Taking side on 44th Drive Debate

For my last blog post, I felt like I was overly focused on providing information about my ecology project. Learned from my peers, I came to a realization that blog post is more about sharing a feeling and connection with my readers. As DMTP inspires us to study on our project with multiple approaches such as theory review, pictures, sounds, and videos, I’m confident that most information about the site is available on my website, along with the links provided. Thus, for this blog post, I wish to walk you through my journey with Long Island City, and what influenced my perspective on this issue.

I’ve never been to or even heard about a place called Long Island city until this year. Before studying abroad in Prague last semester, I asked a friend to look for housing for us to live together after I come back. Even though it’s super expensive to live in Manhattan, I was willing to live near campus and my friend was aware of my preferences. However, one day that friend suddenly told me that she disliked all the apartments she visited in Manhattan and she persuaded me to move to Long Island City. Concerns arose because I knew so few about LIC, so I did researches on this district and found out it went to dramatic transition in the past century. There are new apartment buildings built every single year, but the facilities couldn’t follow the development of the residential area. Eventually, I turned my friend down because of my uncertainty about this district and my parents’ safety concerns. However, this experience influenced me to step on LIC one day to see if I made the right judgment. Are housings in LIC more affordable and more comfortable to live in?

When planning for an ecology project, I read an article on the dispute over rezoning for 44th Drive on LIC. This interested me because it has several layers to explore. This dispute is not as thin as a piece of paper. It was hard for me to explain its precarity in 30 seconds, so I didn’t make a perfect presentation on class. Since dense population and lack of facilities in the area is a problem, the difficulty lies on why the project by TF Cornerstone is problematic. Some people might believe that adding more housing units will make living more affordable in New York. And that’s also what said by TF Cornerstone and Economic Development Corporation. However, unpacking the gift wrap, I found evidence supporting that TF Cornerstone is planning for its own good since it gained authorization to build on city-owned land with only 25% of affordable units. The pushes me towards the side against the rezoning project. People on the other side, such as LIC Coalition and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer appears to be those who care about residents in the community.

My first trip to LIC is on a sunny Saturday afternoon. As I stepped out the subway station, walking along 44th Drive towards the waterfront, everything felt like being dead. All the factories have their doors closed, the parking lots are almost empty, few people walk on the street. The waterfront area creates a nice view over Manhattan, which can easily be converted into a recreation center. However, there’s no maintenance over the area, and the floor is filled up with trash. In addition to that, the only restaurant nearby has already been shut off. The facilities are broken with a risk a flooding. What a pity that the environment in this area makes it impossible for people to enjoy it!

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Walking a few blocks to the residential area, I found the density of population there to be unexpectedly high. There are some lawns surrounded by residential buildings, and on that day they are all packed with people enjoying the sunshine. This phenomenon is a warning on the aggressive rezoning projects in the area and indicates the necessity for more community recreation center.

I revisited 44th Drive a few days ago, the weather was much windier and colder than before. I found out that the parking lot of the Department of Public Safety that was planned for TF Cornerstone project is packed with vehicles. Even though TF Cornerstone promised to find another site for the parking lot. I’m concerned about its side effects on the public service. This time I also noticed several buildings nearby are calling for rent or under construction, which indicates the density of the population will be even higher in the future. If even TF Cornerstone project is approved, I feel it will be less comfortable living in such a populous neighborhood. There’s a necessity to get the government officials’ attention on the unreasonable rezoning projects, and I wish my website will be helpful for people in the neighborhood.

~ Candice S.

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~ by CandiceS. on October 10, 2018.

6 Responses to “Taking side on 44th Drive Debate”

  1. While I like your style of writing and how personal you get with your descriptions of Long Island City, I feel like this post has a lot potential to include background information or research to substantiate the way you were perceiving the neighborhood. You do a great job of describing what you were seeing, and the affect that comes from this post is really powerful. However, when you’re talking about the current rezoning projects, you could reference some research to incorporate some of those really detailed insights that were included in your last blog post. If you combined the detail and level of research from your last post and the description from this post it would be a really powerful post!

  2. Voice/ Under the weather: Hi Candice! I think your blog post is very informative, but I think you have room for improvement on translating the affective atmosphere of this place. For example, when you mentioned that you noticed “several buildings nearby are calling for rent or under construction, which indicates the density of the population will be even higher in the future,” I would love to know how these conditions that you notice create affects of your ecology. I think you could have done better in styling your blost post to make readers feel as if they’re at your ecology and experiencing the affects. Otherwise, your post shows your extensive knowledge about your ecology!

  3. Style

    Informative post with a direct connection with the reader. The choice to address the reader from a personal perspective isn’t working for me, as it is not directly related to the ecology, but rather to the author. This takes me away from the reason I’m reading the post, as it doesn’t begin with the topic it promises in the title of it.

  4. Under the weather: I think your blog post was highly informative but I think you could have focused more on capturing the affect of the site. In particular, you could expand on the energy or visual elements you observed as you walked in the area. The research could also have been more specific to the site and its current affect.

  5. Undertheweather. Good overall, maybe describe affect from the point of view from those affected disproportionately, or at least how think they affectively are feeling it. I also think the post was great with description, but lacked a strong structure.

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