Monday, May 19, 2008

Queens flashback: 1996 sounds like 2008

What has happened in Queens represents an extraordinary collusion of landlords, tenants, real estate brokers and contractors, tacitly abetted by judges and city bureaucrats who are partly unwilling and partly unable to stop it. The surrender of city officials exemplifies the calculation they have made throughout all five boroughs: it is better to let tenants remain in illegal apartments than to evict them, because the city has no place else for them to go.

Behind a Suburban Facade in Queens, A Teeming, Angry Urban Arithmetic

''We're betwixt and between,'' said Borough President Claire Shulman of Queens. Ms. Shulman said that if officials invoked enough laws, hired enough inspectors and mounted enough court battles, they might be able to make a dent in the problem. But, she added, ''It would probably only increase the homeless population.''

Ms. Shulman and other borough and city officials say it is impossible to quantify such a hidden phenomenon, and census numbers provide little or no help, because they overlook many of the recent immigrants who occupy the basements, attics and even garages of houses throughout the borough.

But the district managers of virtually every community board in Queens cite the illegal conversion of private homes as their primary problem, causing fire and health hazards, overcrowding schools and cluttering neighborhoods that were not supposed to be overrun with garbage pails and double-parked cars.

School officials notice more children listing the same address on enrollment forms. Postal workers notice more names on the different pieces of mail being delivered to each house. And residents notice contractors trudging in and out of their neighbors' yards as more and more homeowners cash in on the trend.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

City Council recently passed a law that allows tenants to sue the landlords for harrassment in housing court. My landlord (LeFrak) and other landlords answer is to escalate the harrassment against longtime tenants AND new tenants paying $2,000 - $3,000.

Their greed and arrogance not only causes homelessness but also driving people out of NY or the Country.

We are all in the same sinking boat folks.

Anonymous said...

The family
of that old school"strong-arm" builder Sam Lefrak,
perhaps embarrassed about their arrogant history, now uses their newly created name "Le Frak" in a laughable attempt to put on "French"airs and gain "respect".

It ain't gonna work you Lefrak descendants!

You'll always spell the kind of class you lowly curs are trying to attain....capital "K-L-A-S-S"....
(like a cheap vaudeville/burlesque
comic)!

And now there's a "Le Frak" Center For The Performing Arts" at Queens College.

H-m-m-m....
like the low class used to buy their titles from that tiny
European spot... San Marino.

May we present,
ladies and gentlemen for your evening entertainment,
Le Marquis de Le Frak
who will perform his remarkable feats of real estate juggling
on our illustrious stage!

Ha, ha, ha...
my sides are splitting from laughter!

Further proof...you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear!

Anonymous said...

So,
Shulman's answer was to turn her back on the problems that existed.

A typical clubhouse response!

There was too much money to be made (then and now) feeding from the trough of corruption!

Some day soon, Crowley's Club" will find themselves swimming in their own crap looking for a lifeboat to rescue them.

Keep up the great work revealing all those slush funds you federal pit bulls!

Anonymous said...

I remember attending that particular
Little Neck Memorial Day parade
with a visiting friend from Manhattan.

She remarked,
upon siting Shulman's mug,
"Who's the cow Queen"?

I replied, "She's just the real estate industry's stable girl"!

Anonymous said...

The problem is difficult so there's no point in trying to solve it? Great, then we don't need politicians for anything! Borough "presidents" can be the first to go.

Anonymous said...

"Lafrak", "La Frak" (donated art work to French Consolate), "Mid State Management", etc. still translates to 'SLUMLORD".

Anonymous said...

La Frak is the fourth change of name.

How sad not to be proud of who you are.

Anonymous said...

Oh, dear meant Le Frak. Off with my head!!!

Anonymous said...

This blog artical sums up Queens perfectly.

In a 24 hour period last week I experienced the following: The renter of the illegal basement apartment down the street get a visit by 4 fire trucks - seems that he is using the attached grage for his welding buisness - I didn't call, someone else did though. The new latin Americans renters behind me seemed to have hit upon a novel new buisness - hold an amplified live dance for lonely men in a tarp wrapped enclosure in the front yard - sell tickets to the 9pm start time - by the time I wanted to go to bed at 11 - my eardrums was popping and body was pulsating - no chance these folks were going to cut it off - the police - called by someone else got them to turn it off but went right back on to 5am. I did call about the family with 18 family members - setting up beds in their yard - seems that a couple of pairs rotate there to have some privacy - romatic except I don't want to have to look outside my window and see Asians grinding when they roll passionately outside the tent. Is there no limit to what I must endure - no enforecemt of code, morals or curtesy left?

Taxpayer said...

Here's the money making formula: Ignore the trickle of lawbreaking when it is starting - that's compassion.

Ignore the problem while it festers - talk about it, but do nothing.

When the problem is overwhelming, claim that it will now be costly and impractical to solve it.

Apply this formula to: Illegal aliens, illegal rentals, overdevelopment, building violations, out-of-state registration of vehicles, flooding, noise problems, graffiti, vandalism ...

When it all blows up, raise taxes and do nothing.

Anonymous said...

This blog artical sums up Queens perfectly.

In a 24 hour period last week I experienced the following: Now extended to 1 week:
At 74th street and 57 Ave tiny green triangle park early Wed evening, 3 vans pulled up onto the sidewalk adjacent to the the park benches and set up shop selling large cheap framed wall art 2 for $20 bucks. Needless to say all those LI commuters traveling along this service road to sic "beat the traffic" clogged this busy corner to inspect this deal of the century.

The brazenness of the vendors struck me as how they jumped the sidewalk with 3 vans and mounted their wares on stands all technically in a city park! The commuters doubled and tripled parked with local pedestrians forced off the sidewalk to walk among these cars. Local vehicules were careening around this scary scene almost hitting several of the folks in the street and several cars came close to hitting each other! I immediately called 311 and connected with the police whom dispatched a car to the scene as an emergency. Here is the rub besides bold vendors whom set up shop anywhere - The street location technically in Maspeth, straddling the line with Elmhurst (Conrail tracks) and Middle Village South of the LIE - both 311 and the police seem confused about which police precient should be responding to the scene - do you live in this vicinity? If so the borders here are not patrolled as frequently amongst the 3 precients because this location is the most distant from their P. house. The borders are demarcation points and are not patrolled in an overlap manner to cover the area. What's next - striptease shows at Crowley Park?