Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Immigrant Success Stories

It was refreshing to read an article about legal immigrants realizing their American dream in the Times this morning:

Immigrant Entrepreneurs Shape a New Economy

However, Queens' Archie Bunker mystique rears its ugly head in the same article:

Responding to the city’s request for redevelopment proposals for the College Point section of Queens, more than 50 Korean merchants pooled $1 million to draw up the winning proposal, Mr. Chung said. At a news conference in 2004, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said it would create hundreds of new jobs. But the city backed out eight months later, after protests by older, white Queens residents and their representatives.

“They said they didn’t want the area to become like Flushing, like Chinatown,” Mr. Chung recalled.

Photo from the NY Times


Anonymous said...

This is the same issue that John Liu stuck his nose in. College Point is not even his district. It's Avella's. The Korean plan for a business center/freight depot etc. was rejected because the community didn't want its streets choked with overwhelming truck traffic. I believe the proposed project was to be adjacent to the Target, BJs mall complex. John Liu stood side by side with Bloomberg on this and was even in favor of a new Whitestone Expwy. exit to service the project. Avella and citizens defeated it! Can you imagine College Point with only a 2 road access (14th & 20th Aves.) crammed solid with never ending traffic jams? What was Councilman Liu going to get out of that 2004 deal? It's interesting to note that (Chinese) Liu cooperated with (Korean) Mr. Chung. Both these nationalities usually snub each other. Was this a "turf" negotiation?

Anonymous said...

The fact of the matter is that people from Queens are the most tolerant people on the planet.

It is interesting that to keep them passive, and accepting change, it is received wisdom that you cannot complain about immigrants without being labeled a bigot.

Differing levels of sanitation, personal cleanliness, noise, etc? You are to accept without comment.

Also interesting that Archie Bunker was devised in Manhattan, the same borough that is pushing out immigrants - to Queens.

Anonymous said...

My first reaction to reading that man's paraphrased quote was to be offended, then I realized there's absolutely nothing wrong with what was supposedly said. If it's alright for Asian, Chinese or Korean merchants to create their own little villages in areas like Union Street and Main Street, and be proud of it, why can't the "older, white people" be proud of their heritage, and want to keep it that way?

Why is always so politically incorrect for white people to want to stand up for something of their own?

Alan said...

And so now we have another major project going into the College Point Corporate Park (the New York Times printing plant expansion) and there is no protest or any action by the same elected officials that protested the Korean plan. To some, this may very well seem to be racist.

The real issue is, and always will be, that enough is enough. You cannot fit 10 lbs of potatoes in a 5 lb. sack! The exits at 20th Ave. and Linden Place off the Whitestone Expressway are overburdened and there is no plan in place to mitigate the problem.

Even without taking into consideration the increase in the commercial developments in the north Queens area, there are many more residential units in College Point and more being built. The roads in and out of the town are so overwhelmed that an emergency situation could become disastrous. Why haven't out elected officials and public servants figured that one out?

Anonymous said...

What a piece of crap (can I say that?)! First the NY Times starts to build a big expansion and stay under the radar and not inform the community. Now the newspaper is calling the community a bunch of bigots and racists? They have some nerve. Where is the community leadership? There should be a response of some sort, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

I was a loser (always white, generally elderly and certainly in a rut)

I met an immigrant (always from some exotic part of the world with some secret insight to life from their culture)

They changed my life for the better: I am so happy and and now have direction since the immigrants have moved into my neighborhood.

This is my favorite story on the Queens immigrant experience, that with various forms and variations, is found every week in almost everthing said or written in the myth and lore of our fair borough.

Like the movie Groundhog's Day, it is played over and with an unwavering plot and said with an unflinching smile for it never seems to tire in the enternal sunshine of a Queens pol's mind.

Anonymous said...

Damn 'tweeders.'

Anonymous said...

"Where is the community leadership? There should be a response of some sort, don't you think?"

Write a letter to all the papers demanding your elected official responds.

Let ol Crappie know what happens.

Anonymous said...

The only immigrants that I know who are successful are the ones who came to the USA with their pockets full of money, ready to exploit the real estate market. Those other immigrants, the invisable ones, are too busy being exploited by their bosses and living in squalid conditions in the various dormatories scattered throughout the city!

Anonymous said...

Damn right! We do not want the area to become like Flushing, or like another Chinatown.

We like the area to become like Jamaica, or Corona!

Anonymous said...

as a new immigrant from easter europe i found racism in very first contact with the usa -althrough a legal immigrant 9green card holder) I was luck to run into ''ethnic ''immigration officer who gave such a hard time at JFK -and this was my first entry to this country!!!! - I expect that future experiance from the border would be even more difficult.also when I was looking for a place in the NY i went through an agent -he showed me nice place and everything was ok till I spoke to an owners(asians)-after that they said they would prefer Asian for a tenant -they thorugh I was from some asian country or asina from Russia or something -go figure .what can I tell you ? I was toldthis is most democratic societs on earth but funny enough it feels like back home in good old europe