Jamaica is changing, whether one likes it or not, but there is no doubt from the majority of people I have encountered that Jamaica cannot no longer stay it its ghetto run-down garbage strewn, repeating crap businesses that has been the standard of Jamaica for decades. It is not good for the community, not good for home owners, not good for the local economy, just not good plain and simple. NOW, none of this necessarily means “gentrification”, which me myself do not like, I mean look at what has happened to over-crowded, over developed LIC (which by the way was a majority white area that got gentrified to hell). As much as I dislike Jamaica (the dumping of all kind of shit here from Royal Waste to homeless shelters, all the damn garbage, the unnecessary noise, the tons of buses, trucks, livery cabs and anything else that has wheels), tons of 99 cent stores & beauty supply stores, crap third world apartment building, etc), there are some unique one of kind places here and actually some cool shopping but you have to sift through all the crap everywhere. Downtown Jamaica area has about three big fresh fish places and many of the supermarkets (a good bit which have remodeled there stores and added many organic items) carry fresh fish, including Ideal Supermarket at Hillside Ave/175th, which carries “wild salmon, which even in nice areas is not easy to find. Great body oils are not only found in small little stos, like Mubarak on Guy Brewer off Jamaica Ave, but vendors on the sidewalks. Jamaica has the oldest family owned bike shop in the country, Bellitte, which has a huge assortment of bikes and amazing customer service. Jamaica has the most landmark building in Queens and all are in downtown Jamaica. For men’s clothing and shoes, you cannot beat Fino and Porta Bella. And even though the Colosseum Mall tends to resemble a low-class ghetto flea market same as the underground mall on Jamaica Ave, you will be surprised what can be found if you look hard enough. And take a walk inside the landmark old Lowes Theatre, now the Tabernacle Prayer of Church, and be totally amazed that this gem is right on Jamaica Avenue intact, even before Brooklyn’s recent renovation of their Lowe’s Wonder Theatre. VIP Records, Afrikan Poetry Theatre, JCAL and the Jamaica Peforming Arts Theatre, which has held several house music dance events with a well known NYC DJ, which attracts people from all over NYC, Don Nico’s (some great food), Sangria Bar & Restaurant (my favorite) on Sutphin along with the several other Portuguese eateries and bars there and if you have not been to the Merrick Blvd library in some time, check it out, an amazing library.
Jamaica needs a major face lift, the old face literally cracked decades ago. Jamaica needs more diverse stores, both retail and food and more upscale sit down dinning options. Quality of life laws need majorly enforced from large trucks parking illegally in the area and driving on residential streets or even cutting through downtown Jamaica (that NEEDS TO STOP), illegal displaying of store items that block too much of the sidewalk (3 feet from the front of store is the legal max), clown folks on microphones and loud constant looping speaker crap like “everything must go” , NO MORE constant beeping from all these livery cabs as they go up and down Jamaica Ave and of course LITTER LAWS, enough trash on the ground and all over. RESPECT FOLKS, RESPECT, we have not turned into an official third world country yet. AND we need to attract some better quality of people by building nice apartment buildings (rental and condo’s), not the low-class crap from East New York or Brownsville that Brooklyn powers that be do not want, not the homeless, not the drug addicts and not the criminal element that knows they can pretty much do whatever the hell they want in Jamaica, because, well, it is Jamaica. We need educated people, people who will take pride in their community and be active in it to see that quality of life laws are enforced and that elected officials are held accountable for (a handful of folks cannot do it alone), people who will help to bring in better food and retail places. AND one more, we need better community leadership, people who will stand up for what is right, people who will work to make a difference, people who will not put the almighty dollar before the community, people with VISION (and not that loser VISION ZERO).
But I am digressing. A recent walk/bike ride (which I have not done in some time) revealed a new Starbucks on Jamaica Ave (and no it was not the end of the word or “gentrification” as some folks have stated), which was packed with various types of people, including, yes, Black folks, who for some reason, some “people” think that black people don’t like Starbucks or nice things in their community. A new Juice Bar located at 168-03 Jamaica Avenue revealed itself a few days ago and it is very nice, even though they did not have the smoothie I wanted that they advertised (they were out of wild cherry or just did not have it to begin with and the description of two of their yogurt blends were reversed on the flyers , REALLY, you just opened). Even the McDonald’s at Jamaica & Parsons got a face lift and there are several median islands being place along Jamaica Avenue. Then there are some of the developments that have been built and many others that have already started. And even that awful 89th Avenue, which looked like some bombed out third world country road, was repaved recently, though they need to finish it all the way to 168th street.
Staying run down ghetto mess is not beneficial to anyone, except predatory real estate developers.
So let’s take a look the changing Jamaica and the Jamaica skyline.
BUT of course there still is the Jamaica crap like this:
AND THIS SHIT NEEDS TO STOP & NEEDS TO GO, I mean listen to this crap, pure third world ghetto nonsense (next to 89-54 165 St, since this crap store has no address listed):