This newsletter by Assembly Member Clyde Vanel was sent via email, but I think Vanel and crew need a serious REALITY CHECK.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the winning projects selected for the neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens in New York City as part of the state’s $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The DRI aims to transform local neighborhoods across the state into vibrant communities where the next generation of New Yorkers will want to live, work and raise a family. Working together with state agencies and the Regional Economic Development Council, Jamaica, Queens has built a strategic investment plan that identifies catalytic downtown projects consistent with the initiative’s goals.

“This critical investment in Jamaica’s downtown will help it grow into a major economic hub that boosts small businesses, expands economic opportunity for residents, and draws new residents and visitors to the community,” Governor Cuomo said. “These projects will help transform downtown Jamaica into a bustling neighborhood, spurring economic development and creating a brighter future for residents and workers across the great borough of Queens.”

Lieutenant Governor Hochul said, “Jamaica is poised for substantial job and economic growth as the Downtown Revitalization Initiative neighborhood for New York City. The projects announced today will capitalize on Jamaica’s higher education institutions, cultural cornerstones, diversity, and status as a transportation hub to increase its appeal to residents, workers, students and visitors, fueling its growth through career preparation, entrepreneurship programs, business creation and downtown improvements.”

Congressman Gregory W. Meeks said, “Without Governor Cuomo’s dedication and leadership, this project wouldn’t be possible. This $10 million investment will certainly improve the Jamaica community and invigorate our local economy. I congratulate the initial winning projects of the Jamaica, Queens Downtown Revitalization Initiative and I look forward to working with all our partners in building a stronger Jamaica.”

Senator Leroy Comrie said, “The DRI has come a long way in recent years—and it’s all thanks to the small business and civic leaders who have put forth this tremendous effort to realize their vision of what Downtown Jamaica should be. Funding these projects will help us unlock the full potential of the Downtown area. I look forward to continuing this work with local residents, my colleagues, and Governor Cuomo, whom we thank for his leadership.”

Assemblywoman Vivian E. Cook said, “Thanks to Governor Cuomo for providing this wonderful opportunity to revitalize and invigorate Jamaica’s diverse downtown. These projects will not only improve public spaces for everyone to enjoy and spur investment in the area, but also place a premium on preparing the local community for jobs through educational programs, as well as entrepreneurship and workforce training.”

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said, “Everyone has long recognized Jamaica’s inherent potential for smart growth, and the 7 winning projects selected under Governor Cuomo’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative are critical to Downtown Jamaica’s economic growth and development. This is a concerted, strategic investment toward revitalizing Jamaica’s downtown core by enhancing education, entrepreneurship and public space. The selected projects are also consistent with the vision of the holistic and comprehensive Jamaica NOW Action Plan underway, and will make the area even more attractive to residents, businesses and investors.”
Jamaica, Queens in New York City
As a vibrant mixed-use community with a central downtown and a multi-modal transit hub, Jamaica, Queens is on the cusp of a renaissance. Downtown Jamaica is experiencing a wave of private and public investments in infrastructure, housing, hospitality, retail and jobs. The DRI will build on existing public and private investments through a comprehensive strategy that will maximize community assets to become an affordable, livable and sustainable mixed-use community for residents, workers and visitors.



Rufus King Park: $2.2 million dollars spent for improvements and upgrades, but TRUTH & REALITY is the park has become a major outdoor homeless shelter, drug addict/alcoholic hangout and a huge garbage dump. AND this just across the street where the photo above of the major bullshit clowns stood.

Over in that horrendous South Jamaica, at 165 St & 107 Ave, a block where, of course there is a church, this new construction, which looks to be a three family unit, has the spectacular view of, well, a ghetto garbage dump. While taking these photos,  a real estate agent was showing an Indian family the property and they seemed not bothered by the view, even when I went up to them and told the real estate agent, “So, what is your selling point, the garbage dump next door”. Business went on as usual with not even a blink of an eye.

Wait till you see the fantastic view.

Three blocks from here was the Jamaica historic house, the James Fobb Mansion, which community activist Pamela Hazel, just reported on not that long ago about the illegal garbage dumping that has been going on for years, yet no elected officials seem at all bothered by this and just allow this to continue over and over again, like this is what communities of color are for, DUMPING. Needless to say, two black churches are within two blocks of this historic site.

Another dumping ground (171 St and 104 Ave), where you can easily pick up a slightly used mattress, no home delivery, pick up only.

AND this is why communities like Jamaica and other neighborhoods are being destroyed and looking like shit. The piss poor zone that allows neighborhoods to be totally destroyed by allowing crappy third world apartment buildings with multiple families and an absentee landlord take the place of what once contained a 1 family house, destroying all the green space, crowding an already crowded and overtaxed infrastructure, garbage issues, parking issues and none of our elected officials are doing anything to change this laws. Case in point, at 170-19 89 Ave, where sat a small one family house with much green space, is now becoming a 6 story multifamily apartment building on a  small block of small 1-2 family homes. The woman who owns the brownstone next door and has several side windows, will no longer be able to use the side windows, since this building has built an outside wall smack against her building and completely blocked all her windows on that side, probably the only windows in some of her rooms. She paid for a brownstone with side windows and air, now she has NONE. How the fuck does that happen and why does DOB allow such bullshit. Something tells me if this was Melinda Katz’s house or Gregory Meeks or Leroy Comrie or the Mayor, this would NOT BE ALLOWED.

AND one of the most mind blogging situations that have been going on for years and years, yet still continues again and again. The placement oF junked, unlicensed and licensed vehicles from the Merrick Auto body shops, up on sidewalks, the side streets and the right hand lane of Merrick, which causes a bottle neck of traffic on one of the  busiest streets in Jamaica. The sidewalks were so bad, that I could not even get my bike through some of the double parking on the sidewalks. YET, elected officials say nothing about this mess and even though NYPD does ticket and tow every now and then, the problem keeps going on. WHY, because after decades and years of breaking laws with little consequences, everyone knows they can do whatever they want in Jamaica, block sidewalks, dump illegally, have illegal sidewalk parties,  pimp out 15 year old girls at  HUD Greater Allen Senior Residence and  every other nonsense you can think off. Ironically when I rode my bike a few more blocks from this mess, I saw a NYPD patrol car parked and went over to speak to the two black female officers about what I just saw. As the windows slowly went down and the officers had that shitty looking look on their face that you see at the people who work in the crappy stores on Jamaica Avenue, I preceded to tell them about the cars from the auto shops on the sidewalk. Their response, “And what would you like us to do”? I said, “you are familiar that blocking of sidewalks is illegal and said that this would never happen in Forest Hills”, in which they responded “And what would they do in Forest Hills”? I just shook my head and said “I was hoping something better from the two of you” and then just went on my merry way. AND this is another example why shit is the way it is in this community.  NO PRIDE, NO ACCOUNTABILITY and little enforcing of quality of life issues.

BUT I did get this response back, when I filed a 311 complaint:

Service Request #: C1-1-1433864191
Date Submitted: 07/15/17 3:11:07 PM
Request Type: Illegal Parking
Details: Blocked Sidewalk

Your Service Request was closed.

The Police Department responded to the complaint and with the information available observed no evidence of the violation at that time.

AND this administration’s constantly attempting to tie the hands of the NYPD, the really one agency that actually DOES WORK, serves no purpose, especially in nonsense bullshit communities like Jamaica, which needs the strong arm of the law. Also if that means getting more police in Jamaica, then do it, because $2.2 million dollars thrown at Rufus King Park obviously did nothing and I mean REALLY, $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative. What the hell will $100 million dollars actually get you.  Take at least a third of that to get more police officers to focus just on these quality of life issues alone, because $100 million for the downtown revitalization doesn’t go as far as it did 30 years ago. So while you keep putting up all these buildings and other shit, THE MAIN SHIT in the community keeps going on like the Energizer Ghetto Rabbit.

In the meantime, The Daily News front cover had a different variation on Jamaica revitalization.

Up and Coming Jamaica, a community in crisis.




  1. Some observations on another great post of yours:

    Notice the use of the word “winning” by the assorted elected hacks, like this puny allocation of 10 mil is already predetermined to work.

    The still life syncopation of the three derelicts sleeping on the grass.

    That new house in that picture is ridiculous looking. The space between the floors looks insufficient.

    That brownstone owner is one of many suffering from grotesque hyperdevelopment, generous rezoning by the mayor and willfully blind rubber stamping permits issued by the DOB. This has been going on in the now tonier sections of Brooklyn for the past 15 years.

    And of course the surly cynical cops brazen and possibly ordered indifference.

    Even though there has been new development and businesses happening by the subway, the neighborhood is still not done being redlined.


  2. While reading the excerpt with the empty statements from local politicians I had to keep reminding myself, “They’re not saying anything. This is all bullshit.” And sure enough, your pictures proved it. I know what’s going on. Nothing is being done because in a decade or so, the whoe community will be gentrified and wiped out to create a new slate, and THEN they’ll start enforcing quality of life issues. And yeah, so much police in black and brown communities, yet they somehow don’t know how to enforce these laws and obviously don’t care about the quality of life of the residents that they claim to “serve”. And lastly, we definitely need a new crew of politicians in SE Queens, because the ones we have now are clearly afraid of standing up to the status quo.


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