Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mr. Butler's Flushing: 1917

"Those who live in places like Flushing do live. They have room to live in.

The day I first visited Flushing I rented a house here. Some years later I bought one. I have lived here a dozen years or more and I never want to live elsewhere. Why?

Flushing, more than most towns around New York, has character. It is a complete town in itself. When I live in Flushing I live in a town with a history and an inheritance of memories and meanings, not in a mere collection of houses. Flushing is no mushroom, no real estate developer's suburb.

In the spring you smell the lilacs and the magnolias; in the autumn the pleasant odor of burning leaves tells you you are not cooped up in the city where the principal nose titillation is gasoline smoke. Your children have lawns to play on, not hot streets.

But, after all, the reason I love Flushing is not because it is the most beautiful town near New York, or the nearest real town, or the most comfortable (although it is all those), but because of the people in it. I think the best and the most friendly and the most kindly and helpful people in the world live right here in Flushing. And a town is only what its people are.

You don't find that Flushing is made up of mere commuters, who rush home and eat and sleep, and then rush back to New York. You will find it filled with big-souled and big-hearted men and women who want you to be part of Flushing's life, who are in clubs and societies and organizations for helpfulness and happiness, and who will welcome you and make you one with them."


Obviously, this was not written in 2007. Today, Downtown Flushing has no character, it can hardly be described as "comfortable," and the people living there for the most part couldn't care less about its history because many of them just arrived in the country. It is in no way beautiful or friendly, as evidenced in part by the exclusionary practice of businesses hanging signs exclusively in languages other than English. It is a real estate developer's paradise because anything goes here. It was targeted for early overdevelopment due to its availability of mass transit, turning it into a town that now is made up almost exclusively of "mere commuters". Throughout the year, but especially during the summer, the stench of garbage permeates the air. You can't walk the main drag without either dodging or bumping into people.

Those who live in places like Flushing simply exist because they have no room in which to live. Children there today have concrete pads to play on, not lawns, if the FAR of their building hasn't been built out to the max, pushing them out into the street. Yet no one in the press or in public office ever brings attention to these problems. Instead, they paint a happy face on this urban nightmare by calling it "a vibrant multi-ethnic community". If you don't agree with this characterization and try to inject a dose of reality, you are immediately labeled a 'racist' by those in power, who have profited from the conditions mentioned.

Flushing: A community that changed from a beautiful place to live into a neighborhood that no place should be.

God Bless America.

"Why I Live In Flushing"

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Living in NYC means living in an ever-evolving and growing urban environment, which is one of the things that makes this a great city. People should not choose to live here if they want open space, empty roads and quiet.

The main difference between downtown Manhattan and downtown Flushing is that Flushing costs a lot less to live in.

Anonymous said...

asians ruined queens...case closed

Anonymous said...

It's really a shame that you can go to downtown Philadelphia and feel like the place is special, that their city's forefathers realized the importance of keeping it that way and took action to preserve it rather than cashed in on it.

Flushing is an example of a beautiful town that became a dump because of unbridled greed of the city of which it unfortunately is a part.

Anonymous said...

Yeah and Philly's land value rivals that of NYC! We did it all wrong here, folks. There is money in preservation.

Anonymous said...

"Living in NYC means living in an ever-evolving and growing urban environment [other meaningless blather truncated]"

Spoken by someone who does not understand the history of Flushing or why it is the way it is. Many cities in this country are "ever-evolving and growing urban environments." Most of them used smart growth policies and some kind of urban planning policies. In Flushing, practically an entire community has been razed and replaced.

Anonymous said...

Flushing is the way it is because the city needed a place to dump a whole lotta Asians and Chinatown was getting too expensive.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it nice to walk down a long commercial strip and not see one sign in English? It's like taking a $2 trip to China...

Anonymous said...

They ruined Flushing, now they want to start fresh on Willets Point and that other industrial section next to the park. Can't wait to see how lovely the new 'hood looks.

Anonymous said...

You got to blame the clubhouse for this one. Take a look a the people running Queens these days.

They are not very bright, they are not very sophisticated, and they really don't care on running the place but their own personal agenda.

They know they control the media, the know that Manhattan and everywhere else has written off the borough, so this is their little playpen, and they can do anything they damn well please.

By the time the people wake up, they will either be dead or frustrated and ready to move ... or have nothing left to fight for.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it one of the ole-tyme real estate moguls (i.e. Kent ? Mehran? Schwartz ? etc.???) who placed ads in the Taipei newspapers "inviting" the hordes to come to Flushing "The Golden Land" and pay overinflated rents in their stores along Roosevelt Ave. & Main St. etc.???

Flushing looks more like a "Golden shower" nowadays....and smells far worse !!!

You've really got a tough job ahead of you Ms. Herce and all you boys at the "Flushing (chamber pot) of Commerce" trying to convince any one but the "lower classes" to live (or do business) in "F(LIU)xhing" !!!

Flushing has quickly become a MONO-CULTURAL (and exclusionary) SEWER !

There's nothing "multi-cultural" at all about it!

"Flush-Town" (as it now exists) is the product of an Asian invasion (Taiwanese/Mainland Chinese) and they're bent on excluding all other ethnicities (save their own) from sharing in or becoming an equal part of this once vibrant and truly mixed community !

And that is a RACIST agenda no matter how you try to gloss it over with deceitful public relations slogans !

"White People" (whatever that ambiguous term means) are commonly referred to as "The Ghost People" by guess who ?
(There's a much more derogatory phrase reserved for African Americans....which we won't get into right now ) !

Anonymous said...

The first poster should explain why an 'ever evolving urban environment' must look and smell like a garbage dump.

Anonymous said...

Oh well don't you realize that other cultures don't have the same cleanliness standards that Americans do? And we are just supposed to welcome their filth and disease. Let's not forget where the bird flu and SARS originated and why.

Anonymous said...

asians ruined queens...case closed

Just like the White people ruined the Americas from the Native Americans.

Anonymous said...

Flushing may have been like that in 1917, but it sure wasn't like that when I moved there as a child in 1962 or anytime afterwards. Not sure when the crap hit the fan, but it was many decades ago.

staffer said...

Its funny when you think about it.....the Asian and Latino population in downtown Flushing are just about equal in numbers...give or tale about 4% or so (according to existing statistics)!

Yet Latinos have been denied access to the "power structure" and have, thus, been disenfranchised !

And why is that?

It's because they didn't have an abundant source of overseas money that they could pump into local political campaigns (after it, of course, had been properly laundered) !

Anonymous said...

Yes...Flushing is "vibrant".

It's filthy, teaming, spilling over, oozing humanity, overpopulated, triple stacked, crammed in, packed tight, ready to explode, crawling like an ant hill, inhabitants scurrying everywhere, choking & competing for the little space that's left to walk!

Do any of these adjectives or descriptions sound like a desirable quality of life ?

Maybe in the 3rd world !

Is that what this formerly successful town has become ? !!!

Anonymous said...

The only "economic miracle"(or success ) that I see here is for the OWNERS of all that overpriced real estate !

All the rest are merely the VICTIMS of all those rent gouging landlords !!!

Anonymous said...

The crap first started hitting the fan in Flushing when "people" like that infamously crooked "developer" Tommy Huang, first arrived here (in the early 1970s) and began to quickly destroy it (in the early 1980s) with the help of his cohorts (i.e. Donald Manes etc.) !

Shulman and those Staviskys (maybe even CB#7 & the Downtown Flushing Development Corp.) did little to stop him either....beyond pompous oration and lip service!

He probably "had the goods" on them (or bribed??? them) which may have been what kept them (and others) in line !

flushing down the toilet said...

Perhaps the only solution, at this late date, is to build a super highway over Flushing so that all may be quickly able to bypass all that filth, stench and congestion on their way back home to more civilized environs!

georgetheatheist said...

Sociologically speaking (so please don't get bent out of shape): The crap "hit the fan" when Flushing turned "Jewish"...The Ackermans,the Staviskys, partners "in crime" the Shulmans and the Maneses...The Jews with their "holocaust baggage" could not say "no" to a perceived minority - the Asians. These are the objective facts and no animosity here.

Anonymous said...

New York was once described in a low derogatory manner as as"Jew York City" !

Is that the expanded point that someone is trying to make here also in their posting?

Low life politicos like Manes, Shulman, Ackerman, and the Staviskys are truly, simply and purely.... ass hole buddies.....end of story!

Their similarly religious convictions have little to do with the issue of them selling out Flushing for their insatiably greedy gain !

political mole said...

John Liu doesn't have any real independent power either !

He is the well manipulated hand puppet of the Democratic party machine !

When they tell him to dance or clap his hands....he quickly responds with a clown like smile !

It was the whole damn entirety of club house politics that were the pall bearers of Flushing !

In the end, Flushing was betrayed by Tom Manton's party hacks !

strong spear said...

We are all familiar with the "trail of tears".

Native people were forced off their ancestral lands by "White" land speculators.....not unlike the greedy avaricious developers we are facing today !

History does repeat itself in a different shade !

trooper said...

Meanwhile that poor proud hulk of a landmark....RKO Keith's Theater.....once the heart of the Flushing community lies broken in the dust !

It beats still.....but barely......as the Boymelgeen Development Group continues to stall on their proposed project !

Connie said...

Claire is not Jewish, Mel is.

georgetheatheist said...

It is interesting to note that the Iowa-bred Butler makes this ethnic commentary:

"It [Flushing] has families that came with the first English settlers, and that came with the first Quaker settlers...Someone once said that to be a gentleman, a man must begin with his grandfather. Flushing began to be what it is before our great-grandfathers."

Nowhere does he "rave" about non-white denizens and the virtues of multi-culturalism. He does not mention Blacks, Asians, Jews.

Crapper, what was the ethnic/racial breakdown of Flushing in 1917?

connie said...

"I think the best and the most friendly and the most kindly and helpful people in the world live right here in Flushing. And a town is only what its people are."

Gentrification changes everything about a place and not always for the betterment of the community. For the most part the newcomers, from the 1970’s forward, never wanted to assimilate into the community of Flushing. Instead of joining in and participation in local organizations, they started their own. The Flushing community is now fractured and splintered into many pieces. The development and community organizations, old and new, have made Flushing into the most unwelcoming, cold place it is today. And to quote Mr. Butler, “...a town is only what its people are.” It's a shame.

Anonymous said...

"Connie"....you're absolutely correct on this point!

A lot of the various organizations that were supposed to help Flushing were actually responsible for splintering this community into easily colonized fragments !

Divide and conquer was the plan set forth in the early 1980s by Donald Manes & Co. and his friends a "select" group of speculative Taiwanese developers!

connie said...

Unfortunately, I was there visiting yesterday and I was shocked. Which usually happens everytime I visit. Besides being the most crowded hub in the city, it stinks to high heaven! Main Street and 40th Road smells like puke. I would never eat there. If the sidewalk conditions are any indication of what's going on in the kitchen..... RUN!

Anonymous said...

How Asians ruined Queens?

No case was presented, so how is it case closed?