08 February 2010

Welcome to Bloomberg's New York

82nd Street between 37th Avenue and Roosevelt Avenue is a showcase block in Jackson Heights, Queens. It's festooned with meant-to-be-classy circular metal signs saying "82," and, though traffic goes down the street, it has the feel of a pedestrian mall.

But there's nothing New York-y about this supposedly special New York street. I used to work in this area a number of years back. It had a few bank branches, but was mainly filled with independent shops. Some were a bit low-rent, a bit grungy, but they were indy. Now, the block is cheek by jowl with chains. T-Mobile, Rite Aid, Game Stop, GNC, Payless, Footlocker. 82nd Street could be in Dayton.

Jackson Heights is in identity free-fall. The past couple years or so have seen the shuttered of local landmarks like the Eagle Theatre and Jackson Heights Triplex, the Polk Theatre and, just recently, the Cavalier Restaurant.


BrooksNYC said...

Dear God....if that isn't a sight to freeze your blood.

I was hoping Queens and the Bronx would escape Manhattan's fate. For a while, anyway.

Thomas Lowenhaupt said...

I'm in total agreement.

But Jahn's was in business last night. Sadly, the original one in Richmond Hill closed a couple of years ago.

Unknown said...

Jackson Height's garden community is the character of this neighborhood. It's sad to see old businesses go but we've also seen some very positive changes, particularly below 80th street. Table Wine and Espresso 77 are both fantastic additions to the neighborhood are only possible because and old store/business closed. It is disappointing to see landlords raising rent in this neighborhood, especially in economy. That's what is causing successful businesses to fold it in.

Jake said...

I miss the magnificent trylon theater on Queend Boulevard in Rego Park

Jill said...

I had no idea there was still an open Jahns. However, Eddies on Metropolitan Ave will always be the one for me.

A said...

There was a used bookstore in this area when I was little (the late 80s) that was floor to ceiling paperbacks. Does anybody remember more about it? I used to buy Mad Magazines from boxes they had in the basement!