Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Reader mail

Before I dash off for most of the day, some answers to a couple of quick questions...

Adrian and Anneke: I need to admit that my initial reaction to your comments on the "For sale in PLG" post was to recommend that you start blogs of your own. But I'm working on practicing restraint...so instead I'll use this as a way to clarify the new PPLG comments policy.

As of right now, there will be no editing of comments without explicit permission from the commenter him/herself...so if there's something you want to say that I think might be offensive, racist, sexist, etc., I'll email you and ask you if we can amend it in a way that would work for everyone.

However, comments do need to be approved, and this will occur in as timely a manner as possible. I'm well aware of the downside here: there will be those times when I'll be away from a computer for a couple of hours and some comments might get held up in the cue; this, of course, will on occasion make it more difficult to have the kind of robust back and forth I hope I feature here. At the moment, I think the trade-off -- a troll free forum for everyone to enjoy -- is worth it, but this is a policy that'll constantly be in flux, and I welcome any and all feedback.

One response from yesterday's post on PLG's new CSA that you non comment readers might have missed: dliss, who helped set up the arrangement with Woodbridge Farm, had this to say: "We haven't really talked much about meat yet because we've been so focused on getting the vegetable deliveries up and running, but it's definitely a possibility. If enough members are interested we could probably work something out with the farm. The only problem I can think of is refrigeration, but maybe we could get an insulated cooler?"

As for Ed's question about pictures, yes, I will be making Son of PPLG as visually appealing and as visually active as the original PPLG; I've been stuck in a particularly rough patch, work and commitment wise, so have been scrambling to get some posts out in a timely manner. As for whether we'll be welcoming photos from area residents...we'd absolutely love to. (The photo on our homepage is by Brandon Williams, who has some great shots of the area.) We also would love to make PPLG a forum/clearing house for all sorts of info about the neighborhood, and we'll be brainstorming/thinking of ways to make this as much of a collaborative effort as possible. In general, we think more is more...


AdrianLesher said...

You could simply say start blogs of your own, but I assume that comments don't have to be simple cheerleading.

The most recent posts make me hopeful that the blog will be about substantially more than real estate.

However, if that doesn't hold true, I assume there were certain understandings with Dan when the blog was turned over that the tone and intentions of the original blog would be continued. Though there is likely no legal obligation to make the blog about more than real estate, there might be a moral one.

Incidentally, some of these comments I'd be glad to make outside a public forum, but I don't see any blog email or private comment section.

Ed said...

Before we exalt the original Planet PLG (which was, in many respects, a wonderful neighborhood journal and guide), we should, perhaps, strive to be a bit more balanced in our appraisals.

Yes, Dan did some great things for the neighborhood. Preventing a building on Parkside from being turned into a hooker hotel comes immediately to mind. Also, he created a lovely slide show of last year's house tour. Although I never met him, others tell me he was a wonderful person.

However, who can forget how he championed an african drum salesmen who routinely harrassed women of the neighborhood as they passed by without ever giving mention to the point of view of the women who were harrassed?! As if women aren't regularly subjected to harrassing comments by local thugs on a regular basis? And rarely, if ever, did he discuss the adversity faced by the legions of gay and lesbian residents of PLG.

There are many issues in PLG that are relevant for a progressive blog. Racism, gentrification, and the clash of caribbean vs. american cultures are not the only issues facing PLG. Homophobia and sexism are rampant in both America and the caribbean and need to be addressed as well.

In a sense, these are exciting times for the oppressed, given the renewed intolerance of hate speech. Let's hope that this blog not only incorporates the scope of its predecessor, but extends it.

By the way - of course, real estate is a thorny issue. There are a number of residents in the neighborhood who are "at the bottom" of the city's pecking order. Gentrification affects the poorest, least well-educated residents the most. But before we subdivide the city into "rich and white" and "poor and black", we need to be a little more nuanced and look at the entire picture. Gentrification affects all New Yorkers - many who flee to Lefferts Manor cannot afford Manhattan or other areas of Brooklyn. Each neighborhood (from the most posh to the most ghetto) is seeing its composition change. People are being uprooted everywhere and forced out.

So, let's tell it like it is: capitalism is the enemy here, not a blogger who is interested in discussing real estate. And his obligation is not to adhere to any particular faction's vocal protests. Rather, it would be nice if it became a space to accomodate all viewpoints.