Friday, June 30, 2017

Goodbye Queens, Hello "The Ring"

This fascinating analysis is what I've been saying for years -- that the very idea of New York City boroughs is outdated.

I myself consider myself to live in Forest Hills/Manhattan, not Queens. I subway in and out of Manhattan when I get a chance and walk around Forest Hills. Not having a car, I barely see any other part of Queens and honestly have little interest in doing so since the parts I have seen mostly seem like a bland, suburban sprawl, and that's not what I signed up for when I moved to New York City years ago.

I chose Forest Hills because it was the only neighborhood I could afford at the time, with awesome apartments that didn't have showers that were indentations off the kitchen (like I saw in Brooklyn, where I had been living at the time) and that offered easy access to the subways and a nice neighborhood you could walk around in and didn't need to own a car to enjoy.


The next is called “the Ring,” which has expensive residential buildings and lots of different business types but is shorter than Minihattan; this distinction includes the Upper West and Upper East sides of Manhattan and parts of Harlem, northern Brooklyn neighborhoods, and the Queens neighborhoods of Forest Hills, Astoria, and Long Island City.

20 comments:

  1. I don't personally see the point in all this- you live in Queens. NYC has 5 boroughs, why are we trying to make more of this? Yes, some of Queens is more densely populated, some is a bit more suburban, so what? It's all still part of the borough, part of the make up of the city. Let's stop over labeling things.

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  2. Your commentary is bizarre. Way to shit on Queens. I live in forest hills also, but this whole post just screams "snob."

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    1. Guilty as charged! And God knows this area needs more snobs like me! :)

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    2. And by the way, while I wholeheartedly admit I am a snob, and am quite proud to be (too many people today just accept things as crappy as they are and don't even dream of improving them, unlike us snobs), this post in reality is in no way snobby. To say something is bland and boring and uninspiring, as much as Queens is, is not really snobby. If you enjoy unattractive suburban sprawl in what is the greatest city, then that is your choice. I don't. But many people are fine with it, that's why they move to suburbia. That's not really being snobby, it's just knowing what you like and what you don't. To me suburban sprawl is repetitive and limiting in terms of quality of life. I prefer urban.

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    3. I don't think you are a true snob Drake. More like a wannabe snob. You really would fit in better in Manhattan but can't afford it so you're in Queens trying to make like it's Manhattan, but it never will be so please just accept that and celebrate the boroughs for what they are or make more money and move to Manhattan.

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    4. I don't think you are a true snob Drake. More like a wannabe snob. You really would fit in better in Manhattan but can't afford it so you're in Queens trying to make like it's Manhattan, but it never will be so please just accept that and celebrate the boroughs for what they are or make more money and move to Manhattan.

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    5. There's nothing wrong with not wanting to live next door to a bunch of bland, generic strip mall stores. Maybe consider giving Drake an easier time of it? He genuinely seems to love Forest Hills and wants only what's best for it.

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  3. There's no shame in not being able to afford a Manhattan apartment. I'd live in Manhattan if I could, but I can't, and I don't feel that a boring, suburban-ish wasteland should be my only other alternative.

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  4. I do agree with you that you should not have to live in a suburban wasteland, but you do get what you pay for. I have lived in both Manhattan and Forest Hills and FH is no Manhattan by any means. I think the best we can do here is become like modified version of Astoria, if that's your thing. Obviously the trendier the area, the more expensive everything gets. One bedrooms in my building are going for over 700K and I'm not complaining since I own my place but please realize that all of the extra gentrification may price some people out of their own neighborhoods - including you.

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  5. While I get the point - that within boroughs there are different communities - politically it is not the best move not to be tied with Queens. When the E and F trains are not running - which is increasingly a thing - it is not just people in Forest Hills who suffer. The people who live in the more suburban areas of SE Queens like Jamaica and Springfield Gardens suffer, the people who live in the fancy, Manhattan-like condos of LIC suffer, etc. The same is true when you have a mayor who ignores Queens for the the benefit of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

    Finally, as someone who grew up and has lived in different parts of Queens and now lives in FH, Queens is actually a thing. It is a borough truly of immigrants and grit with that ethos running through all of us. I think there is a lot of us who choose to live in Queens not just because it is affordable but because it is a lot more interesting than the generic neighborhoods of Manhattan (Starbucks and Duane Reade on every corner).

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  6. While I get the point - that within boroughs there are different communities - politically it is not the best move not to be tied with Queens. When the E and F trains are not running - which is increasingly a thing - it is not just people in Forest Hills who suffer. The people who live in the more suburban areas of SE Queens like Jamaica and Springfield Gardens suffer, the people who live in the fancy, Manhattan-like condos of LIC suffer, etc. The same is true when you have a mayor who ignores Queens for the the benefit of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

    Finally, as someone who grew up and has lived in different parts of Queens and now lives in FH, Queens is actually a thing. It is a borough truly of immigrants and grit with that ethos running through all of us. I think there is a lot of us who choose to live in Queens not just because it is affordable but because it is a lot more interesting than the generic neighborhoods of Manhattan (Starbucks and Duane Reade on every corner).

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    1. Well said, I agree!

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  7. Queens--my native borough--is only "bland and boring and uninspiring" to people who think Manhattan is the center of the universe and live their lives with the persistent anger that they can't afford to live there. What a diss to all your readers from Queens. Try living ANYWHERE outside of New York City after Queens and you'll see how fast you miss it.

    While we're on the subject, you're a Queensite. Doesn't matter how you rationalize it to yourself. You DON'T live in Manhattan/Forest Hills. You don't live in Manhattan at all. You live in Queens--and you chose to live in Queens. No matter what you're claiming now, it is exactly what you signed up for because no one moves across New York City blindly--you knew what you were getting yourself into in advance. You aren't annoyed at Queens at all. If anything, you're annoyed at yourself that you choose to live there. That's your problem, not Queens' problem. Calling out a borough larger than almost every other city in the country, that also happens to be the most diverse county in the nation and harbors one of the best foodie scenes in the nation just telegraphs to readers your foolishness in never exploring it.

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    1. I am fine with existing here in Forest Hills and in Manhattan. Sorry, I've driven through Queens and really not seen much to catch my interest aside from street after street of bland suburban sprawl. Of course there are a few exceptions to that, but not many. This is not my fault and not my problem, it's the problem of anyone who feels the need to pump up the Borough of Queens into something more than it is, sorry.

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  8. Thank you Michael Thaddeus Doyle! I was the first one to post on this topic and I'm so glad to see others out there who feel the same. Enough with the snob attitude! This is why so many actual native NYC residents are so fed up with the "transplants" who come here, get a ride through here and there and suddenly they're experts on everything and act all dismissive.
    I'm sorry but Queens is not "suburban sprawl." Please! Go out to anywhere in middle America and you will really see what bland and generic is. Come to think of it, many would agree that Target is extremely bland and representative of what you find in most suburbs, yet Drake was super excited when that disaster opened here last year. And furthermore, even the less urban parts of Queens offer interesting and authentic ethnic cuisine/shopping that you simply cannot find in typical "suburban sprawl" areas. Also, each borough has its own sections that are less densely populated and the residents there prefer it that way (i.e. Riverdale in the Bronx, Mill Basin in Brooklyn, etc etc)- and they are all equal parts of NYC. BTW, gimme a break with that "Minihattan" nonsense in the original post! Just saying that alone should get anyone booted back to whatever original "suburban sprawl" they came from!

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    1. I like your fighting spirit! If there were more people like you, the borough wouldn't be so bland. Now, what are you doing with all that anger and energy to improve our neighborhood? How about starting with that "disaster," as you put it, Queens Blvd.?

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    2. And yes, I was excited about Target and still am, but now get most of my stuff from Amazon so not as excited. In any case, I am trying to get them to locate a Coinstar there so we have one in the neighborhood. What ideas do you have other than getting angry on blogs?

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    3. Please don't take any of my venting the wrong way, I love this blog and I love what you do here Drake! It's great that we have a place like this to stay informed, have disagreements and respect one another's viewpoints.

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  9. As someone who grew up in Queens and lives in FH now, Queens is not "sprawling and suburban." Each neighborhood has its own character, and as a borough, Queens has a character. There is something to be said about saying "I'm from Queens." People from other boroughs know what that means. And if I had all the money in the world, I wouldn't want to live in Manhattan. I'd still in live in Queens (I'd buy a house in FHG so fast...). Manhattan is not for putting down roots; it is for the people passing through. And as someone who lived in Phoenix and LA for a time, let me tell you about suburban sprawl: Queens is not it.

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    1. I know plenty of people who live in Manhattan for decades, if not their entire lives, and are firmly planted there, and love it, too, and would never move. So, right there, your comment is a broad generalization so I don't trust your answer to this, but if you are interested in doing so, convince me. Which neighborhoods in Queens have this "character" that you are referring to, aside from right here in Forest Hills, Jackson Heights to some extent, and to some extent Astoria. I promise to check them out myself and report my findings.

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