Rhonda Binda, the Executive Director of the Jamaica BID, who I have had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with, is definitely a breath of fresh air in the Jamaica community, someone with enthusiasm, smart, a visionary who really focuses on the arts and also who lives in the community. In the below NY1 video, she states some of things that have been done under her leadership and also future plans. I mean the idea and something I have said since I moved here, is the landmark former Lowes Theatre, The Valencia, now a church with a small congregation, but still intact as a beautiful theatre (if you have not been there do check it out, it is AMAZING and I bet many have no idea it is there, what it looks like and the history), which Rhonda would like to open back up as a performance space. One of the Five Wonder Theaters built in the 20’s, Jamaica’s has always been intact. Brooklyn recently refurbished and opened up their Wonder Theatre for art performances with great results (but then Brooklyn has the kind of population that appreciates this).
Unfortunately Rhonda has her work really cut out for her. She is surrounded by do nothing, backward, ghetto vision elected officials and crooks like Malcolm Smith, Shirley Huntley, Williams Scarborough, Leroy Comrie, I. Daneek Miller, Vivian Cook, Greg Meeks and others who are so scared of eventually losing power in the ever changing demographics of Jamaica, that they continue to keep it down in ghettoville. Because, let’s face it, with changing demographics and people like myself, Pamela Hazel, Rhonda and others here and others who may come here, will boot their ghetto asses out of here based on the fact that they have all done very little to nothing since the days of do nothing Archie Spigner. Just like the days of the old white man ruling the country is changing, so is the days of out of touch, do nothing and crooked black leaders running Jamaica into the ground with their lack of vision and their “keep them down on the ghetto farm” attitude.
She also has the problem of many of the population from hood rats to some of the slob new immigrants that tend not to give a shit about the community and trash it. Case in point, the awful stretch of Hillside Avenue, that someone coined “Banglaside Ave.” due to the many dirty stores inside and out, plus the major amount of litter and trash that the slobs throw down onto the streets and sidewalks. It is a fucking mess and eyesore, not that Jamaica Avenue is that much better, while it has cleaned up it’s act a little better (less trash), the retail there is pretty much awful (with some exceptions). Way too many beauty & supply stores (13 at last count), 99 cent stores on every block, sometimes two in the same block, stores that look like someone just took a tons of boxes with crap cheap merchandise and just tossed them on the floor or outside. Then their is the awful ghetto Colosseum Mall, which looks pretty much like a flea market threw up on a third world country outdoor market. The 165th Street Mall with the great brick road is for the most part a junk mess (again a few exceptions). The food selection is mediocre to poor for the most part and really no nice decent sit down restaurants (City Rib took a dive as did Moda Grill in the same space, now it sits empty with everything ripped out). The traffic situation of tons of buses (whose idea was it to put a bus depot smack across from the Merrick Library), regular cabs, livery cabs, illegal dollar ghetto vans and big monster trucks making noise, pollution and posing safety risks to pedestrians (an elder man’s legs were crushed by a truck right next to the 103rd police station). Then you have that awful poisonous polluting Royal Waste transfer station which operates 24/7 right in the downtown area and next to hundreds of homes and apartments.
While I have said this many times and Rhonda knows this well, Jamaica has so much potential, major potential. I mean look at Jamaica in the 40’s and 50’s till it took a nosedive into ghetto land thanks to many of the people and the black gangster politicians who took advantage of the situation to line their pockets.
While I applaud Rhonda, she has her work cut out for her, but she seems to be sticking around as opposed to the former Executive Director, Laurel Brown, who had enough and high tailed it to her hood of Brooklyn to work.
The visuals in this video were awful, I do not know who was involved in the production (HOOD RAT PRODUCIONS) of this, but most everything they showed was shit empty spaces, a pawn shop (how fucking ghetto), a not so great apartment building and assorted crap retail. Where was the Jamaica Performing Arts Center or the JCAL or the old Lowe’s Wonder Theatre or the Moda Apartment Building or some of the better retail like Porta Bella or Fino. I mean what the hell were they thinking, it defeated the whole purpose of what she was talking about. It showed Jamaica as a run down ghetto, which that is not too far off.
George the Athesist, a regular reader of this blog said: