Alarming News

July 27, 2007

The times they are a-changing

Who can forget the first time they saw hookers, crack, a purse snatching or someone getting beat up? All of my “firsts” took place at Newkirk Plaza, the train station on Foster Avenue in Brooklyn. Nicknamed “Newcrack Plaza”, for obvious reasons, the plaza was a gathering place for drunks, druggies, prostitutes and hustlers for most of my childhood. If they weren’t trying to sell you something, they were trying to rob you.

So, it is with some degree of amusement, and excitement frankly, that I’ve watched the gentrification of the neighborhood in the last few years. Ditmas Blog reports the plaza is getting a French Bistro. A French Bistro! At Newkirk Plaza! America, what a country.

Posted by Karol at 02:00 PM |
Technorati Tags:

are you f’in kidding me??? That was such a scary spot when I was little. We took pains to never accidentally get off the subway there. A bistro…
Live long enough and you see everything. When are they going to open a Starbucks on Church? How has that not happened yet?

Posted by: Ari at July 27, 2007 at 3:01 pm

I guess it ain’t real Brooklyn anymore.

Posted by: Charles at July 27, 2007 at 3:13 pm

I’ve somehow managed to live 43 years without seeing street crime, a hooker or even an actual cockroach. I’ve never really lived in a city, though. Your lives sound so exciting!

Posted by: Michael at July 27, 2007 at 3:18 pm

There goes the soul of the community.

Posted by: Marco at July 27, 2007 at 3:56 pm

I guess it ain’t real Brooklyn anymore.
No, no, it’s still very much real Brooklyn. I was near the Plaza a few days ago and there were a bunch of dreadlocked guys hanging on the corner and Russian babushkas shopping. As long as there is still that kind of ethnic mixing, it’s firmly in the “real” category. Anyway, my father, who is all about the French bistro, says he will be surprised if it survives 6 months. It’s just not THAT gentrified yet.

Posted by: Karol at July 27, 2007 at 4:23 pm

Ah.. but when the hipsters, Hasidics, Dominicans, and Polish all live within walking distance of wach other — that’s fake Brooklyn.

Posted by: Marco at July 27, 2007 at 6:21 pm

Haha, ok, fine, when hipsters are the majority the neighborhood has fallen.

Posted by: Karol at July 27, 2007 at 7:17 pm

Improving the neighborhood ?
See ? Just another negative aspect of capitalism !

Posted by: BadBoyInASuit at July 27, 2007 at 9:14 pm

AHHH! The good old days!

Posted by: Hurick "Truck" Pascal at July 28, 2007 at 3:21 pm

I used to get my weed from right across the street on E 16th street

Posted by: Kirk at July 28, 2007 at 6:19 pm

French Bistro! Fancy spot for the next Foster Ave reunion. I think we street kids can all figure out how to use a fork by then! Hey if not, we all grew up in NEWCRACK so they will have to forgive us.
Are you serious, there really is a french Bistro? I always using that station never seen it.

Posted by: Robyn H. at July 29, 2007 at 2:46 am

Gentrified… please…
Gentrification refers to the physical, social, economic, and cultural phenomenon whereby working-class and/or inner-city neighborhoods are converted into more affluent middle-class communities by remodelling buildings and landscaping, resulting in increased property values and in the displacement of the poor.
I would say that Victorian Flatbush is way past that at this point. With Houses routinely going for above 1 mm and co-ops selling for over $200k for one bedrooms. Houses that are a complete disaster are fetching over $800k. The co-ops aren’t even improving their exteriors and still fetching high market value. The success or failure of a French Bistro is going to be based on the food not the nieghborhood at this point.

Posted by: Rinjo Njori at July 30, 2007 at 12:27 pm

Rinjo, that’s true of certain streets but the area surrounding the Plaza, both the Foster and Newkirk Ave sides are nowhere near that yet. You can still get a completely affordable apartment on either of those avenues. And I spend time on the next street over, Avenue H and it’s not gentrified either.

Posted by: Karol at July 30, 2007 at 12:33 pm

[...] and almost felt like a small town.  Now it’s so much better, less crime, much cleaner, restaurants are open where few dared before.  These pictures from Halloween really show the flourishing ‘hood.  It’s nice to see. [...]

Posted by: Halloween in Ditmas Park at November 2, 2009 at 1:33 pm

[...] I knew the plaza (Newkirk Plaza, nicknamed New Crack Plaza back then) containing the subway station was scary because my grandmother clutched my hand, and her bag, extra hard as we walked by [...]

Posted by: Ode to Brooklyn at July 20, 2011 at 12:07 pm
Post a comment