Had he been deported, it would have sure been a death sentence. Good to know our great democracy still has a few good man power that looks out for us. Hats off to Governor Spitzer.
So I saw this Chinese restaurant on Cortelyou road and Rugby Road called New Neighbor. They had a new neighbor special and a brand new cheesy OPEN sign. New furniture. I've been to this take out place before our fair skin brethren started to move in. It was pretty nasty I must say. I remember this Chinese take out place smelled like burnt used oil. The rice was never fresh and the prices were allot cheaper. Fast forward to the new Ditmas park that we have all grown to love *smirk* I decided to go back. I must admit this was very impressive. I mean I've lived in Flatbush going on 20 years. The place didn't smell like cheap oil this time. The rice was actually fresh! I've never seen cheap Chinese food take out places going out of there way to look presentable. I guess all you need are a few lighter skin privilege people to be treated like a human being. The irony of this is that with the higher prices and better service, the majority of the customers were still of the darker persuasion. You gotta love this brand of racism.
A New York times story about a women from New Orleans who had a great career. She is now living on hard times. I wonder if something like that could ever happen to our new neighbors of lighter persuation at Flatbush.
I was never a fan of Yvette Clarke, but hats off to her for voting No on the ridicules Christmas resolution that Congress pass. We at Flatbush should be proud that we have a congresswoman that stands up to Republican Bully silly tactics. From my understanding these resolution are made for LESSER KNOWN religions. The concept of these resolutions is to recognize the least popular religions at this time of year. A Republican Religious hustler decided to create yet another wedge by introducing a passage to also recognized Christmas. Now who here in the United States has not heard of Christmas? What was the legislative intent of such passage? Ms. Clarke recognized it for what it was. Great Work. Read more
It seems that a stable at Flatbush will be closed. A New York pressr article has a piece that say that veggie castle on Flatbush avenue and church will be closed. Apparently the developer want to creat a new Commercial space. Maybe a new Starbucks or even a bigger and better Vox Pop. Only time will tell. See the article here. http://www.nypress.com/blogx/display_blog.cfm?bid=36402677
It seems that there has been a number of blogs pertaining to my neck of the woods lately. There is a disturbing trend with all these blogs. (see Ditmas park blog, Across the park, Planet PLG etc. ) They all seem to want to "change" Flatbush. Kinda like the White Mens burden. We all know how colonization pan out. I've decided to blog about this new world.