Author Topic: 10 cool & 10 suck things of JH 11372  (Read 14337 times)

Offline leoooog

  • Activist
  • *****
  • Posts: 179
Re: 10 cool & 10 suck things of JH 11372
« Reply #30 on: June 26, 2009, 11:58:57 AM »
I don't think the introduction of a yoga studio is a threat to Jackson Heights anymore than the introduction of Indian restaurants was a threat a few dozen years ago.

And is it wrong for life-long residents—or "insiders"—to want some of these things?

Offline NYC Peromyscus

  • Council Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 348
Re: 10 cool & 10 suck things of JH 11372
« Reply #31 on: June 26, 2009, 02:03:10 PM »
 The fallacies and stereotype peddling in marntamb's posts are legion, but I'm going to make a short list of points to dispel the worst myths / straw men in case anyone wants to move the discussion forward.  Please add to the list or tear mine up as you see fit:

1.) White people have always lived in Jackson Heights.  In and of themselves, white people pose little risk even if they lived in Brooklyn for a time.

2.) Middle-class and upper-middle-class people have always been an important component of the Jackson Heights community (esp. within the garden co-ops of the historic district).  Areas that tend to suffer greatly from gentrification are those with a massive concentration of poverty and/or derelict industrial space that can be quickly converted to high-price housing.

3.) Jackson Heights is one big community that contains several smaller communities cohering around shared language, food, religion, etc.  These smaller communities are not discrete categories, but rather have varying degrees of overlap with each other.  All of us will have some affinity for one or more of these smaller communities.  No single person or group can be said to fully own, control, or speak for any of these smaller communities.

4.) The ethnic makeup of Jackson Heights is constantly changing, but has remained very diverse overall for several decades.  Some groups are currently more numerous than others, but that has not stayed and will not stay the same over time.  For example, the South Asian area of the neighborhood that I live in has seen a decrease in residents of Indian descent, and a noticeable increase in residents of Nepali, Tibetan, and Bangladeshi descent. 

5.)  These changes noted above have occurred in the context of major changes (both up and down) in housing prices in Jackson Heights, but diversity remains.  The only group in Western Queens that has declined dramatically in recent years are African-Americans.  Some of this decline in African-American residents may be explained by gentrification.

6.) People of one ethnic group or race enjoying the cultural products of another ethnic group or race does not necessarily constitute ethnic voyeurism or "Orientalism".

7.) People that are of the same race, ethnicity, class, gender, age, sexual orientation, etc do not all have the same likes and dislikes.

8.) Non-white people may enjoy businesses, foods, cultural programs, etc. that are typically associated with young white people.  A yoga studio, chocolate shop, or wine bar will not destroy Jackson Heights.  Some people were upset when Starbucks opened in Jackson Heights...the same attitudes were expressed in Sunnyside.  I contend that Starbucks has done little to no damage to the neighborhood, and actually attracts a relatively diverse crowd (can someone confirm?  I've only been to the one in Sunnyside, which is usually full of diverse teenagers doing their homework.)

9.) Individuals of any and all ethnic groups in Jackson Heights will from time to time display bigoted or discriminatory attitudes.  One common attitude expressed from many quarters is the "last one in, shut the door" attitude; i.e. when members of an immigrant group previously discriminated against (say, Italians) then discriminate against newcomers (Latinos and Asians arriving in the late '60's, early '70's).  Framing debates about Jackson Heights issues as "insiders" vs. "outsiders" is sophistry.

Flame away!

Offline Jeffsayyes

  • Mayor
  • *******
  • Posts: 1918
    • Jeffrey Tastes
Re: 10 cool & 10 suck things of JH 11372
« Reply #32 on: June 26, 2009, 02:25:03 PM »
I liked how you used the word "legion"

Offline NYC Peromyscus

  • Council Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 348
Re: 10 cool & 10 suck things of JH 11372
« Reply #33 on: June 26, 2009, 03:07:11 PM »
I liked how you used the word "legion"

Thanks!  Been saving that one from the SAT...

Offline sl

  • Council Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 431
Re: 10 cool & 10 suck things of JH 11372
« Reply #34 on: June 26, 2009, 07:45:40 PM »
Wow. You really don't get it? I am attacking the perspective that this place needs to be changed to suit you. Making this a place with stinky cheese spots and yoga studios will change the very nature of jackson heights.  Furthermore, you see nothing wrong with people saying that "The Latinos" are a really "cool" thing about jackson heights? You are more offended by my speaking out about this?
I am from an immigrant family and these areas where we can connect with our culture are rare and important. I just wish there was a little more acknowledgement about the impact of you thinking our communities are cool and exotic and yet wanting to change them.

What wrong with yoga and cheese?

Offline Shelby2

  • Global Moderator
  • Mayor
  • *****
  • Posts: 5277
Re: 10 cool & 10 suck things of JH 11372
« Reply #35 on: June 26, 2009, 09:24:54 PM »
What wrong with yoga and cheese?

Maybe they are too old-fashioned?  Both yoga practice and cheesemaking date back to the BC years on other continents - a long long time ago.  I guess since Jackson Heights was not established until very recently (less than 100 years ago), something more modern would be more appropriate - like maybe another cell phone store.   ;)

Offline Aronan

  • Mayor
  • *******
  • Posts: 530
Re: 10 cool & 10 suck things of JH 11372
« Reply #36 on: June 29, 2009, 12:07:44 AM »

sophistry.


I especially enjoyed sophistry, there's a word you don't hear everyday, but you do experience it :)

Both Starbucks and E77 have a quite a diverse clientele, in fact I can't remember a time when I wasn't among the minority group in Starbucks. I was one of those who was against Starbucks from the get go, but have only seen a positive impact on JH because of its presence. I would venture to assume that Letty's and Espresso 77 actually do better business because of Sbucks. Many times I've left the big green "menace" for another place because it was too crowded.

As you point out NYC P no one group can lay claim to a specific area or neighborhood. If that were the case then the Colombians and Indians that came in to JH about 20 + years ago were "gentrifying" the neighborhood and pushing out the already established community. And the newer groups of immigrants would also be pushing out the current community.

I don't like these conversations because they wind up revolving around race issues, and really, race isn't the issue so much as it is socio-economic status. Which some would argue falls clearly along race lines, but I strongly disagree. There are those who would see me walking down the street and assume I'm part of the "white gentrifying wave sweeping in to the area". But, I'm not. I'm a JH native, I've never lived anywhere else but here and the neighborhood I grew up in was taken over and changed around me without my permission or even my input, that's kind of how it goes in NYC. My last year's tax return and several years before that certainly prove I'm not so high up on the socio-economic scale. And, like many other people in this area and this city, I too am the child of immigrants, so I'm first generation American. But there are those who want to make this issue solely about race, and I'm not sure how that serves anyone. To me it distracts from the real issues at hand and a more productive conversation of how do we all live together and share a community that's constantly growing and changing.


"It is widely recognized that the courageous spirit of a
single man can inspire to victory an army of
thousands. If one concerned with ordinary gain can
create such an effect, how much more will be produced by one who cares for greater things ?" -Chunag Tse

Offline NYC Peromyscus

  • Council Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 348
Re: 10 cool & 10 suck things of JH 11372
« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2009, 07:49:40 AM »
I don't like these conversations because they wind up revolving around race issues, and really, race isn't the issue so much as it is socio-economic status. Which some would argue falls clearly along race lines, but I strongly disagree. There are those who would see me walking down the street and assume I'm part of the "white gentrifying wave sweeping in to the area".

Definitely agree about the intermingling of race and socioeconomic status, with the latter being more important (there are non-white gentrifiers, after all!).  But personally, I don't think there is a "gentrifying wave" sweeping in to JH.  The original inflammatory post in this thread seemed to be overreacting to a few people moving from Williamsburg to JH...

JH may exhibit a few of the classic signs of early gentrification, i.e. what sociologists call the "pioneers" such as dual-income-no-kids (esp. gay) couples, and artists / creative types fleeing rapidly gentrifying areas such as Williamsburg and potentially kicking off the cycle in new neighborhoods.  However, gays have sought out JH for years as a queer-friendly neighborhood...not a new phenomenon.  I would again argue that JH is not a good candidate for rapid, neighborhood-upending gentrification because of a solid middle class base (not concentrated poverty) that has been here for some time. 

My anecdotal, non-scientific survey of new residents (mostly myself, other people in my building, and friends / acquaintances; obviously a biased sample!) suggests that they are of diverse ethnic origin and tend to be employed in education, non-profits, public service, creative fields, etc.  If everyone moving in was a lawyer, accountant, or investment banker with no kids and six-figure salaries, then one might have more cause for concern.

Offline Aronan

  • Mayor
  • *******
  • Posts: 530
Re: 10 cool & 10 suck things of JH 11372
« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2009, 08:55:12 AM »
I totally agree, there is no "gentrifying wave" more so good people trying to escape high prices and over development in other areas of the city. For gentrification to actually be happening we'd need to see a lot more development in the area. We aren't, and we probably wont. For the most part the historic district prevents a lot of the destruction of character that comes along with gentrification. If we really want to protect JH the historic district should be expanded and we should look in to down zoning some of the commercial streets (73rd and 74th come to mind) to prevent further growth on an already over burdened section of the neighborhood.

"It is widely recognized that the courageous spirit of a
single man can inspire to victory an army of
thousands. If one concerned with ordinary gain can
create such an effect, how much more will be produced by one who cares for greater things ?" -Chunag Tse

Offline divanatrix

  • Council Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 380
Re: 10 cool & 10 suck things of JH 11372
« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2009, 09:25:28 AM »
FWIW, I moved here from a rapidly gentrifying part of Brooklyn (Ditmas Park/Victorian Flatbush) a year and a half ago.  I definitely don't get *that* sense here.  When I left, condos were going up everywhere, new restaurants were opening up almost every week where before there were only a couple, there were 3 health food stores on one strip etc. etc..  When I moved there (2003) I scored a 2BR for $800, upon leaving in March 08 they were going for almost $2k.+ 

Offline jadasie

  • Activist
  • *****
  • Posts: 133
Re: 10 cool & 10 suck things of JH 11372
« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2009, 12:52:25 PM »
I should think that abundance of co-ops in the area, many original, many converted two decades ago, together with the strict development laws, has helped slow the pace of gentrification--so much so, in fact, that I can't imagine the area will ever become another Park Slope or Williamsburg (why those neighborhoods are idealized is beyond me). You can't easily push people out who fully owns their place.

Isn't the real problem the lack of rent-control, and exorbitant rents for commercial shops? If the cost of renting stores on 37th was drastically lowered, the area could probably experiment with multi-lingual & LGBT bookshops and outdoor cafes. These amenities don't necessarily entail gentrification, nor are they just playthings for white people (how chauvinistic, really).

Offline Jeffsayyes

  • Mayor
  • *******
  • Posts: 1918
    • Jeffrey Tastes
Re: 10 cool & 10 suck things of JH 11372
« Reply #41 on: June 29, 2009, 01:17:29 PM »
Part of why williamsburg got so popular was the infrastructure of the neighborhood. Having access to old factories which became perfect for artist studios. Bushwick seems to be next, it already IS basically. JH has none of that. Tell me one place where people can practice their music in the area.

We do have great access to subways and cheap rent, but then again, there are soooo many apartments here.

Also, the stigma of Queens is huge. most of my friends can't even fathom coming here.

and I would think the rents would go lower if there was less demand, but apparently people are wiling to pay. I would love to open something up, but it costs too much in rent. stupid.

Offline danielrossi

  • Resident
  • ***
  • Posts: 31
    • Organic Light Sculptures
Re: 10 cool & 10 suck things of JH 11372
« Reply #42 on: June 29, 2009, 01:39:09 PM »
Well,
First of all this thread was about JH and only JH and it wasn’t a comparison tab of what it’s better between Williamsburg and Jackson Heights.

Second most of replies are totally off topic and whoever started to raise racial issues off this topic has two reasons behind or is racist or has issues.

Nobody wants to chance the face of 11372 but making a better and livable place for everyone and preserve the historic look it should be the goal to achieve eventually.
This does not mean we have to live among trash or dog poop or nasty dirty restaurant, which scares me just looking at them
I’m not that brave to try their food though, I cannot afford to get sick having no health insurance.

Also I do not have a cell phone I belong to the neighborhood still?
Yet I’ll keep on going to Rosario in Astoria to get great aged cheese fresh hand made mozzarella and tasty food.

One more thing this is not a artists friendly community hope it will be, before I`ll move somewhere else. :(
Guys most of you are awful.

Offline Shelby2

  • Global Moderator
  • Mayor
  • *****
  • Posts: 5277
Re: 10 cool & 10 suck things of JH 11372
« Reply #43 on: June 29, 2009, 11:21:08 PM »
Well,
First of all this thread was about JH and only JH and it wasn’t a comparison tab of what it’s better between Williamsburg and Jackson Heights.

Second most of replies are totally off topic and whoever started to raise racial issues off this topic has two reasons behind or is racist or has issues.

Nobody wants to chance the face of 11372 but making a better and livable place for everyone and preserve the historic look it should be the goal to achieve eventually.
This does not mean we have to live among trash or dog poop or nasty dirty restaurant, which scares me just looking at them
I’m not that brave to try their food though, I cannot afford to get sick having no health insurance.

Also I do not have a cell phone I belong to the neighborhood still?
Yet I’ll keep on going to Rosario in Astoria to get great aged cheese fresh hand made mozzarella and tasty food.

One more thing this is not a artists friendly community hope it will be, before I`ll move somewhere else. :(
Guys most of you are awful.


I understand your comments except for the last one "most of you are awful"  ???

Actually I thought you got some very thoughtful "top 10 lists" before the discussion went off topic, and even after it went off topic I think some of the replies to the off-topic poster were well thought-out. 

Offline homeowner

  • Council Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 452
Re: 10 cool & 10 suck things of JH 11372
« Reply #44 on: June 30, 2009, 01:36:09 PM »
Also, the stigma of Queens is huge. most of my friends can't even fathom coming here.

This pretty much sums up why JH and Queens in general is unlikely to ever be "cool" thanks in large part to "Archie Bunker" and others.  Wait, I'm getting an idea for a new thread.... ;D

Jackson Heights Life

Re: 10 cool & 10 suck things of JH 11372
« Reply #44 on: June 30, 2009, 01:36:09 PM »