Friday, May 30, 2014
Forest Hills apartment complex has seen better days
Horticulturally challenged apartment building 67-70 Yellowstone Blvd. [the Ethan Allen], between 67th Drive and 68th Avenue, previously mentioned in Queens Crap with regard to cemented-over tree pits on both sides of the building, seems to be continuing in the same vein with its recently installed “Keep Off the Grass” signs. It looks as though they’ve [kind of] planted some sad shrubs, complete with tags attached, in the dusty and trash-strewn soil. We don’t seem to detect any “grass” on these areas, nor has the property had more than some tufts for years thanks to its neglected state. The signs have left many a pedestrian scratching their heads and taking photos, as have the cemented tree pits. We’re wondering who’s directing this pathetic “beautification” project.
The entire property, complete with beverage containers, discarded fruit, cigarette butts, dog waste and other gems, remains a blighted disgrace, in harsh contrast to its surroundings. Rocky debris covers all would-be "lawn" areas, most likely the result of a poorly executed 2013 facade project. [Neighboring buildings were treated to dust, dirt, and trash and garbage as a result of unsupervised masonry workers dining al fresco.] And while it's one of the few buildings in the area with a spacious yard, it's been allowed to deteriorate into a decaying and graffiti-covered embarrassment, with broken benches, crumbling concrete, a non-level, tarred surface with filled-in cracks on display, and tarred-over tree roots attempting to free themselves. [Torturing trees seems to be a motif at this address.] There’s a not-surprising notice regarding rat bait on the yard fence.
67-70 Yellowstone workers make a very loud, almost daily show of blowing leaves around but, apparently, not doing much else. What’s evident to all passersby seems to escape their notice. Deflated helium balloons have remained snagged in low-hanging tree branches for months, while other detritus has rotted in place for even longer periods. Broken windows adorn the property at cellar level on all sides. Cable wires, dead and alive, snake past apartment windows and fire escapes. A stroll up to the entrance reveals gaping fissures in the concrete path, cracked, rusted lamp bases, and an arrangement of cracked and broken bricks badly in need of replacement as a “step” at the entry. Dirty street-level screen doors and entrance areas don't exactly call out, "Great building, fill out an application."
The property didn't even have a legal sidewalk on the 68th Avenue side until last year. [The tree pits were cemented over as part of the "facade renovation."]
And now comes the 67-70 Yellowstone Blvd. version of landscaping. The owners seems to think that putting up a few signs, when they obviously couldn't care less about the condition of the property themselves, is the key to discouraging bad behavior. Signs might be effective if everything about the property didn’t currently suggest: “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."
A shout-out to the owners and crew of this disaster area for pretending not to notice that almost every other building in Forest Hills offers an example of what basic property maintenance looks like, not to mention beautification, and it ain't this. If we do find any clean, healthy grass or even some genuine soil at 67-70 Yellowstone, we’ll be sure to "Keep Off."
- Forest Hills Wanderer