Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Photos From Readers: Wino(t) Opens, About Time Cleans Up, Postal Center Coming Soon

I'm barely keeping up with the latest openings and closing from afar (Brooklynian has up-to-date dirt on these places and other soon-to-opens, including Barboncino, Neptune Diner, and Guero Tacos), but thanks to the readers who sent in photos. Also, Kevin from About Time is planning to use an unfortunate water-pipe disaster as an opportunity for a major renovation, and as usual, he's open to suggestions if you've got a great idea for how he might improve his storefront.


  1. Totally off-topic, but I wonder what you think:

    Could riots like those going on in the U.K. & formerly in Paris happen in NYC?

    The demographics of NYC look more and more similar to those of London and Paris these days: a wealthy inner core, surrounded by poor and/or immigrant populations. While there are exceptions (Chinatown in Manhattan, for example, or Brighton Beach in Brooklyn), that inner core is largely white and the outer ring is not. Meanwhile, the city is losing its middle-class (as you need to make six figures these days to live like a middle-class person).

    No question, this city looks more and more like London & Paris everyday from the point of view of the disenfranchised (and the middle-class as well). NYC too is seeing huge disparities in wealth between the lowest income and the highest, skyrocketing costs of property ownership, and falling social mobility for all but the rich. And, add to that for so many: the singling out of minorities, especially youth, for "special treatment" by the cops.

    A commentator on the London riots in "The Guardian" was talking about the "context" for the whole thing, and some of her comments reminded me of your posts about police behavior in CH towards young minority men.

  2. I'll have to stop by that wine store.

    It looks really nice.

  3. @ Anonymous - that's a killer question, and certainly one that deserves its own post. In lieu of that, for now, I think you've hit on a key similarity, one that's part of a larger process that NYC shares with London and Paris in which the gap between haves and have-nots is visibly and physically widening (a few commentators, including one in the Guardian, have suggested an increasingly polarized and divided class structure are at least partially behind the rioting: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/08/context-london-riots).

    Interestingly, another Guardian commentator suggested that NYC and continental cities were better equipped than UK metropolises to handle riots because they have more empowered and effective local political structures: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/09/local-leaders-real-power

    "In New York or Berlin or Barcelona we would have seen command taken by powerful mayors, and indeed subordinate mayors and precinct captains for subdivisions of the city. They regularly summon gangs and community leaders and knock heads together. When the home secretary, Theresa May, went on radio this to say what she would do about the riots, she never mentioned any local name, or civic leadership of any sort . . . In New York and Chicago, remarkably free of riots, the reason for order is customarily put down to the dominance of local political control, to the precincts described by Barack Obama in his memoir as forming a curb on the gang culture. Parents, neighbours or businesses in trouble turn not to the police but to elected or self-appointed community leaders for redress. Such neighbourhoods police themselves, often very effectively."

    The author concludes, "There is no substitute for proper, open, responsive democracy at any tier of government. There can be no localism without some discretion over taxation and resources. There can be no big society without a vote. Curing any community's woes is not the job of the police. Leave it to them and trouble will simply recur."

    This, I confess, I find fascinating, particularly as I don't think of Brooklyn (or Chicago, my former home) as being paragons of local political behavior. That said, I wonder whether the writer isn't onto something - local politics might not be all sweetness and light, but perhaps it's true that there's enough power (and money, prestige, etc) floating around at the local level to entice/co-opt motivated people into "the system," or at least to give them enough of a stake in something to keep rioting from feeling like a worthwhile pursuit.

    On the other hand, the writer notes that, on account of the local power vacuum, "Britain presented itself to the world as a police state," which is an accusation often leveled at New York. The cynic in me doesn't think that young men who've been stopped and frisked several times, who couldn't care less about who their council member or state assemblyman is, and who are facing brutal levels of unemployment are somehow incorporated into Brooklyn's local political system. If anything, it seems that riots aren't a part of our current NYC landscape because aggressive policing and increasing fragmentation of these communities (pushed ever-outward by development) renders even the sort of minimal organization that characterized London's rioting too high a hurdle.

    An interesting read, in this context, might be "Triumph of Order: Democracy and Public Space in New York and London" by Lisa Keller (http://www.amazon.com/Triumph-Order-Democracy-Columbia-History/dp/0231146728).

    All of which is to say, again, that this is an interesting question. As we approach the 20th Anniversary of the Crown Heights Riot next week, I wouldn't be surprised to see some more experienced and knowledgeable commentators weigh in on just this question, and if I see any of those articles, I'll post 'em.

  4. Why a postal store? We have one already on Lincoln and Classon. A bagel store would be much more useful I think.

  5. I would have loved a bagel store too, but I suspect the landlord just wanted to get it filled as soon as possible.

    As for the wine store, I wish they had spelled it correctly "whynot", as opposed to wino(t).

    As for the riots, don't give up hope Nick and 12:21!

    NYC has a good riot about once every 40 years. I expect the next one to be in Far Rockaway, or in the South Bronx. Lots of oppressed/dysfunctional/marginalized/underskilled/addicted/impoverished people out there.

  6. Interesting discussion r.e.: the London riots and the possibility of something similar happening in our own city.

    Nick, if you do tackle this question in a dedicated post, you may consider that the riots originated in areas of London that are known to be gentrifying, i.e. Tottenham, Enfield, and Brixton. Brixton in particular shares some similarities with CH. It's a center of African Caribbean culture in Britian, but over the past decade the black population has experienced serious displacement due to an influx of middle-class professionals. I haven't seen anything about this in the U.K. press and I don't have any overarching theory myself about it, but I'm finding my mind keeps returning to it when I think about what's been going on in my former hometown.

  7. Time will tell where the next NYC riot will happen.

    As a result of permissive gun laws, ours will be more violent: Shop keepers, rioters, homeowners, police all have access to guns.

    As of of August 24th, we will also have Chavelas on Franklin. It will be yummy.

    I hope the next NYC riot happens after I get a chance to go.

  8. amazing --- he has to get in the last word.

  9. If you were young black and poor, would you feel worse if everybody around you was in your same situation or if some people were but other people were paying 3x your rent and and drinking $4 lattes and carrying around iphones? Would that make you more likely to riot? Probably, right?

  10. Absolutely.

    But riots are complex, and difficult to predict.

    Sometimes they target the comparatively wealthly, but other times they target the police, a specific race, or industry.

    Sometimes they are just result of alcohol, youth, concerts and sports like soccer. A combination of all of the above seems particularly volatile

  11. There are some thought-provoking posts here on the riots. I've often wondered that myself, considering the rapid change in Crown Heights.

    Per the wine store...the name rhymes with pinot, and is pronounced "why-no". Definitely worth checking it out.

    Last but not least, it would be awesome if a bagel shop would pop up around here. Maybe the owners of Franklin Park should tackle that next.

  12. Wino(t) has a great selection for good prices. You won't be disappointed.

  13. Kevin is the man! Cant wait to see what he does with ABOUT TIME his shop has been apart of Franklin ave for the longest

  14. About Malcom's question: are you going to be more likely to riot if you're poor and living in a gentrifying area?

    A free market perspective would be that, if there are more people of means around you, you'd have role models around you for wealth so you'd work harder to gain the same for yourself. Instead of stealing an iPod in a riot, you'd figure out how to make money to buy one yourself.

    Not sure I agree, but seems like we have a lot of people in the neighborhood who consider themselves free market capitalists. I'd like to hear from them.

  15. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Winot/173182932738324?sk=info