Author Topic: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?  (Read 34764 times)

Offline The Heights

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Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« on: January 01, 2013, 05:10:19 PM »
Few days a ago I was in Brooklyn Williamsburg and I was shocked to see the neighbor changed in couple of years..I wish which we can change J.hts to more classy, clean and little uniform and we should try to attract tourist to stop by J.hts.  The area around the train station looks so disgusting and dirty. We need artist and smart people who can changes some of the areas in J.heights. Any suggestions??????

Offline Mary Poppins

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 06:21:13 PM »
I'm all for clean but I'm vehemently against uniformity.  If you don't like the gritty hodgepodge that makes JH so full of character and unique, why not move?

I first found JH as a tourist looking for saris and indian sweets.  I like how unique and how unlike manhattan and park slope it is... it still has a soul.

Offline dssjh

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 07:15:31 PM »
i agree with mary poppins...williamsburg is only attractive, in my opinion, to single people in their twenties. not that there's anything wrong with that group, but not many of them are in the market for historic district co-ops.

the reason williamsburg was so easy to gentrify is that landlords were easily able to get rid of tenants with no standing, both commercial and residential. it's harder to force someone to leave an apartment if they own it.

Offline Mary Poppins

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2013, 07:18:26 PM »
For the record I'm a single person in my 20s and I hate hanging out in Williamsburg.  Lets leave Williamsburg to the hipsters and not try to re-create it by making over JH

Offline ECG

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2013, 09:54:26 PM »
I'm well over my 20's and while i agree that Roosevelt is pretty gritty, it has been worse.

Classy is as classy does.

Offline fizzster

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2013, 10:09:14 PM »
Maybe if an appealing restaurant (at the very least a brick oven pizza place or a better Italian place other than our single underwhelming, overpriced option, Armando's) or a craft brewery, for instance, (not drug lord-owned or on Roosevelt Ave.), or some other interesting option would open up here and then get favorably reviewed, it might attract notice and raise the desirability factor of the neighborhood.

Since the above idealized sequence of events seems to work in a chain reaction, other interesting (artisan or craft) businesses might become attracted to our area as a result of the favorable review. This is probably wishful thinking, but it seems as though that's how revitalization has happened elsewhere. In Brooklyn, anyway. JH is home to lots of creative and smart people. Except that we're all locked in our apartments because there's nowhere interesting we can walk to and socially mix.

The way I feel, if I have to get on a train, I may as well go into Manhattan. Lots of times I just don't feel like taking the subway, especially when it's freezing outside. It's like going to work.

Offline jacattak

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2013, 11:20:18 AM »
  I haven't lived in JH very long but I believe it has it's own charm.  It may not be trendy or super classy however it is pretty interesting.  Personally I appreciate that the neighborhood isn't really trendy and expensive.  The variety of cultures and food we have here are pretty great too.
  That being said, I wouldn't mind having a couple more options for some social interaction.  Though, because I'm new here I might not be aware of most places people hang out here.  I have no interest in singles clubs or things like that, but I like to meet new people and socialize.  Especially since I don't know many people in the city.
  If it's the arts and socializing we're missing though, we could organize some local art events I'm sure.  Again, there are probably things like this going on that I don't know about.  We have a nice forum here for getting the word out though.  I would certainly be into meeting local artists and seeing their work.  :)

Offline daisy

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2013, 01:08:02 PM »
I most certainly don't want another Williamsburg but that doesn't mean we couldn't use a nice Irish pub, brewery, or even a damn decent gym or park.  Goodness knows the market is there.  And we have the best transportation and green market around.  And the best damn residences.  A brewery or gym opening up here would probably make a killing.  A girl can dream.  I agree completely with Fizzster.  There is a middle ground here that can be had.

Offline ECG

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2013, 01:38:49 PM »
If you've been reading this forum since the beginning, you will know that this topic comes up with great regularity. A different topic title, but same stuff.

JH is what it is. The changes will come gradually.

If anyone knows some investors who want to open a pub, restaurant, bookstore, wine bar, gym, social meeting center - and I almost forgot - movie theater, then bring them over to check out JH. If you know someone like Julie and Afzal of E77, have them talk to them. Their fine place was ground-breaking. Table Wine & Inner Peace were also examples of enterprising individuals who took a chance on 11372.

But don't bitch about what we don't have, thanks, but we've all heard it before.

Offline bryncellen

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2013, 05:27:21 PM »
For years now, there have been periodic attempts by local realtors and others to market JH as the next Park Slope, Carroll Gardens etc. -- but people who move here thinking the neighborhood is on the cusp of some transformative change will inevitably be disappointed. 

I moved to JH in early 1999.   Although the prices of coops have risen exponentially since then, there has been relatively little change in the business mix in all these years.  So I am a little skeptical that things are likely to change all that much in the forseeable future either. 

In a way, it is easy to see why there has not been greater change.  Unlike some other areas, it seems to me there is no real need for a revitalization of JH -- the neighborhood is already quite vital and successful in its own right.  In most important ways (with a few exceptions) , JH serves its residents very well in terms of the quality and availability of basic goods and services such as groceries, pharmacies, doctors, dentists, banks, dry cleaners, hardware stores, restaurants, bars etc.  Most of these businesses seem to do a roaring trade and are unlikely to give way to boutiques or craft shops any time soon.   

For me that is not really a problem -- I still find JH to be a uniquely interesting and alluring neighborhood in an increasingly homogenized city.  (Not trying to score a political point, just a matter of personal taste/aesthetics.)   

Offline Ed

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2013, 05:36:31 PM »
The problem is, most folks want the neighborhood to maintain its unique charm, which usually translates to "what it was like 5 minutes before I moved here". Unfortunately, those "5 minutes" are sometimes separated by as much as 50 years, so even the "unique charm of the neighborhood" is different things to different people. Sunnyside has managed to have an abundance of bars, healthy restaurants, diverse cuisine, small shops etc. without the (apparently horrific) onslaught of "hipsters" or becoming another colony of Imperialist Brooklyn.
And yes, we are quite well served by banks and pharmacies. I can't spit in any direction without hitting one....

Offline gsmayes

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2013, 07:59:18 PM »
I looked at eleven apartments in Sunnyside for the reasons you mentioned, but they were all kind of dumpy. Nothing real bad, just not as nice as what I got in JH. I for one am really glad that Legends Bar exists, it's one of the few bars that has an okay tap selection and clientele I can have a conversation with. I haven't been to Espresso 77 yet because it's so tiny and packed.

Offline joopy86

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2013, 05:49:30 PM »
I know in my heart of hearts that if anyone in this neighborhood were to ever take a leap of faith and save years of their wages to open up a Brooklyn-y brunchy bar place that it would be a MASSIVE success.  There is clearly a market for it from counting the number of translucent Ray Bans and slim-fitting Patagonias at the farmer's market (mmhmm, I see you  :-*). The issue is no one has done it.  So, we can complain about the rando 99 cent stores all we want but fair and square, whoever opened it gathered the 6-figure capital necessary to do so.  And unlike the small businesses in of the early 2000's in neighborhoods like Greenpoint and Williamsburg or even Crown Heights more recently, investing in Jackson Heights requires exactly that: an investment.  I know a number of successful designers who now own storefronts in Nolita that started out in Williamsburg 10 years ago, and they were able to open that cute jewelry shop/coffee shop/craft beer bar because rents cost practically nothing there.  This is simply not true in Jackson Heights. I think a lot of people get confused by the immigrant mentality about $. It is inconceivable for immigrants to think of paying for $3 for a soda while eating out but they do not blink an eye when handing a relative $80,000 in cash to help them with a new business.  (Basically, this is how my parents operate.) Similarly, Jackson Heights may look 'poor' to the outsider but the rents don't necessarily reflect what one would expect of similarly 'un-gentrified' neighborhoods. Your average immigrant granny has like $50k in benjamins rolled up in her mattress somewhere.

While I think Williamsburg peaked in 2007 and is about as exciting as a midwestern college town now, there isn't a single day that I don't wish that I could go home and not either stumble onto some weird drug bust/chase down Roosevelt, an illegal furniture sale, abandoned car sales, step on gum/spit, etc.  I really do think it's wonderful that in 2012 that our neighborhood remains a place in NYC where you can live like a person on a real person budget instead of a trust fund brat.  Regardless of how you feel about willing its 'artsiness' and 'trendiness' further, I think the first step that everyone can agree on would be to see the quality of life issues dealt with - cleaner streets, less honking, less illegal activity, etc.  We will all be better off for it. Then maybe, someone will front the cash for a bistro and 'trendy' places!


Offline daisy

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2013, 07:17:08 PM »
Thanks for the thoughtful post, Joopy.  Those are all great points.  Brings some perspective to the situation.  I'm all for better quality of life around here - and those issues are a good place to start.  And again, I don't think anyone wants or needs another Williamsburg.  A nice middle ground is present in other areas of Queens and could happen here.  But I'll take cleaner streets and less illegal activity any day.

Offline dssjh

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2013, 07:47:09 PM »
agreed, daisy, cleaner streets and less illegal activity are great things-- and our neighborhood has made great strides in both, as anyone who's lived here for any length of time can attest. not that we've achieved perfect scores, but it's a whole lot better than my first experiences around here in '82 or so.

and williamsburg? far, far, far dirtier than jackson heights as a rule, particularly when it comes to the public urination that my friends who live there say the patrons of those cool bars are responsible for. ditto the coke dealing, which is about the same there. yeah, i recognize i am honing in on that one neighborhood, but it seems to be the point of comparison for so many people seeking a new york ideal before moving to rockland county.

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2013, 07:47:09 PM »