A Hole in the Social Fabric

Last night, Sheryll and I sat out on a bench that looks across Cortelyou Road, toward the corner of the now and again seized Vox Pop Cafe.

Abandoned, with the exception of a few who lingered on the outdoor bench, it was a sad picture of an insensitive economic system. The prime question in our mind was “what good does this do for anything?”

Looking across that street, our old friend Ric Minello waddled by. I could see in his movements, the sadness he felt as his beloved neighborhood retreat, lay shuttered and dark. Somehow, it feels like the end of an era. A very short era. The forces that be, seem intent on closing this place. We wonder what could have been if they had just changed the name and business ID number and bury all of Sander Hicks bad karma, along with him.

Debi at the gates of injustice

Vox Pop is a great idea that has still not come to fruition. It was and is a wonderful work-in-progress. The potential still lies untapped. But no matter what the criticism might be, there is no business in 30 miles that has brought the community together as Vox Pop has done. Creative people have gathered in the outside garden since Debi took over, in ever growing numbers. With an ever growing diversity.

I will say right now, that if Vox Pop does not go on, neither will this blog. It is too bad. I have lined up some very interesting people for future interviews. Anne Pope, who runs Sustainable Flatbush, and dedicates her life to energy alternatives and reducing our carbon footprint was on deck. Also in waiting was comic artist Steve Ellis, who sketches and brainstorms with his writer, the graphic novel, High Moon at Vox Pop almost every weekday morning. If you have ever wondered what people are doing in cafes these days, this blog held some of the answers.

My anger as I sat on the bench was centered around the seizure scenario. My mother-in-law was there when the official vehicles pulled up and began the closing procedures. In Michael Moore’s recent film “Capitalism: A Love Story” there is one story line where the marshals come to seize a house. The community stopped them. The reason is that the seizures do nothing for the surrounding area. Quite the opposite. Now you have an abandoned home with no one living in it. What we have on Cortelyou Road, is a dead spot where a lively and thriving social hub existed. Now there is no activity to generate the income that was needed to repay the old fines. What we have is nothing. A hole in the neighborhood fabric.

The new economy has left many such dead spots. We can go on as to why we are in our current economic milieu, but that would be beyond the scope of this blog. It is just sad to see a once happening spot, now desolate and uninhabited.

Maybe there will be good news when I return to this blog again. Until then, peace.

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About bzeines

I am an artist, musician and founding parent at Brooklyn Free School in Clinton Hill. The Free School Apparent was originally started in 2009 to focus on Free School philosophy as a venue for parents to voice doubt or accolades on free school philosophy and conversations about education in general. It also ventures into the territory of how industrialized education has impacted our lives, and the possible steps we may take to obtain control.
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3 Responses to A Hole in the Social Fabric

  1. Tom Schultz says:

    Bruce, it’s a great question, what good will come of it. It reminds me of when my youngest brother, David, was killed in Atlanta. He left a wife and a three year old daughter, three brothers, a sister, our mother and hundreds of friends. When I boarded the plane to fly to Atlanta for the funeral, it was exactly my question. “What good can come of this?” Then I watched people come together and saw over the next days how there was produced among us all a feast of something that one could only describe as goodness. In the middle of the funeral I decided to speak about that impromptu, just before the man designated to give the eulogy was about to speak. I spoke only about that – a banquet we were sharing, a harvest of something special, coming mysteriously from everyone he had touched in his life. Sometimes we get a glimpse of what’s behind the veil, usually hidden from us and in that case I felt it was hidden more or less from many of the others who had gathered there, but that didn’t affect what was produced. It only meant that there was this mixture of light and darkness. The friend who spoke next to deliver the eulogy seemed a little tenuous giving the speech he’d prepared – one in which he passionately expressed everyone’s anger and hatred of the man who had taken our brother’s life. I understood where he was coming from, of course, as I’d felt the same initially. He hadn’t yet gotten to pondering the question as you and I put it – what good can come of it? We’ll see, I guess.

  2. rlord69 says:

    This breaks my heart! I do not know if we have met, but i have just begun reading there regularly (twice so far). i had just arraigned this evenings repertoire, when i saw this terrible news. Vox Pop shall still forever be where i gave my first public reading, let it be said. Also, the last time i was there, ric gave me his contact info and i lost it. i would really hate to also loose my audience of one as well so if you could pass this along to him (or pass his email along to me) i would really be indebted. Info: Rachel Lord, poet; rlord69@gmail.com / 248-840-4136 . In S’hala.

  3. bzeines says:

    I hope to reply to you soon when I get back on my own computer next week. Until then Happy New Year.

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