Let’s take a look at Jamaica in 2014, what happened, how much garbage, what elected official was arrested, who was shot and where we might head in 2015.
RESTAURANTS: While Jamaica has never been a hot bed of great food establishments, it is slowly improving and if the supposed development in Jamaica actually takes place, I am sure we will see more food establishments (and hopefully good ones) open. This year only one new establishment opened, Spicy Lanka on that horrid Hillside Avenue at 159-23. A good Sri Lanka place and most definitely spicy. While not my favorite, others thought so. The Daily News gave it rave reviews and it seems to be a winner with many on Yelp. I liked it, but Hillside Avenue is just one ugly big garbage mess and that ruins it for me. But you cannot go wrong with some of the older establishments (Sangria Tapas Bar & Restaurant, Rocoto Restaurant, Annam Brahma) and some of the newer kids on the blocks (Amina Thai, Charcoal Kabab). But overall we still lack quality nice sit down restaurants, just way too much crap with poor service. Dirty establishments and fast food shit.
Sir Lanka at 159-23 Hillside Avenue
LANDMARK BUILDINGS: Although no new landmarks this year (June 2013 saw the old Jamaica High School on Hillside Ave get landmark status), believe it or not Jamaica has the most landmark buildings in all of Queens (20 I think, I started to lose count) with the crowning jewel, the former Lowe’s Wonder Theatre on Jamaica Avenue, now the Tabernacle Prayer of Church. Next time you are walking along Jamaica Avenue, make sure to look up at some of the amazing architecture. Too bad our useless leaders have not done enough on the upkeep of these great buildings.
The Auditorium of the former Lowe’s Wonder Theatre on Jamaica Ave
BARS: Something that is VERY lacking in Jamaica, at least nice, relaxing places where you will not get shot or have to put up with bad ghetto behavior. CityRib is your best bet for great drinks, relaxing atmosphere, friendly & hot looking people, good music and just a plain good place to hang out. For true classic dive bars though, you cannot beat Hillside Inn or Maloney’s, the one place where you will actually see many white people. Both are hard core dive bars, where people take their drinking serious and you can drink cheap. Worth seeing since many of these dive bars vanished in most of NYC. On a side note, this year, a Bangladeshi immigrant died after two years in a vegetative state after he was beaten in the Hillside Inn bar after trying to break up a fight back in 2012 on Christmas Eve, although there is talk that the two guys supposedly fighting actually beat Isteak Quadir since no one else was in the bar at the time. The bar closed after that for about 6 months with a sign stating, “closed for renovations”. You can read this story at http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/queens-man-dies-wounds-years-stop-fight-article-1.1803048
CityRib at 89-04 Parsons Blvd, Downtown Jamaica
RETAIL: If you think Jamaica has a poor selection of restaurants, the retail scene is just plain awful and ugly. With few exceptions like Porta Bella Menswear & Fino Menswear, where you can get great Italian stylish shoes and stylish clothes with European cuts and Mubarak Health & Beauty (one of the few black owned businesses specializing in amazing oils, soaps, skin care products, incense, etc.), most of Jamaica Avenue is cheap crap clothing, third world retail junk and way too many health and beauty supply stores, wig stores and hair salons. Oh and some of the worst customer service on the planet. But Jamaica Avenue seems like Rodeo Drive compared to that horrible third world shit hole, Hillside Avenue, just a mess of garbage, filth, junk stores and dirty stores. CRAP-CRAP-CRAP.
Mubarak Health & Beauty
92-18 Guy Brewer Blvd
ELECTED OFFICIALS: What can I say, the majority are useless and some of the others are crooks. This year Senator Malcolm Smith had a mistrial for corruption charges but will be tried again this coming January. Both Councilman Ruben Wills and Assembly Member William Scarborough were both arrested on corruption charges and Assembly Member Vivian Cook was her normal self, not worth a piece of shit. While Senator Tony Avella, Senator James Sanders and Councilman Donovan Richards do their best, newcomer Councilman I. Daneek Miller might actually do some good as well (he took on some garbage issues and the dollar vans). This was his first year in office (replacing that totally useless Leroy Comrie, who unfortunately will be our new Senator come January), but you might want to keep an eye out for him. But he can go either way in his second year, only time will tell. I do predict that in 2015 we will see Wills and Scarborough go to jail, Congressman Meeks will finally be arrested, Comrie will prove again that he should have stayed a wedding photographer and Vivian Cook will continue to collect political welfare for doing jack shit. Overall the Jamaica political scene looks bleak.
Councilman Ruben Wills being arrested in November of 2014
QUALITY OF LIFE ISSUES: One word, HORRIBLE. Garbage continues to be a major problem, along with illegal conversions, illegal curb cuts, illegal driveways, noise issues, illegal placement of signs all over city property (Cash for Cars, We By Houses, etc.), garbage strewn vacant lots, cars parked on sidewalks, cars without plates, poor development that has caused so many nice one family homes to be torn down only to be replaced by shit cheap third world dreck and section 8 run by slum lords (mostly immigrants) and filled with low-class slob low life people who have turned Jamaica into a shit hole. The ever growing problem of trucks driving illegally on residential streets for years still has not been addressed and is becoming a huge problem. The only bright spot was the elimination of those god awful clothing bins removed by the 103rd precinct’s “The Untouchables” who tackled that issue quickly, pretty much like they tackled the auto body shops placing their smashed cars on streets and sidewalks. But overall the quality of life issues in Jamaica are HORRIBLE and not being properly addressed by the powers to be, our elected officials and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, who has also done a bad job her first year. So bad, she could be a Jamaica politician.
Shoppers World in the background.
CRIME: I don’t care what some of these statistics say, crime is a big problem in Jamaica, especially shootings, robberies and assaults. This year two officers were attacked on Jamaica Avenue by a lunatic with a hatchett, a woman was raped in the early morning on 171st street, several shootings lead to the death of several black men, one on Father’s Day at a bar on Merrick Blvd and of course who could forget the fool in McDonald’s bleeding with a huge knife in his back while talking on a cell phone, hell that one made it on Real Time With Bill Maher. This is something that the this black community needs to for once finally address properly. As one person of color stated on my one posting about Christmas Day shootings, “I agree with you, sadly the black community, won’t address this issue. I am a black, from the Caribbean, I side mostly with the police. If we didn’t harbor so many criminals in our communities, maybe we would get more respect from the police. But look at the way a lot of us live and carry ourselves. The black community needs to focus more on educating ourselves and our children, and stop blaming white people for our problems. But nothing changes as a group we are still at the bottom of the barrel…….by choice.” I could not have said it better. Overall crime is an issue and saying that it is still better than East New York, Brownsville or parts of Bed-Stuy is not a compliment.
The now classic photo. Andrew Hardy, the Jamaica “human pin cushion”.
MEDIA COVERAGE: Jamaica got major media coverage (print, TV, radio, blogs) this year between garbage, elected officials being arrested, shootings, crazy hatchet man, crazy man at McDonald’s with knife in back while chatting on cell phone, more garbage, illegal truck driving, fires and explosions in illegal conversions and all the talk about the “gentrification of Jamaica” and it being the next hot neighborhood (if you really believe that shit). You could not read a paper, hear a radio show, read Queens Chronicle, Times Ledger, Queens Crap or Progress Queens, see Greg Mocker or NY1 without hearing about Jamaica, good and bad. But the biggie was from NY1 and reporter Ruschell Boone. Ms. Boone, who has been a major advocate for the Jamaica garbage problem doing several stories on this issue, which helped to bring it to public attention and this blog as well, won an award this year from the New York Association of Black Journalist on her great 4-part Jamaica garbage series which aired in 2013 (https://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/tag/ruschell-boone/). We here at Clean Up Jamaica Queens and team P/J are very proud of Ms. Boone winning this award. Ms. Boone also did a story on our own precinct’s Sgt Cedillo & The Untouchables (https://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/jamaicas-the-untouchables-team-pj-hit-the-road-cleaning-up-eyesores/) who have helped us out tremendously with quality of life issues in our community. With so much bad press on the police this year, it was good to see positive press on the NYPD and in our own community of Jamaica. The Untouchable have been a force to reckon with in Jamaica and it was good to see a story on them.
TWC News: NY1 Reporter Honored by New York Association of Black Journalists
So as we end 2014 and head into 2015, I think many eyes will be on Jamaica and what happens in the coming year and more. Could this be the next hot neighborhood, will the area become a whiter shade of pale, will we see improvements in quality of life, will some of our crooked politicians walk the walk of disgraced former Senator Shirley Huntely, we will see our jazz history become the focus again………………………..or will it just be more garbage, shootings, crooked politicians, crap retail, fried chicken shacks, bad ghetto behavior and more importing of low-class people from all over the world, in other words the usual Jamaica shit.
Large tractor trailer trucks barrel through 170th St and other residential streets daily
Beautiful Hillside Ave
Leroy Comrie stated “We are aware of this and we will clean this up after I order 3 quarter pounders with cheese, 2 large fries and a shake. Oh, throw in a dozen White Castle sliders.”
Millers district and in front of Rev Floyd Flake’s parking lot.
WE ARE AWARE OF IT.
What quality of life issue, this is called free enterprise.