Sunset Parker rallies the nabe with parade of flags

Raising the red flag: Sunset Parker Junior Allende says his banners around the neighborhood’s eponyous park celebrate cultural diversity and call attention to forces that threaten to flood the area with yuppies.
Brooklyn Paper
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He’s raising a red flag.

A Sunset Parker has lined the Fifth Avenue entrance of Sunset Park proper with Latin American flags and signs urging locals unite against the yuppies that threaten to invade the nabe. The installation celebrates Sunset Park’s cultural diversity and aims to rally locals against gentrification, which threatens to displace the neighborhood’s cultural identity, according to the concerned local behind the display.

“Sunset Park is a diverse neighborhood, which is a beautiful thing,” said longtime Sunset Parker Junior Allende. “But I hear people in my community being forced out, and they feel there is nobody speaking up for them. So this stands to unite the Latino community, unite Sunset Park.”

Since mid-April, Allende has put up more than a dozen flags. Banners from a handful of Latin American countries including Venezuela, Mexico, and Argentina wave in the breeze over Fifth Avenue. He adds one or two each week, picking up the flags from various corner stores for about $5 each.

The inspiration struck when the 30-year-old began hearing more and more stories from nervous neighbors afraid of being booted from Sunset Park now that a wave of development is sweeping the area.

“People are afraid,” said Allende, whose parents migrated from Puerto Rico to Brooklyn in the ’70s. “So, I’m basically putting it out there that we have to unite, and stay strong. We can’t give in to people trying to come into our community and buy us out. We have to stick together.”

The ensigns are wired to the chain link fence bordering the thoroughfare, along with signs in English and Spanish proclaiming, “Our community is not for sale” and “Sunset Park unite.”

Perched on a hill, the flags can be spotted from blocks away and have become something of an icon for locals.

“It’s like a symbol of solidarity,” said Sunset Parker Catalina Camilia, who regularly hikes up to the park with her one-year-old son. “There’s something really comforting — with all the changes going on in the neighborhood — about seeing flags from our different groups together. I like the message.”

And Parks Department workers seem to agree — leaving the installation untouched.

The flags cut through language barriers and serve as a universal symbol for Sunset Park, said Allende.

“You don’t need to speak a certain language to understand a flag,” he said. “They give people hope.”

Allende is slowly making his way through different regions of the world, but started with Latin American since the nabe is dominated by locals with roots in that part of the world.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 5:59 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
As long as he puts up an American flag, too, he's got my support.
April 28, 2017, 1:42 pm
Cassandra says:
If he misses Puerto Rico so much, why doesn't he just go back there?
April 28, 2017, 6:50 pm
Dara from Brooklyn Heights says:
Sort of United Nations style. This guy is keeping NYC from floating into inflation outer space.
April 28, 2017, 8:34 pm
Karen from Park Slope says:
United Nations style would mean encouraging other races to participate.
April 29, 2017, 8:59 am
Morris from Mill Basin says:
I applaud Junior, but as a senior citizen, I've learned that there are better ways to handle invading yuppies than just putting up flags.

The best way I've found to handle them -- and one reason yuppies have never invaded my neighborhood, Mill Basin -- is to kill these yuppies.

My preferred method: Boil a yuppie to death.

First, strip the yuppie naked and then throw him or her into a cauldron full of boiling liquid, or cold liquid which is then heated to the point of boiling.

Sometimes I liked to control the speed of boiling by raising and lowering the yuppie to the cauldron using a system of ropes.

The liquid used could be water, oil, tar, acid, wax, wine or even molten lead.

A painful death is was caused by severe scalding caused by the boiling liquid, gradually destroying the yuppie's skin, fatty tissues, exposed muscles and eventually forming breaches in major arteries and veins.

An alternative to boiling can be performed using a large shallow pan containing boiling oil -- given that they're yuppies, you can "ironically" use an oil that yuppie restaurants love to use -- effectively frying the yuppie to death.

Junior, that is how you can keep yuppies from invading Sunset Park.
April 29, 2017, 12:49 pm
Kendrick from Bed Stuy says:
Mr Allende is right. Next thing Sunset Park knows is white women led by Madonna are marching through with their genitals on their heads. Their vulgarity and shouting about diversity are designed to distract from exercising their superiority. They're coming for your homes. Defend yourselves, Sunset Park!
April 29, 2017, 3:03 pm
Honeycita from Sunset says:
He smells so bad! I think he just stands there farting all day long!
April 29, 2017, 4:29 pm
Part-time yuppie says:
When faced with such a lady, simply say 'organic needs to be affordable to make an impact, ——.'
April 29, 2017, 8:25 pm
Fred from Windsor Terrace says:
Very strange way to protect cultural diversity-- by keeping out people (White in this case) -- that don't look like you. This isn't something anyone should celebrate or write approving articles about. It is simply discrimination.

Allende, your neighborhood is changing. Find a way to deal with it productively; not be retreating into a racist call to exclusion.
April 30, 2017, 3:43 pm
Tooty from Staten Island says:
Why is this butthurt guy just standing there looking all butthurt about his butthurt problems? I hate to say it, but who cares everytime some butthurt goes around waving his my butt hurts flag? Get some butt lotion and calm down!
I know where he's coming from - but here in Staten we've just accepted the hipsters. It's part of living on Staten Island now - you deal with the 'sters (as we call them). You don't just go around flagging your butthurt!
May 2, 2017, 3:51 am
Preka from Sunset Park says:
It was racism when whites wouldn't sell to Latinos in Sunset Park many decades ag9, they were eventually forced out. It was all racism when whites tried to stop the Chinese from invading 8th avenue. Everyone said nothing would change, 8th avenue is a third world sewer now.
When whites move in its all good standing there with flags from PR and other countries. Racist.
This guy can't keep what he doesn't own, go out and buy your property this way you don't have to move if you don't want to.
May 8, 2017, 9:40 pm
Original Brooklyn Knight from Sunset Park says:
Sunset Park natives Brooklyn natives
New York City Natives UNITE !!!
May 9, 2017, 1:21 pm

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