My name is Danielle and I grew up in Kew Gardens Hills.....well for a large part of my childhood at least. My Grandparents raised me on 76th road, in a beautiful attached house with a beautiful garden. I went to school at Queen of Peace only 2 blocks from my house. Everyday my grandmother brought me to the triangle park across the street from the library. I use to believe the bank housed the ACTUAL Liberty Bell and I loved hearing stories about how the whole area use to be farm land. My grandparents raised my mother and I both in that house, it was their dream home, they purchased it in the 70's after living in a one bedroom apartment in Jamaica for 10 years after coming to this country from Cuba.
My front yard had hydrangea bushes, and lily of the valley flower, my grandmother had made a rock garden and had a large bird bath. Our back alley was also meticulously taken care of. My grandparents had a Florida room which once was an open back patio which they closed in yet always still had the feeling of being open. My grandmother had her plants lining all the windows, it was like a little jungle. We even had a landscaper for that tiny piece of property on 76th rd. In 2000 when I was 14 my grandparents retired to Florida and I was living on Long Island with my mother. The pain of leaving that house is unimaginable, to leave your memories, your childhood...... you leave your home in the hands of the next family and hope that they take care of your most prized possession.
Three years later I got my drivers license and decided to go see my old home..... I wish I never had. They paved everything. Its one huge concrete mess. From what I heard from old neighbors they had knocked down all the walls on the main floor and made one HUGE room.....and then bricked in our back Florida room to make a new kitchen. The house had the original windows which made it possible to be considered historic in a few years.....but no they ripped them out and got these big ugly white windows and vertical blinds. As I looked at the rest of the block I noticed that many others had one the same thing.....concreting their yards, building brick fences.....taking away any charm. I still cry over it....I cry as I write this email.
Thank you for your website.....its nice to see I have others that miss what Queens was.
p.s. this was my inspiration for writing you ..... here.
[Don't think that's Danielle's house, but I put 76th Road in Google Maps and found this gem.]
I think your blog is great. I have a question - who do I contact about these ugly buildings that are being built all over Queens. Somebody has to say enough is enough these developers are making Queens ugly and they have no respect for Queens, stainless steel doors with brick houses! Seriously people have to stand up!!!