Thursday, June 10, 2010

All About Fifth Interviews Council Member Lander

All About Fifth caught up with Council Member Brad Lander recently to ask a few questions about the Avenue. We’ve broken up the interview into three installments over the next three Thursdays. Here, Council Member Lander talks about his Fifth Avenue District digs, Neergard Pharmacy, and great views of Fifth. Check in next week for more…

CM Lander: First, I want to say how excited I am about the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID, and the All About Fifth blog, and what you’ve been making happen on Fifth Avenue. It has been great to see businesses and building owners coming together to make a real difference. “Films on Fifth” was one of the most creative things I’ve seen a BID do, the blog is great, and Fifth Avenue is already noticeably cleaner. There’s always been a great energy on Fifth Avenue, but the BID is channeling that energy into tangible action and progress.

All About Fifth: Well, how do you like your district digs on 456 5th Avenue (between 9th and 10th Street), and how did you pick the location?

CM Lander: We’re delighted to be settled in to our district office, which is in the Neergard Pharmacy building, on the 3rd floor (there’s an elevator). We picked it mostly for its centrality and convenience in the 39th District (see map) that I represent, which stretches from Cobble Hill out to Kensington -- so being on both the F and the R train lines, and served by the B63 & B75 (though the latter is being replaced by the B61) bus lines makes a big difference in allowing people from all the neighborhoods of the district to get here. And we had a small budget, so an upper floor space helps a lot.

But of course, personally, I was very excited to be on Fifth Avenue, which I’ve worked on and cared about Fifth Avenue for twenty years (as you may know, I ran the Fifth Avenue Committee for 10 years, and worked hard to renovate buildings and bring in new small businesses). There’s a great feeling on the avenue – we’ve got a great view of the 5th Avenue & 9th Street corner from our third floor window – and it makes a big difference to me and our staff to walk to and from the office, and to see and be a part of what’s happening on the street.

And I also liked the idea of supporting local ownership. We rent the space from the owners of Neergard Pharmacy, Maria and Serafino Tomasetti, who are long-time Brooklyn residents and business owners, who have succeeded in keeping a locally-owned pharmacy not just in business, but thriving, even in the face of all the chain stores. We want to do everything we can to encourage people to shop locally.

I hope people will drop by and check out the office. No need to make an appointment (although you can call or email, of course, if you prefer, 718-499-1090, or, or ) just drop by and say hello.

Stay tuned. More next week...

Interview conducted by Rebeccah Welch

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