SUMMERING ON PARKSIDE

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Believe it or not, wealthy 18th-Century Manhattanites once considered the pastoral expanse of Flatbush – and PLG in particular –  to be a prime spot for tranquil summer cribs.  Remarkably, former Loyalist NYC mayor David Mathews (served between 1776-1783)  would often bounce to a little sugar shack at the corner of  Parkside and Flatbush when he needed a breather from the taxing bustle of Manhattan.

From Wikipedia:

“Mathews lived in Manhattan but maintained a summer residence in Flatbush, located approximately at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Parkside Avenue, and where he conducted much of his business while Mayor.”

He summered on Parkside and Flatbush!

But it wasn’t all single malts, slattern groping and porch naps at Dave’s PLG crash pad. Matthews was suspected of involvement in a plot to whack then General George Washington and got collared by an old school extraction team of Patriot forces right there on Parkside on June 22 1776!

From ephemeralnewyork.com:

“But someone squealed, and at 1 a.m. on June 22, 1776, Patriot troops surrounded Matthews’ Flatbush home and brought him to jail.” Just visualize that shit next time you emerge from the Q Parkside Station.

 

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But the charges never stuck and the crafty PLG veteran eventually was allowed to resume his mayoralty by the Brits before leaving office in 1783.

The scurrilous limey-lover managed to score a plaque at a Bronx park because of his term in office – but his official bio on the city website trashes him as a “thief, an embezzler, and a spendthrift.”

But he wasn’t without his charms. After he managed to escape from custody while on parole, a wanted poster begrudgingly acknowledged his rakish appeal:

"He is well made, about 6 feet high, short brown hair, about 39 years old, and has a very plausible way of deceiving people

PLG thug emeritus David Matthews gets an eternal hood pass from Flatbushed.com.

 

Note: The picture is of some unidentified spot in Flatbush back in Dave’s era, not the actual Parkside and Flatbush intersection.

7 Comments

  • Bob Marvin
    3.26.2015

    Please keep posts like this coming; I learned a lot from this one. Thank you.

  • admin
    3.26.2015

    The layers of history in PLG and Flatbush are just staggering Bob and I definitely plan on drumming up a lot of similar posts. Thanks for reading.

  • Joyce David
    4.14.2015

    Not sure if I’m reading fact or fiction, based on your calling it “revisionist history” and your “About” info. Hope it’s true – I really prefer fact to fiction.

  • admin
    4.14.2015

    Rest assured Joyce it’s entirely true! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. More en route so please visit often and boost our self-esteem.

  • admin
    4.14.2015

    Thanks to your kindly nudge Joyce we’ve Windexed our dated “About” page to better reflect the humble objectives here at Flatbushed.com. To be clear, no fictions here – just gritty truths. Thanks again and hope to hear from you in the future.

  • Jo
    4.19.2015

    Love these stories. Bravo!

  • Sarlls
    8.2.2015

    It’s all true about Mathews – one of the true scoundrels and rascals on the British side and an unexpected part of the rich history of Revolutionary War Flatbush, including the nearby Battle of Long Island, one of the most important of the entire war

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