If you are going to visit a community to shop, dine out, etc. are you going to choose a nice, clean place with no litter and nice establishments or are you going to frequent a completely trashed community with litter and piles of garbage all over and then to top it off, cheap, crappy retail & poor food choices with horrible service? Well, most civilized people would chose the former, unfortunately Jamaica seems to be filled to the brim with the uncivilized who think nothing of tossing out a dirty diaper from the car into the 168th Street parking lot near Cookies or tossing out their garbage from their car onto the street or sidewalk where they are parked or dumping a shit load of apartment furniture into a parking lot of a super market or vacant lot or just throwing their litter right on the sidewalk like it is nothing. And don’t forget all the illegal conversions where people toss their household garbage into public garbage cans which then overflow onto the sidewalk. Well, welcome to Jamaica, the supposedly “hot neighborhood” of 2016 by Street Easy (there number one pick for 2017, the even shitter, more ghetto Kingsbridge in the Bronx).
Rhonda Binda, the visionary Executive Director of the Jamaica Bid, was interviewed recently by NY1, where she talked about Jamaica’s past, future, the current developments and her own plans for the community. BUT one important thing was missing from that talk, which is missing from all the powers that be from community board 12 to the do nothing elected officials, the uncivilized behavior of many of the residents who trash the community and make it into a disgusting garbage dump. Case in point, Hillside Avenue from Queens Blvd to 180th (the worst between 168 to 170th), where the Bangledeshi community have turned that stretch into one of the most filthy, disgusting garbage strewn areas in the city. On top of that, the majority of the stores and businesses there are filthy on the outside and inside and the owners of these establishments do nothing to make a nice appearance, they are content with it looking like a Bangladeshi slum (this is not a racists remark, but an observation of 6 years). The other day I went into the relatively new establishments (Live Fish & Halal Meat) at 168-4 Hillside Avenue, which is the former site of the dive bar, the Hillside Inn. I have been there a couple of times, but after my recent Sunday afternoon visit, it will be the last time. When I walked in, the pungent awful odor hit me smack in the face, it was so bad a customer who came in after me, smelled it, made a face and then walked out. In the window, was a huge fish tank, which was way overcrowded with at least 50 large fish. The water was so murky and dirty and I noticed from the outside when I went in an upside down dead fish that the others were eating. I told the one man in the store that he had a dead fish, he said, “no live”, I said , NO, DEAD” and took him outside to show him. He had another man take it out, who then discovered a couple other dead fish in the tank. Of course I reported this to the health department. SEE, this is unacceptable and this is a new establishment. Then you have awful Jamaica Avenue, which is not as dirty as Hillside but has tons of crappy shitty retail and some of the worst fucking service in the city.
Face it, the area is a mess and when you go the hell hole of South Jamaica (where hood rats think all is okay there), it gets 100 times worse. Yet, the powers that be do not acknowledge this, do not address this, do not improve this, they just go on about all the development and the “world class shopping”, my fucking ass “world class shopping”.
This video got a lot of negative comment from the hood rat crowd, who thinks that nothing is wrong with Jamaica. Of course they don’t. People who think Jamaica is so wonderful either don’t know any better, don’t care, come from some shitty other country where garbage is the norm, are the criminal element who likes it being this way so they could do all kind of shit or are just low-class ghetto. Now, folks, get fucking angry about that TRUTH & REALITY statement. I tell you want, talk to some of the old school folks, who lived here in the hey day of Jamaica during the 40’s, 50’s and see what they say, if they have not already moved out. Face it, ghetto begats gehtto.
But anyway, let me post another insightful comment on Rhoda Binda’s interview on NY1 and the state of Jamaica by another insightful resident.
Your posts on Rhonda Binda’s (Executive Director of the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District) with NY1’s Rocco Vertuccio (back in August, apparently) are very important for anyone – esp those who have not been regularly following this blog – to get a more complete idea of the real challenges that Jamaica continues to face.
First, Rhonda is super-intelligent, energetic, versed in dealing with the business world, and as stated, someone with the tenacity to likely) stick with the job: anyone who’s met her can instantly recognize this.
She mentioned these ‘big-scale’ projects that by my understanding have a long way to go yet before they are completed and have any impact.
BTW, it should be noted that her ‘vision’ of a new ‘multi-use’ role for the Valencia – which has been a Pentecostal Church since 1977 – is something that has been underway for a few years in the United Palace theater on B’Way and 174th St in uptown Manhattan:
This was the last of the 5 Wonder Theaters built between 1925 and 1930, and by all accounts has been successful in its new iteration as the United Palace of Cultural Arts. There’s no reason the same could’nt be done with the Valencia.
But as the video clips (inadvertantly) of downtown Jamaica show (‘Hood Rat Productions’: LMAO!), Binda – the GJDC, and the Community Board MUST get a solid handle on the totally unacceptable, basic, quality of life issues that just continue to be ignored, year after year.
Anyone reading the online Times Ledger, for ex, whenever any article about Jamaica appears (positive or negative), can see many comments from people who had roots at one time in Jamaica, but in all cases had long-since left, because of these issues: illegal/overcrowded housing, (underreported) crime, and the final dealbreaker: almost everywhere you look – with hundreds of photos have been posted on this block in the last few years as proof – the ridiculous trash situation. I can’t think of a more depressing thing – in maybe the whole city – than walking the ~ 30 block stretch down Jamaica (or even worse, Hillside) Ave, the two main commercial strips, from ~ 180th to 150th: this is nothing to brag about. Under conditions like this, no good, national chain: either dept store or restaurant, is going to make any commitment to open a new branch in such an environment. The expectation is that a consistent returning customer base won’t be found here: people are just not going to make Jamaica their shopping destination, despite the ‘thousands’ of commuters that were cited as either working, or passing through.
This is the BASIC reality that the BID, GJDC, and Comm Boards have to recognize and finally address in an effective, continuous way before anyone can really make the claim that Jamaica has finally ‘turned a corner’ and is undergoing real, visible improvement.