Friday, October 22, 2010

I Love Franklin Ave Turns Two!

I noticed earlier this month that I Love Franklin Ave's 500th post was going to fall almost exactly on the blog's 2nd birthday, and I'd be lying if I claimed that it all worked out by sheer coincidence. At any rate, here you have it: post #500 on October 22nd, 2010, exactly two years after the very first post ran - it was the photo above, with the heading "Franklin and Dean: Signal Malfunction or Anti-Gentrification Message" (if nothing else, ILFA's subject material remains somewhat consistent).

I was plotting a much longer retrospective, and maybe I'll still cook one up, but for now, a few scattered thoughts:

- The Franklin Avenue storefront boom continues to hurtle along - at this point, I count over 20 new shops and restaurants on or just off Franklin that have opened (or are in the process of opening) since the first post. There's a lot to be excited about, but the question of displacement looms large over the process - with so many competing claims on space (the Daily News just picked up the co-naming story), can Franklin accommodate everyone?

- Crime is slightly down over the last two years, but gunplay remains a deadly pastime in Crown Heights, with another innocent bystander hit by a stray bullet this week. Incidents like these underscore the importance of the work that groups like Save our Streets Crown Heights are doing to make streets safer for everyone.

- This relates to the first point, but there are new faces on every block, every day. It goes without saying in NYC that we don't know everyone we meet on the street, but as I've heard several people from all walks of life say, a little "hello" or "good morning" goes a long way. I'm not naive enough to think exchanging pleasantries is going to solve gun violence or prevent displacement, but it's a starting point for building a community that has enough mutual trust and organization to address these issues. So whether or not you're a newbie, get to know your neighbors.

- Finally, thanks to everyone who's read the blog over the last two years, and a particular thanks to those who have offered insights, news, links, and advice in the comment threads. If there's something you want to see on this site, let me know - I don't do advertisements, so the only reason to write a post is because (I hope) someone wants to read it.

13 comments:

  1. Speaking of storefronts, any information on what happened to 3D's Bakery? They'd been my goat-to lunch spot since Spice is Right closed.

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  2. Happy two-year anniversary! I love this blog... it is both community therapy and excellent reportage on this neighborhood. So glad you do this...

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  3. congratulations and here's to many more
    cheers

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  4. 3D' is gone and looking for new owners asap thank god that food was disgusting !!!!!!

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  5. My ... you've gotten so big. I remember when you were just a little thing ;-) Congrats, Nick.

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  6. Happy Birthday, ILFA!

    i love reading your blog. I found it not too long after I moved to my apartment on St. Marks & Franklin.

    I do agree - a genuine hello does go a long way. Responding to a hello goes even further.

    Maybe you should host ILFA Meetups :) - Foster an even deeper sense of community.

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  7. Congrats on your 2 year anniversary and 500th post!

    Do you mind listing the over 20 new shops that have opened on Franklin Ave. in the last two yrs?

    Newbies curiosity of what made it and what did not.

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