"Hey, excuse me. I am in a rush, but I came across your blog while looking for information on the St. Albans VA Hospital, and love that some one is also pissed off about the over development in Queens. I am a South East Queens resident, born and raised in Jamaica, educated in Bayside from Kindergarten to High School, so I know both areas of the borough extremely well. Yes over development in areas like Bayside, with the Mc Mansions have been a problem, but it was addressed quickly, and you do not see it any more. The reason, community involvement, and over all effective community influence with city government officials. At the very least the over developed houses in the more socially affluent neighborhoods in North Eastern Queens were of good quality.
In the poorer neighborhoods, these developers have no mercy, they come in, buy single family homes, on blocks with identical single family homes, knock them down, then put of extremely cheap, four family attached homes with no drive ways. The homes these developers build do not have grass out front, almost always have white gates out front, painted with cheap white paint that is stained with rust before the quasi apartments are even sold, if they are ever sold, and almost always have a weed garden behind them; I mean these guys don't even have the decency to put a little grass down, and take care of the exterior of the spaces which they rent out. This is occurring block after block, and you know why? Well, the neighborhoods are primarily low income and working class, the inhabitants have little sway in city hall, and the City Councilmen, State Assembly and Congress representatives haven't addressed the issue appropriately.
The community too must take blame for not standing up to those outsiders immorally profiting off of them, while simultaneously destroying the character, identity, and monetary value of their neighborhoods. The most disturbing ones are those which have replaced single family early 20th century (19th century modeled) homes in Northern Jamaica, these homes are quintessential Long Island, and quintessential New York City. In addition, it only takes away from the modern urban appeal of Queens. New York transplants priced out of Manhattan dig Brooklyn because it's character hasn't been compromised, even throughout the turmoil of the late 70's to early 90's. Queens has many of the same architectural beauties, but they are being destroyed at the benefit of a few. I am 28 years old, I embrace all things NYC, and all things Queens, but it is as if the Queens that I know, especially the south side, is being sacrificed for all the wrong reasons, and it is almost too late to act, because the damage has already been done." - Jamaal