Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dunkin Donuts opening becomes a major concern

There are several points to ponder with regard to this attempt at humor I saw over at LIQCity:

Long Island City is a neighborhood full of people who are proud to live here. It’s very different than growing up in Briarwood, a neighborhood of people who are proud to live there until someone offers them an apartment anywhere else. Where, might you ask, is Briarwood? Exactly. Their slogan may as well be “Briarwood – damn, Manhattan is expensive!”

- Making fun of a neighborhood like Briarwood is apparently ok because it's generally a quiet area near public transportation where people of all walks of life coexist and not like LIC, which has just about lost all of its panache.

What’s amazing to me is that this Dunkin’ Donuts is at least partially locally owned, but the decision to string the flags seems to have been made by a bunch of older people in suits who think Long Island City is Long Island.

- Plastic flags outside a new business are somehow considered "Long Island" and not outer borough? And their presence is apparently one of the worst problems LIC has because we never find posts about the ever present Vernon Blvd. garbage, vagrants, etc. on that site, as the commenters there astutely pointed out.

- LIC people see no irony in defending their outrage over these flags by saying they want to protect the character of their community while simultaneously living in towers that already destroyed the character of the community.

The post was written by a comedian, but the reaction to it was what I found to be hilarious. And the flags have been taken down.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

No american flag(s).......

Anonymous said...

I've lived in Briarwood for 12 years. Don't mess with it. Briarwood is a great community. Near the E and F trains, the LIRR, all the major highways and the people are very nice. We have our own little shopping district to boot.
Also what I like about this community is that Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews and all other kinds of people seem to get along. It's kinda nice...

Anonymous said...

Huh? This is barely readable. The author doesn't like the flags? Briarwood? LIC? WTF? When I was kid in Queens in the 60s and 70s, all the commercial strips had these flags across the street. They were fine. Some are probably still hanging across Jamaica Avenue. Next.

BP Jackson said...

Thanks for posting this here and for the discussion. When I started visiting this blog, and following defense against the "tweeding" of the borough, this is what I had in mind. That said, pay attention, Crapper.

This post isn't -- in my view -- what it seems and certainly not what you suggest, though I share your annoyance about what amounts to a Manhattan-centric view of the city, which puts Queens into something between cartoon and real estate brochure. While the author of the post may be pushing the former, the truth is he's representative of the later--but he's not a developer or a speculator, or even a buyer of a fancy-new apartment, he's a comedian. Surely you know that there is a pretty good-size population of joke-tellers in LIC/Astoria, one which has gotten a fair amount of press in the last couple years. Most of these folk aren't rich, and when they moved to Queens it was the old gritty, like mediterranean-style coffee gritty, Astoria and LIC they moved to, not the latest hip zipcode it may have become for some who "could live," as the article points out "in Murray Hill if we wanted to," probably not realizing that in making fun of Queens they in fact reinforce a stereotype about people who would "rather" live in Manhattan but are (a) saving money or (b) looking for an unadventurous take on the edgy-new, but on a budget.

It seems to me that the comedian-author is making a pretty common mistake--assuming that everyone in Queens is stuck here until something in Manhattan becomes affordable. I know I rarely go into "the city" and would prefer it if I never had to.

The great thing about Queens is what is most wrong about Queens: it is the best view of "the other NYC," another era of immigration and internal migration, legacies of older economic orders (such as Slavery, manufacturing industries, automobile-driven infrastructure, etc.) even while it demonstrates today the shifts in global capital and free markets (and people, which are "capital" in the technical sense).

The comedian thinks he's making a wry joke about Queens to his buddies who would rather be in Manhattan, but actually he's playing into a larger hand, in which he's a beta-tester for trendiness.

Who wouldn't want to live in Murray Hill? It's proximity to Flushing Main Street and its vibrant culinary experience should be perfect place to raise a family on a Wall Street Lawyer's budget. But it starts with the poets, the comedians and other bohos on the prowl for the cheap.

Anonymous said...

This attitude will increasingly be typical as the new people move in and push the longer term (called Archie and Ediths) to the sidelines.

The real problem is not them - any idiot will fill a void when presented.

The problem is the Jimmy Van Bramers and Peter Vallones who will stand by while the long termers are short changed and marginalized by the new residents.

Look at Noguchi with their visioning program at the waterfront - an effort to bring this element north.

Vans to bring in people from Park Avenue to their little exhibit on East River Development. The effort (despite empty widow dressing to get the input of locals) is entirely controlled by Manhattanites with no significant input from any locals.

Anonymous said...

The Murray Hill he's referring to is in Manhattan in the east 30s, not the one next to Flushing.

BP Jackson said...

There is a Murray Hill in Queens? LOL. That was my point. The audience he's addressing might not know that, and the Eastside society anxiety makes me think their reaction once they learn about all the unique enclaves might be bad for the "Ediths and Archies" who may be forced out.

CntrySigns said...

I'm surprised it took this long for DD to open in LIC. With all the contractors along the Ave and the police station it should have always been there.

Anonymous said...

I hope he has a real job. That wasn't very funny.

Anonymous said...

Re Arcies and Ediths:\

How exactly are these people getting screwed? They are selling their little houses that they bought for $10k or $20k 50 years ago for almost a million. I live in Flushing and had to pay high 6 figures recently for my Victorian that the previous owner paid $16,000 for in 1952. I go to my Civic Association meetings and all the Archies complain about all of the 'Asian Massgae Parlors' taking over the neighborhood. But tell me this: if it wasn't for the new people who would be paying $800k for their houses that are a timewarp back to the LBJ administration? You can't have it both ways.

Queens Crapper said...

They're getting screwed because they still live there. Doesn't matter that they are sitting on a potential goldmine. They want quality of life. Good neighborhoods are those with low turnover of residents and this is what civic groups encourage, as opposed to the city who wants more turnover so they benefit via tax revenue. They aren't having it both ways. They are STAYING, not selling!

Helen said...

Am also an old-timer who's staying and not selling.

Dunkin Donuts has been in Queens longer than Starbucks and the Tower People combined. Many a young person has managed working at Dunkin Donuts while attending college. I particularly enjoy Dunkin's drive through windows.

Can also remember when "comedians" were actually laugh-out-loud FUNNY.

Anonymous said...

It blows my mind how Donuts and coffee can ruin a neighborhood. If it was called "LIC Donuts", no one would care???

Anonymous said...

whoever wrote this post clearly has never been to vernon blvd. Go down about 2 blocks. The Italian Club has been flying flags just like dunkin donuts every day for god knows how long. No1 seemed to think that was "removing character" from the neighborhood.

sirbeef said...

It still amazes me at all the "Edith and Archies" that remain in Queens/Astoria. When are they going to move to Florida?? Don't they know their fixed income dollar will go a whole lot further down there than in NYC.
I say this only slightly with tongue in cheek.

Anonymous said...

I think people are just jealous that they didn’t open a D&D first since they now see how much business they make. I think D&D looks just fine and I cant believe that people asked for them to take down the flags. You guys are nuts!!! Oh by the way the Italian club on Vernon has red white and green banner flags hanging outside can someone from the Flag Nazis committee go over and ask them to take them down. Now lets be fair or are you worried that you may find a horse’s head in your bed? And I will continue to Support Dunkin Donuts!!!!!!

Rick D said...

Crapper said, "Doesn't matter that they are sitting on a potential goldmine. They want quality of life. Good neighborhoods are those with low turnover of residents and this is what civic groups encourage, as opposed to the city who wants more turnover so they benefit via tax revenue."

Very well said, too!

Anonymous said...

I'm an avid LIQCity reader, and I thought the post was well written and funny. Yours took some parts of his post out of context, and took him to task for points he wasn't making.

Anonymous said...

"Yours took some parts of his post out of context, and took him to task for points he wasn't making."

Um, what? I guess he didn't make fun of Briarwood, which incidentally, is where he grew up? He didn't call the flags "Long Island"? Those were his words, not Crapper's. And finally, it was the content of the commenters that was criticized more than that of the comedian.

"I'm an avid LIQCity reader"

That was the funniest joke tied to the post! Is the blogger still living on the West Coast or did she come back?

Anonymous said...

How about this comment on another LIQCity thread:

"I’m going to be bold and suggest that very, very few of the kids in that high school will come from our current neighborhood. Most people in our area are either singles or young couples with small kids living in apartments. Most of them will make a b-line out of LIC to the ‘burbs or out of state the instant little Ethan or Lilly is old enough for a crowded, underfunded stressed out public high school. Can’t effin wait."

Been saying this was what LIC was all about for years - meet, mate and move. The "pioneer" condo dwellers from 10 years ago have already moved out.

Queens Crapper said...

I like this one: "You can’t just dump schools anywhere. And where you put them, you must build adequate resources to accommodate the neighborhood AND the school."

Where has this person been living all this time? The city plops schools wherever the hell it feels like and never accommodates the neighborhood. It's something we have pointed out time after time on this blog. Wake up, people, the City doesn't give a shit about you, just its stats and qualifying for federal $$$.

Anonymous said...

To the commenter a few above mine - It helps to read something before you respond to it.

The writer never called the flags "Long Island" - he said that the decision seemed to have been made by someone far away enough to confuse Long Island City with Long Island (i.e. someone without intimate knowledge of LIC).

I can tell what he meant because I read the words he wrote in the order that he wrote them.

BTW, the LIQCity lady has been back in LIC for quite some time.

Lisa F. said...

You hope he has a real job? Imagine if someone said something that mean about you in a public forum?

The comedian who wrote this is Steve Hofstetter, who had the #1 best selling comedy album in the world. I've been a fan ever since I saw him on Ferguson, and I think it's cool that he reps Queens as often as he does.

Anonymous said...

The writer never called the flags "Long Island" - he said that the decision seemed to have been made by someone far away enough to confuse Long Island City with Long Island (i.e. someone without intimate knowledge of LIC).

Newsflash - LIC was called LONG ISLAND City because it's on LONG ISLAND. Furthermore, these plastic flags are ubiquitous all over the city outside of Manhattan, so why would LIC be an exception? Just because the developers are trying to yuppify a blue collar neighborhood doesn't mean it has to throw all its traditions out the window.

Rosa J. said...

I think its wonderful that the residents care. I wish people in Jackson Heights cared this much about what our neighborhood looks like.

Anonymous said...

They care about flags and not overdevelopment. They really don't care about the right issues.