Author Topic: Growing Farm  (Read 8665 times)

Offline abcdefghijk

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Re: Growing Farm 76-31 37th Ave shuttered
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2018, 06:05:35 PM »
jeanette - My post was written in clear language that stated what I know is just what I've heard - some information gathered while talking to people on the block (and hearing from a credible source). For fear of repercussions to anybody involved, I don't want to give names since what I'm discussing is just what I've heard. My further writing was a personal reflection/commentary on the situation in the case that this is true.

abcdefghijk - I understand your apprehension towards a new poster, however I've been a member of the site for almost one year and simply haven't posted until now. The recency of my membership to this site does not bear on the veracity of my input in this community discussion. The beauty of El Rico Tinto was that it catered to all in the neighborhood, including new comers/gentrifiers, without compromising on its authenticity. Perhaps I could've been more clear in my first post that I simply was conveying information that I had found while looking for answers.

ljr - Thank you for being forthright and sharing your knowledge - I wanted to start a conversation and that has happened. My commentary was based on that information I heard, which is clearly not all wrong if you have corroborated the complaints from the co-op. I am happy to know that the complaints weren't directed towards ERT, though the landlord may have pinned the problem on them. Alternatively, the problem could be a rent increase, as you stated, or something else entirely. I do hope that we can find out the full story soon.

I would appreciate being welcomed in this discussion, since like all of us, I care deeply about the neighborhood and its future. All of us sense that change is afoot, and I expressed my fears - fears that might have led me to misinterpret this situation, but that are nonetheless not unfounded.

I believe that telling tales about disharmony between Gringos and non-Gringos is never a positive stance.

I believe that open dialogue on very real issues, though uncomfortable for some, can be a positive tool that brings about discourse and may clear up misunderstandings.

To reiterate, like all those involved, I care deeply about the neighborhood and hope that all residents (both current and future; "gringo" and "non-gringo" because those two are not mutually exclusive) can respect the spirit of JH. And yes, IMO, it may entail discussing accounts of disharmony that shouldn't be disregarded.

From what I can read, you appear to be fabricating a link between what you may have heard into action against these establishments.  I think your conjecture is incorrect. There is a very big difference between what folks like and what they do.

To associate the two in your mind...merely fans the flames of a non-existent fire.

Offline hagsrus

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Re: Growing Farm 76-31 37th Ave shuttered
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2018, 07:59:45 PM »
Touched by the little notes people have left on the shutter at Growing Farm.

It must have been very sudden. Everything looked normal the day before. I wonder what's happened to the fruit and veg?

Offline Jeffsayyes

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Re: Growing Farm 76-31 37th Ave shuttered
« Reply #32 on: September 24, 2018, 09:00:53 PM »
Heart broken that ERT and GF are gone..
I heard that in the case of ERT, the co-op behind the stores (including a well-connected resident of the building) have been filing continuous complaints against the business because they were unhappy with their garbage practices. These complaints reached the landlord, and after legal action ERT has been locked out - and I hear the landlord doesn't want them back. IMO, if their outside practices were analogous to their inside practices, they always kept a very clean and orderly restaurant/cafe.

If true, this is a textbook example of what happens when a neighborhood gentrifies. Well-heeled new comers are investing in properties here with the expectation of changing the neighborhood to their tastes rather than embracing it. I have encountered people who have recently moved here from UES and complained about certain places being too "ethnic". I just hope that this is not how the majority of newcomers feel and that such complaints (like those made by the co-op in question) remain reasonable.
It is important to realize this is not just affecting store owners, but also people who work and live here that consider these establishments as community hubs.


Sorry but if anything, Rico Tinto was gentrifying the neighborhood. I believe it is the only Colombian or Mexican restaurant that far west and it was more expensive than others (although still very reasonable). Just bc they are not born here (I have no idea if they are or not, but I try not to just blanket "white") does not mean they cannot gentrify. Flushing is incredibly gentrified by... not whites. SO are you mad at gentrification or just white people?

Offline Maple

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Re: Growing Farm 76-31 37th Ave shuttered
« Reply #33 on: September 24, 2018, 10:47:37 PM »
Such bad news! Growing Farm is my go-to fruit and vegetable store. I was just there the other day, and I didn't notice anything amiss. The cashiers are always friendly, even though the cat isn't. I hope that they and El Rinco Tinto, another favorite place-- the best empanadas, always fresh sweet bready treats-- will be coming back.

That the landlord is a corporation in Arizona is ominous. Does anyone know who owned these buildings previously?

Offline pajarita

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Re: Growing Farm 76-31 37th Ave shuttered
« Reply #34 on: September 24, 2018, 11:02:23 PM »
Maple - According to the online records I linked before, that corporation has owned the building since 1977, so records before then will be difficult to access.

Jeffsayyes - I understand your claim that ERT was a gentrifying force, but I fundamentally disagree since the business catered to the neighborhood as it is, not to a clientele it wished for. All people in the neighborhood could be seen there and the atmosphere made people feel welcome.

My original statement has been misconstrued: nowhere did I state or imply that white people were the ones to blame for their closing. As neighbors, we all contribute to and shape our neighborhood through our actions. I am against those who act to change the neighborhood into something they want it to be without consideration for (or inclusion of) the existing residents and cultures of Jackson Heights. These considerations are particularly relevant given the existing links between race, class, and power that have so indelibly shaped the history of New York and the country as a whole.

To answer your question clearly: I am upset only with gentrifiers acting in bad faith (as defined in the above statement).

Finally at this point, I realize that my commentary on gentrification, at large, maybe tangential to this particular thread. However, I feel that it was important to voice it in a broad setting. Most on the thread believe the closing of ERT is due solely to a rent increase, so I chimed in with information I gathered. The co-op complaints I spoke of were verified, though supposedly directed at the landlord rather than the business as I originally heard. Regardless, my source directly linked these complaints to the closing of the establishment. This, like all the other information we know about the situation thus far, is conjecture. Let's hope we can get closer to the truth.

Offline dotley

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Re: Growing Farm 76-31 37th Ave shuttered
« Reply #35 on: September 25, 2018, 10:13:04 AM »
Does anyone have any ideas as to how we can find out if the cat is or is not inside the store?  I am concerned.

Offline lindsey

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Re: Growing Farm 76-31 37th Ave shuttered
« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2018, 12:11:48 PM »
El Rico Tinto was a beautiful place. I met a lot of my Jackson Heights neighbors there. I remember sitting down for coffee one time and ending up in a long conversation with an older man about his first-hand experience with the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Another time--same thing, coffee and a conversation that ending up going for hours--with a woman who had been a go-go dancer back in the day. It was my favorite place to grab a cookie with the kids after school, and take my parents when they were visiting from out of town. The owner was friendly and would always give us updates about his daughter. And the food was so creative, fresh, and affordable.
The whole debate about whether ERT was a "gentrifying force" is silly. It was a neighborhood joint, a small business, an employer. I hope it isn't gone for good.

Offline jeanette

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Re: Growing Farm 76-31 37th Ave shuttered
« Reply #37 on: September 25, 2018, 12:23:10 PM »
Does anyone have any ideas as to how we can find out if the cat is or is not inside the store?  I am concerned.

There used to be super/custodian there named Mo (Mohammed sp?). He was often on the premises. Any of the businesses within, including the Pride Center, will be able to give you the super's  contact number.

You can also try to contact the City Marshal, but I would expect just a bureaucratic response from them, if any. I also, however, think they would have procedures in place for animals on the premises.

Finally, I believe the businesses would have been given numerous notices that they were to be evicted.

Offline jeanette

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Re: Growing Farm 76-31 37th Ave shuttered
« Reply #38 on: September 25, 2018, 12:56:21 PM »
Apparently, there are many different and personal interpretations as to what gentrification is  and who/what are gentrifying factors.

Online ljr

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Re: Growing Farm 76-31 37th Ave shuttered
« Reply #39 on: September 25, 2018, 01:42:10 PM »
Yes the definition of "gentrifying" seems extremely elastic. I think of it more like when existing buildings are torn down so a huge new office or condo building can take its place. Some people seem to think of even a place like ERT, which offers a specific world cuisine in a nice setting with high quality ingredients, as "gentrifying," simply because of the way it looks (nice, not ugly) and is not on the dirt cheap end of the price scale. They seem to think the neighborhood is at risk if it is not limited to the very cheapest and least fancy eating establishments possible. But yes, this is a neighborhood business, not a fast food chain, that appealed to a wide swath of the neighborhood. Why does that make it a "gentrifying" threat? And do people think of GF as a "gentrifying" business? It's absurd. And tying the garbage/rat issue to gentrification is also absurd. Don't lower income people wish to live rat-free, too?

Offline Shelby2

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Re: Growing Farm 76-31 37th Ave shuttered
« Reply #40 on: September 25, 2018, 02:27:42 PM »
Yes the definition of "gentrifying" seems extremely elastic. I think of it more like when existing buildings are torn  And tying the garbage/rat issue to gentrification is also absurd. Don't lower income people wish to live rat-free, too?

Yes, that was the point I was also trying to make.

Offline queenskid2

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Re: Growing Farm 76-31 37th Ave shuttered
« Reply #41 on: September 25, 2018, 03:34:17 PM »
Yes the definition of "gentrifying" seems extremely elastic. I think of it more like when existing buildings are torn  And tying the garbage/rat issue to gentrification is also absurd. Don't lower income people wish to live rat-free, too?

Yes, that was the point I was also trying to make.

Gentrification goes well beyond tearing down existing buildings and replacing them with new ones.  I was in Park Slope in the 90's when the area gentrified one existing building at a time.  Same with Fort Greene, Bed-Stuy, Boerum Hill, Clinton Hill etc.

When the prices of existing coop's in Jackson Heights start bumping up against a million dollars, or even six hundred grand, to me, that's gentrification.  When a large portion of the existing/old population can't afford to live in their neighborhood anymore, that's gentrification.  JH was able to resist it for years because many people owned their apartments (sort of like a local business surviving because they own the building), or because of rent control.  I think that, for better or worse, we are gentrifying.  It's a slow transition, but it's happening.

Offline pajarita

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Re: Growing Farm 76-31 37th Ave shuttered
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2018, 03:44:49 PM »
Apparently, there are many different and personal interpretations as to what gentrification is  and who/what are gentrifying factors.
On that, I completely agree.

Don't lower income people wish to live rat-free, too?
Of course, the mere insinuation that they wouldn’t is in fact insulting. This is further tinted by the innuendos and, sometimes, blatant remarks made regarding lower income people in some other threads on this forum.


To clarify, I support one's right to vocalize garbage/rat issues and it is completely reasonable for residents to want their premises maintain hygienic standards. But it baffles me that there is no consideration of the “potential” consequences of such legal action. In the context of gentrification, the greedy landlords and tax laws that benefit from removing smaller businesses for ones that can pay unaffordable rents, can and will easily take advantage of such complaints – so in essence the legal approach being used may play into their hands (knowingly or unknowingly). Who is leaving that garbage out there? Looks like some may like to now pin it on K&L (jk – please, I beg, don’t take K&L away too)

Regardless of whether or not that was the cause of their closing, this is not a novel link between garbage/pest complaints and gentrification. In fact, this may be an interesting read for those shocked by the absurdity of the connection: https://nypost.com/2018/06/06/the-most-rat-infested-neighborhoods-in-new-york-city/

Highlight: “I think there are a lot of neighborhoods that have a lot of rats but not a lot of 311 complaints,” ...“There are rats in almost every corner of certain neighborhoods, but people just don’t call 311 because they don’t speak the language or they find [rats] to be part of their daily lives living there. But as the neighborhoods are being gentrified, more people are saying, ‘Hey, I don’t want to see that.’ "

Otherwise, if ridiculous rent increase was the issue... we have gentrification sans rats.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 03:54:21 PM by pajarita »

Offline Simka

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Re: Growing Farm 76-31 37th Ave shuttered
« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2018, 10:36:30 PM »
Gentrification goes well beyond tearing down existing buildings and replacing them with new ones.  I was in Park Slope in the 90's when the area gentrified one existing building at a time.  Same with Fort Greene, Bed-Stuy, Boerum Hill, Clinton Hill etc.

When the prices of existing coop's in Jackson Heights start bumping up against a million dollars, or even six hundred grand, to me, that's gentrification.  When a large portion of the existing/old population can't afford to live in their neighborhood anymore, that's gentrification.  JH was able to resist it for years because many people owned their apartments (sort of like a local business surviving because they own the building), or because of rent control.  I think that, for better or worse, we are gentrifying.  It's a slow transition, but it's happening.

It sure has happened in my building (Washington Plaza).

Offline jasonic

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Re: Growing Farm 76-31 37th Ave shuttered
« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2018, 11:06:37 PM »
Park Slope, bed stuy, greenpioint, Williamsburg are examples of gentrification. Jackson Heiggts is far from it and to think ERT is part of it is laughable.

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Re: Growing Farm 76-31 37th Ave shuttered
« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2018, 11:06:37 PM »