On this week’s show we will explore the famous Flatbush, in Brooklyn.
My guests will be returning Rediscovering New York guest, local historian, and famed tour guide Lucie Levine, founder of Archive on Parade; and Lauren Collins, the Executive Director of the Flatbush Avenue And Church Avenue Business Improvement Districts.
Jeff Introduces his first guest Lucie Levine and asks about her experience growing up in NY and how she became a tour guide. Lucie and Jeff then talk about the native people who lived in what would become Flatbush and the Dutch settlers. Next, Jeff asks about what changed about Flatbush when the English took over in 1664. Lucie talks about the significant happenings during the Revolutionary War that took place in Flatbush.
Jeff begins by asking Lucie about some of the tours she gives. Jeff and Lucie then discuss the architecture in Flatbush and the history behind it. Jeff talks about Dean Alboard and his contributions to the construction of Flatbush. They go on to talk about Tennis court, the “lost” structure of Flatbush. Lucie then talks about the oldest high school in NY state: Erasmus and some of its notable alumni over the years. Jeff talks about how Flatbush residents voted in the vote to consolidate Brooklyn into the Manhattan area. Jeff and Lucie finish by talking about the famous Ebinger’s Bakery in Flatbush and their signature Blackout Cake.
Jeff introduces his next guest Lauren Collins, the Executive Director of the Flatbush Avenue and Church Avenue Business Improvement Districts. Jeff starts by asking Lauren about growing up in the city and her career path. Lauren then asks about Lauren’s co-founding of the Windsor Terrace Alliance. Lauren then talks about joining the Church Avenue Business Improvement District and eventually the Flatbush BID. Moving on, Jeff asks Lauren about the challenges she faced when she took over the Flatbush BID. Lauren then discusses some of the historically accurate storefronts in Flatbush.
Lauren begins by talking about what she loves most about Flatbush and the flavor of the neighborhood. Adding on to this, Jeff asks about the impact the Carribean community has had on Flatbush. Lauren then talks about the growth of the Flatbush BID since she began working there and her relationship with its members. Next, Jeff asks about some of the unique challenges Lauren faces in her work. Lauren then brings up some of the stores she wants to see more of in Flatbush and her advice for anyone starting a retail business in the neighborhood.
00:00:35.070 --> 00:00:44.700 Jeff Goodman: Hello everyone. Welcome to our listeners in the Big Apple from across the US and around the world. I'm just Goodman and this is rediscovering New York
00:00:45.180 --> 00:00:54.930 Jeff Goodman: Professionally, I'm a real estate broker with brown Harris Stevens and I love this city rediscovering New York as a weekly program about the history texture and vibe of New York.
00:00:55.530 --> 00:01:04.080 Jeff Goodman: And we do it through interviews with historians local business owners nonprofit organizations preservationists local musicians and artists and the occasional elected official
00:01:04.830 --> 00:01:13.170 Jeff Goodman: On some shows like tonight we focus on an individual New York neighborhood exploring its history and its current energy. What makes that particular New York neighborhood special
00:01:14.070 --> 00:01:20.040 Jeff Goodman: Sometimes we host shows about an interesting and vital color of the city and its history. That's not focused on one particular neighborhood.
00:01:20.730 --> 00:01:29.820 Jeff Goodman: Prior episodes have covered topics as diverse and illuminating as American presidents who came from lived in or had some interesting history here in New York, about half of them did.
00:01:30.450 --> 00:01:38.670 Jeff Goodman: We've talked about the history of women activists and the women's suffrage movement. We've talked about African American history in the city, which actually goes back to the time of the Dutch
00:01:39.390 --> 00:01:43.200 Jeff Goodman: We've talked about the history of the city's LGBT community and the gay rights movement.
00:01:43.860 --> 00:01:50.760 Jeff Goodman: We've explored the history of bicycles and cycling. We've talked about the history of punk and Opera. Those were separate shows, by the way.
00:01:51.390 --> 00:01:57.750 Jeff Goodman: We're talking about our public library systems. We actually have three of them in New York, not one, not two, but three public library systems.
00:01:58.380 --> 00:02:02.280 Jeff Goodman: We've explored some of our greatest train stations and even some of our bridges.
00:02:03.060 --> 00:02:17.220 Jeff Goodman: After the broadcast. You can hear our show on podcast. We're on Apple Spotify SoundCloud Stitcher and other services, tonight we're going to journey to a neighborhood that's dear to my heart. It's in Brooklyn and I'm talking about the famous Flatbush
00:02:18.450 --> 00:02:26.520 Jeff Goodman: Our first guest is a returning expert to rediscovering New York Lucy, Lucy, Lucy is a writer historian and New York City tour guide.
00:02:27.000 --> 00:02:33.960 Jeff Goodman: She founded archive on parade historical tour and event company that takes New York's history out of the archives and into the streets.
00:02:34.620 --> 00:02:38.070 Jeff Goodman: Lucy's collaborated with institutions, including the municipal art society.
00:02:38.490 --> 00:02:48.030 Jeff Goodman: historic districts Council, the New York Public Library, one of the three amazing library systems. We have the 92nd Street Y. The St. Regis hotel and landmarks West
00:02:48.510 --> 00:02:55.410 Jeff Goodman: Lucy office exciting tours lectures and community events all over the city. And I've been lucky enough to have been on some of Lucy's amazing tours.
00:02:56.010 --> 00:03:06.420 Jeff Goodman: She's also the public programs consultant and friends of the Upper East Side historic districts and contributing history writer at six square feet. Lucy another hearty welcome back to rediscovery New York
00:03:07.440 --> 00:03:11.580 Jeff Goodman: Thank you so much, you're from New York originally what part, yes.
00:03:11.640 --> 00:03:21.810 Lucie Levine: I am Upper West Side originally, but now I live in Brooklyn. I live in Greenpoint Brooklyn these days. So, certainly in the borough that were speaking up this evening.
00:03:22.710 --> 00:03:26.640 Jeff Goodman: before you got into the business that you're in. What kind of work have you done in the past.
00:03:27.300 --> 00:03:37.410 Lucie Levine: Um, I got into being a new york city tour guide and historian, because I had studied history in college and because I
00:03:40.530 --> 00:03:50.220 Lucie Levine: Because I, I'm from New York and I love New York and it's in my heart. And when I was growing up, my grandparents had their apartment.
00:03:51.510 --> 00:03:55.770 Lucie Levine: Was on 14th Street, but it faced Fifth Avenue. And the reason that I mentioned that is because there were
00:03:56.070 --> 00:04:02.610 Lucie Levine: All of these red bus tours that would go down Fifth Avenue. And I remember at that time. It's not true. Now, and I know this because I used to
00:04:02.940 --> 00:04:17.130 Lucie Levine: My first tour guide job was actually on a red bus and so they're not, they don't broadcast out loud. You have to have a headphones. Now, but at that time they did. And I would stand in that window, and I would learn things as those buses went down the street.
00:04:18.360 --> 00:04:30.480 Lucie Levine: About the history of New York City and I always as a child I was like, my goodness, what. What a thrill, it would be to share that history with other people and so
00:04:31.200 --> 00:04:38.940 Lucie Levine: I had been teaching in the city. When I first got out of college and that came to an end. And I said to myself, all right, what do I want to do now.
00:04:39.300 --> 00:04:45.810 Lucie Levine: And I realized, you know, it was sharing that history. It was sharing that information that I, which is something that I have always wanted.
00:04:46.410 --> 00:04:53.370 Lucie Levine: And so I got a tour guides license and I started doing those red buses and then, you know, it really grew from there because I started
00:04:53.850 --> 00:05:09.600 Lucie Levine: giving lectures around town, you know, with a librarian at the the Y and all these places, um, you know, and then, and then I just had the opportunity to kind of become a professional nerd and really dive into the city that I love so deeply and share the information
00:05:10.800 --> 00:05:17.520 Jeff Goodman: And you live in the wonderful neighborhood of Greenpoint now. Yes, I do. You know, the red buses is set that could be such a
00:05:18.030 --> 00:05:32.610 Jeff Goodman: New York experience. I moved to the East Village when it was a little edgy in the 90s, and I knew the East Village made it when one day the red bus went up Avenue way and that was before they had the headphones, you know, and talking about about about Alphabet City in the East Village.
00:05:33.630 --> 00:05:37.740 Jeff Goodman: It takes us to Flatbush in Flatbush actually is one of the oldest parts of Brooklyn.
00:05:38.490 --> 00:05:50.040 Jeff Goodman: It's one of the original five towns that existed around the time of the American Revolution, but even going on before that there must have been Native people living in what would become Flatbush before even the Dutch settled here.
00:05:50.850 --> 00:05:52.200 Lucie Levine: Absolutely. So
00:05:53.370 --> 00:06:02.730 Lucie Levine: All of what we know, considered to be New York City, we could describe as Linda hooking which is the NSA homeland. I would have a meeting the people
00:06:03.510 --> 00:06:14.040 Lucie Levine: So the original people of New York City. When, when we talk about native New Yorkers and a real sense it is feeling happy people and particular tribes within that, including the Canarsie
00:06:16.020 --> 00:06:29.880 Jeff Goodman: And then the Dutch came to the area and the 16th 20th. They first set up the first settled Brooklyn. I think in 1634 or five and then came to more of the middle part of what's now the borrow Brooklyn.
00:06:30.570 --> 00:06:39.450 Jeff Goodman: When they settled in the area that would become Flatbush did they only settle it as farmland like they did go on us, or did they build a town in the area.
00:06:39.870 --> 00:06:51.240 Lucie Levine: Um, no. So Flatbush became the center, as you mentioned, of the Dutch settlements on Long Island. So you said five, but there were actually sit well
00:06:51.780 --> 00:07:05.130 Lucie Levine: FIVE TOUCHDOWNS and then one English town because grapes and while it was given by William Keith to Deborah moody. It was actually that charter was written in English. So in a in a technical sense, that was an English town.
00:07:06.180 --> 00:07:08.370 Lucie Levine: In the Dutch settlement of Long Island, but
00:07:10.230 --> 00:07:12.360 Lucie Levine: Those original Dutch towns were
00:07:13.590 --> 00:07:24.540 Lucie Levine: Meeting meet. Whoops, which is where we now would say Midwood Brooklyn. The original kind of Brooklyn Bushwick flatlands new Utrecht and graves and so
00:07:25.350 --> 00:07:43.050 Lucie Levine: Flatbush what we think of as Flatbush now was part of that meat would settlement, which was settled in 1652. Um, and then the way that we get the organization that is Flatbush actually comes from the Dutch blacker boss, WHICH MEANS FLAT woods in Dutch
00:07:44.250 --> 00:07:58.830 Jeff Goodman: It's funny. There are some names that you think of being as Dutch and some you'd say, well, Flatbush had to be an English name, but now it's actually from the Dutch um what changed in the area that would become Flatbush when the English took over New York in 1664
00:07:59.220 --> 00:08:14.880 Lucie Levine: So in an interesting way. Not that much change this remained deeply, deeply Dutch even when the English common 1664 so this becomes the seat of justice in the six step settlements during that period in 1658
00:08:15.690 --> 00:08:29.130 Lucie Levine: It really becomes that nexus because it is geographically actually the center of the Dutch settlements on Western Long Island, but then I'm the independent streak of Flatbush itself was so strong that
00:08:30.720 --> 00:08:34.440 Lucie Levine: It actually would not be incorporated into the city of Brooklyn until
00:08:35.880 --> 00:08:55.080 Lucie Levine: 1894 and there was a there was a proposal to have an annex to the city of Brooklyn in 1873 and just wouldn't the the residents of Flatbush just did not want to be part of this greater whole. And so for that reason, because there wasn't really
00:08:57.570 --> 00:09:07.020 Lucie Levine: Transportation to Flatbush until the 1830s, you still had Dutch being spoken throughout the English period and and into the 19th century.
00:09:07.920 --> 00:09:13.770 Jeff Goodman: I want let's, let's go. There's a historic church right in the middle of Flatbush it's on church Avenue Flatbush Avenue.
00:09:14.820 --> 00:09:16.800 Jeff Goodman: Was that theory is that the original church building
00:09:17.700 --> 00:09:25.200 Lucie Levine: That's not the original church building like Trinity Church them and having that is actually the third iteration of that building. And just like Trinity.
00:09:25.530 --> 00:09:36.900 Lucie Levine: It's actually built on the same basis, but that's site that site a flat pushing church avenues is actually the oldest continuously functional side of worship and the city of New York.
00:09:38.460 --> 00:09:45.600 Lucie Levine: Because that site was actually chosen by Peter Stuyvesant, which is to meet amazing and
00:09:46.710 --> 00:10:00.750 Lucie Levine: That first church. Again, this is the third one, but the first church on that site was actually built in 1655, the one that you see today dates from 1793 but the churchyard, just like at Trinity is even older than that.
00:10:01.230 --> 00:10:03.240 Jeff Goodman: Is it the oldest house of worship in Brooklyn. Now,
00:10:03.960 --> 00:10:14.790 Lucie Levine: I'm, I'm not sure if the current church just because it was built in 1793 has that designation, but I am absolutely positive that the site itself is absolutely the oldest yes
00:10:15.720 --> 00:10:23.910 Jeff Goodman: Well, then, about the time of 1793 but let's fast forward from the time the English took over the area in 1664. Then we have the Revolutionary War.
00:10:25.020 --> 00:10:28.560 Jeff Goodman: Did anything significant happen in Flatbush during the war.
00:10:29.160 --> 00:10:29.880 So,
00:10:31.170 --> 00:10:35.010 Lucie Levine: Brooklyn and particular during the American Revolution is a really interesting place.
00:10:36.630 --> 00:10:47.640 Lucie Levine: Brooklyn on the eve of revolution actually had the highest concentration of unfree labor in what we would think of as the north of north of the mason Dixon Line, which of course wasn't drawn at that time, but
00:10:49.200 --> 00:10:52.140 Lucie Levine: The New York Historical Society health that
00:10:53.670 --> 00:11:12.720 Lucie Levine: Slavery was embedded in everyday life in Brooklyn. At the time of the American Revolution, to a degree that was only rivaled in Charleston. So we think of New York City, is this really free place. And actually, it really was not but you know there is this incredible drive for independence.
00:11:13.740 --> 00:11:17.130 Lucie Levine: And while the Battle of Brooklyn itself.
00:11:18.660 --> 00:11:22.350 Lucie Levine: In August of 1776 is a major failure.
00:11:23.100 --> 00:11:29.730 Lucie Levine: For George Washington and he actually is driven out of Brooklyn and he's driven out of New York City, he has to ferry himself.
00:11:29.940 --> 00:11:42.090 Lucie Levine: Across the East River in the dead of night, and then, you know, and then is fleeing north and you'll have the Battle of Harlem heights. But he'll be driven will be driven out of the city at that time and won't come back until the end of the war.
00:11:43.980 --> 00:11:59.100 Lucie Levine: Excuse me. But what's interesting about Flatbush is that at that time, it was called the Flatbush route, what we would now call Flatbush Avenue and members of continental army actually held the past at Flatbush road. And so, while the the
00:12:00.150 --> 00:12:06.150 Lucie Levine: Battle was a major defeat in general of Washington and his army actually
00:12:07.410 --> 00:12:16.950 Lucie Levine: In Flatbush there was some success. And what's cool is that when we, when we look at that church or we can actually see members of the American Revolution of that revolutionary generation who were buried
00:12:18.480 --> 00:12:24.660 Lucie Levine: Not only sort of around the church itself, but under like in the foundation of the church itself. And so it's kind of interesting.
00:12:24.990 --> 00:12:36.600 Lucie Levine: Decades later centuries later right when you have the, the Russian Revolution, and you had the martyrs of the revolution buried under the Kremlin wall. It was kind of that that kind of Amy honor of being buried under the church.
00:12:36.780 --> 00:12:43.290 Jeff Goodman: Which they were of course it was, you know, flat, which was also pretty loyalists I and I was actually
00:12:43.560 --> 00:12:49.800 Jeff Goodman: surprised to hear, but maybe not so surprising after what you said that in the 1800 census, which was the second census in the United States.
00:12:50.250 --> 00:12:58.410 Jeff Goodman: 70 to 80% of flat which families actually owned at least one enslaved person. In fact, this is shocked to hear this, because
00:12:58.860 --> 00:13:12.810 Jeff Goodman: You're reading a Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle when you know rip goes to sleep and wakes up and the kings picture is gone from the end. The Kings coat of arms with displayed at a local in in Flatbush 50 years after independence.
00:13:13.860 --> 00:13:15.180 Jeff Goodman: A little fascinating factoid
00:13:15.720 --> 00:13:23.370 Lucie Levine: It's true. And it's because, as I said, because there's really no I'm serious. Transportation to Flatbush until the 1830s.
00:13:24.360 --> 00:13:40.680 Lucie Levine: Flatbush was deeply sort of cut off from what would become this ground. We don't have the consolidation of the city of Brooklyn until 1855 but but what will become these growing other settlements in Brooklyn Flatbush really wasn't kind of own self, you know,
00:13:43.320 --> 00:13:54.120 Jeff Goodman: All right, well, we're gonna take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation with Lucy Levine about Flatbush and the history of Flatbush we'll be back in a minute.
00:15:57.990 --> 00:16:06.540 Jeff Goodman: We're back. This is rediscovering New York and our show about Flatbush Brooklyn. Can you believe this is show number 83 I've been on the air for almost two years time really flies.
00:16:07.050 --> 00:16:19.470 Jeff Goodman: And our first guest is not a first timer to rediscovering New York. It's Lucy Levine, who founded and who owns archive on parade Lucy. Tell us about some of the tours that archive on parade has has has ended stable.
00:16:20.100 --> 00:16:31.860 Lucie Levine: Sure. Well, things are interesting now because they're all online as as we're doing this right now. Um, but, you know, it's been really nice to talk about topics that are
00:16:32.340 --> 00:16:45.540 Lucie Levine: relevant to today. So I have an illustrator tour and lecture about the history of the New York City public health system. I have an illustrated tour and lecture about
00:16:46.650 --> 00:16:52.350 Lucie Levine: The history of women's suffrage throughout New York City celebrating the
00:16:52.920 --> 00:17:08.160 Lucie Levine: centennial of the 19th Amendment. And of course, highlighting the black women and other women of color who are at the forefront of that fight and who are sometimes left out of that history. I love to do the history of Brooklyn water.
00:17:09.960 --> 00:17:28.680 Lucie Levine: Typically coffee and sugar on the Brooklyn waterfront, that's a lot of fun and because it is quote unquote back to school time but not quite. I do have a tour about radical educational institutions in Greenwich Village. And so it runs a pretty wide gamut. But a lot of fun.
00:17:29.550 --> 00:17:32.640 Jeff Goodman: And how can our listeners, get in touch with you. To find out more about your programming.
00:17:33.090 --> 00:17:52.260 Lucie Levine: Sure, so you can find me at archive on parade.com that's AR CH IV. Oh, and P AR AR D and can follow archive on parade on any social network that you might be on I. You can also email me personally at Lucy Liu. See I eat at archive on parade.com
00:17:53.010 --> 00:17:53.730 Jeff Goodman: Thank you.
00:17:54.840 --> 00:17:58.830 Jeff Goodman: We're going back to flap, which now we're going to fast forward to the time of the Civil War.
00:18:00.600 --> 00:18:04.650 Jeff Goodman: And and a neighborhood close to it on the other side of Prospect Park.
00:18:05.130 --> 00:18:20.370 Jeff Goodman: Park Slope developed as what some people call the quintessential New York suburb right after the war, partly because of the construction of the park, which was extraordinary was built by design by the same people who designed Central Park and also later redesigned
00:18:21.540 --> 00:18:29.940 Jeff Goodman: For Green Park, which was then Washington Park also redesign Union Square and design Delaware Park and people don't know that whole almost an inbox did all that. But they did.
00:18:30.780 --> 00:18:39.330 Jeff Goodman: But prospect, but the slope Park Slope was not the only neighborhood to be impacted by the development of the park Flatbush was as well. Yeah.
00:18:39.510 --> 00:18:42.270 Lucie Levine: So there are a lot of you mentioned a lot of things. One,
00:18:43.350 --> 00:18:51.390 Lucie Levine: Being the Civil War connection. This is one of my favorite, the sort of most unexpected connections that I find when I'm walking through Flatbush
00:18:52.320 --> 00:18:59.310 Lucie Levine: Which is that the man who designed the seat of justice in Flatbush today Flatbush town hall.
00:19:00.300 --> 00:19:13.620 Lucie Levine: Was not only not only a superintendent of Prospect Park working with Frederick Law Olmsted but because he worked so closely with Frederick Law Olmsted and Olmsted went on during the Civil War in
00:19:14.010 --> 00:19:27.630 Lucie Levine: 1861 to be the head of the US Sanitary Commission, which was the what would become the American Red Cross, it was the sort of medical arm of the Union Army and so
00:19:28.440 --> 00:19:37.950 Lucie Levine: Also goes down to Washington for that and john Collier, who had designed this but push Town Hall went with him. And so color was actually in Ford's Theatre.
00:19:38.250 --> 00:19:50.400 Lucie Levine: The night that Lincoln was shot and witness that assassination. And so, you know, often I think walking through Flatbush I don't expect to confront that kind of history. But in fact, I do, which is amazing.
00:19:51.240 --> 00:20:04.710 Lucie Levine: But then so callers in Flatbush um, and he, along with vertical on said will be. I'm a commissioner of Prospect Park, but Prospect Park.
00:20:05.940 --> 00:20:15.240 Lucie Levine: Opens later than does Central Park. So when it opens, there is on the part of the Commissioners.
00:20:15.720 --> 00:20:24.510 Lucie Levine: And an interesting point that they make. So the park opens in 1867 it's completed 1873 and the Commissioners of Prospect Park.
00:20:25.290 --> 00:20:34.050 Lucie Levine: Realize that the land, south of the park is soon going to be, and I'll quote this becoming a boat a boat a vast multitude of people
00:20:34.410 --> 00:20:39.930 Lucie Levine: And they realized that it should be planned in the same way that the Commissioners of prospect. I'm sorry, the Commissioners of Central Park.
00:20:40.230 --> 00:20:47.250 Lucie Levine: Actually plan, what would become the Upper West Side they planned that grid north and west central park. And so in the same way.
00:20:48.060 --> 00:21:01.860 Lucie Levine: They start to plan south of Prospect Park to avoid what they were afraid would be quote mistakes and confusion and and so then you start to have this incredible development because of that.
00:21:03.420 --> 00:21:08.010 Jeff Goodman: Um, who was Dean offered and what and how did he contribute to the development of Flatbush
00:21:08.370 --> 00:21:31.290 Lucie Levine: So speaking of that development. So do your homework was a suburban developer in the sort of classical sense he came on the scene to plan in a way that would avoid right the sphere of like confusion of what to do with this land. And so he
00:21:33.150 --> 00:21:50.370 Lucie Levine: Thinks he's thinking not only about all said, but in particular about Kelvin of blocks, who was his partner called our faults and was interested in what was known as the picture risk and this idea of the rural suburb. And so our board. I'm
00:21:51.480 --> 00:21:57.750 Lucie Levine: About 20 years after the the completion of Prospect Park in August of
00:22:00.360 --> 00:22:14.130 Lucie Levine: Realizes okay you know we're going to create this world suburb based on that idea of the picture, ask. And so he buys an incredible amount of land he buys I'm just
00:22:15.210 --> 00:22:17.160 Lucie Levine: Like hundreds of thousands of acres
00:22:19.710 --> 00:22:21.930 Lucie Levine: And no, I'm sorry. I like to
00:22:24.360 --> 00:22:30.150 Lucie Levine: Know he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, but he bought 50 acres of land for $280,000 oh
00:22:30.570 --> 00:22:30.930 Lucie Levine: Wow.
00:22:31.500 --> 00:22:32.160 What a deal.
00:22:33.630 --> 00:22:39.840 Lucie Levine: I was so ready to tell you. Oh, he bought hundreds of thousands of acres for like 50 no real estate. But no, not that
00:22:39.870 --> 00:22:42.390 Jeff Goodman: I was about to say. It sounds a little bit like Yellowstone, but
00:22:44.310 --> 00:22:46.020 Lucie Levine: Anyway, so he buys 50 acres
00:22:47.040 --> 00:22:56.310 Lucie Levine: In the late 1890s and decides to make really the first suburb in Flatbush which was one of the first suburbs in Brooklyn.
00:22:57.030 --> 00:23:01.650 Lucie Levine: The first being Brooklyn Heights, and he decides he's going to call it Prospect Park self.
00:23:02.040 --> 00:23:19.470 Lucie Levine: And when he does, he means all of the roads like Argyle and Westminster, um, you know, because he wants it to seem during British inspired and so to have this sort of upper middle class and even wealthy inflection.
00:23:21.240 --> 00:23:24.000 Jeff Goodman: Points are being a Scottish name. But still, you know,
00:23:24.840 --> 00:23:30.390 Jeff Goodman: Talk to the Brits. Um, what was tennis court, um,
00:23:30.600 --> 00:23:47.250 Lucie Levine: So tennis court is actually the last suburb of Flatbush if you like. So what we call now Victorian Flatbush is actually I'm a collection of 11 micro neighborhoods in Flatbush including I'm
00:23:48.420 --> 00:23:51.030 Lucie Levine: Including Prospect Park self and
00:23:52.110 --> 00:23:55.170 Lucie Levine: Beverly square Western that blue square East and
00:24:00.360 --> 00:24:15.150 Lucie Levine: You know, a variety of these neighborhoods and but the first one, the one that is no longer no longer an extent was something called tennis court, and it was built in the same way that that Alford really went about it, which is that this land was bought
00:24:16.740 --> 00:24:19.230 Lucie Levine: And a particular
00:24:20.550 --> 00:24:27.840 Lucie Levine: Architect was always sort of asked to do the building so that all look really uniform and that particular
00:24:28.260 --> 00:24:40.800 Lucie Levine: Architect was actually a man named john JP who Edward would sort of coach from tennis court, and asked to do all of the kind of incredible work that you see there today. So it's really the
00:24:41.490 --> 00:24:51.240 Lucie Levine: The genius of one man but but tennis court doesn't exist anymore, but there is there is a secret tennis court actually in Flatbush still which is cool.
00:24:51.540 --> 00:24:58.140 Jeff Goodman: No one of the many secrets of Brooklyn. Yes. If you search. You can seek and maybe find them out.
00:24:59.910 --> 00:25:09.030 Jeff Goodman: Brooklyn Flatbush also is noteworthy because it has the oldest High School in New York State. You want to talk a little bit better Rasmus
00:25:09.510 --> 00:25:20.070 Lucie Levine: Of course I do. So Erasmus is an extraordinary place. So it was it was named for deciduous Erasmus, who was a Dutch scholar who was considered to be the
00:25:21.210 --> 00:25:24.780 Lucie Levine: most brilliant man of his century but
00:25:25.980 --> 00:25:39.270 Lucie Levine: Erasmus itself was actually founded in 1786 so it is the oldest secondary school in New York State. And it was the first to be chartered by the board of regions. Wow.
00:25:40.080 --> 00:25:42.000 Jeff Goodman: It was founded another first for Brooklyn.
00:25:42.660 --> 00:25:54.690 Lucie Levine: Yes, indeed. And it was founded by people who might recognize so funds came from people like Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr came from people like john Livingston and john Vanderbilt.
00:25:56.310 --> 00:26:06.240 Lucie Levine: And it had a formidable slew of graduates, which included. Speaking of first for Brooklyn. The first mayor of Brooklyn was a man named George Hall.
00:26:06.900 --> 00:26:13.920 Lucie Levine: Who had graduated from who had graduated from Erasmus, but so did
00:26:14.820 --> 00:26:27.120 Lucie Levine: Be sort of great art critic clinic Greenberg, the great writer Bernard melon with the great actress Barbra Streisand. And what I'll say about a resonance, which is so interesting to me.
00:26:27.960 --> 00:26:37.380 Lucie Levine: Is that it began to accept women as early as which is very early in terms of women's education. And the reason that I mentioned that
00:26:38.910 --> 00:26:47.430 Lucie Levine: Is because the residence hall actually has a connection to the women's movement and a really lovely way and that is Lucy burns so Lucy burns.
00:26:47.850 --> 00:26:53.400 Lucie Levine: Who was a founder of the Congressional union for women's suffrage, which became the National Women's party.
00:26:54.120 --> 00:27:06.270 Lucie Levine: In 1916 and which organized the silent sentinels the women who would stand guard at the White House. Every day you know from 1917 to 1919
00:27:06.990 --> 00:27:17.790 Lucie Levine: She had organized that but she had actually been a teacher at Erasmus and so she's teaching Erasmus and then decides that she wants to further her own education.
00:27:19.080 --> 00:27:37.110 Lucie Levine: And from there, she will go to England and it's actually in England that she will meet Evelyn Pankhurst and be influenced to become a suffrage pioneer in that way. So she comes directly from from Brooklyn from Rasmus and and joins that world, which is a cool legacy
00:27:37.920 --> 00:27:43.770 Jeff Goodman: I have a question about the vote to incorporate with Brooklyn has voted and whether or not to become part of Greater New York
00:27:45.060 --> 00:27:52.860 Jeff Goodman: The vote actually was pretty close. And they say, was fixed 5000 votes Brooklyn voted to become part of Greater New York
00:27:53.220 --> 00:28:08.040 Jeff Goodman: The, the residents, the citizens of the town of flapper to Flatbush had an independent streak and that they resisted becoming part of the city of Brooklyn. Do we know how flappers residents voted in the in the vote whether to become part of Greater New York
00:28:08.640 --> 00:28:13.590 Lucie Levine: Oh, I can't give you the vote count on that. I'm not exactly sure. I know.
00:28:14.670 --> 00:28:27.840 Lucie Levine: That most Brooklynites considered the consolidation to be no mistake of 98 that they did not want to be incorporated into Manhattan at all because they thought that Manhattan was so full of advice. This was known as the city of churches here in Brooklyn.
00:28:28.410 --> 00:28:45.750 Lucie Levine: But when I will say we were speaking about a Rasmus and it is interesting that Erasmus Hall was actually donated to the Brooklyn public school system in 1896 so before consolidation and so if that gives us any indication there was clearly some interest on the part of
00:28:46.890 --> 00:28:57.660 Lucie Levine: You know, the, the trustees of you, if you like, of Rasmus to being consolidated in that way. So if that gives us an indication that it might. It might be that
00:28:59.730 --> 00:29:05.640 Lucie Levine: Residents of Flatbush were perhaps more inclined then then other parts of Brooklyn.
00:29:06.750 --> 00:29:13.140 Jeff Goodman: Um, we have about a minute left. I want to talk briefly about two things. A low was technically in the neighborhood that would become Crown Heights.
00:29:13.920 --> 00:29:24.690 Jeff Goodman: Immediately west to the botanic garden Brooklyn Botanic Garden was part of the old Flappers. And that became the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Charles Ebbets who is like the patron saint of the Dodgers actually was from Flatbush
00:29:25.500 --> 00:29:30.330 Jeff Goodman: In fact, too many locals. The Dodgers were not only a Brooklyn team, but a Flatbush team.
00:29:30.810 --> 00:29:40.770 Jeff Goodman: And some people like my mother have never forgiven them for forsaking Brooklyn and moving to Los Angeles, even though it wasn't the fault of the players of the team. It was, you know, a business decision and maybe the league. It's something to do with it.
00:29:43.110 --> 00:30:00.000 Jeff Goodman: One of the things I wanted to mention is one of the parts of loss Brooklyn was the famous bakery and if anyone out there likes and 10 mins you would have loved amateurs amateurs was amazing. You want to talk for a briefly about about the blackout cake and its, its origins in Brooklyn.
00:30:00.480 --> 00:30:10.260 Lucie Levine: Yes, of course. I do so profound blackout cake and as you as you mentioned in your right was invented in Flatbush on Flatbush Avenue at evidence bakery.
00:30:10.710 --> 00:30:17.130 Lucie Levine: Adventure himself actually lived in Flatbush so it was very much a hometown pride thing. But the reason that we get
00:30:17.580 --> 00:30:32.970 Lucie Levine: Brooklyn Park. Okay. It actually has to do with the Second World War, there were blackout restrictions throughout New York City imposed by LaGuardia because he was afraid that the look. GUAVA, IF THEY GOT across the ocean would begin to strength, New York City.
00:30:33.450 --> 00:30:45.120 Lucie Levine: And so his hope was that with blackout restrictions you know this city would be a much harder target that the Nazis would not be able to subdue New York City. If it came to that.
00:30:46.530 --> 00:30:51.420 Lucie Levine: And so people throw it for the duration of the world we're living with blackout restrictions. And so I wonder
00:30:51.870 --> 00:31:01.890 Lucie Levine: And I think it's a it's a nice comment on the way we live now, right, that even in the most sort of dire of circumstances there can be ingenuity, there can be sweetness. There can be
00:31:02.040 --> 00:31:09.030 Lucie Levine: Kind of lightness and joy and he really brought that to New York City with broken blackout cake, so he makes this incredible chocolate cake.
00:31:09.720 --> 00:31:24.960 Lucie Levine: Chances are you you've tasted. You know, one version or another have a blackout cake. But, you know, this idea of, like, here we are in this crisis, you know, and here's something here's something to say she ate us. And so we can think we can thank Flatbush for that.
00:31:25.620 --> 00:31:33.750 Jeff Goodman: Yes, and let our listeners all around the world. Now that the famous blackout cake, not only originated in Brooklyn, but was an invention of the famous Flatbush
00:31:34.260 --> 00:31:40.230 Jeff Goodman: Lucy Levine of archive on parade. Thank you so much for being our first guest on this program about Flatbush and Brooklyn.
00:31:40.710 --> 00:31:55.020 Jeff Goodman: We're going to take a short, by the way, you can read about Lucy's tours and programming at archive on parade calm. We're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to speak with our second guest who has a little more current take on Flatbush we'll be back in a moment.
00:34:07.740 --> 00:34:16.410 Jeff Goodman: We're back and you're back to rediscovering New York support for the program comes from our sponsors Christopher pappas mortgage specialist to TD Bank.
00:34:16.950 --> 00:34:28.530 Jeff Goodman: To find out how Chris can help you with all of your mortgage, sorry. Your residential home mortgage needs and tailor a mortgage that's right for you. Please give Chris a call at 203-512-3918
00:34:29.250 --> 00:34:35.790 Jeff Goodman: And support also comes from the Law Offices of Thomas sciatica focusing on wills estate planning probate and inheritance litigation.
00:34:36.330 --> 00:34:46.620 Jeff Goodman: Tom and his staff can be reached at 212-495-0317 I will show was about New York. It's neighborhoods its history and Maria textures of our amazing city.
00:34:47.340 --> 00:34:52.020 Jeff Goodman: There's another great show on the air about New York and specifically about the business of real estate. Good morning.
00:34:52.620 --> 00:34:58.080 Jeff Goodman: Good morning, New York with Vince Rocco. That's a second floor on the announcements today, my friend and colleague brown Harris Stevens.
00:34:58.650 --> 00:35:08.490 Jeff Goodman: You can hear Vince's show on podcast on voice America com you can like the show on Facebook. And you can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter my handle is there a Jeff Goodman NYC.
00:35:09.090 --> 00:35:14.460 Jeff Goodman: If you have comments or questions would like to get on our mailing list, please email me, Jeff at rediscovering New York dot NYC.
00:35:15.360 --> 00:35:20.220 Jeff Goodman: One of the note before we get to our second guest, even though rediscovering New York is not a show about real estate.
00:35:20.700 --> 00:35:28.020 Jeff Goodman: When I'm not on the air. I am indeed a real estate agent now are amazing city where I help my clients buy sale lease and rent property, including in Flatbush
00:35:28.590 --> 00:35:39.240 Jeff Goodman: If you or someone you care about is considering a move into out of a within New York. I would love to help you with those real estate needs. You can reach me and my team at 646-306-4761
00:35:40.080 --> 00:35:46.350 Jeff Goodman: Well, our second guest is special in that I've been trying to get her on the show for a while, and I believe succeeded.
00:35:47.100 --> 00:36:01.440 Jeff Goodman: I'm welcoming Lauren Collins Lauren leads the marketing supplemental sanitation and business development and government and community affairs advocacy and postcode reopening efforts for the Flatbush Avenue Business Improvement District and also the church Avenue big
00:36:02.640 --> 00:36:10.140 Jeff Goodman: she oversaw a $300,000 store friend Improvement Program Lauren manages innovative public art and food promotion programs for both bids.
00:36:10.470 --> 00:36:16.950 Jeff Goodman: And collaborates regularly with elected officials and government agencies to bring services to the due to the two bids members.
00:36:17.730 --> 00:36:26.220 Jeff Goodman: Lauren was formerly the executive director of the Guavas canal Conservancy. She co founded the Windsor terrorists alliance which he lives now, and she served on Community Board seven
00:36:26.940 --> 00:36:35.760 Jeff Goodman: Currently, she's the female Democratic Representative for her election district in the 44th assembly district and sits on the Department of Transportation better buses advisory group.
00:36:36.510 --> 00:36:44.040 Jeff Goodman: Lauren earned her undergraduate degree from the CUNY be a program her JD. That's a doctor of law, by the way, from Fordham University School of Law.
00:36:44.520 --> 00:36:57.930 Jeff Goodman: And completed cornrows Cora New York's 2011 neighborhood leadership program. She's a proud New Yorker and lives in Brooklyn, of course, where else would someone left with this for this kind of Heston Lauren Collins a hearty welcome to rediscovering New York
00:36:58.440 --> 00:36:59.580 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Thank you, Jeff. Thank you.
00:37:00.000 --> 00:37:00.990 Jeff Goodman: Where did you grow up in the city.
00:37:01.980 --> 00:37:05.610 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): I grew up in the village right in the center village right on Fifth Avenue.
00:37:06.480 --> 00:37:07.590 Jeff Goodman: And when did you move to Brooklyn.
00:37:08.550 --> 00:37:10.980 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): I'm 15 years ago so
00:37:12.480 --> 00:37:13.590 Jeff Goodman: And you live in winter terrorists.
00:37:15.390 --> 00:37:24.540 Jeff Goodman: You have quite a level of accomplishments and and and education that most executive directors of Business Improvement districts don't have is a pretty long resume.
00:37:25.050 --> 00:37:33.120 Jeff Goodman: You got to JD at Fordham when you studied law. What was your career path that took you to Fordham and that took you to getting a JD
00:37:34.200 --> 00:37:41.280 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Um, you know, I was balancing between a JD and an MBA, because those were the two areas that I was most interested in.
00:37:41.790 --> 00:37:48.660 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): And my aunt, who founded a aphasia foundation kept on telling me that she had lots of friends.
00:37:49.410 --> 00:37:55.350 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): female friends who headed nonprofits who had gone to law school. And that's what I wanted to do was nonprofit management so
00:37:55.770 --> 00:38:04.110 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): I decided to go to law school. I never actually wanted to be a lawyer, which my parents were not thrilled about when I told them why I was going to law school, but it all worked out.
00:38:05.460 --> 00:38:12.990 Jeff Goodman: When I told my mother when I was 18 after having just gone to Vassar that I didn't want to be a lawyer anymore and I wanted to be be a historian, she wasn't too thrilled.
00:38:14.640 --> 00:38:16.950 Jeff Goodman: Number real estate agent. I think she's really happy with that.
00:38:19.200 --> 00:38:22.080 Jeff Goodman: When did you lead the Kiwanis canal Conservancy.
00:38:23.700 --> 00:38:32.670 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Um, it was around 2008 it was for two years, right before the Guadalcanal became a superfund site to kind of overlap so
00:38:33.270 --> 00:38:44.190 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Right when it was when the federal EPA was coming in and saying this is filthy, we need to start cleaning this I was on that committee. And then I ended up leaving. So it was around the same time.
00:38:45.150 --> 00:38:55.890 Jeff Goodman: Now when I ask you one other question about an organization not related to Flatbush and that's the alliance WHEN DID YOU CO found the winter terrace alliance and what in and what was the background for that.
00:38:56.580 --> 00:39:04.650 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Um, you know, when we moved here. I had, I had one small and one three year old and I was pregnant, actually.
00:39:05.040 --> 00:39:15.720 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): And was concerned that there wasn't a middle school at that at that time in Windsor terrorists. Now there are except I think the Catholic school was here, Bishop for which is a huge, beautiful building
00:39:16.350 --> 00:39:22.200 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): And we kind of started it with a few neighbors looking to start a neighborhood association to push for
00:39:22.620 --> 00:39:30.960 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): A middle school to be moved in and it ended up morphing into a lot of different issues like there is a supermarket. There was a key food supermarket in the neighborhood.
00:39:31.320 --> 00:39:48.210 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Which was very old and went under, and Walgreens bought it and then it became a big A, big, big issue with the neighborhood suddenly having no supermarkets. So we were involved with that under a lot of elected officials and it just morphed that was when 2007
00:39:49.050 --> 00:40:04.620 Jeff Goodman: I have to give a thank you note both Lauren and the station both I am station or really thankful to have Warren be in our, in our sphere Lauren recommended a great guest for my episode on Wednesday terrorists Jeremiah Fox, who now has his own radio show right here on the station.
00:40:06.210 --> 00:40:15.900 Jeff Goodman: Warren, I've not met people who I've met bid directors before but I've not met met directors who simultaneously lead to different business improvement districts, you
00:40:16.200 --> 00:40:17.910 Jeff Goodman: Have the Flatbush and the church Avenue bid.
00:40:18.150 --> 00:40:19.620 Jeff Goodman: How did you get involved with these bits.
00:40:20.820 --> 00:40:30.990 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Um, well, the church. I was out of work for a while after leaving the go on his canal Conservancy and doing my networking and I hadn't met
00:40:31.530 --> 00:40:39.540 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): The former Borough President Brooklyn borough president the wonderful Marty Markowitz who said, talk to my guy and his guy whose name is Carlo.
00:40:40.110 --> 00:40:48.960 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Said, You know what, there's this fit that's looking for someone. It was a church, haven't you been. And I said, I have no idea what that is. And he said, no, it's really everything you do. So I looked at it.
00:40:49.530 --> 00:40:57.660 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): I kind of put it aside and then a week later, a man named Randy peers who is now the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce president who I knew through something
00:40:58.170 --> 00:41:06.420 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): To the organization. He had in Sunset Park. He said, There's this bed that's hiring you should go for it. So was two people. And I went for it and
00:41:06.990 --> 00:41:13.620 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Got the job at church and then Flatbush was two or three years later, there was a man running it.
00:41:13.980 --> 00:41:21.570 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Named jack cats who used to run a Buster Brown shoe store, which doesn't exist anymore, but the beautiful the Buster Brown shoe store on Flatbush Avenue.
00:41:21.900 --> 00:41:34.200 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): He had been running the bid for several decades. And he passed away, and shortly before he passed. He called me and actually said, I want you to take over the bit which was really interesting. And he was a wonderful
00:41:35.400 --> 00:41:45.870 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): opinionated guy and I ended up applying for that job, but then about a year later I took that over. So it's been, they're not alive, there's a few other
00:41:46.620 --> 00:41:53.880 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Few other people running similar you know more than one bit, but they're not a lot of us and ours is structured differently than the other ones.
00:41:54.660 --> 00:42:00.180 Jeff Goodman: Are both Business Improvement districts about the same age or just has one been around a lot longer than the other.
00:42:00.540 --> 00:42:02.940 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Yeah, they're both early 80s. Okay. Okay.
00:42:04.140 --> 00:42:12.630 Jeff Goodman: Well Flatbush and the area around church avenues definitely had its issues over the years from retail and store from business perspective. And one thing we didn't
00:42:13.140 --> 00:42:22.410 Jeff Goodman: Talk about with Lucy was the fact that, like a lot of inner city neighborhoods Flatbush had its period of decline in terms of the neighborhood, and a lot of respects in the 60s and 70s.
00:42:24.540 --> 00:42:30.540 Jeff Goodman: What was some of the challenges that you faced when you took over the leadership of both bids from a, from a commercial perspective.
00:42:32.100 --> 00:42:38.910 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Well, I know, starting with church because that's where I was. First, there were not a lot of restaurants and that was a real problem. And there was a section.
00:42:39.390 --> 00:42:49.500 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): That's right near the Victorian homes, which is kind of quiet, it's still very quiet but we really wanted to be fed up because there are people living in debt, which
00:42:50.190 --> 00:42:56.520 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Which some people call ditmas which is also Flatbush who were pretty sure we're going to other neighborhoods to eat.
00:42:57.090 --> 00:43:06.450 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): And there are people who are looking for restaurants and looking for cafes and we worked a lot on getting some restaurants and cafes open and now there are about seven or eight of them which is wonderful.
00:43:07.590 --> 00:43:19.200 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): And it's another challenge honestly is always keeping the streets clean and that's been that's been an ongoing issue. We're getting better and better. But I always want them cleaner than they are so
00:43:21.510 --> 00:43:31.800 Jeff Goodman: Well, said like a true big director can which is really important. Um, can you tell us a little bit about the storefront Improvement Program and the genesis of that and what it does.
00:43:32.280 --> 00:43:43.560 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): For sure. I mean, that's, that was a program that was very exciting. It was already there when I when I took over. I had just started it was federal money through the New York Main Street program.
00:43:45.030 --> 00:43:53.880 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Allowing us to give grants reimbursing grants to stores, who wanted to source or property owners who wanted to fix up their storefront
00:43:54.360 --> 00:44:10.470 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): And the amount of money. It was about $300,000 total and we ended up developing I think six different stores where they put out the money for the for the renovation. One of them is a store called meat Palace, which is this great
00:44:11.760 --> 00:44:18.570 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Neat grocery store, but also just a general grocery store, they really, really care about the food like I have had long conversations with them.
00:44:18.900 --> 00:44:30.960 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): And they did their whole storefront over and paid for it. And then we were able to reimburse them a lot of money. So we were able to pay people back it was challenging because they had to pay up front.
00:44:31.530 --> 00:44:40.290 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): But we had enough trust and our person that woman named Melissa, who really ran the whole program. She was able to persuade people to do this and ended up with
00:44:40.620 --> 00:44:44.040 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): With six beautiful new storefronts that were really rundown before
00:44:44.520 --> 00:44:52.170 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): And the program also the program. We had to keep the storefronts historically accurate. It could not be a new shiny, you know,
00:44:52.410 --> 00:45:02.160 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Just windows just glass. It had to have the character of the old property. So they get to look at text photos from, I guess, Lucy knows I know the 14th whenever tax photos were done.
00:45:02.670 --> 00:45:10.230 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): They had to look at tax photos to see what it used to look like and then try to do an updated version of that what
00:45:10.290 --> 00:45:14.700 Jeff Goodman: What are the stores now that that actually that actually achieve that. Okay, I have to remember
00:45:15.510 --> 00:45:16.170 Jeff Goodman: A couple of them.
00:45:16.530 --> 00:45:24.300 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Need palace. I'm downtown natural, which is not a big natural food store, which used to be a mattress store.
00:45:27.120 --> 00:45:27.720 Oh my gosh.
00:45:29.100 --> 00:45:43.620 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): There was, there was several stores on who's it laundromat, and two other stores. I can't remember what the other stores names are where was three different stores and we will do the whole facade, including the upper floors and it was beautiful. Um, I don't remember the other ones.
00:45:44.280 --> 00:45:47.820 Jeff Goodman: Why didn't want it to appear like a like a JD exam. Sorry about that. I
00:45:48.180 --> 00:45:58.590 Jeff Goodman: throw that question out of you. We're gonna take a break. But I do want to mention that we didn't have time in new segment. But, you know, one of the beautiful retail buildings in Flatbush is the Sears Roebuck
00:45:58.980 --> 00:46:07.110 Jeff Goodman: Building in tower which, you know, it's this beautiful art deco little tower which I remember, you know, seeing as a kid and still when I drive on Bedford Avenue.
00:46:07.800 --> 00:46:13.440 Jeff Goodman: You know, sort of reaches out like a beacon. We're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation.
00:46:13.830 --> 00:46:20.790 Jeff Goodman: With Lauren Collins, who's the executive director, not only of the Flatbush Business Improvement District, but also the church Avenue bit. We'll be back in a moment.
00:48:11.070 --> 00:48:14.040 Jeff Goodman: We're back to rediscovering New York and
00:48:14.070 --> 00:48:15.510 Jeff Goodman: Our episode about Flatbush and
00:48:15.510 --> 00:48:30.270 Jeff Goodman: Brooklyn, my second guest is Lauren college. She's the executive director of the Flatbush Business Improvement District and also heads the church, having to be ID. And that takes us to Flatbush and it's vine described defined the flapper floor. And what do you like about it.
00:48:31.620 --> 00:48:36.240 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Um, it's extremely diverse and
00:48:37.620 --> 00:48:45.450 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): You know, we've it was recently designated I unofficially a couple of years ago to kind of designated little Haiti through a lot of
00:48:45.960 --> 00:49:03.900 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): A lot of local leaders, as well as the local assembly member be shown really pushed for this and it, it was always very Caribbean, but now it really seems to be African as well so that reflects in the food and the clothing in the food. There's a lot of food going on over there. Um,
00:49:04.920 --> 00:49:12.660 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): It's, it's just, it's a really welcoming comfortable friendly neighborhood and they
00:49:13.110 --> 00:49:25.290 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): You know, it's all, it's also very community oriented. I met people from all walks of life just through working there who live in the neighborhood in many different types of living situations and it's just people really care about it.
00:49:26.490 --> 00:49:33.180 Jeff Goodman: One thing about the neighborhood is that it has a very large native English speaking Caribbean community actually
00:49:33.810 --> 00:49:46.410 Jeff Goodman: We were talking before the show Flatbush personal history. My mother's boyfriend who's from St. Vincent lives in Flappers. And actually my future step father, who's from India move to Flatbush when he first moved here in the 70s. How has
00:49:47.490 --> 00:49:52.500 Jeff Goodman: The Caribbean community impacted the vibe of the neighborhood. And as it's been evolving.
00:49:53.820 --> 00:49:54.210 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Um,
00:49:56.130 --> 00:50:04.710 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Well, you know, it's obviously not this year, but in most years the leading months and the post months after the annual West Indian
00:50:05.190 --> 00:50:11.370 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): West Indian American Day parade is just, that's one of the center's even though the parade doesn't actually come through the neighborhood.
00:50:11.790 --> 00:50:29.160 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): But lots of the people who come in to celebrate or to be in the parade from other countries kind of set up camp actually set up camps there where they'll make costumes and and celebrate and practice the music and everything like that. So it's really just a center in a lot of ways.
00:50:30.870 --> 00:50:35.610 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): And then the same thing and that during the holidays and really during other times of year there's there's also
00:50:36.000 --> 00:50:42.600 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Say, also, there's a lot of families who come to flap wish for various reasons besides Erasmus, which I think has four or five different
00:50:43.080 --> 00:50:52.290 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): High school buildings within it. There's PS six. There are a lot of dance studios and childcare centers. So there's a lot of family Paul to get people there.
00:50:53.820 --> 00:50:58.800 Jeff Goodman: One question I'd like to ask them. Sometimes people think it's a trick question. But if I didn't occasionally ask
00:50:59.100 --> 00:51:14.850 Jeff Goodman: A question. It wouldn't be, you know, a great interview shell. I'm having worked in a Business Improvement District after a while. Was there anything that surprised you about Flatbush about about its business community or about it's about the way the neighborhood works.
00:51:16.230 --> 00:51:17.970 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Um, it is a trick question.
00:51:19.620 --> 00:51:21.150 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): It's a price surprised me. I don't know.
00:51:21.870 --> 00:51:22.830 Jeff Goodman: Okay, I've never
00:51:23.130 --> 00:51:28.620 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Been there for 10 years so everything is less surprising. Now, since I since I've been there but um
00:51:29.940 --> 00:51:30.210 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Yeah.
00:51:32.100 --> 00:51:32.970 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): I wouldn't know what to say.
00:51:34.020 --> 00:51:43.770 Jeff Goodman: As the bitch ability to forge business relationships with a local business owner has that has that evolved and changed since since you've been the executive director there.
00:51:44.790 --> 00:51:50.670 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): It has, I mean it's the two bids from very different, even though there are Jason to each other. The church Avenue one
00:51:51.480 --> 00:52:06.600 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): The Members who are all automatic. It's not an optional thing if they are if their stores or properties are within this geographic area, they are in the bed. It's and they have to pay Property Assessment every year to the city, which is what supports the bit
00:52:07.860 --> 00:52:17.880 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): But the church Avenue bid a lot of the members already had a relationship with the with the executive director. Not as much on Flatbush but I really been trying to grow that and
00:52:18.420 --> 00:52:24.690 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): It's evolved to the point where a lot of people have my cell number and this is my personal cell. So I have
00:52:25.110 --> 00:52:33.990 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): To say a few weeks ago I got a text at 6:30am because that's when this deli opened his business. And there was a problem that he wants to talk to me about
00:52:34.530 --> 00:52:43.860 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): But it's just constantly growing and I'm trying to be added. It is harder right now with this with the shutdown. I'm not out as much. We're all working remotely.
00:52:45.630 --> 00:52:53.160 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): But I definitely have a much stronger relationship with a lot more people than I did before. And I will tell you actually coded has
00:52:53.580 --> 00:52:58.830 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Opened this door for me to be able to really be there to help at times where the businesses and the properties
00:52:59.130 --> 00:53:10.380 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Can always reach someone and then the rules are always changing. And we've been able to really help them and I have in my two staff people have really been doing one on one help so that's that's been great.
00:53:11.400 --> 00:53:12.360 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Like Kobe, but
00:53:13.710 --> 00:53:18.300 Jeff Goodman: This is more of a pre coven question before carbon was, was there anything
00:53:18.720 --> 00:53:32.730 Jeff Goodman: That you struggled with in Flatbush especially that might be different. You must talk to your fellow executive directors of other bids around the city. Um, is there anything uniquely challenging that that you found you've had to work with in Flatbush maybe that they haven't
00:53:33.750 --> 00:53:34.260 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Um,
00:53:35.760 --> 00:53:43.950 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): I mean, honestly. For me personally, I think it was, it would need might have been a little harder for me to break through and to have people trust me because
00:53:44.640 --> 00:53:52.590 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Of the way I come across. And it's a very Caribbean community. And that was something that I think it took a while for people to really feel that I was really there.
00:53:53.040 --> 00:53:59.820 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Not to change it but to try to to get more services and to really elevate what was already there, because I don't
00:54:00.360 --> 00:54:15.720 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): I don't want our businesses and properties to move out. We want them to stay there and be successful. And a lot of them are offering some good you know good products and we kind of want to help them. So that was that was something that I think was was a bit of a challenge at first.
00:54:17.670 --> 00:54:23.400 Jeff Goodman: Is there anything or any kind of business Lauren that that you wish was in Flatbush but now is is not there.
00:54:24.690 --> 00:54:25.170 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Um,
00:54:27.510 --> 00:54:36.750 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Something weird and something very obvious obvious would be. I wish we had more SIT DOWN RESTAURANTS. We have a lot of food stores and a lot of grocery stores with
00:54:37.680 --> 00:54:44.760 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): pretty unusual items. A lot of Caribbean and African products, but not a lot of SIT DOWN RESTAURANTS where people can really just hang out.
00:54:45.510 --> 00:54:53.970 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): And also, I wish we had more hardware stores. We have one and a hardware store is something that people need and it will be great to have another one.
00:54:55.530 --> 00:55:01.800 Jeff Goodman: Is there any special advice that you would have for someone who might be thinking about opening up a retail business in Flatbush
00:55:03.060 --> 00:55:10.860 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Um, I would definitely tell them, Well, first I would tell them to get in touch with the bed because we're free help and we will give it to people who are not in a bit already
00:55:11.190 --> 00:55:18.240 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): But I would say just really, you know, have a business plan. There's so much. There's really opportunities that aren't being tapped into
00:55:18.690 --> 00:55:32.910 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): And a lot of a lot of businesses that really could open and probably do pretty well. And it's also some place that people come when they want a lot of different things because there really is a variety of different types of stores so you can you can fit in well with that.
00:55:33.900 --> 00:55:39.420 Jeff Goodman: And I'm guessing you would welcome a chance to have a conversation with anyone thinking about opening a business in Flatbush
00:55:40.080 --> 00:55:40.740 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Absolutely.
00:55:40.800 --> 00:55:42.660 Jeff Goodman: If they wanted to do that. How can they get in touch with you.
00:55:43.380 --> 00:56:09.870 Lauren Collins (Church/Flatbush BIDs): Um, so the email address that I'm using for both bids is Flatbush as did one so FL at the U. S. H. A. V. Be ID. And then the number one at GMAIL. COM. You could also go to our websites and contact me through that, which is Flatbush avid com or church avenue.org dot o RG so either of those.
00:56:11.130 --> 00:56:21.270 Jeff Goodman: Well, thank you, Lauren. Our second guest has been the executive director of the Flatbush Business Improvement District Lauren Collins, who also has the church Avenue bid.
00:56:21.780 --> 00:56:29.430 Jeff Goodman: And also special thanks to Lucy Levine for returning to rediscovering New York and giving us your expertise about the famous flap, which is I like to call it.
00:56:30.450 --> 00:56:36.780 Jeff Goodman: If you have comments or questions about the show, or if you'd like to get on our mailing list, please email me, Jeff at rediscovering New York that NYC.
00:56:37.290 --> 00:56:46.710 Jeff Goodman: You can like us on Facebook that handle is rediscovering New York with Jeff Goodman original. I know, but that's what it is. And you can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter my handle is there a Jeff Goodman NYC.
00:56:47.340 --> 00:56:56.790 Jeff Goodman: Once again, I'd like to thank our sponsors Chris pappas mortgage banker TD Bank and the Law Offices of time sciatica focusing on wills estate planning probate and herons litigation.
00:56:57.420 --> 00:57:02.190 Jeff Goodman: One more thing before we sign off, I'm Jeff Goodman, a real estate agent at Brown Harris Stevens in New York City.
00:57:02.550 --> 00:57:16.380 Jeff Goodman: And whether you're selling, buying leasing or renting my team and I provide the best service and expertise in New York City, real estate to help you with your real estate needs. You can reach us at 646-306-4761 our producer is Ralph story or
00:57:17.040 --> 00:57:19.620 Jeff Goodman: Our engineer this evening is Sam Leibowitz
00:57:20.280 --> 00:57:23.190 Jeff Goodman: Our special consultant is David Griffin of landmark branding.
00:57:23.760 --> 00:57:24.630 Jeff Goodman: Thanks for listening.
00:57:24.930 --> 00:57:25.800 Jeff Goodman: We'll see you next time.