If you follow any Queens Borough news, you are constantly reading about how many communities just keep moving forward and improving. Long Island City and all their developments, luxury condos, restaurants, stores and green spaces. Astoria has another new quality restaurant and bar opening every other day. Jackson Heights has been in the news lately, with many Brooklynites, who can no longer afford the outrageous prices in that borough, coming to check out Jackson Heights. Ridgewood is being named the next Williamsburg. Woodside and Sunnyside are always being mentioned for some new restaurant and an alternative to the expensive Long Island City. Places like Forest Hills and Kew Gardens have always been a nice alternative to live.
But Jamaica, even though there is talk of development, is more likely to be mentioned in the news for the major garbage problem that has not been addressed, crime, garbage strewn vacant lots, abandoned houses, illegal apartments, bad zoning, poor quality of life issues and of course, corrupt local politicians and politicians who are just waiting for the next photo-op courtesy of the tax payers money.
You would think Jamaica would be a bundle of potential: a great history (jazz legends galore lived here like Coltrane, Waller, Lena, Ella), the most landmark building in all of Queens (approximately 18), close proximity to two major airports, the LIRR (which gets you into Manhattan in 20 minutes), 3 subway systems, the AirTrain and all the major highways near by.
Yet decade after decade, year after year, Jamaica keeps following way way way behind any of the other places and falls deeper and deeper into the ghetto abyss. Unfortunately Jamaica is filled with way too many low-class ghetto slobs who think nothing of taking a piss in public in broad daylight, low-class slobs who toss any piece of garage and litter onto the sidewalks and streets of the downtown area, tons of useless and crappy 99 cent stores, cheap shitty retail
, too many beauty supply stores, one fast food joint after another (a big cause for the litter problem) and of course the worst local elected officials in one area. Either they are engaging in some illegal activity, heading off to jail or just doing the bare minimal while collecting a hefty paycheck courtesy of you and I.
Plus no leaders with any type of vision what-so-ever or initiative.
A big problem here is trying to attract quality businesses into our area, an upscale retail store or a high quality restaurant. Sure we have had some small strides, Apple Bee’s , the first sit-down restaurant in downtown Jamaica, Rocoto Restaurant on Hillside Avenue/178th and the newly opened CityRib at Parsons Blvd/89th Avenue. We have also had in the last couple of years, the luxury apartment building, Moda, which houses CityRib.
But unfortunately the area is rundown with too much garbage and too many low-class slobs who would rather shop at some shitty cheap retail store than to walk into the recently opened clothing boutique, Premium House
. Merci Boutique, an upscale clothing store, which opened last year on Jamaica Avenue between 170th St and 169th, barely made it 6 months before shutting down. What is in that location now, some dirty crappy nail salon, like we need another one of those.
Of course blame goes to our low-class ghetto folks here, but more blame goes to our local elected leaders and other community leaders who have not stepped forward to address issues such as the major garbage problem and come up with solutions. How do you expect to bring in quality businesses with mounds and mounds of garbage all over Jamaica and I mean all over, including the downtown area. Where is the enforcement of all the litter laws for god’s sake.
Here are some comments I received in my email box from some leaders in the community who I will not reveal:
“ For a range of reasons (some of them completely unjustified), persuading quality retailers to open in the Downtown is a tough sell – and frankly, getting the community to actually support quality retailers can also be rough sledding. I’m concerned about the level of business being done at City Rib – where a huge investment has been made to create a really great amenity. The owners of the Applebee’s franchise in Jamaica complain bitterly, and (unfortunately) loudly, about their disappointment in the amount of business that they are doing. There is a great clothing new store at Sutphin and Jamaica Avenue – and I hope folks go to shop there, over the retailers who merchandise poorly. For example, the reason why the one bakery in the Downtown area closed a couple of years ago was because of a lack of business..”
“I just checked out your
website and I’m blown away. Kudos. The rest of the community needs a
kick in the ass not only for adding to the filth, but the ones putting
up with it too. It’s shameful.”
“I ran for office and they knocked me off because I am for the people and I raised issues of garbage and resources along with other concerns from the people.”
I run into community leaders, business owners and other concerned individuals who are appalled by what is going on in the community and love what I am doing, even if they do not necessarily like the language I use or how I speak about others. The bottom line is no one and I mean no one benefits by keeping a community looking like shit for so long and then wonder why no one of quality wants to come live or do business in Jamaica.
All I ever see are drawings of what the area will look like, yet very little takes place. Major corrupt official Congressman Gregory Meeks was involved in the “Shops at Suthphin Blvd across from the LIRR train station. Two years later, nothing in it and this is what is looks like. The retail space on Jamaica Ave between 170th and 169th seems to have been stalled for whatever reason and one of the tenants going in beside Planet Fitness Gym is a Family Dollar, like a Family Dollar is going to attract quality people. What has happened to the $50 million dollar retail project, whatever happened to the possibility of getting a H&M on Jamaica Avenue.
This is a wake up call (a wake up call that has been sounding for some time) and some of you people really need to get your shit together. Extreme conditions call for extreme measures. Time to go out on a limb, time to speak the truth and stop with the fake bullshit, time to call people (residents and leaders) out on their shit. If you cannot do that then it is time for the old guard to step down and let the young visionaries take a crack at it. Because the old guard has been doing a piss poor job for way too long and it shows.
So instead of worrying about my fucking language or calling Helen Marshall a douche bag (which she is) or calling some people what they really are low-class ghetto slobs and low-class third world immigrants, you need to worry about something very important like the conditions in Jamaica and how you are going to resolve it.