Author Topic: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?  (Read 34758 times)

Offline bryncellen

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2013, 10:48:20 AM »
Mi Tierra on Northern and 82nd is small but clean and well organized with very good fruits and vegetables (although a limited selection of other goods).  I find this to be a very pleasant place to shop.

A few blocks further along is what is now called  Compare which has been through several previous incarnations but is currently a large and reasonably well-stocked store, with decent fruits and vegetables and has the added advantage of being open 24 hours.   

Both of these are just a few blocks away from where I live so I can’t complain.  Also in that general area along Northern in the 80s are, among other things, Pan Fino (open 24 hours) two  good dry cleaners, a good bagel place, Pio Pio eat in and take out, two empanada places, a decent hardware store, D’Espana, and a 24 hour Rite Aid.  Re the latter, I know that some people on this board have a horror of proliferating drug stores (which I understand up to a point) but for me it is a huge convenience having something so basic that is always open just a couple of blocks from my apartment……

On a less positive note, I have to say that C Town on 37th and 85th , which was a dreary place when I moved here, only seems to have gotten worse with the passing years but I just try to avoid it…..

Offline Superclam

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2013, 11:47:42 AM »
I like that Compare supermarket. I'll walk a few extra blocks to get there to avoid going to the Junction Food Bazaar at the corner of Junction & 34th. I'd actually walk over hot coals to avoid going to the Junction Food Bazaar.

Offline ECG

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2013, 12:14:16 PM »
As predicted, or mentioned, this thread is following paths already written about.

Offline I live here too

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2013, 12:15:35 PM »
It's a conversation.

Offline ECG

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #34 on: January 08, 2013, 12:44:19 PM »
Yep, but we've been here so many times before.

Offline I live here too

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2013, 02:25:18 PM »
I think that people are frustrated and at least this gives them an outlet.

Offline Colombia

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2013, 10:52:21 PM »
I'm South american and I'm proud that Jackson Heights is NOT trendy, classy and attractive..if we start to see changes like Williamsburg then the real estate price will go up . I'm glad  lot of people in this blog don't want to make like Williamsburg. I'm happy that we can shop in a store like Bangladesh 99 cents stores and I love shopping at 82 street and Roosevelt ave. I'm glad the subway station at 74 street looks ugly design, dark dirty station iIF they renovate then MTA will increase the subway fare.  I'm glad that our community is NOT complaining  about the station and its atmosphere... I glad To live in Jackson Heights.  Cheap food at 73 Bengali bazaar, best 99 cent stores in NYC, great Asian bodegas corner stores at 37 ave.  WE HAVE CHEAP RENT AND CHEAP FOOD. CAN'T GO WRONG WITH THAT !!! One of the best place to live in queens.

Offline I live here too

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2013, 09:15:39 AM »
It is possible to live in an affordable place and not have it look like a dump. Immigrants have done this for as long as there have been immigrants.  Also, Jackson Heights residents are not only South American, but they are middle class working people who aspire to more, if only a livable environment to live and raise families in.

Offline dna

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2013, 12:47:18 PM »
I'm on board with those yearning for improved quality of life.  Some parts of J.Heights are just beautiful and a big part of what sucked me in 5 years ago when I moved here.  But other parts are often so dirty and unpleasant - namely the areas closer to the subway.  That dumpster on the west side of 75th between Roosevelt and 37th avenue that is right on the walk to the subway and out most mornings is perhaps the worst consistently bad smelling thing (during the summer) I've ever encountered.  My wife and I love taking long walks around the neighborhood, but rarely do we venture south of 35th avenue and we increasingly walk north of Northern for variety (though 34th avenue in the 70's & 80's is still my favorite including some of the adjoining blocks).  I've lived in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan's Chinatown, the East Village, and Williamsburg - and I don't mind gritty as an interesting change of pace, but our neighborhood just has the wrong kind of 'grit' for me I guess.

With regards to comparisons to Williamsburg or Astoria, Jackson Heights may be missing some of the cool restaurants and outdoor cafes, but the architecture in Jackson Heights (north of 37th Avenue at least) is so much nicer.  Williamsburg to me was one of the ugliest places I've ever lived.  I work in Manhattan so I can get my fix of trendy shops and restaurants there (not that I'd mind a few more here).  I'd just rather my neighborhood at home be a little cleaner.  I mean, littering is against the law, right?

Offline Di_11372

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #39 on: January 14, 2013, 10:35:45 PM »

I agree that the most important and realistic thing to focus on would be to clean up the neighborhood. It needs it.

I have no illusions about this neighborhood, it is an affordable and safe lower middle class family neighborhood, good public transit, with a strong immigrant community. Other than some of the gorgeous architecture, the only outstanding feature I believe is the incredible/authentic ethnic food. To partake in anything very interesting, or entertainment related I always need to leave the neighborhood, it's a fact.

Let us not forget the H- word.
The people responsible for changing certain neighborhoods in Brooklyn you have been discussing, are Hipsters.
The truth is, young, single, artistic types do not flock and or strive to live in Jackson Heights.

Hipsters transformed Williamsburg, I believe, because they were incredibly passsionate about the neighborhood, and only with great passion, can residents transform a neighborhood.
Just look at how Bushwick has started to evolve, do you know why? The middle class Hipsters who could no longer afford Williamsburg moved there, again , there's something about Brooklyn that drives young people to transform it, make it their own.

Take Care.

Offline jadasie

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #40 on: January 15, 2013, 09:10:20 AM »
Fearing (or hoping) that JH will become another Williamsburg or Park Slope is silly. The design of the neighborhood alone precludes any move in those directions. We have no park space, limited building development potential, and strict boundaries between residential and commercial properties. I can only assume that the planning of Jackson Heights (unlike the more organic growth of older neighborhoods like Astoria) makes it very difficult to open a commercial venture that doesn't target the broadest possible audience. There's little room to open "off the beaten path," to take a chance on a quiet and less expensive corner. Sooner or later "trendy" and "classy" bars and restaurants will creep in, perhaps even on prime corners, but I think JH lacks the structural requisites to bring about wholesale gentrification.

Offline I live here too

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #41 on: January 15, 2013, 10:13:16 AM »
But aspiring to keep JH dirty noisy and with substandard retail (yes nothing other than 99 cent stores and bodegas is substandard) is no aspiration at all. We need clean streets, fresh quality food and stores that sell products that don't leach toxicity into the environment. This should be a baseline for a middle class neighborhood.

Offline joopy86

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #42 on: January 15, 2013, 01:12:55 PM »
But aspiring to keep JH dirty noisy and with substandard retail (yes nothing other than 99 cent stores and bodegas is substandard) is no aspiration at all. We need clean streets, fresh quality food and stores that sell products that don't leach toxicity into the environment. This should be a baseline for a middle class neighborhood.

Yes to all of this.

What bothers me most about this board is that there is a contingent of people who have a knee jerk reaction to discussions about improving Jackson Heights as a community and conflating this desire with the absurd notion that people are trying to turn it into Williamsburg or that the distaste for J Heights' civic problems is rooted in racism.  As others have mentioned it is literally impossible to turn J Heights into Williamsburg/Bwick and the the topic of local business development has been explored many a times.  (Bwick and Wburg and LIC started off as INDUSTRIAL neighborhoods full of empty crumbling warehouses that were so desperate for businesses, any kind of business, that they were practically giving away storefronts for free which made it possible for those with nothing more than a plaid shirt and dream to make it work.  Obviously not the case in J Heights as it's always had a population and businesses to cater to them.)  Anyway, I actually don't even mind the bodegas and 99 cent stores and for now I'm ok with the grocery options -  the issue is more general than that.

As a minority I have to actually say it's quite racist to assume that ethnic people think that the level of cleanliness in JH is acceptable. Basically the same as saying that Honey Boo Boo's family is that way because they're white.  Even ethnic communities know of Jackson Heights as a bit slummy and those who reside there know that the conditions of the street are unacceptable.  And all it boils down to a lack of civic pride and belief that the neighborhood could be a community rather than a place to do business or crash temporarily. And unfortunately street cleanliness is one of those awful behavioral feedback-loop causing type situations where people litter because they think it's dirty, and it's dirty because they keep littering.  Do you really think those THREE people I saw spitting ON the train platform this morning would ever dare to do it on a Upper East Side street? No. And most immigrants have SPARKLING houses with floors cleaned nightly and a higher standard of personal hygiene that the majority of Americans - the issue all boils down to the lack of civic feeling for the public of JH.  There are PLENTY of ethnic communities in NYC-area that do not have the same level of grit - neighborhoods such as Sunset Park, Sunnyside, Lefferts Gardens, Ditmas Park, Bayside (I find comparisons to Roosevelt to under the El in Astoria laughable, nowhere in Astoria is there more gum than sidewalk on the street.)  I think it says a lot that ALL of the small business owners in J Heights that I've spoken to do not even live in the neighborhood - they live in Astoria or Bayside or Sunnyside.

Anyway, at the end of the day, all I really want is for people to simply obey the law and have some sense of pride in the neighborhood.  Meaning no illegally zoned businesses.   More regulation of law-breaking medical establishments that target a poor and illegal population while scamming medicare/medicaid - I'm looking at you, gross 75th street doctors. No street taco vendors pouring 2 gallons worth of HOT GREASE onto the streets (saw this this weekend!). No crazy obviously illegal office furniture sales.  Even something as simple as repaving the streets by the 74 train station would go a long way because it would dramatically make a difference in the level of expectation so that the first thing people see isn't a street peppered completely with gum and pigeon crap.

Offline NYC Native

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #43 on: January 16, 2013, 10:43:31 PM »
While there is limited growth due to JH specific design, there is plenty of potential for new pubs, artist and eateries.  The one issue I see is that once you have a historical designation it is almost impossible to change the overall character of a neighborhood.  I think Jackson Hts is unique and charming and it will never be a Williamsburg because a real community existed here long before Williamsburg was largely rezoned in 2005.  Since the 1990's, there was an effort to save Williamsburg and rightly so.  It was a horrible place, not unlike the South Bronx, Harlem and many other Brooklyn spots of the "not so long ago".  When New York City Council approved and passed the huge rezoning of the North and Greenpoint's waterfront it was with the intent to gentrify and the landlords moved to take advantage of the Real Estate boom.  LIC is going through this as well and just wait and see what happens within the next 4 or 5 years. 

One thing that perplexes me is the huge rents that Jackson Hts store fronts command for the relatively small sq footage..  Even in places like Astoria, LIC and Williamsburg the square ft prices tend to be more comparably reasonable.  I know of some landlords that actually try to help the new business get established if they bring something special to their building.  I have never seen that in Jackson Hts and surrounding area.
Time is running out!

Offline Jeffsayyes

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Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2013, 10:20:13 AM »
I do understand the low commercial rents in LIC. JH is a great community, and the residents actually walk around and shop locally. LIC is largely a commuter community. I spend a lot of time there, and I get frustrated b/c there are sooo many people that live in those huge apartment buildings, and yet their beautiful new park is largely empty - except of nannys - and the restaurants are dead. friday and saturday nights it might seem like a hotspot, but at other times everyone is in another borough. This figures, for a place where the biggest asset to a community is the ability to leave it.

HOWEVER, it is absurd that the rents are so high, and 37th avenue is visibly dying. Roosevelt Avenue, on the other hand, at least does not have lifeless storefronts for very long.

Jackson Heights Life

Re: Can we make Jackson Heights more attractive, classy and Trendy?
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2013, 10:20:13 AM »