Wednesday, May 28, 2008

clean up

You are invited to:
The FDC Flatbush Neighborhood Clean-up
Sat. May. 31, 2008

Spend the day doing something useful for our neighborhood. Bring your kids
and friends and lets make an outing of it.

The Clean-up is from -10:00 am-2:00 pm (only 4 hours!!!) on Saturday, May
31, 2008. We'll be painting over graffiti. Please join us. Come at 10 am
to 1616 Newkirk Avenue (FDC offices)

All are welcome.
(Whole day participation is not necessary) From 2:00pm - 3:00pm Party on
Newkirk Plaza to celebrate 100 years of the oldest outdoor commercial
pedestrian mall in the country.

Here are 3 easy things you can do:

1. Call your Neighborhood Association president and make sure they are

2. Find out what areas your neighbors are painting or cleaning. Sign up
now to help paint over graffiti/tagged up eyesores in your neighborhood

3. Come out that day to 1616 Newkirk Avenue at 10 am,
Clean your lawn/sidewalk/curb. Need tools/paint? No problem, just Call FDC

Phone: 718 859-3800 or fax: 718 859-4632

Bags, gloves, paint, etc. can be picked up from the FDC office between
9am - 11am, same day.

Pass the word around!!
Rain or Shine, Flatbush will be cleaned!!!

This event is sponsored by the Flatbush Development Corporation; funded in
part by Assemblymembers Rhoda Jacobs and Jim Brennan. Free T-Shirts,
Garbage Bags and other clean-up supplies sponsored by Davis & Warshow Inc.
Donations and sponsorships are still being accepted.

For More Information, Contact:
Mannix Gordon
Director of Economic Development

Flatbush Development Corporation
1616 Newkirk Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11226


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I want the neighborhood cleaned up. In the long run, it'll just make it more appealing to a certain sort of person, which will bring in more of them buying property here at higher prices, which will make it harder for me to stay here as a renter. This is something I'd be more interested in if I owned property here.

Anonymous said...

You have a stake in what goes on in your neighborhood whether you own or rent and you are just plain stupid if you don't want the neighborhood cleaned just to keep out " a certain sort of person."

Anonymous said...

Of course I have a stake in the neighborhood. But it's simplistic to think that we all have the same interests because we share the same neighborhood. If I owned property in the neighborhood, then the influx of wealthier people (and all that goes along with it) would be great for me, since it would raise the value of my property. As it is, I don't own property, and if my landlord decides to have me move on so that he can sell the apartment I'm living in, then I'll probably have to leave the neighborhood. And part of what it means for me to have a stake in the neighborhood is . . . wanting to be able to stay here.

Obviously I like a nice, clean, safe neighborhood. And when I can afford it, I like to take advantage of nice restaurants, etc. But the effect of all these things is also hard to ignore.

Anonymous said...

if you don't want your neighborhood cleaned up, just tell us where you live. we'll deposit our mountains of trash in front of your building, and you'll be guaranteed that "a certain sort of person" won't push you out.

Anonymous said...

All the more reason to participate in what goes on in the neighborhood. One apartment building has more residents than any two or three square blocks of private houses but every community board meeting, police council meeting and neighborhood association meeting is disproportionately attended by the residents of private homes.

Politicians make the rounds of neighborhood association meetings because they know that they can count on (or not) the votes of these homeowners. If more renters attended meetings and participated in these meetings, the agenda would be more balanced. That said, renting by nature is a temporary agreement between a landlord and a tenant and although NYC has the most liberal laws in favor of tenants in the country, a tenant is still at the whim of their landlord. For this reason we should all aspire to homeownership.

I worked two jobs for four years and went without many things that I previously thought of as necessities to save up a decent down payment for my first home. I didn't have much of a credit history but I didn't have bad credit either. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I didn't have credit card debt. I found out about a house for sale in a section of Flatbush that I liked because I attended neighborhood meetings regularly while renting an apartment in the area. I purchased the home directly from an older women who was moving back south who was the neighbor of someone who I worked with on the neighborhood house tour. Granted, I paid way more than she paid for it in the early 70's, it was an amicable transation for all. There are also many Co-op buildings all over Flatbush that would make good homes and good investments that don't cost as much as a private houses. In today's market the prices are dropping slightly but you must have good credit and a down payment. This requires diligence and sacrifice but it can be done if you put your mind to it and learn to navigate obstacles instead of complaining about them.

If I did it almost anyone can although I though that I never would have as a single Black women with children.

This lengthy diatribe is to say that there is a way to have a stake in your neighborhood and if you want to stay in your neighborhood and it starts on the ground floor literally - cleaning it up.

Anonymous said...


I completely agree with you that certain sorts of community involvement are great (like going to meetings, etc.), and for exactly the reasons you identify: lots of community meetings are dominated by homeowners and they end up with a disproportionate influence as a result. But I never argued against that sort of community involvement! I just pointed out that the effect of one sort of community involvement (the clean up) was less desirable than one might expect for less wealthy members of the community.

I think it's wonderful that you managed to acquire property in the neighborhood. But with all due respect, you don't have any idea what my situation is, and you aren't in a position to know whether the basic problem is simply that I lack the proper aspiration.

I don't actually agree that everyone ought to aspire to property ownership. But setting that aside, the fact is that more than 80% of the neighborhood rents. Some rent because they're in the country illegally and have no alternative; some because they're not yet settled with long-term plans in the city; some out of preference; and a great many because they are far too poor even for the more affordable co-ops you mention. Many of these people are vulnerable to the changes occurring in the neighborhood.

My point wasn't to complain about my own situation. It was just to point out something that I have noticed when I've attended community gatherings (like Flatbush 2030, for example): that property owners tend not to understand, or want to dwell on, how far their interests diverge at some points from the interests of renters in the community. The community does of course have some interests in common, but often talk of the "community" and recommendations about how to improve it, gloss over these extremely important differences.

Thanks, though, for taking the time to respond.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for cleaning the neighborhood up as long as the pretentious people who seem to think Flatbush should be called Ditmas Park don't benefit by getting there property values raised...

Anonymous said...

This blog used to be for the unpretentious people of Flatbush, are the pretentious people now allowed here? What up...?

Anonymous said...

Noone on a blog knows anyone's situation but what I do know is that we often make excuses for why something can't be done as opposed to thinking of ways to get things done. All of the reasons stated in your post are precisely why we should aspire to own our own living spaces because onc again renting is a temporary situation. You are not entitled to that particular apartment for life because you do not own the space. If you rent in a gentrifying area, you will be adversely affected unless you can afford to pay higher rents.

I rented for a very long time and was undocumented when I first arrived in this country. Homeownership did not happen overnight and won't for most people. BTW, I also attended Imagine Flatbush 2030 at Brooklyn College and every renter that I met both night's did express a desire to own their own living space. Of course, some were closer to that goal than others and they also recognized that that they may no longer be able to buy in the areas of Flatbush in which they currently rent.

Bottom line, what you stated in both your posts, states all the more reason that we should own our living spaces.

Anonymous said...

The main point that I've been trying to make is that differently situated people have different interests. And it isn't crazy for low income renters to be ambivalent about some of the changes in the neighborhood. That's because many of the changes that make the neighborhood nicer to live in are the very same changes that make it harder to stay here. This is just a fact. Before we talk about blame, before we talk about causes, before we talk about solutions, we should still recognize this: the interests of different people in the neighborhood are inevitably going to be different, and sometimes in surprising ways (like a low income renter feeling mildly threatened by something as harmless seeming as garbage and graffiti clean up).

It's worth insisting on this because I think the divergence of interests is totally invisible to a lot of owners in the neighborhood. I don't blame them at all for wanting to clean up the neighborhood, or for enjoying the rise in their property values. That's fine! I do think, though, that a lot of the rhetoric you hear from owners about improving the neighborhood to everyone's benefit is naive (I'm not just talking about clean ups any more). The question of who exactly benefits from any change and how much and who gets shafted as a result is a lot more complicated than they realize.

Anonymous said...

Why are wasting time trying to explain anything to this fool who wants to live in a neighborhood where garbage is thrown all over the street. I am poor and I rent and it wasn't until white people moved in that my building started looking like something. It is rent controlled and I am not leaving as long as I pay my rent. Housing court didn't even let them evict me when I didn't pay. Of course I would love to own but I just don't see that for me. I helped cleanup. I do everytime they have this.

Anonymous said...

"I'm all for cleaning the neighborhood up as long as the pretentious people who seem to think Flatbush should be called Ditmas Park don't benefit by getting there property values raised..."

New York is in the US

Brooklyn is in NY

Flatbush is in BKLYN

Ditmas Park is IN Flatbush.

Nobody's trying to call Flatbush, Ditmas Park, which was BTW, the name given to a specific area of Flatbush back in 1900. The other "micro," "mini," or "sub" neighborhoods within the olde towne of Vladbos are Prospect Park South, Beverley Square West & East, Ditmas Park West, Caton Park, Vandeveer Park (yes, there were huge victorians there before they built the private apartment building complex which now resembles a government housing project)Lefferts Garden, Fiske Terrace, Albemarle-Kenmore Terrace etc... East Flatbush was actually called Rugby before it was East Flatbush. So if we go back to calling it Rugby, we would be returning to the areas roots.

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog you got here. It would be great to read more concerning that topic. Thnx for posting this info.
Sexy Lady
Female escorts