Friday, January 18, 2008

How's this for a neighborhood profile?

As Councilman Monserrate suggests, Elmhurst has not turned into one of those hot real estate markets. The buildings have more wear than similar-aged structures in neighboring communities. The chrome on lobby entrances rarely gets polished. Lobbies look tired.

Will Elmhurst get noticed?

At first glance, Elmhurst appears ugly. There's a windowless Bell Atlantic tan box of a building in front of a public park lined by wiry trees and prewar condos. Signs for stores are so numerous you could be in 10 countries at once.

On the side streets, however, the area's past gives its present a welcoming charm. Around one corner, there's a 90-year-old community center with 20-feet white columns on a small triangular park. Around another, a Jain Buddhist temple. One home's old wooden garage was built for 1930 automobiles.

At sunset, the dirty black bricks of the six-story apartment buildings turn deep red and almost dark pink. At night, it's peaceful.


Uh, sounds like heaven... Here's more:

"Hello,

I was doing some research at work today and came upon your site. Let me tell you, it is a breath of fresh air that I find like-minded individuals who feel the same about their dear old Queens. I am an Architectural Designer that works for a exterior restoration/interiors firm. I have lived in Queens all my life. I have seen my neighborhood transform from friendly neighbors, knowing your local butcher, and the postman (Jack was his name) to a cesspool of an overcrowded & overburden neighborhood, where people don't necessarily respect their neighbors or their homes. I live on the Elmhurst/Jackson Heights border by Elmhurst Hospital. There is a monstrosity being built on my corner and I feel helpless since it already passed through the DOB. Where is the Zoning Regulation board I ask? I cannot begin to explain the feelings I have for my dear old neighborhood. So I ask, What can I do to help fight the good fight and take back my Queens? I see this in all neighborhoods. Once again I ask, Where is the Zoning Regulation Board? I was also a Residential Designer, so I'm familiar with the DOB and Zoning Laws. I'm am soo tired of this crap. Ugh! What can I do to help or fight the good fight?

Sincerely,

A disgruntled, disenchanted Elmhurst Resident for about 28 yrs. and I won't give up my neighborhood...."

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh please. Jackson Heights was a mess 20 years ago, filled with drug dealers, rampant crime and grime. The changes to that neighborhood in recent times have been amazingly positive.

Anonymous said...

Look at that picture - it tell the real story. Undiscovered? Uncover a picture of the same block 10 years ago. Do we want more of this?

Anonymous said...

Sorry.....
that old saying......"You can't go home"....
applies here!

Your nabe has been red-lined, like others in Queens
that have been slated for over development and over population well over 25 years ago
by the Dept. of City Planning.

The only neighborhoods that can retain
their past charm and quality of life
are those which have been designated
NYC historic districts.

Elmhurst, unfortunately,
has suffered too many stigmas.

Firstly, it was viewd
as the cocaine capitol of NYC in the mid 70s.
Thus it did not attract higher end buyers
of real estate who had the sensitivity to protect and restore many of its architectural treasures.

Whereas Jackson Heights (north of Roosevelt Ave.)
got express service landmarking.
That was because its residents (i.e. ex Deputy Borough President Peter Magnani under Claire Shulman) had "juice"and pushed it through.
They did NOT want to be lumped in with Elmhurst's
decaying reputation as a good place to live.

It's sad but these are the blunt facts.
Elmhurst cannot be retrieved or restored
to its former small town flavor.
When a plum rots on the branch
it soon drops from the tree.

This once lovely neighborhood is now gone.....
time to leave home and strike out for better prospects!

Believe me I know and fully sympathize with you.

I had to leave my lovely Bronx nabe
some 50 years ago.
I revisited it last year and was glad my family
had the courage to move then.....
in time to rebuild our lives.

The only familiar landmark that remained
in my former nabe was a huge glacial boulder
or ledge that was far too large and permanent to
be destroyed or removed.

Anonymous said...

"a Jain Buddhist" temple?
Those are two separate religions. What an ignorant writer!

Anonymous said...

Elmhurst is a dump, a cautionary tale of what will happen to the rest of Queens when the clubhouse destroys it.

Time for urban renewal, and a new name, Newtown!

Anonymous said...

Elmhurst is filled with brain dead, the goofy gigglers, and fearful people that listen to what boss man tells them.

A perfect mix of every native and
3rd world loser.

Nothing will change until the current population is flushed out of there.

Funny, though, how the newspapers extoll its virtues. Something not held by just about everyone that lives there.

Anonymous said...

Thank You for all your comments. However, I would have to disagree that the "the changes to that neighborhood in recent times have been amazingly positive". I would say that 35 years ago, when my family moved to the area, it was a different story. I grew up on a block where neighbors would greet each other. A beautiful chestnut tree that grew in front of our building greeted us every morning on our way to school. Unfortunately it had to be cut down. Yes, I agree it has been filled with rampant crime, but do you honestly think that the crime rate has since improved...Not by my observations. And as for grime...Ummm take a walk around the area. It has since deteriorated exuberantly-no improvements there... Unfortunately, It looks like I will have to move to a nicer area. Just another individual moving out to the island to get away,if that.

Anonymous said...

You are doing what the machine wants you to do.

They want communities full of clueless dependant people, and if they come from cultures that defer to people in power, so the better.

This will catch up to you no matter were you go - you will not find 1965 anywhere.

Stay and fight with us. Its the American thing to do.

Anonymous said...

Your anecdotal observations aside, there are verifiable statistics that clearly show that crime has decreased tremendously in Jackson Heights from 15-20 years ago. I think most honest people would tell you that the area is much cleaner and respectable than it had been back then as well. You are just a hater. As for you being "another individual moving out to the island to get away," have you been out there lately? LI is graying and decaying. The demographics show that people, especially the younger generation, are fleeing LI for the city and for cheaper rural areas.

Anonymous said...

Yes your anecdotal observations mean nothing. It's not about whether you perceive that the neighborhood dirty and congested and you want to leave. Only statistics matter, not people's quality-of-life. The funny thing is that the objective reporter's first impression was similar to that of the life-long resident who wrote in to Crappy. It's a dingy, tweeded place.

Anonymous said...

The article was about a slum called Elmhurst, not Jackson Heights, a good part of which is landmarked.

Anonymous said...

"...I think most honest people would tell you that the area is much cleaner and respectable than it had been back then as well. You are just a hater. As for you being "another individual moving out to the island to get away," have you been out there lately? LI is graying and decaying. The demographics show that people, especially the younger generation, are fleeing LI for the city and for cheaper rural areas."
In response....Ummm, I think you need a realty check. I am not a hater. In fact love the neighborhood. Are you actually a resident? Or someone who thinks they know the area. Better yet, Did you grow up there? Just curious. As for LI, I have family there and yeah this "flight" for greener pastures is happening there as well. I'm just trying to express my concern that's all. For you to start with the name calling is pretty pathetic on your part.

ken said...

wonder if the nabe was originally named as it was due to there being lots of "elm" trees there? Sure aren't anymore!

Anonymous said...

stay and fight ? fight WHO,or is it WHOM ? what politician has the stones to simply SAY:enforce the law. be it the occupancy laws,laws on loitering,public unrination,littering,consuming alchoholic beverages publicly,harassment,residency laws for enrollment,immunization requirements for school entry etc.
i remember well,back in the day,at a community board meeting graced by schulman....and when a FDNY member spoke out about illegal conversions......schulman stated that "they provide a need.housing is limited and can't meet the demand."spoken like a true liberal jackass.
so,what politician is assisting TAX PAYERS in this area ?
why stay here at any age/stage in life when there are other places where LIFE is livable without the aggravation of witnessing the destruction of your neighborhood into a turd world slum ? never mind you're doing the heavy lifting while they live and breed and work tax free.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny, when there is a crime, its never in the tweeded Elmhurst, or East Elmhurst, but reported it seems always in Jackson Heights.

I wonder why.

Anonymous said...

For those whom have been and invested in our homes a long time, I find Elmhurst has been trampled upon - red lined as many suggest and simply become a disgusting place. I want to stem the tide against an ignorance on the part of City government to look the other way in upholding laws and regulations concerning illegal citizens and also enforcing DOB code.

I can move easily - but where to LI? Not for me yet and never to LI where it's fast absorbing the riftrafe that has migrated from Brooklyn to Queens to LI. If Queens get the shaft wait till you get to Nassau, it really the next Queens but with much higher taxes ,zero personality, high traffic and congestion without a transportation system. Culturally speaking the only thing you can do there is spend mindless hours at the mall. No, Queens is no longer what my childhood was like, I accept that. But why is it that the City pushes all the S*** on Elmhurst, Middle Village and Maspeth - perfectly great places to live and ruin it out right?

Anonymous said...

Notice how the ,
predominately Latino,
south side of Jackson Heights
DID NOT get landmarked!

Only the influential posh north side
of Roosevelt Ave. was.

LPC practices DISCRIMINATION !

Anonymous said...

Watch out.....Elmhurst Real Estate Brokers have multi listings of homes in Glendale, Maspeth and Midville shown on their storefronts. They are promoting the illegal one family homes that rent out their basements with the premise you can rent out rooms as well, to pay off the mortgage.

Pretty soon these neighborhoods might look like Elmhurst. Beware!

Anonymous said...

You want to see tragic, check out Fordham road in the Bronx, or the Grand concourse!


This is what happens when change comes around!


People of Queens,the above will becoming to Queens! it’s a no win situation.