Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jackson Heights a cauldron of corruption....wow!

"As I write this, the Art Deco Eagle Cinema on 73rd Rd. in Jackson Heights is being gutted to make way for a Rite-Aid drug store. The so-called Jackson Heights Historic Assn and so-called Jackson Heights Beautification Group have been totally silent on this, basically because they don't seem to recognize the part of Jackson Heights that lies west of "Little India" on 74th St. "Little India" has been failing for years; attendance was off over 50 per cent before its closing, which was blamed on a Mumbai studio strike in an article in the Times over a year ago. But while that Times article suggested the Bollywood cinema would revive after being shuttered, it was already known to local pols that the drug-store chain had made its move.

These phony civic groups have their match in local politics. A traffic survey commissioned by the Queens DOT (which used a consulting firm--who paid? from where?) and whose public forums were heavily attended by two elected officials (Dromm, Peralta) and one appointed via backroom deal (Den Dekker) reached several conclusions—part of a "solution" to the intense traffic and environmental assault along 73rd Street and 37th Avenue, its epicenter being that dreadful intersection (which Environmental Defense once labeled "a canyon of death.")

Now, why the person who advises Danny Dromm and serves as a go-between to the "godfather" of Tammany Hall East, Congressman Joe Crowley — the person who brokered the Den Dekker backroom deal — would have known about the conclusions of this report IN JUNE is already curious, because it would indicate that politics, and not necessarily sound planning, influenced this report. That would not be unusual, as there was a 1998 and a 2007 report that already made practical recommendations that the then-local-Councilperson (Helen Sears, for one) buried, because a major source of her campaign financing came from the Jackson Heights Indian Merchants Association, which wanted to push back residential parking and replace all of it with meters to accommodate the EXTRA vehicular traffic they wanted to attract from the burbs to the bargainland of JH.

And they want to turn the street in front of the Rite-Aid Theater into a pedestrian mall. Aside from the discussion we could have about how destroying all the movie theaters in a neighborhood will come back to bite the community (and JH has capitulated on all but one, which is in its death throes) when they wind up as check cashing places and crap merchants once the retail-store accommodation turns sour. And it will--with a Duane Reade a block away and FIVE MOM-AND-POP pharmacies along 37th Avenue before you reach 75th St., you have to wonder why the self-proclaimed "progressive" Mr. Dromm signed on to this travesty. Den Dekker, who NO ONE VOTED FOR and who lives in Woodside, is also on board.

The results of the current study, due to be presented in Sept at CB 3 for a kangaroo-court vote, has been held back for many months now--why? Maura McCarthy of the Queens DOT is a functionary, a puppet, she's proven that by years of inactivity and ineffectiveness in this district, for sure. One can only surmise that the Dems game plan is to use it as a carrot before this fall's election to make sure that the "team" wins and Hiram Monserrate goes down in flames. But that 'carrot' feels more like a stick to all residents west of 74th St, who have nothing to do with Hiram and his issues and are being sacrificed in the pursuit of partisan politics. It will be brutal for the residents of 37th Avenue, where the commercial trade ends and it becomes all residential down to the massively botched repair and redirection of entrance/exit of the BQE. We're already buried in noise, exhaust, 24-hr commercial activity, and no enforcement of traffic or sanitation law. (I would go as far as to say that the traffic report protects some really bad actors, including Apna Bazar and Subzi Mandi, both registered in Middlesex County, New Jersey, but major contributors to the JH Indian Merchants Assn, who in turn are major contributors to local pols.

I was once told, with a shrug—by the same Dromm-Crowley Dem party apparatchik I mentioned above—that the noise and traffic and environmental assault of western Jackson Heights was "mostly a cultural issue." In that context, the forthcoming traffic study; the destruction of the Eagle Cinema to make way for yet another chain drug store; the laissez-faire attitude about some of the most awful instant-ghetto buildings that have gone up on 73rd St. (self-certified by scammers); the accommodation of EVEN MORE vehicular traffic on a street that already is clogged and jammed all day long (just ask the Elmhurst Hospital ambulance drivers who cannot get through on 37th Ave west of 73rd St. NOW); the lack of enforcement needed here (foot patrol for the 115th ends at 74th St.) all says one thing to me: "Don't worry Jake, it's Chinatown."

We need your help!!!" - anonymous

Photo from Lost City

28 comments:

Luc Chese said...

I was once told, with a shrug—by the same Dromm-Crowley Dem party apparatchik I mentioned above—that the noise and traffic and environmental assault of western Jackson Heights was "mostly a cultural issue."

Translation: Us Democrats won't do anything about the trash along 74th Street, because this is a "vibrant" Tammany Hall loyalist area.

So don't let your "lying eyes" notice the trash along 74th Street, you "Ray-Cists!"

Joe said...

More Paki noodles
It sucks this old theater is going down --but honestly: Why would anybody go to that shithole called Jackson Heights to see a movie ?
The locals alone couldn't patronize that business to AC and heat that structure let alone staff it.
I was around 74st last week, shopping for sneakers and it stunk something un-believable.
Dead things, feces and curry is the best way to describe it.
Local parking was zero and I wasn't leaving my truck parked out of sight so I split.
Ohh --a mother pulled a little girls pants down between to cars to pee in the street as people casually walked by as if that was normal.
Jackson Heights is long gone

Anonymous said...

Forget it, that neighborhood is shot. Saving an already-neglected-to-death movie theater won't do squat to revitalize that area. Mom and pop stores are not wanted by the local pols. Read the writing on the wall and get out.

Anonymous said...

Why would anybody go to that shithole called Jackson Heights to see a movie ?
--

Because the Astoria Regal charges $16.50 a ticket?

Anonymous said...

Reading this inaccurate article leads me to believe that it was likely written by a man named Stanley. He is the only unagreeable, politician hating person who lives in the lower 70's like myself, who would provide such hatred. Long live Jackson Heights.

Queens Crapper said...

Interesting comment. What is inaccurate about the article?

Anonymous said...

"He is the only unagreeable, politician hating person who lives in the lower 70's like myself"

Sounds like that's your problem. Why do the lower 70s love politicians? They have nothing but contempt for you.

Erik Baard said...

I love biking to Jackson Heights for dinner and its farmers market, and long wished that the Eagle could have been revived. All over NYC it seems the default switch for failing theaters is chain drug store. Astoria lost the opera house/theater, Greenpoint several more.

It's great that the streets are moving to metered parking (ending free large item storage on public land) and that some streets might become pedestrian, but bland homogenization is a neighborhood killer. That's true whether the area is a current immigration hub or a neighborhood that isn't currently attracting large numbers of new Americans.

Erik Baard

Anonymous said...

That's true whether the area is a current immigration hub or a neighborhood that isn't currently attracting large numbers of new Americans.
--

You mean a place with solid middle class owner occupied housing? Does everything have to be come an illegal immigrant slum?

The answer is no.

Anonymous said...

I live in JH, and it is not a ****hole. In 100 degree heat, like last week, all of NYC stinks.

There are a lot of community activists who have moved in and are making things in the neighborhood better. Granted, I'd love to see a movie theater in the space, but it's too small for a chain. Indy theaters are not huge money-makers, so I think that's more the issue than anything.

74th Street will always be a high traffic area, but the rest of JH (besides Roosevelt) is quite nice.

Patrick Sweeney said...

I can't speak to the corruption of it all, but please put the Earle/Eagle out of its misery, at least a Rite Aid might create a few jobs - even if this type of retail is now overabundant in JH.

Anonymous said...

Since I move to JH eight years ago the Eagle seemed to be on its last leg. Any chain store would be insane to pass up an opportunity to develope a retail space so close the a major transit hub. Part of the reason the 70 blocks of JH are so crowded is access to the 5 trains and 6 buses that converge at the 74 Street terminal. Why would you drive here when there is plenty of pulic transit available?

Queens Crapper said...

"74th Street will always be a high traffic area, but the rest of JH (besides Roosevelt) is quite nice."

Sorry, I have chronicled the JH area, and I can tell you that there's an awful lot of run down houses and Queens Crap to be had, more so than in a lot of other neighborhoods.

Christian Lander said...

Why would you drive here when there is plenty of pulic [sic] transit available?

Oh, I don't know, have you ever noticed the creeps that ride public transportation?

"Within white culture, your choice of transportation method says a lot about you. For example a Prius says you care about the Earth, a bicycle shows you REALLY care about the earth, and a bus shows that you are probably not white." - Stuff White People Like

Anonymous said...

So the 115th precinct doesn't patrol 73rd St via foot patrol? I believe the 108th precinct covers 72nd St on westward.

Anonymous said...

Nope. The 115 goes up to the BQE. Check CityMap if you don't believe me. Another know nothing decides to post bullshit in a feeble effort to discredit the contributor.

Anonymous said...

Rite Aid might create a few jobs - even if this type of retail is now overabundant in JH

Where they just hire indians?

Anonymous said...

At Roosevelt Avenue, the precinct boundary for the 108 is 72 Street. Trust me.

Queens Crapper said...

I prefer to trust this map, thanks.

Anonymous said...

The Earle was classic porn and then gays wrecked it with their needs. Then the Eagle changed all that filth with Bollywood films until there was a dearth of Indian films.

There are a few like this movie house space with independent owners who would love to add this to their existing portfolio. Once you take a movie house out of circulation, it gone for good.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Crapper, your map is wrong. Have to go with the last two annon who claimed the 108 boundary is 72 Street at Roosevelt Avenue.

Queens Crapper said...

So the City's official police boundary map is wrong because some anonymous assholes say it is?

Okay. Since the contributor said the 115 refuses to send foot patrol west of 74th Street, your boundary definition doesn't make what he said untrue, so I am not sure what the big deal is.

Anonymous said...

Queens Crapper, it is interesting how there are so many no-it-alls who know nothing. Your map confrims what I already know, the boundary for the 115th precinct is the BQE. I think the confusion lies btween the boundaries of the 108 and 110, because as everyone in JH knows the 110 & 115 share Roosevelt Avenue most of the time. The 115th precinct covers all of Jackson Heights, North Corona, & East Elmhurst, essentially all of Community Board 3. 69th Street (BQE) to 114th Street / LaGuardia Airport to Roosevelt Avenue. I commend Queens Crapper for not putting up with no-nothings

Anonymous said...

Okay. Since the contributor said the 115 refuses to send foot patrol west of 74th Street, your boundary definition doesn't make what he said untrue, so I am not sure what the big deal is.
----------------------------------
The only big deal is that you are giving out bad info based on an innacurate map, and then you are badmouthing posters who correct you. The boundary for the 108 pct at Roosevelt Avenue is 72 Street, your map is wrong.

Queens Crapper said...

It's not my map, it's the NYPD's map.

Enough.

Anonymous said...

FYI:

Renowned theater architect John Eberson...known for introducing the atmospheric style movie palace...designed this gem in the art modern style.

What a lot of you are missing is that the theater was violated by its Indian owners shortly after its conversion from a gay porn venue to a Bollywood house.

Nothing worthwhile of its original interior is left.

Send the marquee to a museum...and let the rest go!

Anonymous said...

No doubt, many sexual escapades were enjoyed in the Earle (Eagle) when "vaseline alley" was in its hey day.

Maybe even Dromm has some fond (or fondling) personal memories.

Anonymous said...

Another inaccuracy in this article states that Den Dekker lives in Woodside. I'm pretty sure Den Dekker is a JH resident. He lives right by the Jackson Heights shopping plaza that houses Waldbaum's and Canelle. I know because I live on the same block. I don't want another chain pharmacy going up either, but anything is better than that filth that stands there now while I enter the subway station there every morning.