You may have heard about my plan to start an artisan market next to the Cortelyou Road Greenmarket. There were many concerns generated on this site about using the playground behind the market, and I want to thank everyone who took the time to comment. Feedback is such a crucial part of any new business endeavor and your feedback prompted me to look at some very interesting alternatives.
Making the artisan market part of the farmers market seems like the best plan, so I submitted an application to the Street Activity Permit Office (SAPO) for a permit to use the Rugby Road sidewalk in front of PS 139.
But, then… SAPO turned me down because I am not “indigenous” to the neighborhood. What that means is that individuals can’t decide to set up a business on public sidewalks. You have to be affiliated with or sponsored by a non-profit or neighborhood organization.
So, I got myself invited to present my idea at the Beverley Square West Neighborhood Association board meeting. Most of the members knew me from when I started the Greenmarket. They literally applauded my idea and agreed that they would sponsor me if, after they published the plan in their newsletter, there was no major backlash. Then I walked around and got signatures from the residents on Rugby between Cortelyou and Beverley. That was easy. Jocelyn Lucas Rosenberg, recent FDC awardee for all her great community work, offered to walk around with me since she lives there and knew most of the people on the block.
That was fun. I met some really nice people. A few were actually interested in selling their wares in the market. I got signatures from 100% of the people we approached and I then reapplied for the permit. But the wheels of government turn slowly. Can you believe that a permit will take 90 days?! So, I’m also talking to the owner of the parking lot on Newkirk…stay tuned!
Meanwhile, I’ve started a blog to keep you in the loop on the market opening and the next phase of the Brooklyn ARTery: To open a storefront! Learn more about the big vision for Brooklyn ARTery, to open a community-based art space in a Ditmas storefront near you! Go to www.brooklynartery.net to read about upcoming classes, feature stories on ARTery artists, and much more.
Thanks for sticking with me!
About the author: Susan Siegel has lived in Ditmas Park for over a decade, and has been involved in several neighborhood endeavors including the Cortelyou Greenmarket, the Flatbush Development Corporation, and the Flatbush Community Garden. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.