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Election Day 2008

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I was outside the polling place at PS 217 on Newkirk Avenue about 6:15am. The line was already two deep down the stairs out to the street. As I waited in the pre-dawn darkness, off in the distance we could hear a loud deep male voice shouting, but we could not make out what he was saying. Something about "president"… Then we could hear "Barack Obama! First black president!!" Finally, he emerged, riding slowly, weaving back and forth from one side of Newkirk Avenue to the other, calling out LOUDLY to each passer-by: "Barack Obama elected first black president!! Hello brother! Barack Obama first black president!!" It was a young guy riding a mountain bike. We made eye contact: "Hey big guy! Barack Obama elected first black president!!" A young woman behind me chided the booming voice: "He ain’t elected yet!" The bike rider slowed and answered quickly: "You right.” Then in a softer voice that could only be heard on Coney Islan

Ripped From The Headlines... (2008)

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On March 16th, the New York Times published a full-page story on Victorian Flatbush, stirred by the imminent designation of Midwood Park and Fiske Terrace as historic districts. Indeed a few days later the City's Landmarks Preservation Commission announced that those two areas "East of the tracks" (or East of Eden if you regard West Midwood as heaven on Earth) would be joining already-designated Ditmas Park, Prospect Park South and Albemarle-Kenmore Terrace in architectural Valhalla. The article, entitled "Peaked Roofs, Crossed Fingers" (egads!), had a little blurb about each of the six remaining Flatbush neighborhoods not yet designated and an accompanying map contributed by Mary Kay Gallagher and Ron Schweiger (hence it was accurate for a change). As for West Midwood, there was acknowledgment that we shared the same developer (Thomas Benton Ackerson), and the same "verdant look" as our eastern block neighbors, but it said that we had never sub