Jackson Heights Life

Get Connected => Neighborhood Chat => Topic started by: Chuckster on December 02, 2007, 09:17:40 PM

Title: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Chuckster on December 02, 2007, 09:17:40 PM
I've recently read many articles on Jackson Heights being known primarily for its Indian community (little India) and shopping district.  Although the Colombian community as well as other latin american groups seem to have established themselves here years before the arrival of little India, I feel that sometimes the hispanic community's presence in the neighborhood seems to be overlooked.   This generally applies to many blogs as well, including the popular Chowhound.  In my opinion, Jackson Heights is represented by a wonderful array of many people; not just one group.  The yearly parades are proof of that.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: fishcado on December 04, 2007, 10:25:25 AM
Like the song goes, no one loves you when your brown and out, or is that down and out??   :2funny:

Yeah as a latino, you feel like you're invisible in JH.  Culinary cuisine is more than just the carts on Roosevelt Ave. Also, lots of other great food like Korean and  Filipino to name a few...
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Shelby2 on December 04, 2007, 01:23:08 PM
I would agree with this general sentiment as I see many blogs and short youtube films talking about Little India.  Jackson Heights seems to be known as an "Indian neighborhood" to those who have never visited, or have only visited 74th St.

But I'm curious, Chuckster, that you think that Chowhound is filled with this same idea.  As a fairly regular reader of that site, I definitely have seen many conversations about other types of food in JH, including Columbian, Burmese, Thai.  Is it that you think that more often than not, when there is a new inquiry about where to eat in the neigbhorhood that people are asking about Indian food?

I was pleasantly surprised when there was a spot on the 11pm news last week (channel 4 I think) talking about the diversity in Jackson Heights and they did not spend excessive amounts of time on 74th St.  They also interviewed a school-aged child who proudly told the names of all her friends and where they were all from (different countries) and they interviewed the Korean owner of the Italian deli.  They may have gone into Lety's as well - I can't remember all of it.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Chuckster on December 04, 2007, 03:47:27 PM
Is it that you think that more often than not, when there is a new inquiry about where to eat in the neigbhorhood that people are asking about Indian food?

Shelby, I should have been more specific in my original post.  According to popular media sources as well as many blogging sites, Jackson Heights seems to be primarily known for its Asian community.  I just don't see the concentration of focus on the large hispanic community that we have.

Fishcado, as crude as your comment seems, you're so right when you state that the hispanic culture and food go beyond the $2.00 taco trucks.  That seems to be the main focus when hispanic food is rarely discussed.  Hey, how about those huge plates of steak, chicken or fish, rice, beans, salad and plantains that go for less than $10.00?  How about the bowl of sancocho, a meal in a bowl for $4.00?  Now, that's a meal and an incredible deal!
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: sixj on December 04, 2007, 06:13:21 PM
On a somewhat related note, there is a good article about Jackson Heights' own Orlando Tobon of Orlando Travel in the Nov 26, 2007 issue of the New Yorker entitled "The Patron."
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: toddg on December 04, 2007, 11:53:03 PM
I think 74th Street gets a lot of attention because it really is a unique place, by virtue of a high concentration of businesses of a type you can't find too many places.  It's one very charasmatic block.  Although Little Columbia dwarfs 74th Street in scope, it lacks an equivalently unique place.  The unfortunate result is that sometimes the Manhattan-based media sometimes equates all of Jackson Heights with that block.

But I also see a lot of attention paid to the full range of our community's diversity, from the New Yorker's profile of Orlando Tobon (as just noted) to Seth Kugel's ode to Jackson Heights food (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/31/realestate/31cover.html) in the NY Times Real Estate section last year. 

In any case, we have a poll running on the best South American restaurant in the 'hood (http://www.jacksonheightslife.com/community/index.php?topic=119.0).  Not too many votes so far.  Please drop in and let us know what place do you like, and what you like to order.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Chuckster on December 05, 2007, 11:08:58 AM
Todd, I was one of the few that did vote.  La Nueva is my favorite at the moment, but with all the wonderful choices we have in the community, I'll most likely find a new favorite shortly.  I also read Seth's article on moving to the neighborhood for the food.  It was a great piece, but if I remember correctly, at that time, I wished he would have focused a bit more on the many hispanic restaurants we have, not just the taco trucks and Seba Seba.

I'll read the article again.  Thanks for linking.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: S.O.R.B. on December 05, 2007, 12:20:10 PM
I still think we could use better press.  Maybe an article about the history and the architecture and the gardens.  We already know you can eat like a king in the neighborhood, food and culture articles about JH are played out.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: JC2JH on December 05, 2007, 03:29:14 PM
This might be a bit off the topic of cuisine, but Jackson Heights has been gaining exposure on the CURBED real estate blog.  You can vote for JH in Curbed's "Neighborhood of the Year" competition:

http://curbed.com/archives/2007/12/05/curbed_cup_first_round_1_fidi_vs_16_jackson_heights.php#more


Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: toddg on December 05, 2007, 05:17:33 PM
Continuing where JC2JH left off, we're seeded #16, and are matched against the #1 seeded Financial District.  Visit the Curbed website and let them know all of the ways in which JH is the superior neighborhood! 
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: spaceboy on December 05, 2007, 07:36:15 PM
Curbed is getting ugly! Yikes! some guy has very strong feelings about Jackson Heights (and not in a nice way)
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: JD on December 05, 2007, 09:06:44 PM
Curbed is renown for its mean comments and Brooklyn-biased real-estate "experts". Anyone who considers the Financial District to be a top neighborhood is just kidding themselves. Jackson Heights may not be a top designation for prospective home-buyers, but neither is "FiDi".
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: NYCMacUser on December 05, 2007, 09:59:38 PM
This might be a bit off the topic of cuisine, but Jackson Heights has been gaining exposure on the CURBED real estate blog.  You can vote for JH in Curbed's "Neighborhood of the Year" competition:
Oh! G-d, don't do that. You'll end up with all the hipsters and trust-fund babies that are moving to Astoria and all the landlords who are jacking up all the rents and all the lousy eating places that come and go overnight. Shhhh. Don't tell a soul about JH.. Keep it a secret before you also get invaded.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: fishcado on December 06, 2007, 05:19:47 PM
You mean to tell me we don't have trust fund babies already in JH??  :2funny:
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: S.O.R.B. on December 12, 2007, 11:47:39 AM
we're infested with'em.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: worldwidedeb on January 10, 2008, 05:54:43 PM
Honestly, I think there has been an intentional effort by some people/groups to downplay the Colombian presence in Jackson Heights, due to the unfortunate public perception of "Colombian" being associated with "drug trade."
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: toddg on January 10, 2008, 06:46:23 PM
On one hand, any effort to describe a diverse community of 72,000 people will inevitably focus disproportionately on one facet while giving short shrift to the others.  That doesn't mean there is an intentional effort to hide any group.

On the other hand, you're probably right that some people have unfortunate associations with Colombia, but it is hopefully dissipating as the 1980s recede and the Colombian community puts down deeper roots here in NY.   I just don't think that association would be top on the mind of your average Joe or Jane anymore.  (For me personally, as an urban planner, when I think of Colombia, I think of Bogota's TransMilenio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TransMilenio) and bike network (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogota%27s_Bike_Paths_Network)!)
We certainly need more visible celebrations and explanations of the Colombian (and Ecuadorean and Peruvian) contributions to the neighborhood's culture, along the lines of the Seth Kugel article mentioned earlier. 

If anybody knows of any bloggers focusing on Queens Latino culture we can link to or get involved in this site, please let me know.  So far, the best I've seen is the Nueva York Guide (http://www.nuevayorkguide.com/nueva_york/queens/index.html).  I also love Junction Blvd. (http://junctionblvd.blogspot.com/), which celebrates the ethnic diversity of Corona and Elmhurst.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: toddg on January 10, 2008, 07:06:02 PM
As I see it, the dominant recent image of Jackson Heights in the media has primarily been as NYC's Diversity Capital (sometimes with a South Asian flavor, sometimes with a South American flavor, and sometimes with both).  But recently I've been noticing a new meme breaking into public consciousness: in a city where so many neighborhoods have been rendered unrecognizable by rampant development and rapid gentrification, Jackson Heights is a real neighborhood -- and people live here because they like that.

Witness:  In Time Out New York's review of the new anthology, Brooklyn Was Mine (http://gothamist.com/2008/01/04/authors_atlanti.php), the reviewer writes (http://www.timeout.com/newyork/articles/books/25289/brooklyn-was-mine):

Quote
Self-indulgence and creamy nostalgia also mar Phillip Lopate’s wonder-full introduction: Turns out that the “vanished ideal” of neighborhoods still exists in “a few places, such as…Brooklyn.” Just don’t tell that to people who live in Jackson Heights, or to members of the Wu-Tang Clan.

I think the reference to Wu-Tang Clan means some sort of Staten Island pride, but it's interesting that Jackson Heights was the one neighborhood mentioned by name as a counterexample to the idea that only Brooklyn has neighborhoods.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Chuckster on January 10, 2008, 11:52:53 PM
We certainly need more visible celebrations and explanations of the Colombian (and Ecuadorean and Peruvian) contributions to the neighborhood's culture, along the lines of the Seth Kugel article mentioned earlier.


A stroll along Roosevelt and 37th Avenues serves as testimony to the contributions that Hispanic Americans have made to the Jackson Heights community and its culture.  The myriad of heterogeneous shops and restaurants that co-exist is like non-other and is pretty amazing considering the "my country is better than yours" mentality that can sometimes be present behind closed doors.

As a kid growing up in the Bronx in the late 60s, my parents shopping options for ethnic products were quite limited.   Our basic pit stops on the weekends were La Marqueta in Spanish Harlem and a few shops along La Catorce (14th Street).  The real treat was when we ventured into Queens to visit the Dominican chicharron shops that were well-kept secrets in the mid 90s of Roosevelt Avenue.

I suppose I'm feeling a bit "self-indulgent" when I see Jackson Heights as a mecca of all things Latino.  Nonetheless, I am willing to share it will all nations!  ;)
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: elyaqim on August 18, 2008, 06:29:37 PM
A very funny thread (“Yeah so I visited Jackson Heights… (http://forums.ratedesi.com/showthread.php?t=273853)”) was started today on the bulletin board of RateDesi.com: The Desi Hot or Not Site by a young Indian-American (tamil_desi) who visited here last week from Pennsylvania. Opinions of our neighborhood seem to be either very positive or very negative with little in between, plus there’s also a suggestion we change the name, speculation about Jackson Heights: The Sitcom, a comment on our apartments, and amusing anecdotes, and the thread is fewer than twenty-four hours old. South Asian youths from around the globe are commenting on Jackson Heights! (There’s also a picture of the sadly demolished Chilli Chicken.)
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Shelby2 on August 18, 2008, 07:00:38 PM
A very funny thread (“Yeah so I visited Jackson Heights… (http://forums.ratedesi.com/showthread.php?t=273853)”) was started today on the bulletin board of RateDesi.com: The Desi Hot or Not Site by a young Indian-American (tamil_desi) who visited here last week from Pennsylvania. Opinions of our neighborhood seem to be either very positive or very negative with little in between, plus there’s also a suggestion we change the name, speculation about Jackson Heights: The Sitcom, a comment on our apartments, and amusing anecdotes, and the thread is fewer than twenty-four hours old. South Asian youths from around the globe are commenting on Jackson Heights! (There’s also a picture of the sadly demolished Chilli Chicken.)

I  took a quick look at the thread and thought this comment was funny:

jackson heights is good cuz of kabob king
other then that...its a bunch of aunties and uncles buying groceries
nd looking at jewelry
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: elyaqim on August 18, 2008, 07:21:52 PM
My favorite was…

Quote
i went to nyc last year....first thing my friends and i did was ask the cabbie where jackson heights was....after he told us...we told him to drive in the opposite direction
—T.DiMera

And because I just moved into an apartment here…

Quote
I have to go there whenever my mom wants to visit people or get some Indian groceries. It's always a drag. After visiting people's apartments in that area, it's always a relief to come back to the suburbs..
—EwLookItsYou

Brilliant!
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: KC on August 18, 2008, 07:38:33 PM
....... speculation about Jackson Heights: The Sitcom, a comment on our apartments, and amusing anecdotes, and the thread is fewer than twenty-four hours old.

Oh no!  I've had the sitcom idea for years!!! But rather than an apartment based theme, I imagined it would be based on the staff in my office in JH.   :D
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Jeffsayyes on August 18, 2008, 09:16:08 PM
the curbed article scares me. I am looking to buy an apt by next summer, I hope JH loses by a landside to the Financial District (what a joke!). please keep it on the DL.

and unfortunately, I have no trust fund.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: buddy on August 19, 2008, 01:35:35 PM
A very funny thread (“Yeah so I visited Jackson Heights… (http://forums.ratedesi.com/showthread.php?t=273853)”) was started today on the bulletin board of RateDesi.com: The Desi Hot or Not Site by a young Indian-American (tamil_desi) who visited here last week from Pennsylvania. Opinions of our neighborhood seem to be either very positive or very negative with little in between, plus there’s also a suggestion we change the name, speculation about Jackson Heights: The Sitcom, a comment on our apartments, and amusing anecdotes, and the thread is fewer than twenty-four hours old. South Asian youths from around the globe are commenting on Jackson Heights! (There’s also a picture of the sadly demolished Chilli Chicken.)

that site was so funny.  how did you find it?  I love where they type

el
oh
el

for LOL. 
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: elyaqim on August 23, 2008, 04:38:52 AM
Another great quote from that thread:
Quote from: desipride24o7
i hate jackson heights. i can't get the food to go down my throat. the music is annoying... and the smell...oh my gosh
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Griswold Girl on August 23, 2008, 11:27:04 AM
I hate all those anti trust funders comments which seem like veiled anti-white professionals comments.  Would you say something like the working class are not wanted?  Or immigrants are not wanted?  Or a certain type of race is not wanted?  Anyone is welcome in the neighborhood rich or poor, black or white, with children or without.  Diversity is what makes our neighborhood so great.  (-No, I am not a trust funder. However, it is interesting that if you look at the history of the community it was founded as an elitist neighborhood).

Buy now, if you are worried about raising rents.  It is a great time to buy.  There are one bedrooms for less than 200k around in the high eighties and nineties that anyone can afford so long as they have good credit and a working class income. Buy now or forever hold your peace.

I do think the neighborhood could absolutely improve in certain areas (Don't you want a bistro or bookstore?  Am I an elitist gentrifying trust funding ***** for suggesting that).  Is the farmer's market a bad thing?  Is Espresso 77 a bad thing?  Is sushi a bad thing?  All these things fit the criteria for "stuff white people like":
http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/

Are you boycotting these places?

I much rather stay in the neighborhood to do these things rather than go over to (yikes) Astoria or Manhattan.  I think there is room for all things in the neighborhood.

The fact of the matter is that you can't stop change.  That is what makes New York, New York.  The neighborhood will go through cyclical changes over the years.  Just look at Jackson Heights 80+ year history.


Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: spanky on August 23, 2008, 12:18:04 PM
Well said Griswold Girl.  We've beenliving here for thirty-five years and have seen lots of changes, some good and some bad, but this is a great place to live thanks to the wonderful diversity of people who live here.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Jeffsayyes on August 24, 2008, 11:47:28 AM
it's not anti-white professionals, it's anti people who want to bask in the scene du jour. wehn this crew gets in, big businesses take notice and then we have an ikea - like red hook. I love this neighborhood for what it is and I don't want to see it turn into any of the scene du jours that brooklyn has. walk along the water in williamsburg - it's coming. im not really anti-trust fund though, as long as they have good taste in architecture and food.

barnes and nobles is supposedly coming, right?
chipotle, applebees, and quiznos is a change I do not look forward to.

and I hate that stuff white people like site. its so spot on. especially that one about eating in a restaurant where you are the only white person....
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: lioninoil on August 24, 2008, 04:36:50 PM
just enjoy the neighborhood and stop kidding yourselves that this place will ever be like Williamsburg.


Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Griswold Girl on August 24, 2008, 05:56:26 PM
Big business is already here: Dunkin Donuts, Taco Bell, Burger King, Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond, Michael's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, White Castle, Wendy's, Rite Aid, CVS etc.. etc...  Those businesses don't come because there is a scene here.

I feel like some chain stores, especially fast food, thrive off of low income individuals and exploit them either through their labor or their health via crappy food at rock bottom prices. I think some professionals moving into the neighborhood would be good to support locally owned businesses and help to create new businesses other than banks and fast food chains.  Glad to see Tomo, glad to see Espresso 77.  Sad to hear that their is a CVS opening up at Northern and 88th (?)  Do we really need another chain drug store?
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: John Prester on August 24, 2008, 06:36:50 PM
I hate all those anti trust funders comments which seem like veiled anti-white professionals comments. 

Anti- "Trust funder" comments are indeed silly.  I really don't think anyone with a substantial trust fund would move to Jackson Heights, unless they want to add a few lines to their resume about how they "slummed it" for a couple years.  Funny thing is the yahoos that are most vocal in their anti-gentrification screeds are usually white anyways.

I much rather stay in the neighborhood to do these things rather than go over to (yikes) Astoria or Manhattan.  I think there is room for all things in the neighborhood.

Indeed.  I second that, and "put my money in the neighborhood" as much as possible.  Kazalas Paint Store can thank me for buying several hundred dollars worth of paint there instead of patronizing Home Creepo Depot.  The 2 crummy neighborhood wine shops can also be grateful that I'm a lazy lush, and buy from them when I don't have the time to go to Astor Wines for my weekly fix!

barnes and nobles is supposedly coming, right?
chipotle, applebees, and quiznos is a change I do not look forward to.

For a different perspective on this idea, check out this article in the LA Times about the conflict in Baldwin Park between 3rd and 4th generation Mexican Americans and recent arrivals from Mexico.  The 3rd/4th generation folks actually want such places, and are tired of check cashers, payday loan stores, and 50 stores selling quinceañera dresses, what they refer to as "amigo stores":

"We want what Middle America has as well," said the second-generation Mexican American, recounting the meeting. "We like to go to nice places like Claim Jumpers, Chili's and Applebee's. . . . We don't want the fly-by-night business, the 'amigo store,' which they use to attract Latinos like myself."

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-amigostores28-2008may28,0,982010.story

Big business is already here: Dunkin Donuts, Taco Bell, Burger King, Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond, Michael's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, White Castle, Wendy's, Rite Aid, CVS etc.. etc...  Those businesses don't come because there is a scene here.

I feel like some chain stores, especially fast food, thrive off of low income individuals and exploit them either through their labor or their health via crappy food at rock bottom prices.

I don't care for most of those places either, but they generally do their research first, and don't enter a neighborhood unless they are assured of making a profit by fulfilling a need. 

As for chain stores thriving off low income individuals, the recent ban on fast food restaurants in certain LA neighborhoods by the LA City Council comes to mind.  I think there's many underlying unspoken issues involved as well, if you read between the lines in the city council's action, but you won't read about these in the NY Times or "polite media".  Think: health care costs, and also think: nanny state, and the "lords" deciding what's best for those who really can't make proper decisions themselves! 

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/politics/cal/la-me-fastfood30-2008jul30,0,7844906.story
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Griswold Girl on August 24, 2008, 11:12:17 PM
John Prester-- thanks for the interesting articles.  Yummy food for thought.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: eddiestjohns on August 24, 2008, 11:47:07 PM
John Prestor & Griswold Girl both of you echo most of my sentiments
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Jeffsayyes on August 24, 2008, 11:52:43 PM
I don't care which generation wants it, I hate applebees and all of its siblings.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Aronan on August 25, 2008, 09:46:42 AM
The nice thing about Jackson Heights is there's room enough for the little coffee store that could and the evil coffee corporation. Barnes and Noble can sell their books right next to the Christian book store, Taco Bell can push their sorry excuse for tacos right across the street form Coatzingo if they want.

Jackson Heights is a great place, but I don't think it has the infrastructure to support a complete rebuilding like Williamsburg. Remember before Billysburg was the place to live it was full of factories, warehouses, and industrial buildings. The developers were able to convert all this space into whatever they could and eventually get top (or near top) dollar for it all.

Jackson Heights is a very well established residential neighborhood, complete with an Historic District that makes development very hard. This area is capped at a certain population, that limits the type and size of stores we'll ever see here. Barnes and Noble would already be here if they thought they could make a profit. As it is there's a B&N one stop away on Austin St. in Forrest Hills.

Of all the neighborhoods in NYC that have fallen prey to the evil "G" word, JH is likely to handle it's most recent renaissance with ease. Change is good, most of the time and I don't think we're going to go to sleep in lovely little JH one night and wake up in hipsterland the next morning. 
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: colonialcourter on August 25, 2008, 04:53:52 PM
Just wanted to chime in...I agree with Griswold Girl and John Prester's opinions as well. I'm closing next week on an apartment, and I'm very excited to move to the neighborhood. Do I have a trust fund? Not even close. I've been saving up for a down payment for 10 years.

Do I hope that JH one day gets a bookstore and bistro? You bet. Do I think JH will turn into Willamsburg? Not so much. But I do think JH will be a very different place 20 years from now. It really is one of the last nice semi-affordable neighborhoods left out there that still has great access to Manhattan. For that reason, I think it will always be an attractive place to live, but I'm also sure it's not going to have an overnight transformation.

Anyway, I've been lurking on this board for about 6 months now, and I'm happy to be a part of a well-articulated discussion such as this one.

Looking forward to more posts.


Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Griswold Girl on August 25, 2008, 08:17:14 PM
colonialcourter -- Welcome to the neighborhood.  Yes, I want to keep Indian, Columbian, Peruvian, Pizza Sam, Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, Tomo, Espresso 77,  and yes, hopefully a bookstore and bistro someday.  No, I don't it want it to be like Williamsburg either.  I burned my trucker hat like so 10 + years ago. 


Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: eddiestjohns on August 25, 2008, 10:34:42 PM
The nice thing about Jackson Heights is there's room enough for the little coffee store that could and the evil coffee corporation.

Evil coffee corporation ::)?
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: StevenGrey on August 26, 2008, 02:56:55 PM
Quote
Of all the neighborhoods in NYC that have fallen prey to the evil "G" word, JH is likely to handle it's most recent renaissance with ease. Change is good, most of the time and I don't think we're going to go to sleep in lovely little JH one night and wake up in hipsterland the next morning.

Why is it that certain people only see "gentrification" as one of society's evils?

Having lived in South Park Slope for a number of years before moving to Jackson Heights, I certainly do NOT feel that way. The gentrification that occurred while I lived in that neighborhood brought vast improvements to the quality of life for everyone living there... cleaner and safer streets, improved city services, higher quality shopping and dining options, and higher property values. I know this last item is the one that usually has all the "bleeding hearts" screaming about people being forced out of the neighborhood, but I simply didn't find that to be the case. Most existing homeowners were happy to sell their property for several times what they had paid, especially when many had done nothing to upkeep or improve their homes over the many years (in some cases, decades) that they had been living there. In virtually every case on my particular block, the new homeowners had to make a significant additional investment in their property (plumbing, electrical, structural, and aesthetic renovations), however, their investment not only increased the value of their property, but all of their neighbors' as well.

[The one significant downside to "gentrification" in this city is the seeming lack of community board oversight when it comes to overzealous developers. I DO believe that a neighborhood's character and architectural heritage need to be preserved, as I've stated in one or two other threads on this bulletin board.]
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Aronan on August 26, 2008, 06:48:13 PM

[The one significant downside to "gentrification" in this city is the seeming lack of community board oversight when it comes to overzealous developers. I DO believe that a neighborhood's character and architectural heritage need to be preserved, as I've stated in one or two other threads on this bulletin board.]


And therein lies the problem with gentrification. There is nothing wrong with neighborhoods developing for the better based in the individual contributions of the owners in that area. However there are cases where developers have gone overboard and pushed out any semblance of a community that was already there. When an area that is largely populated by poorer families in need of schools another community services suddenly becomes a hipster mecca that only trust fund babies or Russian millionaires can afford it's problematic.

The real problem however is perhaps with the word gentrification its self. It would be interesting to explore the roots of the word (any English teachers out there?) as I don't think it was meant to be a positive term. Community development, renaissance, chage etc. good terms gentrification seems to have a negative connotation.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: eddiestjohns on August 26, 2008, 08:42:38 PM
When an area that is largely populated by poorer families in need of schools another community services suddenly becomes a hipster mecca that only trust fund babies or Russian millionaires can afford it's problematic.


Russian millionaires? Elaborate.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Shelby2 on August 26, 2008, 09:58:18 PM
Russian millionaires? Elaborate.

You're Not Imagining that Russian Buying Spree (http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/youre-not-imagining-russian-buying-spree)
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: John Prester on August 27, 2008, 09:12:20 AM
You're Not Imagining that Russian Buying Spree (http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/youre-not-imagining-russian-buying-spree)

No need for Jackson Heights to worry:

"A few years ago we didn't see any Russians," Mr. Willkie says. "But now, especially at the high end of the market they are buying big apartments...so they are a significant factor."
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Aronan on August 27, 2008, 10:17:06 AM
Once upon a time Jackson Heights was a pretty Russian Neighborhood. But yes, no need to worry now, the millionaires won't be buying here . :)
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: StevenGrey on August 27, 2008, 11:13:46 AM
Quote
The real problem however is perhaps with the word gentrification its self. It would be interesting to explore the roots of the word (any English teachers out there?) as I don't think it was meant to be a positive term. Community development, renaissance, chage etc. good terms gentrification seems to have a negative connotation.

From Wikipedia:
The root of "gentrification", "gentry", derives from the Old French word genterise (a variant of gentilise), meaning the people of noble birth. Sociologist Ruth Glass coined the term in 1964 to mean the influx of wealthier individuals into cities or neighborhoods who replace working or lower-classes already living there. She defined it by using London districts such as Islington as her example: One by one, many of the working class quarters of London have been invaded by the middle-classes—upper and lower. Shabby, modest mews and cottages—two rooms up and two down—have been taken over, when their leases have expired, and have become elegant, expensive residences [...]. Once this process of 'gentrification' starts in a district it goes on rapidly until all or most of the original working-class occupiers are displaced and the whole social character of the district is changed. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines gentrification as "transformation of neighborhoods from low value to high value."

And now my thoughts:
So it DOES have a built-in negative connotation, although one must assume a radical liberal bias based on the word's origin. Oddly enough, when predominantly white middle-class families moved away from the cities and out to the suburbs, these same sociologists ALSO blamed them for the resulting urban decay via the phenomenon they called "white flight".
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Griswold Girl on August 27, 2008, 05:12:26 PM
it's not anti-white professionals, it's anti people who want to bask in the scene du jour. wehn this crew gets in, big businesses take notice and then we have an ikea - like red hook.

For the record-- I just have to say that I went to Ikea in Red Hook today and I had an awesome lunch of Swedish meatballs in creamy gravy with mashed potatoes and lingonberry sauce for $4.99.  The Red Hook elderly syndicate seemed to be thouroughly enjoying the cafeteria and it was packed.  The majority of shoppers at Ikea were not hipsters, there were a lot of minorities and elderly.  Yes, I did see a few hipster moms perusing the isles.  I asked a woman in the cafeteria if she gets health insurance, she said yes, you only have to work part-time to get full benefits.  I was really pleased as the majority of staff at Ikea were African American and Latino.  Obviously, Ikea has employed a lot of people in the neighborhood with goods jobs that have full benefits.

I wish they would build an Ikea here.  Although, I tend to support more mom and pop store businesses I have no problem supporting a corporation that treats their employees so well.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: buddy on August 27, 2008, 09:34:14 PM
I've been away so haven't been following this thread until now.

todd, you know I love these threads on the gentrification of Jackson Heights.  :2funny:

People, people, it's never going to happen on the scale of some Brooklyn neighborhoods because there aren't many large, as in factory type, spaces.  You need that to have the hipster factor because the artists and musicians move in first. 

Sorry to say just because E77 and Starbucks and the yogurt stores are here isn't gonna make that big a difference.  but ikea.... where would they fit?
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Griswold Girl on August 27, 2008, 09:36:28 PM
Ikea at Bulova Headquarters? he he he. Although, they would have to keep the amazing art deco decor.

I do think that the artists are here and they are coming.  They can't afford anywhere else.  That is what happens, Soho, East Village, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Long Island City, Red Hook then Jackson Heights?  I am not saying change will happen overnight or that we will be exactly like these other neighborhoods but yes, I think change is a comin!  More than a handful of artists in my building alone.  Have you looked at the rent for a loft in Williamsburg lately.  For-gedda-bout-it.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Shelby2 on August 27, 2008, 09:43:18 PM
How about LaGuardia Marine Air Terminal?

Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: buddy on August 27, 2008, 09:54:51 PM
Is Laguardia Marine terminal empty?  I'd love Ikea here.  I need to buy a coffee table to replace the one I took from my apartment to Conn.  Red Hook is sooooo very far away.   :)
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Shelby2 on August 27, 2008, 10:09:43 PM
Is Laguardia Marine terminal empty?  I'd love Ikea here.  I need to buy a coffee table to replace the one I took from my apartment to Conn.  Red Hook is sooooo very far away.   :)

No, it's not empty but it might be soon given the way the airline industry is going. . .
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Shelby2 on August 27, 2008, 10:10:54 PM
Is Laguardia Marine terminal empty?  I'd love Ikea here.  I need to buy a coffee table to replace the one I took from my apartment to Conn.  Red Hook is sooooo very far away.   :)

Where in CT?  There is a huge Ikea right next to I-95 in New Haven.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Aronan on August 27, 2008, 10:23:45 PM
I'm sure the Koppel family would be happy to give up one of their many lots along Northern Boulevard so we could have an Ikea, or a B&N, Home Deopt, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, etc.  Thats' about the only space in the area that could support any of those store and it would be a tight squeeze at that. Also, the Koppels are way to entrenched, good luck getting them to ever give up any land.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Jeffsayyes on August 27, 2008, 11:38:53 PM
ugh, please no Ikea. you guys really like that place? everything breaks after a year.
i do have a great cup and bowl from there though.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Aronan on August 28, 2008, 09:29:25 AM
Once in a blue you get a decent pieces of furniture or a shelf. But it's not worth having a Yellow and Blue Behemoth a few blocks away. 
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Miss Chatelaine on August 28, 2008, 12:02:20 PM
I'm sure the Koppel family would be happy to give up one of their many lots along Northern Boulevard so we could have an Ikea, or a B&N, Home Deopt, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, etc.  Thats' about the only space in the area that could support any of those store and it would be a tight squeeze at that. Also, the Koppels are way to entrenched, good luck getting them to ever give up any land.

I know it sounds crazy but I prefer all the car dealerships along Northern Blvd. to any kind of retail.  I am dreading the day they start turning into malls or super-stores of any sort.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: Aronan on August 28, 2008, 01:04:00 PM
When they replaced the Ronzoni Pasta Factory and the Gallo Wines warehouse with what is now Stop & Shop. Toys R Us, etc. over on Northern near 48th St. it seemed like an improvement., But I guess the increased traffic and pollution is a draw back.
Title: Re: Jackson Heights' Notoriety
Post by: buddy on August 28, 2008, 10:14:11 PM
Where in CT?  There is a huge Ikea right next to I-95 in New Haven.

hmmm, I'm between New Haven and East Haven near the water.  I'll go there and check them since it's so much easier to get around out here.  There's also a Home Goods near me and they have inexpensive small tables but I haven't found a coffe table yet.  I don't want to replace my furniture that's coming here with expensive stuff since eventually I'll live here full time and then I'll have to deal with it.  I'd rather have it cost less, last a few years and then dump it.

I like Ikea better than bo design and west elm.  I wouldn't mind any of them near Jackson Heights though.  I don't like the few furniture stores in our area at all.  Looks like plastic.