Friday, January 20, 2017

Woodhaven: historic but overcrowded

From AM-NY:

As its name implies, Woodhaven is truly an escape in the urban jungle.

The Queens neighborhood is probably one of the few places in the city where you can get off the train, take a stroll through a forest, grab a bite to eat from a Latin restaurant and head home to a house that was built a century ago.

“It’s always been a place where people come in and bring their experiences to the community,” said Ed Wendell, a lifelong resident and the executive director of the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society.

Jamaica Avenue is a bustling corridor stocked with mom-and-pop stores and restaurants that reflect the diverse population in the neighborhood, according to Wendell.

“People ask how many businesses have been around for more than 100 years and there are like seven or eight,” Wendell said of the avenue. “We are proud of our history.”

Meanwhile, the one- and two-family homes south of the avenue have kept their Victorian look from the early 1900s. Most also come with backyards.

“It’s an actual community. People get to know each other and help everyone out,” noted Vickie Messina, 67, who has lived in Woodhaven with her husband in their two-story house for 40 years.

But Woodhaven is becoming less of a hidden gem, and some locals said there are concerns about overcrowding.

For example, there have been complaints about illegal conversions that pack too many tenants into basements and other spaces, Wendell said.

“If you walk around the streets of our neighborhood and you look around what you see is a two-family house that has six satellite dishes or four doorbells,” he said.


Anonymous said...

This has been happening since at least 1995, nothing new.

Anonymous said...

Great comments about overcrowding, but then, again, if no one goes after the electeds and community board, or expects 'someone' to 'do the right thing' you are wasting everyone's time.

Caring about something without firm action and follow up is a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

Brooklyn has far better architecture in its historic districts.
This is a poor Park Slope.
Most of Queens cannot hold a candle to Brookyn.
LPC like row houses. That's why this nabe is landmarked.

Anonymous said...

Poor transportation and overcrowding.
Not my idea of living even if its historic.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever see the traffic on Woodhaven Blvd at rush hour ?
I looked into buying a CO-OP near Forest Park but after seeing the traffic and lack of street parking I change my mine and moved to North East Queens. What a overcrowded neighborhood nothing like I remember from the 1970's when Woodhaven was a gem.

Anonymous said...

Pleasingly quiet, affordable, reliable transportation and access to the park and other good neighborhoods made this neighborhood a very good choice. I lived in Jackson Heights for many years and it just became unbearable, the amount of people, traffic and transportation is so poor, it became a hassle, Brooklyn literally became the two extremes either fancy and expensive or really bad and cheap the biggest down for both, overcrowded schools, so Woodhaven became the best choice, bought a house that gave me a lot for my money, good schools, access to a wonderful park where exercising is free, and access to walk to Glendale, Rego Park and Forest Hills without even interacting with much traffic was a no brainer.