Sunday, January 22, 2012

Jackson Heights merchants to rally against plaza

From the Daily News:

South Asian merchants in Jackson Heights are riled up over an award-winning pedestrian plaza that they claim is undermining their struggling businesses.

They plan to rally on Sunday for the removal of the square on 37th Rd., between 73rd and 74th Sts., in the heart of Queens’ once-bustling Little India. The area is famous for its South Asian grocery, jewelry and clothing shops.

“Customers come from tri-state [area]... to Jackson Heights to shop,” said rally organizer Rashid Mohammad. But “the traffic has been made so complicated and so many traffic tickets have been issued that people do not like to come [anymore].”

The plaza was created last fall following a three-year Jackson Heights transportation study conducted by the city. The project received strong support from the community, prominent local organizations and was backed by City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights).

But Razi Ahmed, who plans to open a South Asian supermarket and food court in the former Eagle Theater, said local merchants were unaware of the plan.

“I’m really scared now,” said Ahmed, who plans to open the grocery within two months. “All the businesses are dying.”

“It used to be hustle and bustle,” he said. “Now it’s nothing.”

Shiv Dass, president of the Jackson Heights Indian Merchants Association, said the pedestrian zone led to the loss of about 20 parking spaces — another headache for out-of-state drivers coming into a neighborhood known for its lack of spots.

Dass voted in favor of creating the plaza at a Community Board 3 meeting last year but has since changed his mind.

“The place looks like a graveyard. There’s nobody sitting there,” he said. “Garbage is piling up. ... The homeless people are there.”


Anonymous said...

Welcome to Queens, Helen Marshall, Borough President.

Anonymous said...

Hustle and bustle...meaning dirty and overcrowded!

Tsk, tsk, tsk...can't these out-of-staters shop in their own nabes and stop crowding JH streets with their cars emitting air polluting hydrocarbons?

The plaza is for the local Jackson Heights community...not the extended one that comes in from i.e. New Jersey.

Let the local merchants open up businesses in those other states.
Patel has one store in Flushing as well as JH.

JH is more than a Paki-Bangla-Indian street bazaar!

What a damn selfish attitude on the part of the merchants!

Maybe business is falling because of the economy...duh?

Anonymous said...

Flushing has it's filthy Chinatown
and nobody gives a shit about it there.

But, hola, the Jackson Heights fags want "Little India" cleaned up to suit their delicate dispositions.

And, of course, Dromm backs the move
to remove the needed parking spots.

Anonymous said...

I've been to this part of Jackson Heights a number of times to eat and/or shop - at least 10 times a year for the past 15 years.

I was just there about two weeks ago. I drove and found parking no problem. I just had to walk about four blocks - no big whoop and no different from any other time I've been there in the past. The area was just as busy as ever. I don't know what these merchants are talking about.

Then why would they be complaining you might ask? I can only guess but it wouldn't surprise me if the parking spaces that were eliminated were ones that the merchants themselves used to be near their businesses.

Not all of the Indian community lives in the immediate area. There are other smaller Indian neighborhoods in Floral Park as well as parts of Richmond Hill (though many there are Guyanese Indian). And there's at least one Indian nabe springing up in Nassau in New Hyde Park.

This whole brouhaha might just be a reaction to change. Merchants around Times Square claimed the same thing when pedestrian plazas were created there a couple of years ago and Times Square is still making plenty of money - no ghost town there.

Little India dying? I seriously doubt it but if it does, then something else will come in to take its place. It's Jackson Heights in New York City - not East Podunk in the middle of nowhere. Please!

Anonymous said...

That street is right above the E, F, R and M lines, and not even a block away from the 7 line, not to mention NUMEROUS bus lines that stop within a few hundred feet from that plaza. I am no fan of these dopey pedestrian plazas, but please spare me the nonsense that there is no business because maybe about a dozen parking spots have been taken away.

Anonymous said...

This voted for it at the cb because he is an ignorant arrogant piece of shit. He thinks that because he is on the board he knows more than everyone else. I have had a couple on dealings with him in front of the cb, he is an ignorant little man.

Auntie Invasion said...

If they don't like it, they can leave.
would they agitate back home? NO. go back to Bengla Desh and clean things up there.
stop making it so comfortable for aliens and illegal aliens here in Queens.

Anonymous said...

Aha! So, at Queens Crap, racism trumps hatred for the DOT. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

All of those piles of 18 kt gold jewelry in those 74th Street windows doesn't look like the area's business is hurting very much.

Anonymous said...

How rare: the Daily News two months behind a Queens weakly.

What gives?

Queens Crapper said...

Which was behind NY1

Anonymous said...

Aha! So, at Queens Crap, racism trumps hatred for the DOT. Interesting

what a fuckig idiot

Anonymous said...

Aha! So, at Queens Crap, racism trumps hatred for the DOT. Interesting
"Aha! So", what is that your sick stereotypical Asian imitation? And you knock OTHERS for racism??

Bennie Katz said...

I think this park has a lot of potential. No doubt, it is going to trigger a change in business that operate around its perimeter. If ever the sidewalks are opened, I can foresee caf├ęs setting up outdoor tables.

Queens Crapper said...

And that was exactly the reason behind this - to chase the South Asians out and usher in the white yuppies. And they call this site racist. How about the Bloomberg administration?