Friday, August 26, 2011

Part of Flatbush Ave

A few yeas ago I read Flatbush Oddyssey: A Journey Through the Heart of Brooklyn.  It was a great read. A detailed description of Flatbush Ave (and the neighborhoods it passes through) from the Manhattan Bridge and its North end to the bridge to Rockaway at the other end.  Since the book came from the library (on Flatbush Ave) and can not check, but I think yesterday we we walked what was Chapter 3.  Dekalb Ave to Grand Army Plaza.  But we did it the other way.

I figured that since we were being pelted with the bands of pre-Irene rain we should stick close to mass transit, but we needed to get out of the house.  So a walk to Junior's was just the ticket.

Along the way we stopped in front of  the New York Chess and Game Shop to play a game of chess.

Yes, they set up a giant chess board on their sidewalk.  And yes, that is what the Barclay's Center looks like now.  Flatbush Ave is gonna change.  Things change, but this is big and sudden.

Don't Flatbush Ave look nicer when you look the other way?  A place where people live and work and shop. You can see some sky.

If you rent the billboard
 does Jay Z come with it?
The only Brooklynites who wanted that arena built where the construction workers who were paid to build it.  It was supposed to be part of a humongous project.  Now it is only part of a massive project, but the rest of it is gonna be pre-fab construction so no union worker will build the rest. “'Clearly, prefab housing is not what we expected,'" Richard Weiss, a spokesman for Construction and General Building Laborers’ Local 79, told the Brooklyn Paper: '"The only reason we [supported the project] was for jobs for our members.'" Right, because Forest City Ratner has kept so many of the promises it made in manufacturing enlisting support for Atlantic Yards."   I wont be surprised if Bruce Ratner finds himself in the same room pit with Jimmy Hoffa Sr. some day.

So we got to Junior's

The food at Junior's was surprisingly bad.  My Reuben sandwich was mushy and my son's hamburger was clearly cooked from a frozen patty.  But they did give us ample and delicious salads.  There was really good coleslaw and crispy pickles.  The service was great, our waiter was friendly and attentive  I would go back just for cheesecake, but not for food again.

Instead of the rolls that I would expect in a dinner then gave us (great) corn bread.  The menu also had lots of items that I would not expect in a "deli".  Many BBQ items and jerk chicken. I also noticed that we where the only white people eating in the restaurant.  Flatbush Ave has chained since 1950 when Junior's opened.  Maybe I should have ordered the southern fried chicken.

But there was one other white guy eating there.  A short fat old guy screaming that his meal should comped.  Just kidding, That is our Borough President, Borough Clown Marty Markowitz.  His support for the Atlantic Yards project is insulting to all the people who actually live in Brooklyn.  (I stole that photo from the Brooklynites by Seth Kushner and Anthony LaSala).

The photo does give you a view into what it looks like inside Junior's. I told my kids the staff at places like Fridays and Applebees come here to find out what a restaurant should look like. The dining room was decorated with authentic Brooklyn memorabilia and photos of presidents eating there.  The servers at those portion control restaurants should have a meal at Junior's to see what it is like to be served by non-scripted human beings.

But all kidding aside, the dining room did seam to be decorated by someone who worked for Ratner / Markowitz..  Many photos of the (soon to be former) Borough President and the (soon to be) Brooklyn Nets.

I must use this platform to express my disgust with my Borough President.  He is so out of touch with how things can be made better, he has actually made things worse.

An area on at the intersection of Atlantic Ave  /  Flatbush Ave  / Fourth Ave is not the end of the world.  But it would have been nice if it would have been surrounded by a park or a school or something nice.  But we have a parking lot.

Also, instead of making up stories about how the PPW Bike lane was just put there on a trial basis, he could have put some effort into having the MTA improve their service in Brooklyn.

It started to rain so we jumped on the train to get home.  I have changed trains literally thousands of times at Nevens Street but never entered the station before.  Look below at the condition of the station.  Do you think if Marty really cared about the quality of life of his constituents he would get this fixed?  No!  I don't even think Marty know who constituents are.  His supporters all moved to gated communities in South Florida, but his constituents still change trains at Nevins St.

One more thing.  About 30 hours after my lunch at Junion's I had dinner at a T.G.I. Friday's.

  • The food sucked about as much, but the portions were too small.  I had the Chipotle Yucatan Chicken Salad.  It looked exactly like the photo from the menu at right.  I am sure the person who prepared it was looking at this photo when he assembled. it.   A piece of bread would have topped it off nicely.
  • I don't think my waiter actually ever ate in a restaurant, let alone knew how to take orders and make me feel  comfortable.
  • My son ordered the Cup of Dirt  for desert.  Chocolate Pudding mixed up with crunched Oreos and gummy worms.  The pudding tasted like a can.
So I guess I am  saying that if I am gonna eat crappy food I would just like to not walk out of the restaurant hungry.

Ach.. The food was horrible and the protons were too small.

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