Faithful readers, I'm sure you've noticed we haven't posted in a couple of weeks. We hope you've miss us because we've missed you. Busy lives filled with extreme change is the only words we can use to say why we haven't posted. Which leaves us to the worst news of all - we're moving. Moving out from the southside. Moving out of Queens (and back to Brooklyn).
We're behind in reporting the constant changes. Yet, we're aware of them. Are you? The new strip of stores across the street from Carmichael's Diner are getting settled in. 137th Avenue between Rockaway Blvd and Guy R. Brewer Blvd are getting new cemented corner curbs. And we heard of Universoul Circus, The Big Apple Circus, Circus duSoliel, but never of The Firehouse Circus, which opened yesterday at Roy Wilkins Park. There's some sort of art gallery or some equivalent on Guy R. Brewer and Sayres, but we didn't get a chance to investigate it. We would be wrong not to point out the changing leaves around Baisley Pond Park.
We're concerned about this blog's future. We're desperately looking for a person or two who understand the position and the purpose for this blog. That's the hard part. Many eyeballs reading the logs, but we don't know if anyone believes in actually take over. If you live in South Jamaica, Rochdale Village or Springfield Gardens and you can see yourself reporting on the positive and interesting things of this community, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is not "our" blog. This is OUR BLOG. Do you know what we mean? We've planted the seed, but you added sun and water to make it grow.
October 31st is our last day. Don't let the tree die.
Here are pictures from last month's Banner Day Picnic and parade, hosted by Councilman Thomas White. The parade march down Rockaway Blvd. Special photo credit and thanks to the council staff of Councilman White.
SEARCH & EMPLOY This Thursday Evening, October 4th @ Ambiance 133-18 Guy R. Brewer Blvd. Jamaica, NY 11434
Alchemy is defined as "any magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value." Those behind SEARCH & EMPLOY are musical alchemists, promoting awareness of conscious hip-hop music.
Conscious hip-hop? "That's not to be confused with gospel music or inspirational music," says Maom (pronounced May-ohm), one of the featured artists on the bill this Thursday. "It's a realm in the sense of being aware of your culture, your surroundings, but you don't have to be a radical about it."
He believes positive lyrics don't get too much of a push. Maom respects rappers like Saigon ("He's the perfect voice to make change") and Nas for giving a platform for the Queensbridge Projects in Long Island City a true voice. He says today, artists are claiming to do that, but are only creating an image for themselves. "If they don't put out music that is relevant, we're going to die out." He continued to express that songs are lacking creativity and lacking responsibility, which glorify wealth, fame and violence without any alternatives. "If you chose to speak about how they made it and how much they got out of it...but let me know it's hell in a four minute song. Give me roadblocks and let me know that I can do something else. The guy next door was just as poor as I was, but didn't choose the same path." Check out Maom's Myspace page. A track titled "Cake Revenge" he wrote deals with the pressures of having money and conformity.
Wendell Jordan, COO of I.F.A Recordings/BlackTone Music had a couple of shows, but this is their first real show. "Basically, we want to go to neighborhoods and find local talent who is pushing the envelope of true art and to have a true show." He hopes to have more shows like this in Queens and to give a clear sign that you don't have to go into Brooklyn or uptown to Harlem to hear great talent.
Don't forget to also check out Raw Stalin, Choyce and Jugga - all will be performing This Thursday. The Movement is: SEARCH AND EMPLOY.
This week, new stop signs were placed on east bound/west bound 137th Avenue, at the 161st Street intersection. Drivers will also see the "stop ahead" warning signs several yards before they reach the intersection. Looks like it will take some time for local drivers to see this. Several drivers failed to stop. The stop signs were probably placed after a car hit corner property a couple of months ago. Notice the south Rochdale Village buildings in the distance.
Three months ago, we posted a story about the smelly dumpsters at our local Dunkin' Donuts, located at Guy R. Brewer and 137th Avenue. We have an update. Today, we received a reply from an anonymous poster who writes, "that dunkin donuts has really improved a lot i don't see anymore garbage pilled up and i eat from there everyday and their food is good. also the employees are very welcoming."
First, whoever you are, thanks so much for posting. It's nice to have a witness in the neighborhood and it's even nicer that you took the time to express their point of view.
We can confirm that Dunkin' Donuts really HAS cleaned up their lot, but we wanted to make sure that it wasn't by chance. We recall a couple of days after we posted the alert, the rear parking lot was cleaned and the bins had lids on them! Was that by chance or is it really the power of the blog? A couple of moments as the weeks passed, where it appeared that garbage was starting to pile up again. But we concur with this anonymous poster. The garbage bins are no longer in an overflow and the awful smell is gone. Good food and welcoming employees is a bonus! I guess for starters, we can do some coffee and a bagel...
A one bedroom rental is going for almost $1800 a month at the new and finished New Yorker building. We're sorry we don't have pictures right now. But you've probably seen it already, since its grand opening around June. It's located at the intersection of South Conduit Avenue and Guy R. Brewer (177-50 South Conduit Avenue). It's the third in a series of luxury sister apartment complexes. The first building built was The Empire House several years ago, followed by The Liberty House
The New Yorker is the first out of the three to house residential and commercial space. Look out for more pictures of the finished New Yorker building, along with its sisters Liberty Building and Empire Building in our next post.
Check out the article that ran in this weekend's New York Times about SPRINGFIELD GARDENS. Among some of the topics discussed: the influx of new housing, population increase and environmental awareness - all topics of focus since the creation of this weblog. Accurate? Inaccurate? Please post your thoughts.
An expanse of homes with a note of suburban calm, Springfield Gardens, like some other Queens neighborhoods, has also been the site of feverish development in recent years as investors have gobbled up and demolished single-family houses and replaced them with multiple-family dwellings. Many residents worry that the population increase ushered in by the larger buildings is more than the neighborhood’s infrastructure can accommodate.
“People care about their homes and look out for one another,” said Yvette Kearse, an agent with Century 21 Milestone Realty. “If you want a neighborhood with manicured lawns, larger homes and not a lot of problems in this section of Queens, a favorite is Springfield Gardens.”
SEARCH & EMPLOY. Photocopies were posted all over Guy R. Brewer Avenue, along the Rochdale Village strip a couple of days ago.
SEARCH & EMPLOY - Support change in local hip hop and urban music - Support local talent and originality - Hear the music before the media gimmicks - Take control over the course of your culture
A change in local hip hop and urban music? Take control? The Southside has birthed many rap and hip hop artists (ie: 50 Cent). We're about change, especially if it has a positive impact. If Search & Employ are spearheading a movement, then this is worth investigating.
Now, each artist has a myspace page and is featured at www.myspace.com/searchemploy. Maom, Raw Stalin, Snatch, Juggah, and Choyce will be showcased at the nightclub Ambiance on Thursday, October 4th (133-18 Guy R. Brewer Blvd). More to come. In the meantime, check out the artists myspace pages.
For this post, we're traveling over to the farthest south and east area one can travel to in Queens - Rosedale.
The Eastern Queens Alliance will be holding a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Idlewild Park Preserve Canoe & Kayak launch at the street end just beyond the Huxley Street and Craft Avenue intersection. This will be the first waterfront access point in Southeast Queens. It is the result of a collaboration between the Eastern Queens Alliance and the NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation. Commissioner Benepe and Queens Commissioner Lewandowski will both be speaking. They've stated that if you have a canoe or kayak (even rowboat), to bring it along. They will kayak and canoe as a group after the ceremony. For further reading, check out this article released four years ago from Queens Press, which talks about preserving this wetland area. Idlewild Park Preserve Canoe & Kayak launch Saturday, September 22, 2007 11:00AM South of Huxley Street and Craft Avenue intersection Rosedale, NY 866 372-4255 (RSVP)
The following statement is not meant to exclude any nationality or ethnic group, but BLACK PEOPLE - you have FOUR PARKS featuring fantastic (and in some cases disappearing) wildlife - Baisley Pond Park, Springfield Park, Brookville Park, and Idlewild Park. Others would kill to have such beautiful parks and waterfront property nearby. You're blessed to have them within steps of your front door. We must do our part to help preserve them.We are a people of nature. Or maybe once were. Let's not forget that. The green spaces in our backyards are beautiful, but we're asking you to go a little further out. Endorse the park near you. Be some sort of an advocate. You don't have the time to get involved? Then simply visit them.
Grown men and women with souped up, tricked out bikes n mopeds. Have you noticed how many adults (women!) are into them? There are black biker communities all over NYC. Are more adults taking interest into this hobby or are they the teens that were riding around 10 or 15 years ago are now adults?! Regardless, they're everywhere and they LOVE their toys and the people who love them.
We go straight into the heart of the Southside to a bikers club called The Pleasure Cruise Ryders. A visit to their website reveals they're a full functioning club, with a new member application and monthly dues. And some serious rules as well. One rule reads, "In the event that we are on a road trip and you feel the need to break formation you will be fined $10.00 for every violation by the Road Captain or the Sergeant at arms." Whatever you do, don't break formation!
The Pleasure Cruise Ryders do a little more than just ride around. They boast of positive accomplishments like food drives, Toys for Tots and raffles. Next month, the gang turns three. This leads nicely into their 3rd Annual "Black & Gold This Is How We Roll" Trophy Party. Yes, wear black and gold. They'll be giving out trophies for several categories, such as "1st through the door 10 or more" and "furthest distance 5 or more." We wish them a happy anniversary and a great turnout. For more information, contact the president - Alvin BIG WILL Wilson at 917.295.1690.
8.10.07 - The Progressive Southside on The Brian Lehrer Show
Follow Up: Blogging the Borough of Dreams
Queens bloggers have been overshadowed by their colleagues in Brooklyn. We attempt to remedy the oversight with Meg Cotner of OuterB and Joey in Astoria, Kel Sawyer of The Progressive Southside, and Steve Tiszenkel of Queens Central.
Which bus route do you use to get to Jamaica Center (E/J/Z)?
[south jamaica | baisley pond]
A photographic journey of observations, development, and the community happenings of residential South Jamaica and Baisley Pond. This neighborhood SO south of Jamaica Queens is not devoid of hype. Well-kept homes with manicured lawns on tree-lined streets have been eclipsed, thanks to the hip-hop culture and negative press that only focuses on drugs and crime. There are upwardly mobile, hard working residents here with purpose and wealth who reside here. New businesses, new neighbors and dreams are planted weekly. This blog will attempt to highlight them all. This is the REAL Southside. If you are a resident of South Jamaica or Baisley Pond Park, we welcome you to help us tell the progressive story in words and pictures.