Sunday, April 17, 2011

Weekend Roundup

(the brand-spanking-new Bob & Betty's)

Just a few items that came across ILFA's desk in the past week:

- The Prospect Park CSA, a new community-supported agriculture venture in the neighborhood, has 10 subsidized spots available for low-income families, as reported on the CHCA Blog and Prospect Heights Patch. The Crown Heights CSA also still has spots available. CSAs are a great way to guarantee your fridge is full of delicious, home-grown, healthy food all summer long, and though you pay a lot up front, it breaks down to a very, very reasonable weekly price (there are lots of moral reasons to become a member, too, but I've always found that "delicious tasty food" is the best of selling points.)

- Dozens of Crown Heights residents gathered at the Chase Bank at 1128 Eastern Parkway (just east of Utica) yesterday to protest the bank's handling of foreclosures in Brooklyn. I'm still trying to learn more about this particular situation, but it seems to stem from Chase's ownership of EMC Mortgage, a company they purchased during the meltdown that has been accused across the country of scamming/misleading prospective homeowners and is currently the subject of a class-action lawsuit for loan fraud in California. While New York City on the whole has been climbing out of the recession faster than expected, number are far bleaker in low-income communities in the outer boroughs, and foreclosures have been a particularly pernicious force in this process. Bank of America recently announced it will stop foreclosures across the country in light of the damage the process does to the real estate industry (not to mention people's lives) - will Chase and EMC follow suit?

- The Crown Heights - Australia connection popped up in two interesting places this past week, a NYDN profile of down-under-born Hasidic rapper DeScribe, and a review of a new book of short stories, You Lose These by Goldie Goldbloom, that span the continents and oceans between Brooklyn and Sydney (reviewed by Franklin Park Reading Series favorite Matthue Roth).

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