Thursday, May 9, 2013

If you love infill, why complain about it?

From Astoria Ugly:

Just, just: ugh. It’s apartment-complex-at-the-commuter-train-stop architecture, shoehorned into Queens rowhomes. With ample parking, of course.

Yes, well that's what infill looks like, pal. Remember when you commented that you "live in a city and appreciate the value of density"? (Sorry, but this sounds like something a transplant would say.) "Oh, the suburbs are so boring!" Well, Astoria is part of a city and the borough it is situated in hasn't been considered suburban for about a century. Most parts of Queens used to be quite lovely and, if you look back at my nostalgia-tinged posts about past places of enjoyment, not boring. Of course, this was mainly before infill. These days, if you don't visit a spot for awhile, you end up not recognizing it when you return. Large public gathering places are replaced with the sort of "cram in as many as we can" structures pictured. Hell, they are even selling off pieces of Queens' signature park for development.

This has been going on for a long, long time and sadly, the last person to actually try to do something about it - believe it or not - was Claire Shulman.

A variety of architecture that strikes the right balance is desirable. Nice big houses on large lots with lots of trees, apartment buildings with courtyards, rowhouses - they all have their place. Blocks containing walls of blond-brick Fedders nightmares replacing architecture containing life-affirming features, I can do without.  An 8-story building sticking up like a middle finger where there previously was a one-family house, I can do without.  And I think most people feel that way.


Anonymous said...

Amen, Crapper. Couldn't have said it better myself.

There are places worth fighting for, and we've done it. The problem in places like Astoria is that between the tower people and the hipster doofuses and know-it-alls and criminal developers...well, you get the picture.

That's why I'm incredibly excited to potentially represent my hometown: the incredibly unhip and (mostly) beautiful neighborhoods of northeastern Queens.

Hipsters: please keep on believing that our neighborhoods suck. We are happy for you to keep on believing it.

While there are some parts of my town that have been seriously compromised over the past decade, there are tons of people who care deeply about protecting our neighborhoods from overdevelopment.

They wanted the downzonings a decade ago - and they got them.

They want to have more neighborhoods landmarked -and we're going to make it happen. That's a promise.

They want their parkland to be well-maintained - and have no more open space developed.

And they want someone ETHICAL who isn't going to sell out, get indicted, cheat on their spouses or make deals that destroy our town for their own monetary benefit.

Paul Graziano,
Candidate for City Council
19th District

Joe Moretti said...

Damn, looks like some of the shit third world crap in Jamaica.

Anonymous said...

Crappy zoning made this eyesore possible.

Developers go where the zoning permits "infill"
Blame city planning.

This isn't an R1-2A zone, that's for sure.

Broadway Baby said...

Amen, Paul G !

We don't need transplanted midwestern hipsters
to piss on our greenery.

Stay where you are...and breathe deep while you sleep, in LIC's asthma alley!

Anonymous said...

North East Queens is rapidly filling with Asians and residents of the former USSR.

Whereas western Queens is one of the few places in NYC that is becoming less ethnic - and more like Manhattan's East Side in demographics.

Look it up in the census.

Jeff said...

Astoria Ugly's response last time, trying to quote Jane Jacobs as a defense for his blindly pro-density views, made my blood boil.

"the great blight of dullness" he so smugly quotes is NOT JUST ABOUT SUBURBS. Only a phony would read it that way. it is about long blocks of bland, overdeveloped overly dense garbage. it's a direct challenge to Fedders infill crap. Fighting the great blight of dullness does not simply mean greater density, it means protecting local character and respecting what was there before. If we have to reference Jane Jacobs (so fucking pretentious) Astoria ALREADY satisfied her criteria for a good city. Short blocks, walkable, low buildings, mixed use, low crime. Buying into BS pro-density propaganda only serves the interests of the developers strangling the life out of the city.

Astoria was a great neighborhood for decades before Astoria Ugly showed up there. I'm sympathetic to the young people (hipsters, if you will) that see value in bike lanes and pro-density policies but they need to learn to respect the neighborhood that was there before. Making it safer to bike is one thing but if you "love" the neighborhood so much, why do you want it to change?

One day, hopefully, he'll learn that even the most sensible or well-intentioned liberal ideals can be hijacked by greedy developers and politicians. Until then, I just wish he'd STFU.

Enjoy the line for brunch at Queens Comfort.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't have described Queens, both past and present, more perfectly.

Anonymous said...

North East Queens is rapidly filling with Asians and residents of the former USSR.

Whereas western Queens is one of the few places in NYC that is becoming less ethnic - and more like Manhattan's East Side in demographics.

Look it up in the census.

Who cares? As long as people respect the housing stock and land in our neighborhoods - and most people do around here - that's what matters.

Paul Graziano
Candidate for City Council
19th District

Anonymous said...

Alas, but true. And another bigger problem is that most units constructed are probably more of the one bedroom or studio type apartments as opposed to two or three bedrooms.

Should that be the case, let’s say then that in 10 -20 years…What is to happen to Astoria when the young professionals mature and develop families and will need to move on to larger apartments? And if the young single professionals find another trendier spot in NYC to habitate? If there is no retaining power built in to the models, and no new tenants to backfill the vacant apartments left behind, Astoria could turn into a ghost town or go back to the past when a vast amount of apartments were filled by Section 8 residents.

Anonymous said...

Cheap crappy housing architecture . Ahhh, Queens, I love you.

Anonymous said...

Asians and former Soviets filling up northeast Queens?


You are a living example of ignorance is bliss.

you sound like you're as happy as a pig in shit
(and a touch xenophiobic).