When Gloria Black looks into Jamaica’s future, she sees a grand restoration: Department stores will move into spaces where discount jewelers sell removable gold teeth; vacant storefronts, their windows taped up with yellowing newspaper, will fill one by one. The prosperous downtown of the 1960s — the one that drew families from Harlem and Brooklyn and South Carolina — will return to southeast Queens.
Southeast Queens Is Split Over Makeover Proposal
Crystal Ervin sees something different. If Jamaica is reshaped by the city’s rezoning, she fears, the single-family home her parents bought in 1953 will be jammed up against a six-story building. Parking, already a headache, will become a nightmare. And the modest middle-class dream of her mother, who is now 85, will be taken away.
Still, to many of the neighborhood’s residents and business owners, the rezoning remains abstract and distant. Dr. Barry Eisenkraft, a veterinarian who practices on Hillside Avenue, said he tried to organize some of the neighboring businesspeople around the issue and received no response. Ms. Black sympathized; only about a third of the people in her neighborhood, she estimated, have focused their attention on rezoning.
“You get people who seemingly just can’t generate the interest,” she said, “until it smacks them in the eyes.”
Most precious quote: “There’s no CVS, no Rite Aid. As it stands right now, people have no reason to come to Hillside Avenue.” (I'll be happy to send you mine since I have both of those plus a Duane Reade.)
Photo from NY Times