Did any of you know the JCAL was doing The Wiz tonight (2.11.17). Well, me neither, since there was none to little publicity and I just got this email this morning. BUT if it was some “emergency” meeting on Trump’s immigrant travel ban/policy (which by the way, the intelligent adult judges put a STOP to that nonsense), you would be reading about that every day in the local media. If our clown elected officials were having a press conference on a fucking street being paved, you would know all about that. But something like, say culture like The Wiz, that many people would probably like to see, especially kids, NOTHING. What a totally FUCKED UP COMMUNITY that does not know what it wants to be when it grows up.
I mean what the hell does Jamaica what to be, LIC of the SE Queens (as can be seen by the MANY SPELLING MISTAKES of the below article), does it want to be “Homeless Shelter Village & OAC” (other assorted crap), does it want to continue to be “ghetto”, I mean what the fuck is the goal here, because I just don’t get this mishmash. Affordable housing next to luxury towers (The Crossing) next to homeless shelters next to hip hotels with roof gardens next to poisonous waste transfer stations (Royal Waste) next to thug auto body shops next to ghetto crap next to third world country slumlord multi-family cheap apartments. Talk about an identity crisis, but then I am not surprised with the folks all involved especially from the Jamaica Now Action Plan: a extremely questionable borough president Katz, a do nothing lazy Senator Comrie, a crooked Reverend Flake, A GJDC that has really done little in its 40 years of existence, a crooked congressman Meeks and a whole slew of clowns.
From Real Estate Weekly:
Renderings released for new Jamaica Transit Hub Hilton Garden Inn
GF55 Partners has released the first renderings for a new 27-story Hilton Garden Inn at the Jamaica Transit Hub adjacent to JFK Airport. GF55 is the architect and interior designer for the entire building.
The hotel breaks new ground in the development of the Hilton Garden Inn brand with its sophisticated and forward looking aesthetic. Taking cues from the HGI palette, GF55 reinterpreted the brand’s image.
The result is a cosmopolitan and New York structure that will appeal to the international travel guest. The amenities take their cue from the energy of the City, with elements that connect to both business and leisure travelers. Public spaces and rooms are adapted to meet the demands of the new wave of casual business traveler, providing a variation between softer and harder work surfaces. The lobby and meeting rooms are designed as multifunctional spaces with a flexible layout creating gathering spaces and a business hub.
The new Hilton Garden Inn will be one of the tallest buildings in the area. Urbanistically it is a Transit Orientated Hospitality Design and will be iconic in its form as it will serve as a beacon for the revitalization that is happening in Downton Jamaica. The hotel’s sculptural roof design will serve as a unique and iconic crown. 125,000 sq. ft. hotel will contain 221 guest rooms, a full-service restaurant, a rooftop bar, gym and meeting rooms. The façade is made of reinforced concrete with a glass window wall for the guest rooms to take advantage of the views towards the Manhattan skyline.
“This building has been an opportunity to create a complete environment as we have designed the building itself and all of the interior spaces and finishes. It serves as a guidepost for our future upcoming hospitality work, “stated David E Gross AIA, Partner in charge for GF55.
The Hotel is across the street from the Jamaica Station bustling transit hub that serves the JFK’s Air Train the LIRR station, 3 subway lines and numerous bus routes. The 221-room hotel will be a part of the community drawing travelers from all over the world to Jamaica.
It is estimated that 60% of its guests will be in the travel business and that over 80% of its guests will arrive by public transportation and not in their own private vehicles. The non-profit organization, Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, has been instrumental in facilitating the project and has worked closely with the Owner / Developers Able Management Group for almost 6 years. The hotel will break ground in early 2017 and is scheduled to be completed in October 2018.
Well, it looks like the big development, The Crossing, will finally be breaking ground in downtown Jamaica, and this development could be a real game changer for the area, which has deteriorated for decades. The Crossing will consists of two towers, a 26-story tower with 539 mixed-income apartments and the second will rise 14 stories and offer 130 apartments for low-income individuals and families.
Not that all low-income people are slobs and problematic (though many slobs/problematic folks fall into this group with their ghetto behavior and nonsense), I think by putting this group of people into the smaller tower maybe a good thing in the sense that I am sure the owners of this huge development will not tolerate any kind of nonsense and that these folks will have to learn to follow rules and conduct themselves in a proper fashion. Plus the folks in the big tower are certainly not going to be paying good money to deal with the problematic Jamaica element. No blasting music at all times of nights and days, no hanging out in front of the building making all kind of noise & drinking out of bags and all the other nonsense that this group tends to do. I am also sure there will be serious interviews to see who will get into this building , so it certainly is not going to be the problematic Jamaica element that we are so used to seeing all over that goes into this building (READ: Have a job and not a rap sheet with 10 incidents of robbery or assault). But hey, these folks NEED to learn proper civilized behavior not only for the neighborhood but for them as well to learn to better themselves and not be major problems all the time and make others around them miserable.
Jamaica’s AirTrain-hugging tower gets huge boost from the city
BRP Companies officially filed plans to construct the Crossing at Jamaica Station
Positive news in the hood is not something that you see that often, but downtown Jamaica is getting a new Latin Cultural Center focusing on contemporary and classical works of art. The grand opening is to be sometime in March/April and I am sure our do nothing elected officials will be there for yet another photo-op even though they more than likely had little to do with this.
From Queens Times Ledger:
New Latin cultural center focuses on multicultural Jamaica
In the bustling neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens is a new cultural center, the Latin American Intercultural Alliance.
Its purpose is to showcase the works of Latin American and Iberian cultures through contemporary and classical works of art, while enriching the lives of senior citizens, children and the community at large.
Initially the organization was called the Latin American Immigrant Alliance in 2005, and it used to encompass central and northeast Queens and focused solely on immigration rights and women’s issues. Over the years LAIA evolved into something more starting in 2009.
“It became more involved in arts and culture, particularly in literature and poetry writing, and they decided to go more intercultural in the hopes of being more involved with the community on a wider variety of subjects,” said Ruben Cruz, treasurer of the alliance.
Today the organization has over 23 activities that are both Latin and non-Latin to address the needs and desires of the multicultural landscape of Jamaica.
LAIA offers theatre, live music, dancing, belly dancing, ballroom dancing, stand-up, photography, children’s theatre, senior citizen’s services, television, film, broadcasting, web design and many, many more classes, programs and workshops to entertain, educate and bring the community together.
“We’ve done four short films with the senior community and we’ve been in international film festivals. We have workshops on self-esteem, women’s rights, immigrant rights. Health workshops on self-exams. We have physicians come in to give advice,” said Cruz.
After leaving the Corona, Jackson Heights and Flushing areas, which were already oversaturated with Hispanic and Latin organizations, LAIA decided to not just relocate, but to find a permanent home where there was an Iberian enclave that was underserved.
“The main impetus for that was having a market supersaturated with Latino-based organizations providing similar services and we felt that we needed to reach out to communities that didn’t have the kind of services that we offered,” said Cruz. “We were a traveling organization that didn’t have a home and we wanted to branch out as visionaries for a place with further need and we found it in Jamaica were there is a significant Hispanic population, in particular El Salvador.”
To fund the organization Cruz, his wife Mariana Buoninconti, and 11 others put their own money together to lease the space located on 148-15 Archer Ave in December.
Later, they were able to get additional help from the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) as well as other elected officials.
The organization has two main divisions.
“We have a bilingual musical children’s theatre and we also work in 12 senior centers throughout the city where we perform all the work that we mentioned and that is a significant part of the work that we do now,” Cruz said. “At our center we plan to have the senior services from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every weekday, and in the evenings and weekends it will be a full cultural center.”
On Jan. 12, the center hosted the Queens County Young Democrats for its panel on labor unions and labor rights.
In February it plans on having a panel for women and immigration rights in the new Trump administration. In April, LAIA has plans for a film festival, but despite his dreams for the center Cruz has some worries about its future.
“Everyone in the organization is concerned about the effects of the new administration on what we do because we are right in the cross hairs and have a target painted on our back as an immigrant and women’s rights organization and an arts organization. It’s like we have three strikes against us as far as we can see,” said Cruz.
“The National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities are under serious threat,” he said.
According to the Washington Post Trump intends to cut spending for cultural programs and organizations like the NEA and NEH.
These two establishments are the major sources of aid for non-profit cultural institutions like LAIA.
If all does go well, LAIA hopes to have a grand opening in late March or early April with state and local elected officials.
Doesn’t matter if Jamaica is the third most in-demand hood in Queens, it is still ghetto shit, filthy with garbage, horrible streets, crappy retail, problematic people, crime, very noisy even more so during summer and the restaurant scene is well……….shitty for the most part and don’t forget it better “homeless shelter village”. Now is this another ploy from the real estate industry to exploit Jamaica or is it really true, probably a combo of both. One real estate developers look for any weakness in a community to exploit, on the other hand, with such rising prices of homes/apartments (see LIC) out of reach for most people, Jamaica would be the most logical choice and if Jamaica turns around, which probably it will within 10 years, a good investment for the future. And by the way, if people took the time, there are some a good bit of really nice homes all over Jamaica, including some nice old Victorian ones as well. Unfortunately many, especially ones in not great condition and owned by slumlords are being torn down to build big multi family buildings that in some cases are fucking ghetto third world country UGLY.
But notice that Jamaica IS NOT on the list of hottest neighborhoods of 2017, despite it being the number one last year. Again, this tends to be a big marketing ploy by the real estate industry.
From Queens Courier:
These three Queens neighborhoods are among the most ‘in-demand’ in NYC’s real estate market
Queens residents have increasingly witnessed their neighborhoods make headlines for become the next “it” place for renters and buyers, and three borough neighborhoods are on a new list.
PropertyShark interviewed real estate professionals to gauge which neighborhoods would see an influx of interest from buyers and investors and compiled a list of the 12 hottest neighborhoods in New York City this year. There were 203 respondents who are residential brokers, investors and appraisers.
Long Island City and Astoria were numbers 8 and 9 on the list, respectively. The median sales price for a home in Long Island City in 2016 was $825,000, making it the second most expensive neighborhood on the list next to the Upper East Side.
In Astoria, the median sales price in 2016 for a home was $620,000. Astoria made another list of hottest neighborhoods in NYC in 2017. StreetEasy featured Astoria 10th on its list of top 10 neighborhoods this year.
Real Estate professionals also recommended that first-time home buyers head to Jamaica. According to Trulia, the median sales price for a home in Jamaica in 2016 was $418,500. At a real estate conference hosted by QNS in 2016, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz cited the neighborhood as one of the areas that has seen an influx of development in the last few years.
About 74 percent of responders said it’s a smarter choice to purchase a home rather than rent in 2017.
“The market is poised for another record-breaking year for buyers – investors as well as first-timers,” said Dennis Cotto, salesperson at Keller Williams NYC.
When government works well (and it does sometimes), it really works well, BUT when it doesn’t (which is so much of the time anymore) it is FUCKING BAD. Usually things are put into place without any damn thought or what the consequences will be, government just runs shit through and then worries about when hell breaks loose later down the road after so much damage is done. Like the homeless situation, this city started just dumping homeless shelters (and illegal ones to boot – hotels) into “certain” communities and usually communities, like Jamaica, which already have major amounts of problems without adding more shit to the list. And of course there was no thought given to proper security where many of these shelters have very problematic people (drug addicts, mentally ill, violent ex-cons, etc.).
Well, now the hardest working agency in the city, the NYPD, is overseeing security in all the homeless shelters in this city. DumbBlasio, you think you should have thought that one out before you began dumping shelters in vulnerable communities and warehousing of human beings.
On another related issue, one of the worst city agencies, DHS (Department of Homeless Services) with asshole Commissioner Steve Banks is asking New Yorkers to volunteer for its annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate, known as HOPE, to assist the agency in estimating the number of people living on the streets, in parks, subways, and other public spaces across the city.
Sorry folks, but I am tired of this whole constant “volunteer” bullshit. While that is great when our economy is booming for everyone, everyone is working a ONE job with an actual livable working wage (as opposed to working two, three low-paying jobs) and where half of people’s paychecks are not going to housing in this ridiculously expensive city, which does not need to be so expensive, asking people to volunteer their very little free time to begin with to count homeless is a fucking insult. Why don’t you Banks and your entire agency go out and count homeless, I mean that is your fucking job to begin with, you get paid a hefty salary and live in Brooklyn where you don’t have a homeless shelter in your neighborhood. WHAT FUCKING NERVE.
Here is my thought on those who SHOULD volunteer to count the homeless:
- City Council Members & Assembly Members, plus all their staff : There are 51 council members & 150 assembly members and they hardly do any fucking work as it is and get paid a nice big salary, way more than the hardworking average New Yorker. Hell if asshole Councilman Ruben Wills can pull a fucking dumb stunt like “playing homeless”, on the tax payer’s dime, like he did a few years ago, he can go out and count them (https://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/do-nothing-councilman-ruben-wills-playing-homeless-for-three-days-how-about-playing-councilman-instead-of-willie-the-hobo/)
- Mayor deBlasio and his entire administration: I mean you helped to create all this nonsense, then you and you entire staff count the homeless and not just for an hour to do a photo op.
- BIG MOUTH LIBERAL CELEBRITIES: All these loud mouth overpaid celebrity actors, sports figures musicians, models, artists, etc who love to talk about these issues as long as they don’t have to see these issues where they live, GO OUT AND COUNT. And especially those from the hip/hop, rap world, where many of these shelters are dumped in communities of color.
- Religious “leaders”: NYC and especially Queens is filled with a gazillion number of churches from big ass Catholic behemoths & big money AME (Floyd Flake) to shitty store front black, Hispanic and Asian churches. If every single one of these leaders of churches and a handful of those devoted followers went out, you would not need to ask the regular folks at all.
- Mega rich white folks of NYC on Park Avenue, Upper East Side and other neighborhoods where you will never see a homeless shelter or piece of garbage, go out and count.
STOP asking overworked and over burdened hard working average New Yorkers to do “free work” that your agency should be doing or at the very least pay people to do it, pay the unemployed, pay the ex-cons just getting out of jail, pay all the young people in communities like Jamaica who are not working, hell, pay some of the damn homeless to count their own brothers and sisters. Just leave the rest of us out of your damn bullshit that you helped to create and turn “homelessness” into BIG BUSINESS.
From Queens Times Ledger:
NYPD is overseeing security at city homeless shelters
The NYPD has taken over the management of security at Department of Homeless Services shelters citywide. Nearly 700 DHS peace officers have already been retrained and security plans at all locations have been reviewed and enhancements were made where needed.
NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill pointed out that “2016 was the safest year on record in New York City.”
He added, “We will bring our crime-fighting expertise to assist the Department of Homeless Services in making their facilities more secure, with both out management team and the training of peace officers.”
While DHS supervisors have tasers, peace officers will not be armed but were trained to do a better job of keeping weapons out of shelters, defusing tense encounters, dealing with the mentally ill and preventing domestic violence. Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered an NYPD review of DHS security in March.
“The NYPD is among the premier policing and security organizations in the world and having them work with Commissioner Steve Banks to manage security at our homeless shelters will ensure the best possible approach to providing safety for both shelter residents and the neighborhoods where the shelters are located,” de Blasio said.
Last week, NYPD Deputy First Commissioner Benjamin Tucker joined Banks, the head of the Department of Social Services, to announce the program at One Police Plaza. Deputy Chief Edward Thompson will lead the team off 22 NYPD personnel who will oversee all DHS security while analyzing incident data to evaluate risks and inform policy and staffing decisions at shelters.
“DHS’ security plan, including the new key NYPD role, demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of the individuals and families DHS is entrusted with protecting,” Banks said. “DHS work with the NYPD management team has already resulted in the implementation of critical improvements to the shelter security measures that had been in place for many years.”
Meanwhile, DHS is asking New Yorkers to volunteer for its annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate, known as HOPE, to assist the agency in estimating the number of people living on the streets, in parks, subways, and other public spaces across the city. HOPE 2017 will held Jan. 23 from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and DHS will need a minimum of 3,000 volunteers to collect vital information that will augment the HOME-STAT quarterly nighttime street counts that helped 690 street homeless transition off the streets.
“It’s essential to know how many New Yorkers need our services, and the HOPE count is an important part of that,” Banks said. “Now with the Mayor’s HOME-STAT initiative, we are greatly increasing our outreach program to help bring people in from the streets, and we will have more information about homelessness on the streets going forward.”
The HOPE count began in 2003 with 1,000 volunteers in Manhattan and now covers all five boroughs. Over 3,800 New Yorker volunteered for HOPE 2016, a record total.
Those interested in volunteering should visit www.nyc.gov/hope to register.
I applaud these LGBTQ teens from Cambria Heights and other parts of SE Queens to speak up. The Cambria Height’s Library is the first branch in Queens to offer a safe space to LGBTQ students and their allies and I also applaud this library branch for having an outlet for these teens. I mean considering that Jamaica and the SE Queens area, which is heavily black, home to many Muslims and with many religious folks (and hypocritical ones at that), is not known for being very gay friendly or tolerant. But ironically, Jamaica and SE Queens does have a sizeable gay population of all the various ethnic groups here (though most keep it quiet or on the DL, which they should not have to). You would be surprise how many gay/bi people are in this community. But in this close minded, religious, god fearing community, many gay or bi people tend to keep things under wrap and that should not be the case. People should be free to be who they are, period. For you religious folks shaking your head, ask “what would Jesus do”.
Again KUDOS to these teens for speaking out at their age and in a not so gay friendly community.
From Queens Press:
Leanne Waldron, Benjamin Hogarth, Isaiah Peters, Alex Hamilton, Jennifer Ulcena, Ashley McBurnie. Leaders from the Teen Advisory Board counsel LGBTQ students who face bullying about their identity. Photo by Tatyana Bellamy-Walker.
BY TATYANA BELLAMY-WALKER
When one Southeast Queens student is asked how LGBTQ stereotypes effect bullying, she doesn’t have to think about it for too long.
Fourteen-year-old Kyanna Ali, an LGBTQ ally and a member of the only LGBTQ teen club in Cambria Heights, says her family accuses her of being gay. Ali, who is most comfortable wearing sweatpants and other articles of clothing typically considered “boyish,” said she had to change her wardrobe to include crop tops and skinny jeans in eighth grade just to avoid the rumors.
“I’m a tomboy. I like to play basketball, but it doesn’t mean I’m gay,” said Ali, who attends John Adams High School in Ozone Park. “I would always think to myself ‘what is my appearance doing wrong? So I decided to change my outfits.”
But the taunting didn’t stop. Ali’s parents and classmates continued to falsely disclose her sexuality to others.
“I felt hurt,” said Ali, who identifies as heterosexual. “I don’t know how to make them believe that I’m not [gay].
People to this day look at me in a different way and even call me names.”
For now, Ali fends off the false accusations with confessing her male crushes. As a woman who identified as straight, she often shares sympathy for young members of the LGBTQ community, considering the actions of her own parents.
“If I was bisexual or gay, why are you going to abandon your child?” asked Ali. “Spreading rumors that are not true are going to hurt me.”
Every month, Ali is joined by about a dozen students who struggle with LGBTQ micro-aggressions, daily slights of discrimination, as a result of their sexual identity. The Cambria Height’s Library is the first branch in Queens to offer a safe space to LGBTQ students and their allies.
For more than a year, Amber Loveless, a young adult librarian, has organized student led discussions about high school crushes, building confidence and finding a local LGBTQ role model.
“We haven’t talked about coming out [yet], but it probably will be a topic in the future,” Loveless said. “I’m here as a moderator. They come up with the monthly topics.”
Jasmine, 15, whose last name is not provided to protect her privacy, said she does not label her sexuality. She likes “anyone with a good heart.” Raised in a Moroccan household, Jasmine says her family believes being gay is a “strict sin.”
“It was a complete no-no in my mother’s country,” said Jasmine, a student at the Humanities and The Arts Magnet High School in Cambria Heights. “She says ‘you know you can go to hell for that. The only reason people are gay is because they have some kind of issue’.”
If Jasmine were to disclose her sexuality, she fears being disowned by her family.
“I know if I defend [myself], I’m going to make it seem obvious,” Jasmine said. “I know in my family. They’re never going to accept it. My mom would be embarrassed.”
A friend of Jasmine’s recently transferred schools after being bullied for their sexuality.
“They laughed at him and asked him if he likes girls,” Jasmine said. “It made me feel sad. No one should go through that just for being themselves.”
For the students at the LGBTQ center, the club is a haven for self-expression and freedom. News and pop culture are frequent topics at the meetings. After the Pulse Night Club shooting in Orlando, Florida last June, one student recalled being afraid to reveal the truth about their sexuality.
“It made me feel like I can’t be accepted in this world. They can accept everyone else so why can’t they accept me?” asked Adeejah,14, who identifies as bi-curious. “My brother was scared that something like this could happen in New York that can endanger him and his spouse.”
Adeejah added, “My brother started to cry. I never felt so bad.”
Currently, Adeejah is waiting until she’s an adult to come out about her sexuality.
According to the True Colors Fund, a housing advocacy program for LGBTQ youth, about 40 percent of LGBTQ youths experience homelessness. Considering that LGBTQ youth account for only seven percent of the population, these statistics are disproportionally high. The report said that homeless LGBTQ youth are at a greater risk of unsafe sexual practices, victimization, and mental trauma.
The Queens Library Teen Advisory Board (TAB), a peer-mentoring program which offers opportunities for civic engagement, said they counsel students who are struggling with their identity.
“Be courageous and stand up for yourself,” said Benjamin Hogarth,17, to one teen. “Be mindful of who you are surrounding yourself with.”
Hogarth added, “Bullying really starts with social media. People on social media are the ones to say stuff about you.”
According to the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and BullyingStatistics.org, 42 percent of LGBTQ youth have experienced cyberbullying. At least 35 percent of LGBTQ youth have received online threats, according to the report.
The president of TAB, Jennifer Ulcena, 17, of the Young Women’s Leadership School in Queens added, “There are a lot of pages on social media that can support [LGBTQ students]. For example, the male makeup artist that is now on Cover Girl can be an inspiration.”
Jaszmyne B.,16, of Hempstead, said her mom discovered she was gay while she was talking on the phone with a girlfriend. Jaszmyne’s mom is supportive, but some of her friends are not as lucky.
Jaszmyne recalled her male friend being called a “f****t” for wearing hair extensions.
“Everyone was bothering him and messing with his hair,” Jaszmyne said. “He cried. His parents came [to the school] and I never saw him again.”
“Just let people live their life,” she thought wishfully.
Those who would like to or may know someone that would like to take part in the monthly meetings, contact at Queens Library Cambria Heights branch, by calling (718) 528-3535. The library is located at 218-13 Linden Blvd.
The group meets once a month on a Wednesday.