Sunday, May 4, 2008

NY Times visits Maspeth, insults locals

So, the NY Times came to Crappy's hood and interviewed the residents.

On a recent afternoon stroll, Mr. Holden expressed appreciation for the smaller, older houses — which still predominate — and shook his head at the sight of newer multifamily homes — which have increased in number in the last five years or so.

“We’re losing the charm of the neighborhood,” he said, adding, “We’ve seen some of the neighborhoods in New York City that have fallen, and we don’t want that to happen here.”

Joan Sammon, an agent at O’Kane Realty, shared that nostalgia. “There are some nice blocks where you used to say, ‘I loved that house with the big old magnolia tree,’ ” she said. “And it’s gone, and now there’s this big brick higher-density house there.”


Yes, Manhattan’s Over There. What of It?

Then the Gray Lady unnecessarily consulted an outsider who said that residents' overdevelopment concerns are not important.

But such development concerns are relatively small. Claudia Gryvatz Copquin, author of “The Neighborhoods of Queens,” published last year, said that while there is an uproar in many neighborhoods about the construction of large houses on tiny lots, that concern does not extend to Maspeth.

Who the hell is she to make a statement like that? Her own writing proves that she doesn't know the difference between Woodside, Elmhurst and Maspeth. But to the Times she's an expert on Queens neighborhoods because she wrote a book, the natives be damned.

40 comments:

ken said...

this is probably due to the Times' set way of writing articles: you always have to offer a counter argument along with any opinion put forth, which works out fine in most cases, except when there really isn't a counter argument to be had, as here. Not to be put off by that the Times reporter proceeded to invent one, "cause all good essays MUST have a counter argument to make it seem fair-minded and objective," even if that results in factual inaccuracies.

Anonymous said...

The fact that they have to ask someone who lives out on the Island to find someone who doesn't think overdevelopment is a concern instead of someone who lives in the neighborhood kind of negates their 'balanced argument' theory.

Anonymous said...

She represents the right IMAGE that fills and AGENDA, the facts on the ground be damned.

Immigrant! Immigrant! Immigrant!

Since the natives dont help their image by accepting the Archie Bunker label passively, that is ok. They need not be treated seriously for comments on their own community.

Call borough hall, instead.

Immigrant! Immigrant! Immigrant!

There. Don't we feel better? Now we have covered nearly 40% of the city and 2.5 million people, lets take a look at the other four boroughs.

Anonymous said...

How dare the NY Times present different points of view.

Anonymous said...

The NY Times is only good for wiping ones ass with.

Anonymous said...

The terms “blue collar” and “small town” come up a lot in this 2.5-square-mile area, whose lack of subway access to Manhattan, only five miles away, feeds residents’ hopes that those terms will continue to apply for a long time.
“When people ask where we’re from,” Mr. Holden said recently, “we don’t say Queens, and we don’t say New York. We say Maspeth.”

Well this explains the opposition to congestion pricing. Maspeth welcome to Queens and NYC, NYC and Queens meet Maspeth. Please join the rest of the city and stop trying to isolate yourself from it.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Mr. Holden from Middle Village?

Anonymous said...

I live in the area and when someone asks where I am from I say New York or Queens, New York. Why would you say "Maspeth" to someone not from the area, they wouldn't know what you are talking about?

Anonymous said...

People from Queens have always identified themselves as being from a certain town and not the borough.

Anonymous said...

nothing wrong about being proud of ones hometown. Would be nice if more folk were.

Anonymous said...

hey crappy at least they did not interview someone who says ya i am from mas-pit>

you all know you have heard that before

i live on the border of middle village and maspeth

have not heard someone say mas-pit
in years

i also used to work at maspeth news on grand and 69pl in the 80's when it was owned by 4 greek guys

who remembers when newstands were not exclusively owned by indians?

Anonymous said...

A common mispronunciation is for people to stress the second syllable, as in Mas-PETH.

Anonymous said...

For those who have read the book, why not leave a review that explains the inaccuracies in it on Amazon?

http://www.amazon.com/Neighborhoods-Queens-New-York-City/dp/0300112998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209946377&sr=8-1

Anonymous said...

If there is someone that is an authority on Maspeth, Middle Village and South Elmhurst it is Bob Holden and the NY Times found him. That say's much for our area.

However Ms Samon of O'Kane would chop that Magnolia tree down herself in a heart beat to sell that property. For those of you who know how she represents a vision of what a house can be to a potential buyer - the proof of the pudding is what has happened to those houses - if you look closely. For neighbors it has changed the very character of their blocks and the city ignores what is occurring. Already, Ms. Samon, whom has already sold her soul to make a fast buck in the short term, has little prospects to compete against a new world order she unwittingly created!

So the point is Maspeth and the surrounding towns still have that old real neighborly feel and look. Bob Holden want to maintain this character through upholding housing and zoning laws and bring up issues that affect the local home-owner. He is a very loud voice in defence of our quality of life that everyone else seems to chip away at.

Anonymous said...

Please... I heard that The double lot house across from Maspeth Town Hall was owned by a Papavero and it was just sold to a developer thru Okane - SO oh yeah she nostalgic (but then here comes the money rolling in so nostalgia goes out the door) I think I am going to puke... they are such liars... People say anything to get their name in the paper

Anonymous said...

It is true though. much as you think you are the voice of tens of thousand of people in Queens, you are wrong. Very few people are agains development in our neighborhoods and quite a lot of people are for it.
Many people are against the shoddy development of Wang buildings, etc.

Queens Crapper said...

Please show me the great masses who are for more development in the boroughs. Make sure you get them on camera in front of the latest piece of crap to invade their neighborhood. And as for only being against shoddy development - show me a new building in Queens that isn't a shoddy ugly piece of shit.

Anonymous said...

It's Huang, not Wang you moron!

Anonymous said...

"Very few people are agains development in our neighborhoods and quite a lot of people are for it."

Then why couldn't the Times reporter find anyone in Maspeth to say it was great? You lose.

Anonymous said...

Most residents are for more good development in Queens. It is called a silent majority Crapper. Most people don't want low quality, overdevelopment, but you are against ANY development. Your statement that every recent new building in Queens is shoddy is ridiculous and incredulous and goes to show the lack of quality of your judgment.

ken said...

at least 90% of every recent new building in Queens is shoddy, I'd say. They just construct them so cheaply that they couldn't be anything other than crummy.

Anonymous said...

The government can't provide services to the people here now. We certainly can't handle more.

Queens Crapper said...

"Most residents are for more good development in Queens. It is called a silent majority Crapper."

How do you justify this statement? Do you really expect to be taken seriously when you say that most people who live here now want more people living in their neighborhoods?

Anonymous said...

I justify it anecdotally. I know lots of people and almost all are happy with things like Atlas Park, Trader Joes, the Queens Center expansion, seeing old ugly houses upgraded to nicer newer ones, the Windsor in Forest Hills, almost everyone loves the development of LIC, wants Willets Point transformed, etc. Yes everyone also wants the infrastructure and services to keep up with the development, and no one wants ugly three family houses to replace nice single family homes where inappropriate, but most people want good development. Face it Crapper - your extreme views are part of a dwindling minority.

Julie said...

"I justify it anecdotally."

Anonymous can justify his views anecdotally but you can't because he knows "a lot of people". He was probably captain of the debate team in high school.

Anonymous said...

"no one wants ugly three family houses to replace nice single family homes where inappropriate"

Where exactly is it appropriate to replace nice single family homes with ugly three family houses?

Anonymous said...

I live in LIC. I want more development. they can't build it fast enough for me. More building = more people. More people = more retail services. More retail = higher quality of life (there is a real shortage of shopping in LIC) more quality of life = property appreciation = more money in my pocket as a landowner.

Anonymous said...

seeing old ugly houses upgraded to nicer newer ones

------

Its funny how people who claim to 'represent' Queens step into the vacuuum (thank you peservation community for ignoring most of the city so little worms like this can thrive) and see no problem in saying crap like this, but when challenged to share their unique 'insight' to other, more savvy communities filled with older housing stock that should be 'upgraded' (think the Village, the Heights, oh, just about every prime community that does not have the new throwaway junk they give Queens) they disappear into the woodwork - with the other termites.

Anonymous said...

More building = more people. More people = more retail services. More retail = higher quality of life
---------

Now here is the typical well rounded product of our school system, yes lets make money on all this activity.

Oh just one thing, (he says in his best Columbo imitation) since they cut your community to just one hospital from four, just dont get sick,

oh, yes, and um, if you have kids, dont sent them to school cause we cannot handle the number of kids that are in school now,

and, oh, hate to say this, but you might just have to walk to work beacuse your subway was built for a borough of one million, not 2.5 million,

and please please please be careful with matches. The city has enough money to plant trees in from of every devlopment but they DID shut down your local firehouse.

But yes, sonny, you are right. SOMEONE is making a shitload of money. And in your little warped view of the world, that is all that matters.

Anonymous said...

Misinformed.

There is a new school here that just recently expanded to double in size. Plans for 2 new school to be located in the lower floors of those fancy waterfront condos. Maybe more. The city keeps adding to the plan - it hard to keep track. They should be coming online shortly.

There are water taxis, and cars, and 6 subway lines to chose from. I don't see an issue. LIC is very well connected transportation wise.

Our firehouse was not closed. It's two blocks away from the waterfront. I brought them cookies a few weekends ago.

New parklands is poping up all over the place. New extention of the waterfront park should be ready in a few months. A lot of the streets such as Jackson Ave and Queens Plaza is getting redone with green medians as covered here on QC. Millions of $$ being spend on roads and other infrastructure that was neglected when the area was primarily residential.

Property values are throught the roof.

So explain to me why I should be against development again?

Jason in Kew Gardens said...

"I justify it anecdotally. I know lots of people and almost all are happy with things like Atlas Park, Trader Joes, the Queens Center expansion, seeing old ugly houses upgraded to nicer newer ones, the Windsor in Forest Hills, almost everyone loves the development of LIC, wants Willets Point transformed, etc..."

I would like you to give me the addresses of 3 single family homes in the entire borough of Queens which have been replaced with 3 more attractive single family homes in the past decade. Please post a link to a photo sharing website displaying this phenomenon.

Regarding The Neighborhoods of Queens book, I found an error in it during my first flip through. On page 71, in the Forest Hills section, there is a photo labeled "Greenway Terrace, Forest Hills Gardens"; it is actually a photo of two homes on Beverly Street in Kew Gardens.

Anonymous said...

MYTH:There is a new school here that just recently expanded to double in size. Plans for 2 new school to be located in the lower floors of those fancy waterfront condos. Maybe more. The city keeps adding to the plan - it hard to keep track. They should be coming online shortly.

REALITY: The schools in Queens are chronically overcrowded, a situation that goes back decades. They were crowded when I went to them, and they were worse when my kids went to them decades later. Note how our friend is vague on numbers - like how many seats the district is already short, how many new seats are coming on line, and how many seats they need within ten years (when all the projects that yoyos like him drool over) and come on line. Mr and Mrs Yuppie, you are in for a big surprise when junior goes to a Queens school. You are not in Shaker Heights or Cherry Hill anymore. It should be a real kneeslapper when they start to send the kids in from the overcrowded schools serving Queensbridge to sit next to your little trust fund baby. tehehehehe

MYTH: There are water taxis, and cars, and 6 subway lines to chose from. I don't see an issue. LIC is very well connected transportation wise.

REALITY: water taxis closed! now they are open! Cars? Businesses were moving out of here in the 20s to avoid congestion. 6 lines: well there is the Steinway tunnel, the 53rd St Tunnel, the Crosstown Tunnel (for that heavy Brooklyn commute), the 59th Street Tunnel and well, yes, if you live at Queenbridge, the 63rd Street Tunnel. I only count 5 but you Wall St types have been playing bookkeeping ballet for some time now, so I will not argue that point. As you are at the last stop in Queens, in a community with double digit growth for the past few decades, and perhaps as many as a 1,000,000 new people in the Brave New 2030 plan, there will be lots of space!

MYTH: Our firehouse was not closed. It's two blocks away from the waterfront. I brought them cookies a few weekends ago.

REALITY: Yes, I know about that place, and when I went by, they were not in - something about a fire in Dutch Kills a few blocks away, another communtiy with nuts that once welcomed development and was once covered by a firehouse and 2 story buildings but now has no firehouse and 15 story buildings.

MYTH: New parklands is poping up all over the place. New extention of the waterfront park should be ready in a few months. A lot of the streets such as Jackson Ave and Queens Plaza is getting redone with green medians as covered here on QC. Millions of $$ being spend on roads and other infrastructure that was neglected when the area was primarily residential.

REALITY: Everyone knows the underpatrolled Gantry Park is a disaster waiting to happen, and all of us old timers know that the city is great at building stuff and then letting it go to pot. Stop by in a few years and see dead trees in your greenway and 40 foot wide public access and chain link fences. They are just sinking money to get suckers like you to buy, then they will move on. Remember, we have been around here a long long time and have seen it all.

MYTH: Property values are throught the roof.

REAILTY: yes, so are they in East New York - remember, USA is a country with no borders and finite space with infinite demand ...

MYTH: So explain to me why I should be against development again?

REALITY: sonny, its late, and I am tired. I have a headache, but no place to go. Thought about going to the ER at Greenpoint Hospital, but that was closed years ago, then St John's Hospital, but that is now Citibank, then there was Boulevard Hospital, but dang, that was closed as well as Doctors Hospital in Jackson Heights.

Wait a minute! We still have good old Astoria General. Go ahead, like the commerical says, its ok to look.

Take a long hard look. That is the harsh reality of the place that you have moved to, sunk your trust fund for your little nest in the sky, and will try to raise your kids.

You see, you are now living on my mean streets, the place that us scum that you look down on owns.

Lets see how long you last.

Fred said...

And once you get to one of our few remaining Queens hospitals...you might be waiting awhile for treatment, and not only because it's crowded.

Anonymous said...

To the person who wants to see single family home upgrades - just go to Penelope Avenue in Middle Village between 70th Street and 74th Street. There are at least 6 houses there that have been upgraded in the last 5-7 years and ALL are MUCH better now than they were before. Even Crapper posted a picture of one of them (on 74th Street a few houses north of Penelope) a while back and said he liked it. Your comment is just biased and closed-minded.

Anonymous said...

The article didn't mention single family home upgrades. We're taking about rampant overdevelopment, where a one family house is replaced with a 6-unit monster.

Anonymous said...

Your comment is just biased and closed-minded.
------------

Which is one of the reasons that Archie Bunker, a creation of a non Queens native, is persona non grata around these parts.

We will no longer be your Step N Fetchet.

And I loved that tirade against that yuppie punk. Crappy should post that as a stand-a-lone topic.

Anonymous said...

Most residents are for more good development

This is true but it has not materialized. Ok - some retail devepoments are passable but in private housing - it all crap and very expensive at that - nothing worth living in yourself thus it's built mostly for investors.

Upgrades to existing houses? Ms Samon jumps at the opportunity to take a traditional house cheap vs new crap construction and suggest what others are doing on the block.

The only way to justify this expense is to pack more people into the structure, in most cases seeing other examples on that same block shows how 12-14 people can be shoehorned illegally in a house orginally built for 4.

Needless to say, most houses turned over in the last 5 years are now considered to be illegal. New ethnic groups are simply looking to get into housing and the best way to acheive that is sell bed space in carved out living rooms, garages and converted basement apartments.

Seems crude? Yes, but to these folks it's much better than the old country. It's a bit odd to sleep between your wife and father-in-law but still manage to have children - after all your married - just watch where you grope in the dark!

The character of our neighborhoods have changed not for new ethnic groups but for the city policy of overlooking laws that were created to insure safe housing and uphold zoning regulations. The city upholds the law in one area but turns it back on in others. Queens is the other and we are not getting what we pay for from city government.

Anonymous said...

You are pathetic. Two new condos in the ground this week. You can't stop us. The yuppies are getting all your parks and infrastructure while you get the leftovers. Ha ha! Don't worry, we will bus some of your kids into our new schools, and you can hang out in our parks if you like. Hell we'll even lend you are firemen.

Anonymous said...

"Hell we'll even lend you are firemen."

I learned both spelling and grammar! You can't take that away from me. I'll let you borrow some of my smarts and we'll call it even.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, its some bozo developer acting like a resident.

As someone posted somewhere, these guys spend more money on their daughter's spring break than they spend to buy a poltiican's district.

Their lifestyles, supported by your taxes that you thought you were spending for services for your family, is the very definition of gross tasteless overconsumption.

Think about that, as you struggle to raise your kids, every time your politican buddies up with them, and your paper treats them like the Pope came back for a second visit.