Jackson Heights Life

Get Connected => Neighborhood Chat => Topic started by: lrh2309 on May 31, 2019, 03:55:01 PM

Title: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: lrh2309 on May 31, 2019, 03:55:01 PM
Hi all, we are interested in looking at some of the neighborhood co-ops with private gardens. I have heard that some are more family-friendly than others. Does anyone have advice or experience with this? Thank you in advance.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: ljr on May 31, 2019, 04:51:41 PM
Every coop development has a different policy, so you will have to do a good bit of research. There is one thing you must understand and that is there have to be certain rules in shared gardens because for one thing, there are liability issues. For example, in our complex children are allowed to play on the grass but no ball playing is ever allowed, because someone could get hurt, and then all of us could get sued. It happened once that a father holding an infant was hit by a ball thrown by an older child. The baby could have been hit instead of the dad--it's just dangerous, and because we don't want to have to police every single type of ball, we ban any and all balls from the garden, as well as bike riding or putting furniture on the grass--the latter because we want the grass to remain healthy.

Plus--it's a shared space, and the rules must be there to protect everyone's interests, not just families with children. It's a garden and not a playground, and there are many residents who might want to work or read or just relax in quiet in the garden, and they have just as much of a right to quiet enjoyment of the garden as parents do to play with their kids in the garden.

That said, the children do run around and play, and parents relax on the grass with their kids, have picnics, etc, and it's a wonderful thing. The biggest issue we have is that the kids tend to scream a lot as they run around, and that bothers a lot of residents. So there is an effort to get parents to tell their kids to keep it down. Also, kids are not to trample on the flowers or climb the trees, for reasons that should be obvious. We try to accommodate everyone's needs while keeping the garden in beautiful shape, with professional help. I understand there are coops that are looser with garden rules, and also still one or two that ban access to the grass entirely. I think our policies are great and result in the most value for everyone. Also in our complex, each house has its own patio area, and those are not subject to the garden regulations, for example, you can have a party in your own patio area and you can barbecue--things you can't do in the shared garden.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: carrefour_ny on May 31, 2019, 05:07:31 PM
Ljr's summary is pretty accurate. It varies quite a bit from building to building, so it's best to ask and research the specific complex you're interested in.

Some specific tips: Dunolly Gardens is pretty open to garden use (theirs is more of a park); the Belvedere even has a playground. Elm Ct or Linden Ct keep their gardens for visual enjoyment.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: JHMNY on May 31, 2019, 05:45:44 PM
Some specific tips: Dunolly Gardens is pretty open to garden use (theirs is more of a park);

I bumped into a friend earlier today who lives at the Dunolly Gardens. He did mention that they have a liberal garden policy. His apartment windows face the garden, so he was complaining about noise, particularly while children are playing.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: bellabella on May 31, 2019, 06:45:09 PM
There is a building on 85 Street between 37/35th avenue across from Roosevelt Terrace that appears child friendly. They have a large outdoor playspace with lot's of ride on toys and I believe some benches.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: earbears on May 31, 2019, 09:51:06 PM
The playground is part of Roosevelt Terrace Coop. We upgraded the playground 2 years ago with a super structure and a rubber floor. There are extra toddler toys that are brough out for the warm weather. It is a fenced area and only shareholders have the key. It is a very safe and great place for kids to play. There are benches for parents and kids.

BTW I raide my son in the coop and is was really great. BTW, each apartment has a terrace.

Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: itsit on June 01, 2019, 01:00:33 PM
 If you look back some years ago on JH Life, you will see that this idea of kids playing in the
private gardens was thought to NEVER be able to change. BUT it has! And there are many co-ops
that are kid friendly now. This increases our usable park space by a lot even though these spots
are only open to the residents and their guests, it impacts the park usage as a whole. Along with
the new Travers, the IS145 play area, the St. Marks area, the playgrounds near Junction - Louis
Armstrong school and the area behind PS94? on 34th Ave, the small play field on 34th and 74th,
we have lots of smaller areas now to get outside. Are they perfect? No, but we have lots of choices
and continue to make new ones.

  Noted - the new elementary school on 34th has a rooftop play space which is pretty popular
in Manhattan.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: abcdefghijk on June 01, 2019, 02:02:19 PM
I live in a garden apartment building.

What I have noticed since I got here, is that just as most apartment owners are becoming more kids-focused, so is the garden.

And parents with kids have more sway in creating the rules now.

When I first got here it was seniors rule.  But that's changed as seniors move on and the majority of apartments now belong to younger families.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: StevenGrey on June 01, 2019, 02:26:33 PM
In the 12 years I've lived in JH, it is true that many of the coops have relaxed the garden rules with respect to children playing and activities allowed. That being said, most coops would still like to keep the gardens well-maintained and peaceful for all of the surrounding residents. Therefore, there are usually restrictions again allowing children to play unsupervised as well as rules pertaining to noise.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: rhydewithdis on June 01, 2019, 03:11:08 PM
Just wanted to point out (and I love JH, having lived there many years) - another very family friendly community is Sunnyside (and borderline Woodside) especially if you are in the zone to join Sunnyside Gardens Park. It is a private park and for a fee, you get access to probably the most amazing place in the five boroughs that parents/kids could have regular access to.
Our three year old can run around there without us having to keep an eye on him like a hawk because there is only one entrance/exit, closed gate and usually a parent volunteer manning it.
Organized sporting activities for kids (soccer, T-ball, basketball), one night to overnight camp in the park and enough BBQ's to use anytime.
Plus, you can enjoy some wine without getting any negative stares (just no glass or glass bottles pls!) =)

https://sunnysidepost.com/sunnyside-gardens-park-membership-in-high-demand
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: dssjh on June 01, 2019, 03:21:23 PM
i think you're right about the changing demographics, and while i'm between the two generations, i totally welcome the move towards an environment that's more welcoming to children -- and more *fun*.

i only wish my building (which only has a small back garden) would relax its rules. the board (none of them seniors) is very uptight.

I live in a garden apartment building.

What I have noticed since I got here, is that just as most apartment owners are becoming more kids-focused, so is the garden.

And parents with kids have more sway in creating the rules now.

When I first got here it was seniors rule.  But that's changed as seniors move on and the majority of apartments now belong to younger families.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: theplanesland on June 03, 2019, 10:32:02 AM
The Towers also has some swings in their yard.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: katieb718 on June 04, 2019, 09:54:05 PM
Hi Everyone,

Just to let you know that Dunnoly Gardens and its garden is not a park.  It is a garden, open for everyone and not a playground, either.  Lately there has been a bit of upset over the amount of noise that can occur when people treat it like a park or playground and not a garden. It is the noise that is the issue, not the kids. 
All of us are proud of the diversity in every aspect including age and are proud that so many young families are attracted to Dunnoly but - no matter what some real estate people may say, or no matter what is posted here -it is not a playground or a park. We try very hard to respect everyone's right to enjoy their homes as well as their outdoor space and are struggling to deal with the upset when the noise levels (no matter who is making the noise) or the amount of people gathering and climbing in trees or running through the flower beds and landscaping or having parties that spill into the gardens really gets out of hand.  So please, all are welcome, come but remember to be considerate of all of the neighbors.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: Bill on June 07, 2019, 02:15:15 PM
The sound of children playing in the garden has never bothered me. Adults shouting on cell phones and joggers using the garden path as their personal track, running around and around under my windows, are another matter.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: ljr on June 10, 2019, 03:13:12 PM
The noise of children playing can become really unpleasant if the playing involves screaming--as it often does--and large groups of older children.  It's not just the pitter patter of little feet and voices.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: Bill on June 10, 2019, 09:56:58 PM
When we moved into a coop building with a garden 20 years ago, our daughter was 8 years old. In those days, there were very few children. When she and a friend her age would go out in the garden, walking around mainly whispering to each other, some of the older residents would shout out their windows telling them to get off the grass and go home. As I become one of the "older residents" myself, I much prefer the noise today to that. When it comes to the joggers, however, I may start shouting out my window.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: mkn567 on June 11, 2019, 03:02:34 PM
The noise of children playing can become really unpleasant if the playing involves screaming--as it often does--and large groups of older children.  It's not just the pitter patter of little feet and voices.

Unfortunately parents, especially in clusters, don't understand that. They acquire this entitled and mob mentality of "well it's just children being children and if you don't like it too bad because we're on the board." They completely forget that children running around in the backyard wasn't the norm, and arguably shouldn't be.

 
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: abcdefghijk on June 11, 2019, 03:06:49 PM
I am curious whether the older complaining folks were ever children?

And how come they have completely forgotten what fun it is to be a child?

When they were young were children seen but never heard? Was that the rule then?
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: petegart on June 11, 2019, 03:22:30 PM
Here in the Greystones (west garden) there are many young families with kids.  As someone who moved here in 2008, the laughing, playing children are a joy to hear.
Most of the old timers have either left, or they are now resigned to the fact that people want to use the garden and will use it. 
Almost daily people set out blankets, relax, let the kids run around, and the world is still turning. 
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: ljr on June 11, 2019, 03:30:11 PM
Not talking about normal amounts of noise attending children at play. Most people--even the much maligned older ones--understand that children will not be totally quiet at all times, and there will be noise. It's out of control screaming for long periods of time that people object to--and I agree with them on that. Would you say that children should be able to make as much noise as they want in the public library? That is another place where there are rules about noise so that others using the library won't be bothered by loud talking, laughing, or in this case--screaming. Would you say that because we all were children once, that children should be free to scream their lungs out in the public library? These arguments are silly, IMO--of course there are rules for a shared garden and there is no reason why they cannot address noise levels.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: abcdefghijk on June 11, 2019, 03:48:13 PM
Not talking about normal amounts of noise attending children at play. Most people--even the much maligned older ones--understand that children will not be totally quiet at all times, and there will be noise. It's out of control screaming for long periods of time that people object to--and I agree with them on that. Would you say that children should be able to make as much noise as they want in the public library? That is another place where there are rules about noise so that others using the library won't be bothered by loud talking, laughing, or in this case--screaming. Would you say that because we all were children once, that children should be free to scream their lungs out in the public library? These arguments are silly, IMO--of course there are rules for a shared garden and there is no reason why they cannot address noise levels.

The trouble with being a child, I suppose, is that before you know it, you're old and cranky.

I would say, instead of complaining about kids having fun screaming, scream along with them with some joy. I think psychologically, it might do old folks some good.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: Beherenow on June 11, 2019, 05:19:48 PM
I'm in one of the garden co-ops that changed the rules and gradually allowed kids more freedom. Lately a bunch of new young families have moved in and sometimes it is a real problem. Some residents (like me) often want to sit and enjoy a quiet conversation or read but there are times when a swath of the property is covered with screaming kids with no adult supervision. I understand kids want to play and yell, but it's wrong to criticize "old folks" (and other folks) for wanting peace in a shared space that is an amenity they are paying for...Finding a balance has been very difficult.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: Donna on June 11, 2019, 06:31:15 PM
What these parents need to understand is that it is a garden, not a playground, also by law we are all entitled a peaceful existence where we live. Many people who may not be well have to listen to incessant screaming. I liven Hawthorne Court and although the garaden rules cite no screaming, it goes on for hours. Travers is now open, take the kids there to let off steam instead of being selfish and allowing your child to go on and on screaming.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: ljr on June 11, 2019, 09:18:52 PM
Alphabet person: funny that you quoted my message but did not address the point I made. Saying that children screaming is fine and normal and and gee, why don't we all just stop being "old and cranky" and scream along with them--well, that's kind of a ridiculous remark. (I didn't want to use the word "stupid," which is what I was thinking.)
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: hfm on June 11, 2019, 11:37:53 PM
It seems like this all boils down to people not having any respect that they don't exist in this world in a bubble and there's others around that deserve consideration. I think zero tolerance might be going overboard, but as well the amount of parents I see having zero regard that people exist outside of the confines of their kids and themselves is rather high. Yes I understand it's hard. That doesn't make it right. Every time a parent literally uses their stroller as a weapon to brandish like they own the sidewalk or wherever they are pushing it is infuriating. We all just need to be considerate. Maybe some hours of the day where it's ok? Like 12-5 or something? Of course just because it's 12-5 doesn't mean "make all the noise you feel like". There's got to be a way.

Maybe this is why things like the park exist. Why not just use that instead of potentially making all your neighbors hate you for creating noise where the expectation is tranquility?
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: ljr on June 12, 2019, 11:05:19 AM
hfm--Exactly and well put! I've spoken to longtime residents of our coop who said that when their kids were little, garden access was restricted so they just took the kids to the public park and what is the big deal? It was fine. I've also spoken to people who said they refused to buy in one of the garden coops when they found out that garden rules prohibited playing on the grass (at that time) which they found outrageously restrictive and somehow offensive. The idea was--if I can't do whatever I like in the coop garden, then I don't want to live here at all. Which seems crazy to me. The garden is a gorgeous amenity that everyone can enjoy if the rules are followed to the benefit of all. And yes, it is a garden--not a playground or, as some refer to it, a backyard.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: dssjh on June 12, 2019, 11:55:27 AM
hfm--Exactly and well put! I've spoken to longtime residents of our coop who said that when their kids were little, garden access was restricted so they just took the kids to the public park and what is the big deal? It was fine. I've also spoken to people who said they refused to buy in one of the garden coops when they found out that garden rules prohibited playing on the grass (at that time) which they found outrageously restrictive and somehow offensive. The idea was--if I can't do whatever I like in the coop garden, then I don't want to live here at all. Which seems crazy to me. The garden is a gorgeous amenity that everyone can enjoy if the rules are followed to the benefit of all. And yes, it is a garden--not a playground or, as some refer to it, a backyard.

i understand what you're saying in a way, and i get that rules are there for a reason and should be respected. but you're also implying that one person's definition of "enjoying" should apply across the board. if you're a young family, you might not "enjoy" having a garden that's there to be looked at, but never used the way you'd like to use it. walking away from that isn't crazy at all.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: abcdefghijk on June 12, 2019, 01:45:14 PM
Alphabet person: funny that you quoted my message but did not address the point I made. Saying that children screaming is fine and normal and and gee, why don't we all just stop being "old and cranky" and scream along with them--well, that's kind of a ridiculous remark. (I didn't want to use the word "stupid," which is what I was thinking.)

Your inner joyful child is yearning to be set free. It has been imprisoned for endless decades and the poor kid is crying out for fun. That kid is not stupid or ridiculous. He/she is pleading to be heard. Listen to your inner child.   Scream and laugh loud and clear. Before it's too late!
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: Shelby2 on June 12, 2019, 02:04:36 PM
Alphabet person: funny that you quoted my message but did not address the point I made. Saying that children screaming is fine and normal and and gee, why don't we all just stop being "old and cranky" and scream along with them--well, that's kind of a ridiculous remark. (I didn't want to use the word "stupid," which is what I was thinking.)

Your inner joyful child is yearning to be set free. It has been imprisoned for endless decades and the poor kid is crying out for fun. That kid is not stupid or ridiculous. He/she is pleading to be heard. Listen to your inner child.   Scream and laugh loud and clear. Before it's too late!

Thank goodness I don't live in a building with a lot of screaming children and/or screaming adults in the garden. I would move out right away, and really hope I could find a buyer who would want to buy an apartment that looks out into a garden where screaming is allowed and encouraged. (Doubtful)
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: hum@njukebox1 on June 12, 2019, 02:09:06 PM
Another part of the equation is that the co-op buildings themselves act as a megaphone and amplify the sound coming from the garden and the street.  I've lived in the Greystones for 10 years with very few noise issues coming from the garden.  However, the past two weekends, there has been a little girl in the garden, screaming at the top of her lungs for long periods of time.......30 to 40 minutes at a stretch.  It's simply far too much for anyone to endure.  And I doubt the rest of the residents in my building would appreciate me screaming along.
Title: Re: Family-friendly co-op gardens in Jackson Heights
Post by: abcdefghijk on June 12, 2019, 04:39:31 PM
Ok. I'll stop being an agent provocateur riling up the old folks by pointing out their "screaming inner child".

The fact that these Jackson Heights historical gardens exist in the city of New York will never cease to astonish me. They are wondrous. And usually spaces like these are reserved for only the very wealthy. Not for the middle class New Yorker... which is the case here.

And those of us in historic garden apartments are extremely lucky to have them.  Regardless of the occasional child having fun.