no more Syd's Serious Sandwiches
  • What a bummer! I never did get around to trying it, but I know it had a lot of fans on these boards. 

    I was away for a few months, and walking up the avenue this morning, from eastern parkway to atlantic, I was surprised by just how many storefronts are now shuttered. I'd say it's easily over 50%. It makes Nostrand feel very abandoned. Did this happen in other neighborhoods (prospect heights, park slope) as well? That as landlords decided to warehouse their retail spaces, the neighborhood went through a pretty desolate stage?
    photo
  • laura palmer, I'm with you in my dismay. Between the closing of syd's, the addition of (yet another) beauty supply store (http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/comment/551337#Comment_551337), and the increasing number of shuttered storefronts... I worry that I may be priced out of my apartment before this street supposedly 'blooms' with new business. I am an impatient person, and I know the world of real estate/small businesses moves on a slower scale, but it seems Nostrand (near EP) is slowing down. I moved here about 1.5 years ago and I haven't been here for long by any means, but I fear Nostrand will become a ghost town. Landlords are raising their rents, but there doesn't seem to be enough interest for those shuttered storefronts to be snatched up. Perhaps we must wait for the proposed developments in this part of Crown Heights to be built and begin leasing, but that will take several years. What is the fate of Nostrand near EP until then?
  • So sad! But I have theories, one re the closing of Syd's and the second re the ghost-town of Nostrand between Prospect Place and Eastern Parkway (my microneighborhood).

    1) I liked Syd's Serious Sandwiches, with the caveat that I liked it when it was OPEN and staffed by someone FRIENDLY. Those two things rarely happened together, for me. Syd's has been closed a lot, and the hours were often random, and I think that was off-putting for a bunch of people. Other times, it would be open and I would basically be ignored until I was practically dancing for attention from the attendant. So, while I am sad, because the sandwiches were delicious, I am not surprised as to why the business never totally took off.

    2) I have heard that the owner of the buildings on that strip of Nostrand between St. John's and Lincoln is a REAL tool and very bullish. He is the owner of the buildings that the new Deck Hair Salon is in, the unnamed Michael de Zayas project at the corner of St. Johns/Nostrand, and the shuttered barbershop next door. My theory is that the building owner either raised the rent on Syd so much that he forced him out, or just did not renew the lease, or offered a buyout, so that some new tenant would come in and combine the storefront of Syd's and the barbershop for a new business.

    3) I think many of the landlords on this stretch of Nostrand are waiting with baited breath for the opening/leasing of the big new development on Sterling between Nostrand and Rogers. There will be a lot of new, moneyed foot traffic coming down Nostrand heading towards the subways, and they want to be ready.
  • I'm seriously bummed! It was the first place I ate at when I moved in. Though to be fair I've only eaten there once in a while since. I thought the sandwiches were great and I assumed it was the type of place that would only do better business as Nostrand becomes more popular. I always thought they should have stayed open a bit later. I would have loved to have been able to get a sandwich from them on my way home from class. Does anyone know if they're going to reopen?

    As for what happens to Nostrand till the business open I'm not quite sure. Places like Syd's make a neighborhood liveable. If N A bagels and #1 Chinese kitchen close I'm screwed. I don't get those idea of warehousing storefronts. It he landlord still has to pay to keep the power on and the storefront maintained. So that's cash they're spending with no return investment.

    I don't recall Washingon Ave experiencing this during the mid phase of gentrification. And I really just went to Franklin Park and back so I didn't spend much time on Franklin till I moved to Nostrand. I almost wonder if people are overestimating how soon Nostrand is going to turn. Yes it looks kinda like a ghost town right now. I'm not sure the number of empty spaces is quite as high as 50% but I'll count next time I'm out.
  • I think that place's like Syd's have a really hard time in the gentrification process. Syd's was a steadfastly middle-brow affair -- good food, decent price, not too much atmosphere. The businesses that I witness being very successful are either the neighborhood treasures, like Glorias or Trinidad Golden Place, or the "new Brooklyn aesthetic" upscalish, like Lula, Meme's, Tinto, Chop Chop. Not much room for middle-brow/neither nor kind of places...

    Merchants of Nostrand, beware: aesthetic and atmosphere matter to residents who would be spending money in food and drinking establishments.
  • I do remember when Vanderbilt was basically a ghosttown for awhile, in the mid-gentrification process...
  • Syd's sporatic hours did not help.
  • newguy88 said:

    @crownheighster I'd argue many young gentrifiers like myself still care more about bang for the buck and aesthetics are a secondary concern. Of course we're getting pushed farther east and north all the time. 



  • Thanks for those informed theories, crownheightster - that the landlords are awaiting the opening of the Hello living building makes sense to me. Though it's hard not to share newguy's fears that Nostrand has been overestimated and will plunge into disrepair. (About the >50% -- My walk was at 9:30am, so it's possible a number of places just hadn't opened for the day yet. I'll look again on my way back this evening.)

    Re:warehousing, I've also struggled to understand it. But here's my fuzzy math. Let's say the storefront was renting at 2,000 a month and the landlord now hopes to rent it for 4,000 a month. And let's say a commercial lease is 5 years.
    At 2,000 a month, the landlord would make 2,000x12x5 = 120,000
    At 4,000 a month the landlord would, obviously, make twice that:
    4,000x12x5= 240,000
    If the landlord has no need for immediate cash, they could theoretically leave the storefront vacant for 5 years, rent it at the higher price for the following 5 years, and still break even over the course of 10 years. Anything less than five years of vacancy, and they've made a profit in the long term. I assume that the gas/electrical costs of an unused space are pretty minimal.

    What I really don't understand is how the business owners like de zayas or the people behind Z bar, can afford to rent their spaces and then leave them empty for so long, with no signs of construction.

  • Some bars are able to get contingency clauses built into their leases:

    Example: I'll pay you $2500 a month until I get the lic, and then $5000 a month for 5 years afterward. If I don't get my lic, the deal is off.

    ...but I don't know that such a clause in effect at Z Bar or Beauty World. I am merely making an example of what has been able to be negotiated with landlords elsewhere.
  • I think that place's like Syd's have a really hard time in the gentrification process. Syd's was a steadfastly middle-brow affair -- good food, decent price, not too much atmosphere. The businesses that I witness being very successful are either the neighborhood treasures, like Glorias or Trinidad Golden Place, or the "new Brooklyn aesthetic" upscalish, like Lula, Meme's, Tinto, Chop Chop. Not much room for middle-brow/neither nor kind of places...

    Merchants of Nostrand, beware: aesthetic and atmosphere matter to residents who would be spending money in food and drinking establishments.




    So true! A good friend of mine owns the barbershop across the street from that giant red building next to Syd's and he recently renovated the whole thing simply because the older look wasn't going to cut it anymore. It helps to change a bit with the neighborhood.
  • Compared to a few years ago, Nostrand between EP and Atlantic is now devoid of people and businesses.

    Someone from outside the neighborhood might conclude it is a street in decline.

    No, we are not seeing "urban blight".

    We are seeing a version of what used to be known as "urban renewal".

    Discussion of this thought is continued here:   http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/44488/urban-renewal#Item_6
  • Heard a rumor that Syd is trying to reopen the shop in Crown Heights. I hope that's the case, because I am missing good cheesesteaks.
  • If he is coming back, he is not going into the same space; the landlord aparently signed a lease with an entity that plans to combine Syd's old place with the former Finesse barber shop.
  • His cheesesteaks were good.

    However, his hours of operation need to be more consistent.
  • I think the plan is to look at new space with upgraded and larger facilities.
  • If he is coming back, he is not going into the same space; the landlord aparently signed a lease with an entity that plans to combine Syd's old place with the former Finesse barber shop.




    Any word what will come into that space?

  • I heard (and this is second hand) that it will likely be an eatery of some kind. The former barber shop will be a seating area and the Syd's shop will be a kitchen.
  • This would be most welcome news! 
  • Hello all.  I am holding a crowd funding campaign to raise funds to reopen hopefully on Nostrand Avenue.  The campaign will go live on October 15th and I hope you will consider supporting it and spreading the word.  If you'd like more information, email at sydeway@gmail.com.

    Thanks, Syd

  • Hello all.  I am holding a crowd funding campaign to raise funds to reopen hopefully on Nostrand Avenue.  The campaign will go live on October 15th and I hope you will consider supporting it and spreading the word.  If you'd like more information, email at sydeway@gmail.com.

    Thanks, Syd




  • Welcome Syd.

    Where do you plan to locate your new shop?
  • Welcome back, Syd!
  • Hopefully along the Nostrand corridor between Pacific and Eastern Parkway.  The hope is to be south of Park Place, though.
  • When I walked by last night, Syd's former location seemed to have all of the equipment still in place.

    When combined with what Crownheighter heard, it seems likely that the already "DOH approved" kitchen is part of the package, making it very attractive to an aspiring restaurant operator.

    I heard (and this is second hand) that it will likely be an eatery of some kind. The former barber shop will be a seating area and the Syd's shop will be a kitchen.



  • Good luck on the campaign, @serioussyd! And please keep us updated.
  • This is most welcome news! :)
  • Sid,

    Why reopen in the same general area? What makes you think the second time around would be successful? (I don't ask this rhetorically. There may be many reasons why the first time didn't work that wouldn't exist with a second attempt.)

    Just curious. Wherever you end up, I really hope the next attempt is successful.
  • @mike_dunlap I think most of the closing had to do with him losing the lease and not business reasons. 


  • An inneresting read! 

    "Crown Heights is gentrifying and attracting residents who are looking for that "new Brooklyn aesthetic" in the businesses they patronize.  Atmosphere and ambiance are important elements of the retail experience.  Consequently Syd's needed to renovate its space to reflect this.  At the same time Syd's needed to modernize its equipment, most of which was more than twenty years old and breaking down too frequently; upgrade and expand its refrigeration and freezer capacity to reduce energy costs and support growing catering sales; increase its seating capacity; and expand our marketing activities, including developing and implementing a comprehensive branding strategy.  

    In March 2014 an investor expressed an interest in investing in the shop.  Over the next few months we negotiated an agreement that called for the investment to take place in early July.  Unfortunately the investor backed out of the agreement the day before funding.  Without the investment we could not go on so we closed the shop."


    Also says 

    "Major budgetary assumptions are:

    1. renovations will be required whether we renew the lease at our previous location or lease a new location. 
    2. monthly rent is forecast at $3,500 and the lease will require 2 months security"

  • I fear that the combined space discussed above will be way more than $3500, and go to someone in a far better position than Syd appears to be.

    Landlords do not like cash poor tenants, and Syd's account seems demonstrate just how much investment is needed to compete in the present neighborhood.

    Readers may not be aware that Syd's Sandwiches got "a big part" of its seed money from a competition run by the Brooklyn Library in 2005.

    http://www.bklynlibrary.org/media/press/brooklyn-public-library-bpl-announces-winners-power-business-plan-competition

    ....he has been successfully establishing his reputation and brand since about 2005, yet (like many in the area) remains a very fragile small business.

  • I don't think he's looking at the combined space, which I suspect would be far more (especially in light of what's been discussed as coming in behind him). However, I think there are other spots on Nostrand that you could still get for <$4k as there are so many vacancies. <br />
    Here's hoping he pulls it out.
  • Me too.

    If he can't get his old space, there seems to be small formerly Carib food places that should not require too much $.
  • Nice write-up in DNAinfo.  Retail along Nostrand is fluid so hopefully Syd can find a way to land on strip,

  • yes, many storefronts there are vacant, and he has an existing brand and reputation locally.
  • Mike Dunlap, business was good.  Reached breakeven and had opportunity to grow margins expanding on-line orders and catering businesses.  The area is prime.  I just needed to invest in the business to take advantage of growth opportunities so when investor back out, I was left with no options.
  • There's paper up on the windows now and sounds of movement and construction inside. The Syd's sign is gone. Anyone know whether the construction is because this space has a new tenant or because they're simply renovating in order to lure one?
  • I heard that Mike took both the barbershop and Syd's in addition to the corner and Deck Salon. No idea what's coming.
  • I do not perceive Mike D as being under the same fiscal constraints as Syd.

  • whynot_31 said:

    I do not perceive Mike D as being under the same fiscal constraints as Syd.




    Nor do I but I've got to say I'm intrigued by his business model. 
  • The crowd funding does not seem to be going well. I'm worried that a video might not turn it around.
  • yikes, especially this video, which made me more nauseous than hungry. Those are not very well-chosen special effects...
  • Is there anyone on here that does video editing who might be willing to help him improve the video? I need my cheese-steaky goodness...
  • While walking past old Syd's today with Baby Crownheightster, I stopped and chatted with a man who was sweeping out the store. All of the Syd's furniture and equipment was gone. The worker said that it was going to be a coffee shop and bakery.
  • Learned many new things yesterday afternoon when walking past old Syd's with baby crownheightster. The construction crews have broken through the brick wall between Syd's and the old barber shop. It was slow going work because the wall was foundational and they had to be very careful. I spoke to the owner of the new establishment, who was a really nice man from Prospect Heights. I have been sworn to secrecy regarding the exact details, but I think it is fair to share that it will be a sit-down dining establishment. Soft opening is planned for the springtime.
  • It sounds like this space will be part of Two Saints.

    Or, um, one of the saints.

    http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/44993/two-saints-opening#Item_7
  • Nope, totally separate from Two Saints.
  • Basically, given the amount of turnover and investment, this entire corner is going to be completely different by Fall 2015 than it was in the Fall of 2013.
  • @crownheightster has got the intel today!
  • @whynot_31 I only hope the Laundromat doesn't go anywhere...
  • For historical purposes, taken Oct 2013:
    image
  • Actually, I don't think that screen grab shows the series of stores we're talking about (though I am really curious as to what will come into that space with the black and yellow checker board strips down the sides). 

    Here we go: 
    Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 4.39.48 PM

    Beauty world (to the far left) will become Two Saints, Beauty World nails is already Deck Salon, and Foreign Accents and Syd's will be combined into anozzer sit-down restaurant (hooray!!) 
  • How long before Q's Tavern decides to up its prices and cater to the craft beer crowd?
  • Q's isn't going to cater to the craft beer crowd. Its an old man bar. They aren't interested in customers that are younger than 50 (unless you're female in which case you can come in the door once you've hit 35). I think they will close up shop and go home before they will start trying to get randoms walking in.
  • Syd's is going to be a latin cafe and sit down restaurant, combined with the barbershop space next door who Zev, the landlord, pushed out so he could have a gentrification business.  Zev owns the four store fronts being discussed, here.

    I really hope these new places have some low price drink specials, hire locals and feature local art and music.  It makes me really sad to see Nostrand Ave changing in a way that conforms to fit the white people who have moved in, while kicking out those who have lived here for generations.
  • homeowner said:

    Q's isn't going to cater to the craft beer crowd. Its an old man bar. They aren't interested in customers that are younger than 50 (unless you're female in which case you can come in the door once you've hit 35). I think they will close up shop and go home before they will start trying to get randoms walking in.



    I agree.

  • rikilynn said:

    Syd's is going to be a latin cafe and sit down restaurant, combined with the barbershop space next door who Zev, the landlord, pushed out so he could have a gentrification business.  Zev owns the four store fronts being discussed, here.


    I really hope these new places have some low price drink specials, hire locals and feature local art and music.  It makes me really sad to see Nostrand Ave changing in a way that conforms to fit the white people who have moved in, while kicking out those who have lived here for generations.


    I suspect green is being sought, regardless of the hue of the hands it is in.

  • image

    As if on cue, 852 St. Johns has filed plans to become a passive house.  

    Near the corner of Nostrand Avenue and St. John’s Place, in the rapidly changing central Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights, a developer is planning to build a five-story, seven-unit passive house apartment building.The project, designed by Zakrewski + Hyde Architects, will technically be an alteration of the existing three-story walk-up at 852 St. John’s Place. “We’re retaining as much as we can” of the existing structure, developer Justin Stewart told YIMBY (he was responsible for the city’s first certified passive house project, a brownstone rehab at 23 Park Place in Park Slope).“The front façade,” however, “is not in good shape at all” – it’s currently a mish-mash of styles, without the attractive features of its neighbors – “and the back façade is not a pretty sight. What is going to be there will be light years ahead.”The current building totals around 3,100 square feet of net floor area, to which nearly 3,000 square feet will be added, for a new total of 5,800 square feet of net residential space (the rest taken up by mechanicals and common space that doesn’t count towards zoning).The property has traded hands five times over the past decade, with the first sale in 2005 for just $390,000. The latest sale came earlier this year for $1.23 million, or more than $210 per buildable square foot, putting 852 St. John’s Place in the hands of the current developer.
    http://newyorkyimby.com/2014/12/permits-filed-passive-house-project-at-852-st-johns-place-crown-heights.html
  • 852 is the former daycare, not Glenda's, right?
  • Gentrification politics aside, and just out of curiosity - I imagine Zev is not the only landlord on Nostrand avenue who would like to rent his/her spaces for more. What has he done that the other landlords haven't, in order to swing all these prime tenants? I think a single landlord owns the somewhat similar strip of stores where Tintos is now, and the large space that used to be Café 400, on the corner of Nostrand and Sterling. But that space has had for rent signs up for at least a few years now:





    Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 3.59.16 PM
  • The Palace building is landmarked, making it less attractive to businesses who want to do the type of renovations described above.

    Returning to the soon-to-be passive house:
    "The property has traded hands five times over the past decade, with the first sale in 2005 for just $390,000. The latest sale came earlier this year for $1.23 million"

    It think it is reasonable to assume very few improvements to the building were made during this time. This is skill and luck at work.

  • Most of Nostrand between Atlantic and EP is owned by a small number (3-4) of landlords. Most of the businesses on the avenue are pretty stable and provide them with regular revenue often with very little work on their part in terms of maintenance and upkeep. At the same time, while they certainly can get top dollar from new businesses, they also need to make investments in the properties to make it happen. I'm not sure they are interested in making huge investments, and they know that time is on their side. Nostrand isn't going to be bypassed as the Franklin Avenue gentrification wave crests over the rest of CH.
  • rikilynn said:

    Syd's is going to be a latin cafe and sit down restaurant, combined with the barbershop space next door who Zev, the landlord, pushed out so he could have a gentrification business.  Zev owns the four store fronts being discussed, here.


    I really hope these new places have some low price drink specials, hire locals and feature local art and music.  It makes me really sad to see Nostrand Ave changing in a way that conforms to fit the white people who have moved in, while kicking out those who have lived here for generations.


    It seems like you are using "generations" liberally.  Being that a generation is approximately 25 years, may I remind you that a few, or even a couple, generations ago, most of the current inhabitants where not living in the area.  And the cycle continues...  The same way they arrived, others arrive, and the area changes accordingly.
  • Syd's friends and family seem to have not been able able to meet his needs: 

     $4,675 USD
  • I wanted to give money but the whole flexible funding thing made me pretty uneasy. 

  • @homeowner - Okay; and your point?  I agree with you 100%.  And how many people living in crown heights are their decedents?  The black "culture" in CH today, primarily Caribbean, is likely very different than it was then.  It has nothing to do with race or religion.  Communities change!  And the local culture at that time is affected.  

    Looking at it differently - Would it be okay if Jews complained back in the day when synagogues started changing to churches (for the most part).  Would it have been right for them to request that they all be preserved (along with all the delis, etc. which likely dotted the area) for the sake of "culture" and avoid "changing in a way that conforms to fit the white [new] people who have moved in," as @rikilynn so eloquently put it?

    And just because I found it interesting... Brownstoner: Walkabout: The Temples of Bed Stuy and Crown Hts North - http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2010/02/walkabout-the-t/
  • You are comparing apples and potatoes. The synagogues changed because the Jewish community voluntarily moved out of the neighborhood (with the exception of the Hassidim) relocating to Long Island, New Jersey, Staten Island and Westchester County. They left behind empty temples which were then repurposed into houses of worship by those moving into the neighborhood. At no point in time did the incoming residents suggest that there were too many synagogues and perhaps folks would be better off if one or two were converted to another use. There were no requests to preserve the culture because the people you speak of abandoned those institutions. 

    That is vastly different than the situation of people of color living in places like Crown Heights where whites are moving in and then opining on which businesses, institutions, and traditions should be replaced because they see no value in them. 

    And to answer your question, my family has lived in central Brooklyn (Ft Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights) since 1916. There are plenty of current residents in CH including many of the Caribbean families that can trace their family roots in this community back fifty to sixty years or more.  
  • So apples and potatoes = voluntary and involuntary (or said otherwise, priced out).  I have trouble buying that argument.  

    If one argues "culture," it shouldn't be dependent on whether those who created the culture left voluntarily or not.  It's not about why they left; it's about the history of the area.

    Side point - you may want to watch the documentary discussed here - http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/44261/great-documentary-on-pbs-this-week-my-brooklyn/p1; some may argue that "they" were forced/kicked out, albeit under different circumstances/market conditions.

    And the whole premise of the argument bothers me.  It seems that the argument is that when landlords take action to do what is best for them (their families, or with companies, for investors/shareholders), it is wrong.  Sorry; arguing this is antithetical to capitalism.  This argument is basically demanding "charity," which I find absurd.  

    No one is "kicking" anyone out.  The landlords have a right to charge market rate, and the tenants have to adjust accordingly.  Again, demanding that one take less than they "deserve" (determined by supply and demand), is demanding that they give you what is rightfully theirs, i.e., charity.

    And about the retail - again, supply and demand.  Retail will follow demand and profits.

    Based on your username, you appear to be a homeowner so you are definitely not being "kicked out."  But if you will miss the current retail environment, remember supply and demand.  I've wanted a Gap within walking distance for 30 years, and I didn't get it.  Can you guess why?  I would have also really liked to have that CH theater district still around while I was growing up, but alas, it's gone.  Can you guess why?  How about all the car dealerships?  Free markets and the supply and demand curve that comes with it! And we can't complain; it's one of the main things that makes this country so great.
  • Just because we live in a capitalist society doesn't mean that it's "absurd" to argue anything for our communities that's not purely market-driven economics. 

    @homeowner thank you for sharing your perspective. As a relative new comer to crown heights, I feel very uncomfortable about my own role in the gentrification of the neighborhood. I love the feeling of community that exists here and how warm and welcoming the majority of the Caribbean residents have been to me. I love being able to eat doubles and oxtail stew. I wouldn't want to see Nostrand become as bland as Smith st. If everything is driven by an individualistic desire for profit, then I think that new comers have a responsibility to try and frequent existing businesses as much as possible and spend their money there. 

    I do like eating brunch and drinking fancy coffee, and while I get excited when new places that match my interests open, I'm most excited about the ones that manage to cater to the entire community of Crown Heights. For example, I far prefer Tinto's to Lula Bagel, because they go out of their way to make everyone who comes in feel welcome. Urban Asanas and Martine's Dream, both owned by black women who live in the neighborhood, are other good examples of new businesses on Nostrand that appeal to a wide range of residents. 

    @southeast I don't see the point in shouting down the voices that aren't unilaterally thrilled by change. Community and culture are just as important as capitalism.  
  • @laura palmer - You make very valid points.  Particularly, when you mention the responsibility of newcomers to try and frequent existing businesses, that is, if they feel that they'd like to keep them around.  It's an individual choice.

    And although it may not seem like it at times, my arguments are not intended to shout down the voices that aren't unilaterally thrilled against change.  I totally understand where they are coming from.  As with any cycle, there are times when one is on the bottom and times when one is on the top, and I'm trying to highlight this.  Sometimes it goes your way, and sometimes, it doesn't.  My family has experienced this ourselves over our time living in CH and still experiencing it today.  While there are things that we may embrace, there are many, what I may perceive as, negatives that come along with it.

    Using words like "kicked out" or "greedy" (not in this conversation, but I'm sure you've heard it around). etc. is wrong and incorrect.  It just creates and contentious environment.

    And what bothers me most is the sense of entitlement that people show at times; and that it is so shocking that this phenomenon is taking please.  If one wants to have an influence, one can't just scream and complain and create an environment of negativity.  One has to do something productive; and shouting, is not productive, and so isn't applying unnatural economic pressures.  Your suggestion, however, of providing demand, is.
  • I can't say it bothers me that people want their neighborhoods to reflect their means and preferences, and that they complain when they perceive it changing in ways that move further from same.

    What bothers me is people who tell such people, "You should be happy, you are going to get to stay here and benefit from the arrival of us. You are going to get to enjoy our BETTER means, and our BETTER preferences"

    ...by artificially simplying the situation, such newcomers implicitly call long term residents "NIMBYs", "racists", "old", etc.


  • @southeast, I want to be very clear. I've never used the words "kicked out" to describe what's been happening in the neighborhood. I, like Whynot understand that we are simply seeing market forces play out. However, I am very disturbed by attempts to re-write history when it comes to Brooklyn. The argument that people complaining about change have been here a relatively short time and therefore do not deserve to have opinions is simply factually incorrect. While there are many families living here that are one generation Brooklyn residents, there are just as many that are 3, 4, or 5 generations. 

    And to your point that people can't just scream and complain, I'd suggest that many of the people of whom you speak are simply frustrated. They have lived in this neighborhood for many years, understanding that if they wanted a meal at a sit down restaurant or to shop in a local thrift store it might require a trip outside of the neighborhood. When these types of businesses have finally come to where they live, rather than welcoming their patronage, these businesses seem to not want to cater to current residents. If they don't fit the demographic (young and hip) they find that service and attention is often lacking. Even if they do fit the demographic, service and attention is often sub-par. 

    So, what can they do? They can choose not to patronize these establishments, but that seemingly has zero impact. So they rant at CB meetings, at their churches and block association meetings and in their living rooms about how the neighborhood is changing. And then they are told that they should shut up. That they should be happy and are accused of being everything from ungrateful to uneducated criminals that simply don't know any better. If this happened to you, wouldn't you be negative as well?
  • "That they should be happy and are accused of being everything from
    ungrateful to uneducated criminals that simply don't know any better."

    Such perceptions are furthered by the statement/belief that "If you don't like what is coming, you must be in favor of what was here".

    um, no. ....that is not what it means.
  • @homeowner - My comments began as a response to @rikilynn's statement: "It makes me really sad to see Nostrand Ave changing in a way that conforms to fit the white people who have moved in, while kicking out those who have lived here for generations." Note the "kicking out."

    I think you and I (and @whynot_31 for that matter) are on the same page for the most part (at least when it comes to this subject :) ).  We may just be focusing on different aspects.  I totally get the frustration.  I just can't accept the "rant" as well as you seem to be able to.

    Also, side point - I am also focusing on CH in particular; not Brooklyn as a whole or even Central Brooklyn.  Not that it changes anything but it may help you understand where I'm coming from.  As an example, if someone moved (willingly or unwillingly) from Fort Greene or Clinton Hill, or anywhere else in Brooklyn for that matter, to CH, during this generation and is now complaining about the change, please!  The same way they moved here, other are moving here, and with the others, may come change that is more pronounced than the change that they brought; such is life.  Everyone should really ask themselves how they got here and what change they brought with them, however slight; be it something new or strengthening something old.


Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Login with Facebook